Jonathan Ang: Shaping A Sustainable Future Through Decarbonization & Digitalization

Jonathan Ang: Shaping A Sustainable Future Through Decarbonization & Digitalization

Jonathan Ang , Managing Director

Jonathan Ang

Managing Director

Started as a young civil & structural engineer in a multi-disciplinary design firm, Indeco Consultants, Jonathan Ang is currently the Managing Director of Sterling Engineers which is one of the leading consulting firms in Singapore. Prior to joining Sterling Engineers, he had an illustrious journey of over 20 years with KTP Consultants as its Director.

This exposure has shaped his management skills which he leverages to effectively lead his current venture. With strong technical knowledge, as well as problemsolving, communication, leadership, and project management skills, Jonathan intends to make Sterling a thriving engineering consultancy in ASEAN, serving communities through sustainable infrastructure and providing innovative solutions to tackle the challenges of climate change and rapid urbanization. Let’s hear it from Jonathan.

What motivates you to give your best every day?

As an engineer, I had the privilege to be involved in many infrastructure, transportation, and housing projects that served the needs of Singaporeans and the different communities around us. Overcoming our problems in housing, clean water, sanitation, and mobility are issues that are close to my heart. To quote William Gibson, 'The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.' Thus, there is an urgent need for innovative solutions and best practices that forge a sustainable future for the next generation, and I hope to leave a legacy.

Tell us about the unique experiences offered by NTU Singapore.

My undergraduate and post-graduate experience at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was beneficial on both my personal and professional fronts. As a student who stayed on campus, I learned  the important qualities of teamwork and resilience and made many long-lasting friendships. In recent years, I had the privilege to give back to my alma mater as a design engineer for the Pioneer, Crescent, and Saraca Halls of Residence and serve as NTU’s term consultant for 2022-2024.

How has your path to success been and what is your success mantra?

It has been a fulfilling experience to lead impactful projects and turn my designs into reality. When I look back over the last 30 years of experience, I cherish some of my well-accomplished projects that truly meet the needs of the communities. In my past experiences, I have been blessed with many wonderful mentors, colleagues, family, and friends who have played a significant role in shaping my career. And this has been critical because I believe to surround yourself with the right people – people who support your ambitions – helps you to remain focused on the road ahead. My success mantra has been to 'Stay Humble and Keep Learning'. This has helped me to grasp the evolving technologies and address the challenges of the built environment.

How would you define Sterling Engineers as an organization?

The name 'Sterling' is associated with excellence; hence we are always in pursuit of excellence in whatever we do, and the acronym is encapsulated in our values, namely Sustainable, Teamwork, Excellence, Reliable, Learning, Integrity, Nurturing, and Growth. In the last five years, we have grown exponentially and were honored as one of the Top 10 Consulting Firms by Asia Business Outlook in 2022. We hope to grow our business sustainably with a focus on teamwork and excellence. Integrity is at the heart of what we do, which is the reason for our client’s continued trust and support in us. Sterling also has a strong mentorship culture, where we nurture the next generation of engineers through continuous learning and growth.

Tell us about some of your major projects that promoted the concept of sustainable engineering. How did you overcome the challenges associated with them?

As the built environment shifts toward low carbon and a more sustainable environment, we have embarked on projects adopting Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) which involves Pre-finished, Prefabricated Volumetric Construction (PPVC) that improved labor productivity and efficiency, resulting in lower carbon emission on site. Some of the projects that adopted DfMA include NTU’s Saraca Halls of Residence and a Mass Engineered Timber (MET) sports facility, which used more sustainable materials and adopted a greener design philosophy to reduce our carbon footprint while improving productivity.

Our efforts are focused on being responsible citizens & carrying out designs that are sustainable & improve the quality of life for our future generation

Sustainabl engineering also challenges the way we design and build. For example, the adoption of DfMA and PPVC methodology reimagines the way we design as we have to modify existing workflows and adopt a more collaborative approach that involves stakeholders like contractors and facilities managers at an early stage. Embracing sustainable engineering practices requires an open mind, sufficient training and coordination, and engagement in the use of technology.

Talk about your leadership approach.

I believe that people can change the world and improve the quality of our lives. Our greatest asset is our human capital. It is important to align our people's purposes with the company's goals. Our company's mission is to inspire our clients with innovative solutions through integrated delivery. Sterling envisions our engineers making a difference in our community and being responsible citizens that consider the needs of people and our planet – building sustainably with our future generation in mind. As a leader, I believe in autonomy and empowerment. We encourage our people to accomplish their projects with pride and dedication, shaping our communities into a more resilient and liveable environment.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?

In a volatile and uncertain environment, I believe Sterling can be a vital infrastructure service provider that improves the quality of life and overcomes the challenges of climate change. Decarbonization and digitalization, the 2Ds are the two key challenges as well as opportunities for Sterling in the next decade. There will be greater awareness and emphasis on sustainable practices as we transition to a circular economy. We are well-positioned to serve these environmental needs with our expertise and hope to create greater value through digital transformation and sustainable practices.

Jonathan Ang, Managing Director, Sterling Engineers

An alumnus of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore, Jonathan is playing an integral role in shaping Singapore's infrastructure and built environment and leveraging his vast industry experience to build solutions that are innovative & sustainable. Jonathan completed his Bachelor of Engineering in 1990 and obtained his Master of Science (International Construction Management) in 1996. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Singapore as well as an ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer

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