Top students: Chew and Amy Sahida showing their awards during the IEM 55th annual dinner in Petaling Jaya.
PETALING JAYA: Amy Sahida Soetarman had always wanted to be a teacher, but when she was offered a degree in engineering, she decided to take up the challenge.
Now, she has emerged as one of the country’s top 26 engineering final year students honoured with the Institution of Engineering (IEM) Gold Medal Awards.
The electronic computer engineering student from Johor said accepting the offer from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak turned out to be the best decision she has ever made.
“It was challenging at first, but now, I am enjoying it. No regrets,” said Amy Sahida, 23.
Initially, she said there had been people who doubted whether she could make it in what was usually seen as a “man’s job”.
“I was determined to prove them wrong and I promised myself that I would do my best, no matter how difficult it was,” she said after receiving the award during the IEM 55th Annual Dinner and Awards Night on Saturday.
Another award winner was Monash University electrical and computer systems engineering graduate Chew Weng Chuen, who was the only engineer from a family of accountants and auditors.
“I am the first engineer in the family – the odd one out in a family of accountants. But having this qualification has opened up a vast number of career opportunities for me,” said Chew, 24.
In fact, he has just been hired by a local engineering firm.
The awards were given out by IEM’s newly appointed president Datuk Lim Chow Hock.
Lim, who is the head of Department of Drainage and Irrigation’s river basin and coastal management division, said: “There is an important role that engineers must play in the Government’s transformation agenda.
“The Economic Transformation Programme or ETP is heavily dependent on advanced engineering knowledge or specialised skills to deliver most, if not all, needed for the entry point projects identified under the respective national key economic areas.
“Engineering-based activities dominate in 11 out of 12 of these key areas either directly or indirectly,” he said in his speech.
Also present during the event was Natural Resources and Environment Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Ali Mohamad Nor.