Alumni Feature (Aerospace Engineering): Elvin Tan

19 October 2018

Elvin graduated from the pioneer cohort of the Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, and is currently pursuing his passion in Space Technology. The Verbinden team speaks with him to find out more about about his role in the industry.

Q: Hi Elvin, tell us about yourself!

Elvin: Hello! I graduated from the pioneer batch of the Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering program. Since my graduation in 2011, I have been working in ST Electronics (Satellite Systems), in the area of orbit determination and control. In my day-to-day role, I am involved in orbital analysis, hardware testing and integration, as well as supporting satellite operations.

Q: What are one or two of your fondest memories as a TUM Asia student?

Elvin: Fostering friendships with my classmates was one of the fondest memories as a TUM Asia student. Studying at TUM Asia can be intense at times due to the block-teaching format. Fortunately, I had a group of good buddies who were very supportive. With Ya Kun coffee in one hand, mugging through tutorials with the other, I am glad that we managed to pull through our studies well together. Besides that, I also enjoyed those days when I had my internship at TUM’s Institute of Astronautics (LRT). I was given the opportunity to participate in TUM’s First-MOVE CubeSat project, as well as to experience living in an European community.

Q: Why did you choose to study Aerospace Engineering?

Elvin: I have always been interested in astronomy and space science. When I learnt that TUM Asia was offering a Master’s program in Aerospace Engineering, it caught my attention. Pursuing a joint program has allowed me to benefit from learning from experienced professors in both NTU and TUM. It was an added advantage that the classes were held in Singapore, as I did not need to be far from home.


“Constantly scanning the technological landscape and embracing new technologies to improve businesses and processes are the keys to staying relevant in the digital economy.”


Q: Share with us some interesting aspects of your jobscope.

Elvin: One of the things that I enjoy about my work is getting to experience the full satellite development phases. For example, during the mission analysis phase, I am involved in orbital design and analysis, where I could put what I had learnt about orbital mechanics into practice. During the design and development phase, I would work on subsystem hardware testing and qualification, software development for orbit control, as well as participate in integration testing. Working on satellite projects has provided me with invaluable experiences, allowing me to strengthen my multi-disciplinary approach in problem-solving.

Q: What are your thoughts about the space industry in Singapore?

Elvin: As a space enthusiast, there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in SpaceTech than now. This is especially true when the SpaceTech industry is still in its infancy stage in Singapore, where there are still so many possibilities in the ecosystem. Currently in Singapore, besides satellite engineering and remote sensing, there is a company working on collecting weather data through CubeSat constellation. Besides that, there are companies looking into debris removal solution for space sustainability, as well as those who are involved in building a low-cost rocket launcher. It is exciting to be involved in the SpaceTech ecosystem to witness its growth and evolution!

Q: As an engineer, what do you think is a quality an engineer should always have?

Elvin: Personally, I believe that it is important for engineers to have an innate sense of curiosity and to never stop learning. Constantly scanning the technological landscape and embracing new technologies to improve businesses and processes are the keys to staying relevant in the digital economy.

Q: As TUM Asia turns 15 this year, share your thoughts with us!

Elvin: Happy 15th Birthday, TUM Asia! I’m glad that nine years ago, I made the right choice to pursue my Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and I’m grateful for the many friendships fostered along the way. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all fellow alumni the very best in their endeavours!


Elvin studied in the Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering programme. More information about the programme here >>

This interview was published in the Verbinden Alumni Newsletter Spring 2018 issue >>


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