In February, I attended the Bruneian Education Ministries’ Higher Education Expo to promote the multiple pathways available to local and overseas students seeking a career in engineering, specifically within DIO Brunei.
About DIO Brunei
Firstly, let me tell you a bit about DIO Brunei. We employ 31 local civilians in roles such as project managers, site engineers, design engineers, technicians and office staff. We also engage with local contractors to manage £5 million pounds worth of new projects, building maintenance and improvement works.
In an environment of rising youth unemployment and limited roles in the private sector, many Bruneian students seek a safe career within Bruneian government departments. Often, this will mean competing for a Bruneian Government sponsorship programme for a UK based degree with a commitment to return to work for the government once completed.
The Education Expo offered students the chance to broaden their career horizons and provided me with an opportunity to highlight engineering as a career option to them, as well as the opportunities available in DIO Brunei. At the Expo, I spoke to students about my personal experiences to give them an insight into what it is like to have a career in engineering. This included both civilian and military design and construction works, drawing on examples from overseas construction tasks, and technical design in UK airports and private industry.
The benefits of being an engineer
As I’m a member of the Professional Institution of Mechanical Engineers, I gave students an overview of the benefits available to them. These include gaining professional accreditation as an Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer or Chartered Engineer, having access to a range of learning and development opportunities and the chance to network with other engineers.
Students asked me some interesting questions around the state of the engineering industry which led to suggestions for future engagement opportunities for DIO, including career talks and the chance for me to mentor students from the University of Technology Brunei on their dissertations.
So, what does an engineer at Brunei do? Responsibilities include planning suitable maintenance programmes for the estate, designing new buildings including armouries, gymnasiums, accommodation and office buildings and ensuring compliance with UK standards. Engineers at DIO Brunei must have a good knowledge of the UK building legislation. This is to make sure our engineers can ensure buildings constructed by Bruneian contractors are fit for soldiers living and working in the Brunei Garrison.
Within DIO more widely, there are a range of pathways in engineering that individuals can get involved in. From civil engineering to airfield pavement engineering to electric engineers and mechanical and fuel engineers, the opportunities are endless.