What I do as a mechanical engineer in DBS

10 July 2023

“Teacher, psychologist or social worker. According to the career aptitude tests I took when studying, those were the jobs I would be most suited for. Not once, did “engineer” feature. But of course, life has a different plan.

And so, today I am a mechanical engineer at DBS Bank, focused on driving sustainability initiatives to build a better world, alongside highly motivated teams.

What does a mechanical engineer have to do with sustainability?

Well, I look for ways to optimise the energy use of our offices and retail branches, while balancing the comfort of our employees and customers. For instance, using sensors to regulate lighting and air-conditioning, based on a location’s occupancy rate.

Sustainability is also making the most of existing buildings by choosing to retrofit instead of tearing them down and building from scratch.

Prior to joining DBS, I’ve had the privilege of working on many iconic buildings in Singapore. I’ve explored the deep depths of Changi Airport Terminal One, walked the corridors and sat through court hearings in the Supreme Court, and navigated the ins and outs of the former PSA Building.

Throughout my 15 years in the engineering industry, I’ve worked on greening over 30 buildings in Singapore.

Working in a bank was never on the cards for me, but this role kept appearing on my “suggested jobs” on LinkedIn. When I finally clicked on it, I was impressed by DBS' commitment to net-zero and how this role would contribute to that mission.

I saw this as an opportunity to drive change - instead of being the “contractor” on the job executing decisions made; I could influence decisions from the point of ideation and continue to identify operational improvements through the buildings' lifecycle.

Many friends have asked how I pave my way as a female engineer in a male-dominated industry.

Truth be told, I’ve never been affected by perceptions around gender. What’s important to me is building my knowledge, capabilities and experience.

One of my big learnings since joining the bank: don’t be afraid to experiment. Being at the forefront of sustainability means innovating, thinking beyond boundaries, and taking bold steps for change.

Ultimately, we should ensure our current sustainability efforts reflect tomorrow’s needs, rather than benchmarking them against yesterday’s achievements.

My favourite part of the job - bringing various stakeholders together, and witnessing our projects come to fruition. Especially because we know that each project results in meaningful outcomes for our environment and peoples’ lives.”

Lee Zhenyi, Technology & Operations (CRESA), DBS Bank

We're celebrating women as part of #InternationalWomensDay in the month of March. Join us as we #EmbraceEquity

#HumansOfDBS #LifeAtDBS #IWD2023