A place to belong

Bethany Chong and RK Suriya Varshan are the recipients of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Scholarship in 2021 and will be joining HTX after graduating. Read about their affinity with the agency.

Bethany & Suriya
Bethany Chong, 19, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Materials EngineeringRK Suriya Varshan, 23, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Engineering Product Development


Bethany – Discovering Truth

Bethany has two passions: Materials Engineering and Crime and Security. HTX merges both, and is a match made in heaven for her.

“It was my JC teacher who introduced HTX to me because he knew that I had always been interested in the area of Crime and Security, and also in the area of Science and Tech. So HTX being the Science and Tech arm for the Home Team was quite well aligned to my interests,” said Bethany.

She explained that her passion in Crime and Security was sparked by watching a lot of forensic and crime dramas when she was younger and from hearing stories from a forensic scientist who is a family friend.

Women of SRI
“The Women of S.R.I.”, a Japanese forensic drama that is a favourite of Bethany’s. (Photo credit: Bethany Chong)

“I like to discover truth, and I like to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves,” said Bethany.

As for her interest in Materials Engineering, it started from a JC project where she investigated microplastics and its impact on the environment.

“I want to learn more about materials and leverage my understanding of them so that we can reap the benefits of new materials while minimising the possible negative impacts they might bring,” she said. 

With the PSC scholarship, Bethany is studying Materials Engineering in NTU, ranked 1st globally for Materials Science in 2021.

After being introduced to HTX’s projects, Bethany knew that HTX was the right choice for her.

“It’s extremely exciting to see how the projects I work on can be applied to safeguard the internal security of Singapore – something that’s very close to home. The great relevance of the projects in HTX is very thrilling for me and I think that it’s something that would keep me motivated as well.”

Bethany has a wide range of interests, but when she isn’t watching her favourite crime dramas, she likes to do contemporary dance, which helps her relax and sweat out her stress.

Bethany dance
Bethany (top row, second from left) performed with her JC dance crew during the Labour Day Istana Open House. (Photo credit: Bethany Chong)


Suriya – Coming Home

Suriya is no stranger to the Robotics, Automation & Unmanned Systems Centre of Expertise (RAUS CoE), having interned there for 9 months.

Speaking of RAUS, Suriya said that Director Cheng Wee Kiang and Senior Assistant Director Dr Daniel Teo were among those who gave him academic advice and spurred him to apply for the scholarship.

“I’m really thankful to the RAUS team. They guided me along the way and gave me inputs on where to further my studies. It gave me a better thinking process on what I really wanted to do during my university days,” he said.

With the scholarship, Suriya is currently in SUTD studying Engineering Product Development.

He also volunteers at Woodlands Youth Network. As a member, he distributed hand sanitisers, helped beneficiaries with COVID-19 support grant applications, conducted workshops to teach tech to the elderly, and did ad-hoc spring cleaning for residents in the community.

Suriya also likes to spend his free time cycling and running. He joined the RAUS team for HTX’s 10k Steps event in April 2021.

Suriya and RAUS
Suriya (middle) and the RAUS team outside HTX during the 10k Steps event. (Photo credit: RK Suriya Varshan)

One thing’s for sure, Suriya can’t wait to come back to HTX to create more tech solutions to help Singaporeans.

“I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to learning more from the RAUS team when I get back, because what I learn from University still might not be enough for me to catch up with the team! They are really incredible, and I can’t wait to come back.”

Curious to see what Suriya did during his internship? Click here to read more!

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