Born and raised in a working class family in Singapore, Ong studied at Beatty Primary School, Ang Mo Kio Primary School and Ang Mo Kio Secondary School, and did her A levels at National Junior College.
After enrolling at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Ong received her B.Eng. (Honours in Mechanical Engineering). She later got her Ph.D. from NUS. She is currently an associate professor at NUS’ Department of Mechanical Engineering. She is a member of the NUS Senate Delegacy till June 2013.
She is teaching and researching in the area of manufacturing processes and technologies in the department’s Manufacturing Division. She specializes in virtual manufacturing, augmented reality application in manufacturing and design.
IJPR Norman Dudley Award, September 2003.
2004 M. Eugene Merchant SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, Society of Manufacturing Engineers http://www.sme.org/, November 2003. 1st ASEAN female to have received this award since the award was 1st established.
2004 Singapore Youth Award, Science & Technology Category, Singapore National Youth Council http://www.nyc.pa.gov.sg/.
Samsung DigitAll HOPE Award, November 2005.
The Outstanding Young Person of Singapore Award 2006 (Science and Technology Category), Junior Chamber of Commerce, Singapore.
2009 Emerging Leaders Award in Academia, Society for Women Engineers http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/, US. 1st Singaporean to have received this award since the award was 1st established.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation (MSIWF) Research Award 2010 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation.
Fellow, International Academy for Production Engineering, CIRP http://www.cirp.net/, 2012.
Ong was appointed as a Nominated Member of Parliament (10th Parliament, Second Session) by the president of Singapore in December 2004. She has participated actively and has been vocal in issues such as corporatisation of public universities in Singapore, fee hikes in university education, casino debate, women's rights among others.