22 March 2024

A Family of Swinburne Graduates

By Veronica Kho

With 2 PhD holders among them, the Choo siblings are a proud family of Swinburne alumni.

The Choo family

A family photo of the Choo family, featuring the Choo parents, seated in the front row, with the five siblings – (from left) Choo Chung Siang, Ir. Dr. Choo Chung Siung, Dr. Diana Choo, Choo Chung Chieh, and Choo Chung Liang standing in the back row.

In many Asian households, it is not uncommon to have parents steering their children towards traditional professional courses like law, accounting, medicine, and engineering.

Such is not the case in the Choo family. With supportive parents, the Choo siblings grew up in an environment where they were encouraged to pursue their passions and chart their academic paths. As the eldest of five siblings, Ir. Dr. Choo Chung Siung fondly recalls the formative years of their upbringing, “We were very fortunate to have parents who encouraged us to follow our interests.

This philosophy paved the way for a diverse array of academic pursuits within the family, spanning from traditional professional courses like Civil Engineering to less conventional ones like Aviation.

The Choo siblings - Choo Chung Siung

Ir. Dr. Choo has been with Swinburne Sarawak for over a decade and is currently a Senior Lecturer and the Director of the Centre for Innovative Society at the university

Ir. Dr. Choo began his education journey at an overseas university, but life’s twist had him returning to Malaysia and later redirecting his academic path to Swinburne Sarawak. Having overcome the initial challenges he faced while studying overseas, he successfully graduated with First-Class Honours in Civil Engineering and subsequently earned his PhD in micro-tunnelling at Swinburne Sarawak.

His ground-breaking research shed light on innovative methods for constructing pipelines through rocks, garnering acclaim in renowned journals. Apart from contributing articles, Ir. Dr. Choo is also an active reviewer of these journals. As a Senior Lecturer at Swinburne Sarawak, he continues to inspire future generations, educating future civil engineers on soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering.

Meanwhile, Dr. Diana, the youngest of the five, also holds a PhD and embarked on an equally transformative academic journey. Seeing that all her brothers furthered their education at Swinburne, she too enrolled in the university’s branch campus in Sarawak.

Her pursuit of knowledge and innovation was fuelled by a full scholarship from Swinburne Sarawak for both her Master in analytical chemistry and her PhD. Transitioning from a degree in Biotechnology to a PhD in Oncology and Cancer Biology, her research delved into nasopharyngeal cancer and cell biology. Dr Diana is now a Scientific Project Manager leading initiatives in the field of gut health, where she can leverage her decade-long association with Swinburne Sarawak to drive impactful projects and collaborations.

The Choo siblings - Diana

Leading projects in the field of gut health, Dr. Diana is currently a Scientific Project Manager at AMILI, a precision gut microbiome company based in Singapore.

Likewise, the achievements of their siblings, Choo Chung Siang, Choo Chung Chieh, and Choo Chung Liang, are equally remarkable.

Choo Chung Siang, a Sarawak graduate in Accounting, excels as a Senior Owners Corporation Manager and Team Leader at MOCS, a strata management company located in Melbourne, Australia. Choo Chung Chieh, a Melbourne campus graduate in Aviation, now serves as a Jetstar Operations Control Center Senior Operations Controller/Manager. Also a Melbourne campus graduate, Choo Chung Liang, a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) graduate, now thrives as a senior talent acquisition specialist in K2 Partnering Solutions, a leading consultative staffing firm in Tokyo, Japan.

As the Choo siblings continue to make strides in their careers, they serve as a testament to the opportunities and possibilities provided by Swinburne Sarawak. The siblings’ educational success across diverse fields of study and subsequent achievements in their respective careers underscore the importance of family in providing a supportive environment and also serve as an inspiration for future generations – to always pursue their passion.

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