Gina Foo: Leading Sustainable Development at Punggol Digital District

Published on 8 March 2024

Gina Foo, a seasoned professional engineer with over three decades of experience, is a pivotal figure at JTC's New Estates Division 2. She currently leads a team of engineers in the development of Punggol Digital District (PDD), a cutting-edge smart and sustainable district. Her role involves overseeing the planning and execution of the district's infrastructure, aligning with JTC's vision for environmentally conscious industrial development. She finds profound meaning in her work, driven by the opportunity to shape a forward-thinking district that integrates technology and sustainability.

Gina Foo is an experience engineer at JTC involved in the development of Punggol Digital District
Gina joined JTC in 2019. 

Why did you decide to study engineering?
My first choice was to study law; engineering was my last choice, but I have no regrets [laughs]!

What field of engineering do you specialise in and why did you choose it?
Civil engineering has many branches. I specialised in building and infrastructure, which are the most common branches in civil engineering. The applications are varied, such as in the process industry, marine structures, power plants, semiconductor plants, and deep underground structures, each requiring different design and construction methods. The technology is improving, and there are many new innovations to try and assess for suitability in Singapore.

What characteristics make a good engineer? 
A willingness to learn and ask questions. Always seek to understand what you are "supporting" for better design and construction.

Gina Foo and her team on the site of Punggol Digital District.
Gina (second from right) with her team during a site visit. 

What are the challenges you’ve faced as a woman in male-dominated industries such as construction and engineering? 
Having worked in both local companies and MNCs, I've encountered a glass ceiling for all female engineers, whether in design or construction. To overcome this, I believe in excelling in my chosen branch and being versatile in various design structures. I advocate for curiosity, understanding, and learning about other disciplines like mechanical, electrical, and process engineering, as civil engineering always supports other disciplines.

What challenges did you face with PDD and how did you overcome it? 
The PDD project involved numerous stakeholders. Overcoming the challenges required an open and collaborative mindset when dealing with all the stakeholders.

Do you have any advice for women who are considering to study engineering? 
Keep an open mind and be curious. It's not daunting to work at a construction site. Balancing family and work is challenging, but it can be done. Always seek help when in doubt, as there's always someone ready to lend a hand.