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June 2017 | MCI (P) 003/03/2017



ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING: Robotics rising: Getting into the thick of it CHEMICAL & PROCESS ENGINEERING: Jurong Island: What it takes to achieve a world-class petrochemicals hub MARINE & OFFSHORE ENGINEERING: A proposed multi-purpose 20,000 t floating gantry crane system



18 McKinsey opens Digital Capability Center in Singapore The facility will assist companies in their digital transformation.



22 Robotics rising: Getting into the thick of it The Mobile Manipulation Challenge compared the performance of robots built by teams from several countries. 26 Technology company presents IoT solutions These can help in Singapore’s industrial progress.



28 Jurong Island: What it takes to achieve a world-class petrochemicals hub The factors for the stellar success of Singapore’s Jurong Island Chemicals Hub are presented. 30 Explosion-proof equipment for hazardous environments There is growing awareness of the risks and the need to comply with international standards.

President Er. Edwin Khew Chief Editor T Bhaskaran Chief Executive Alvin Charm 02


Publications Manager Desmond Teo Publications Executive Queek Jiayu Media Representative MultiNine Corporation Pte Ltd


Published by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore 70 Bukit Tinggi Road Singapore 289758 Tel: 6469 5000 I Fax: 6467 1108

Editorial Panel Er. Chong Kee Sen Dr Chandra Segaran Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Kenneth Cheong Mr Gary Ong

Cover designed by Irin Kuah Cover image by McKinsey & Company

Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore

MARINE & OFFSHORE ENGINEERING: 32 A proposed multi-purpose 20,000 t floating gantry crane system The special equipment can help especially in turnkey work for offshore projects.


36 Ultra Special A market-leader in high performance power systems is working on two new engine designs for improving the efficiency of future large aero engines.



40 Inspiring tomorrow’s women rockstar engineers starts today Singapore needs to attract female talent into the engineering sector.




The Singapore Engineer is published monthly by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES). The publication is distributed free-of-charge to IES members and affiliates. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor or IES. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine shall be reproduced, mechanically or electronically, without the prior consent of IES. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy of the content at press time, IES will not be liable for any discrepancies. Unsolicited contributions are welcome but their inclusion in the magazine is at the discretion of the Editor.




NEW SGD 150M NATIONAL PROGRAMME TO ENHANCE SINGAPORE’S AI CAPABILITIES The National Research Foundation (NRF) will invest up to SGD 150 million into a national programme to boost Singapore’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and enable the nation to take advantage of opportunities in the digital economy. This will take place over the next five years. AI.SG will be an initiative driven by a government-wide partnership comprising NRF, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SGInnovate, and Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS). It will also bring together all Singapore-based research institutions and the vibrant ecosystem of AI start-ups, development companies, laboratories and even individual enthusiasts to grow the knowledge, create the tools and develop the talent to power Singapore’s AI efforts.

It will work with companies to use AI to raise productivity, create new products, and translate and commercialise solutions from labs to the market, with particular potential in the sectors of finance, healthcare and city management solutions. Beyond research institutions, AI.SG will also harness industry capabilities via networking events and hackathons, using AI to tackle real-world challenges. In addition, the initiative will nurture a local community of doers and thinkers in AI through a ‘makerspace’ en-


AI.SG will also work closely with the Singapore Data Science Consortium to synergise the use of data in deepening AI technologies and tools, and the use of AI to automate and develop deeper, actionable data science insights.

AI.SG will serve as a powerful point of concentration of intellectual, physical and financial resources committed to working with AI.

According to NRF, AI.SG has three objectives: Use AI to address major challenges that affect society and industry, invest in deep capabilities to catch the next wave of scientific innovation, and broaden adoption and use of AI and machine learning within industry.


vironment with shared resources and facilities designed to maximise community interaction, collaboration, and encourage adoption of intellectual property generated by AI.SG. These facilities will comprise AI.SG software tools and frameworks released under appropriate open source license, anonymised datasets, and world-class AI high-performance computing resources.

Mr Steve Leonard, the founding CEO of SGInnovate, the government-owned organisation that supports science and deep-technology start-ups, said, R&D in Singapore has already gained international recognition, and there is tremendous momentum in areas around AI such as computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning.

“AI.SG will serve as a powerful point of concentration of intellectual, physical and financial resources committed to working with AI.” The operations of AI.SG will be overseen by a Management Committee comprising field experts from all Singapore-based research institutions, key government agencies and industry partners with expertise in AI. It will be helmed by co-chairs Mr Tan Kok Yam, Deputy Secretary, Smart Nation and Digital Government (SNDG) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Professor Ho Teck Hua, who has been appointed as Executive Chairman of AI.SG, and is also the Deputy President (Research & Technology) and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor at NUS.


NTU LAUNCHES RESEARCH CENTRE FOR BIG DATA ANALYTICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE In April, NTU launched a new research centre for big data analytics and artificial intelligence. The centre, named Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (DSAIR), will receive about SGD 8 million in funding from NTU over the next three years. The centre has already partnered up with international tech firms such as PayPal, and Nvidia. Paypal is working with Masters and PhD students from NTU on research projects related to financial technology (FinTech), while two DGX-1 systems from Nvidia have been acquired for the centre. DGX-1 is the chipmaker’s most advanced computing system for deep learning. This will enable NTU scientists

to develop large-scale and complex solutions for problems not efficiently solved by conventional computing systems. NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson, said the new centre will combine NTU’s deep expertise in AI and machine learning with big data analytics to pioneer new technologies for key sectors of the Singapore economy. The multi-disciplinary research centre will have 60 scientists and researchers at steady state and will be jointly headed by Prof Chee Yeow Meng, Chair of NTU’s School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and Professor Ong Yew Soon, Chair of NTU’s School of Computer Science and Engineering.





NEEDS TO EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY: REPORT The symposium discussed the construction of Sweden’s newly opened 12,000room New Karolinska Hospital, the world’s biggest-ever public-private partnership hospital project. Its entire design was executed using a BIM platform. Post-construction, BIM is also being used for handling overall facility management.

An example of data output for a building using BIM software.

While digital transformation has profoundly disrupted almost every type of business, the real estate industry has been traditionally slow to move with the times – until now, according to participants at the recent 2nd Asia Pacific Leadership Symposium, held in Hong Kong and organised by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the World Economic Forum (WEF). A new white paper, The Future is Now, summarises the symposium discussions, and argues that with technologies such as computer-aided design, new materials and augmented-reality marketing, the issue for developers is on picking out the most promising new technologies. “Cutting-edge tech that may seem appealing at first glance may still be unsuited for real-world applications because it is either underdeveloped, too expensive, or too hard to scale,” said the report. Some examples highlighted include potentially transformative advances in materials technology, such as organic admixtures that use mushroom-derived or calcium-secreting bacteria that allow buildings to be “grown” or repaired. However, while such advances are promising, they remain under development. One area that developers are more certain about is the potential of new software design tools to manage construction work, with one participant saying, “That’s where the mojo is – it’s going to transform current practices.” The system gaining most traction is Building Information Modelling (BIM), which replaces traditional hardcopy blueprints with 3-D computer modelling. The system, combined with the easy availability of handheld devices allowing the concept to be applied onsite, gives it “a game-changing advantage over legacy paper-based systems, helping architects and contractors to collaborate more easily and make on-the-fly alterations to existing designs.” 06


As the hospital’s BIM model contains all construction data in a single plan, its managers know immediately which materials are used in any part of the building, where components are located, and exactly what part will be needed to repair any given equipment breakdown.” The symposium noted that there a number of factors exist for the slow pace of change in the real estate industry. Firstly, because the useful lives of buildings can be very long, owners might not see the need to introduce technological innovations to them. Resistance to customisation and the perceived hassle of dealing with more stakeholders are also obstacles that impede investment in new technology, even as costs continue to fall. The biggest roadblock of all is regulation. The high level of oversight in Asia’s construction industries is a result of a “need to ensure building safety, creating deep bureaucratic roots … (therefore) widespread adoption of new technologies requires wholesale changes in existing building codes and approval processes”. While in a few markets, notably Singapore, governments have encouraged the industry to embrace new technology, “bureaucratic inertia is the invisible hand inhibiting change.” In Hong Kong for example, alterations are prohibited until an occupation permit is issued, meaning that customisation on the go is impossible. The desire for buildings to be adaptable for mixed-use purposes is also frustrated by a zoning system that controls buildings serving multiple functions. In view of the largely negative short-term prospects of persuading regulators to adapt the existing prescriptive framework, it was suggested that consumer pressure could lead to a move from the current specifications-based mindset towards a more performance-based approach enabled by technology that can monitor building performance. “We are nearing a global tipping point and digital transformation is an area that the real estate industry cannot ignore,” reflected Mr Nicholas Brooke, Chairman of the ULI-WEF Symposium.



PROTECTIVE TECHNOLOGIES On 17 May 2017, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces, visited the Explosive Testing of Structural Components (ETSC) 2017 at Pulau Senang and witnessed a largescale blast test conducted by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA).

The test was performed to assess and collect data on the effectiveness of fibre-reinforced polymer in enhancing the resiliency and protection of structures against weapons and explosive threats. At the visit, Dr Ng was also briefed Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (first from right) receiving a briefing during ETSC 2017 on Pulau Senang. on the performance of steel Photo: MINDEF jackets in reinforcing concrete columns against improvised explosive devices, as well as new design concepts for more efficient storage of ammunition. ETSC 2017, conducted from 15 to 27 May, tests and validates indigenous capabilities in protective technologies developed by DSTA to support the design and development of mission-critical infrastructures against a spectrum of threats. These test results and data are used for modelling and simulation to carry out vulnerability assessments of complex scenarios. Leading up to the ETSC 2017, DSTA collaborated with research agencies in Norway, Sweden and US to conduct various large-scale trials to support the local development of protective technologies for counter-terrorism and ammunition storage. Defence engineers from DSTA also collaborate with local government agencies, such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, and local research institutions. Engineers from DSTA also work with the Protective Technology Centres at NUS and NTU to develop simulation models that are able to provide researchers accurate predictions of weapon effects on buildings and critical assets. Mr Lee Eng Hua, Director of DSTA’s Building and Infrastructure Programme Centre said, “Over the years, we have built up our capabilities in protective engineering. Large-scale explosive testing is an important part of this build up. We have progressed to developing and validating new protection concepts, as well as developing and calibrating advanced numerical models to predict the response of buildings to weapon effects. “With the models, we are able to predict vulnerabili-

Performance of concrete columns with (right) and without (left) reinforced steel jackets against Improvised Explosive Devices. Photo: MINDEF

ties of buildings and critical assets more accurately and efficiently. The models also allow us to evaluate a wider range of scenarios, while reducing the frequency of explosive tests.” Since 1994, the ETSC has served as a platform for the large-scale testing of DSTA’s research and technology programmes in protective engineering. With the rising threat of terrorism, DSTA has also contributed its experience and expertise to the effort in implementing protection measures for Singapore. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER June 2017




LEADERSHIP CHANGES Senior leadership changes at ST Engineering will take place effective 1 July 2017. After 17 years with the Group, Mr Lee Fook Sun, Deputy CEO and President of the Group’s Defence Business, has decided to retire. Mr Lee has been a significant contributor to the growth of the Group through key positions which he held over the years, including as President of ST Electronics from August 2009 to December 2016. He played a pivotal role in driving the many successes of the Electronics sector, including preparing the business for its next phase of growth in the digital economy and growing the sector’s profits before tax by 80 per cent in seven years to cross SGD 200 million in 2016. One of his leadership highlights is pushing the Group into the global space industry, with TeLEOS-1 earth observation satellite now orbiting the Equator and TeLEOS-2, a more capable next generation earth observation satellite currently in development. Mr Ravinder Singh will be appointed as the Group’s President of Defence Business, in addition to his current role as President of ST Electronics. Ms Eleana Tan Ai Ching will relinquish her role as Chief Financial Officer, a position she has held since March 2008 and be appointed as the Chief Corporate Officer. In this newly-created role, she will have functional responsibilities for IT, procurement as well as estate and facilities management. She will also provide oversight of the Group’s corporate shared management services set up in

late 2016 to leverage group scale and synergies. Mr Cedric Foo, who is Advisor (Corporate Development) of the Group since October 2016, will be appointed as the Chief Financial Officer. He brings to the Group extensive experience in finance and corporate planning in the maritime and transportation industries. He had previously served as Chief Financial Officer and in senior management roles in large-cap companies, and was also Chairman of JTC Corporation (2008 - 2012) and SPRING Singapore (2003 – 2007). In his new role, he will oversee the Group’s financial health and performance, and at the same time support the Group’s growth strategy. The Chief Financial Officer, Chief Corporate Officer and President of Defence Business will report to Mr Vincent Chong, the President and CEO. “I thank Fook Sun for his significant contributions to the Group and wish him well in his retirement,” said Mr Chong. “We have benefited from Eleana’s financial expertise and discipline, and I am glad that we can continue to leverage on her in-depth knowledge of the organisation. I also look forward to having Ravi and Cedric in their new roles. “As the Group strives for long term sustainable growth and value creation, we will continue to evolve the roles of our senior leaders to strengthen our leadership bench and capacity. The changes announced today reflect our continuous drive to meet these objectives.”



Several changes to the organisation structure and management appointments in the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) took effect on 1 June 2017. According to BCA, these are “part of continuing leadership renewal and enhancing BCA’s drive towards transforming the built environment sector”. Mr Hugh Lim officially takes over the role of BCA Chief Executive Officer from Dr John Keung, who has been appointed as the Dean of BCA Academy (BCAA). Mr Lim brings with him a range of operational and policy experience from his previous postings in the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth (MCCY), Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). This includes setting up of the Army’s Capability Development Hub in the SAF, developing the masterplan to establish Singapore as a global Intellectual Property hub in MinLaw, and implementing the recommendations of Vision 2030, such as the Sport Facilities Master Plan and ActiveSG in MCCY. For Dr Keung, his 11 years as BCA CEO saw him overseeing the implementation of various masterplans, such as the Construction Productivity Roadmap, the Accessibility Master Plan, and the promotion of Universal Design to shape a safe, high quality, sustainable and friendly built environment.



Additionally, the green building movement in Singapore took off under his leadership through the various Green Building Master Plans. In recognition of his contributions in advancing the global sustainability moveMr Hugh Lim (left) and Dr John Keung (right) ment, Photos: Ministry of National Development and BCA. Dr Keung was conferred the prestigious Chairman’s Award by the World Green Building Council in 2015. Dr Keung is the first Award recipient from Southeast Asia since the inception of the award in 2011. Dr Keung, will oversee BCAA in its continued effort to enhance capabilities within the built environment sector. Also of note is the appointment of BCAA Managing Director, Er. William Tan, to the additional role of Senior Project Director to oversee new development works in BCAA. For more information, visit bca_01jun2017_sti-v3-.pdf



SIX ENGINEERS FOR THEIR ENGINEERING FEATS BCA awarded its Design and Engineering Safety Excellence Award to six Professional Engineers (PEs) at an evening ceremony held on 13 June 2017 at Resorts World Sentosa. The award recognises engineering solutions that overcome project challenges for safe design and construction.

ground function hall. To ensure safe and productive excavation of up to 20m deep in difficult and variable ground conditions, rigid, contiguous piles of varying diameters were used to form the “wall” of this development, resisting the lateral forces from the ground around it.

Having to deal with difficult ground conditions, space constraints as well as foundation piles left behind by a demolished building, Er. Aaron Foong, who is from KTP Consultants, had to devise engineering solutions for The Scotts Tower project. Adding on to his challenge was the site’s close proximity of less than nine metres to two underground MRT tunnels, as well as the architectural requirement for the project’s support columns – for all 30 floors of the building – to be slanted.

With careful planning, the use of the mega trusses enabled excavation and construction to be carried out independently and concurrently over three zones across the site. Er. Kam used these engineering solutions because of its proximity to conservation buildings (pre-war shophouses), heritage trees and the Fort Canning Tunnel.

In dealing with the difficult ground conditions, Er. Foong adopted a robust and creative setup that enables two ring walls (inner and outer) to be installed concurrently, allowing excavation work to start once the inner ring is completed. He also used advanced computer software to simulate ground movements during construction so that he could determine the thickness of the walls, keeping any ground movements affecting the two MRT tunnels to a safe limit. For the slanted columns at Scotts Tower, an iconic feature of this development, he devised an “outrigger” structure that transfers part of the building’s weight to its central core, which comprises lift shafts and staircases (pictured). While it is an important structural element of the building, Er. Foong also worked closely with the architect so that the outrigger structure became an aesthetic feature of the building.

Apart from Ers. Foong and Kam, four other PEs, who were the Qualified Persons for these developments, received merit awards: H2O Residences, Galaxis, Grace Assembly of God Church, and the Intra-Island Cableway on Sentosa island. Commenting on this year’s Award winners, BCA Group Director (Building Engineering) Er. Chew Keat Chuan said, “By building taller and deeper in Singapore’s densely built-up environment, engineers will have to continually change the way we build by using innovative, practical and safe solutions to overcome challenges such as site constraints and unique design features. “Their work involves being creative, resourceful and passionate about using the skills and ‘tools’ they have to achieve outstanding feats in their engineering design and safety during construction.”

Another winner, Er. Kam Mun Wai from Meinhardt (Singapore), was recognised for his project, the six-storey SMU School of Law, which houses the Kwa Geok Choo Law Library and David Marshall Moot Court. Its main structure comprises primary and secondary mega trusses made of structural steel, stacked on top of one another in orthogonal directions to provide a large space with no obstructing columns. Today, a portion of the mega structure is a part of the exposed architectural element that lines part of the building’s under10


The Scotts Tower concrete outrigger transfer system. Image: BCA.


BOEING UNVEILS DEEP SPACE CONCEPTS FOR MOON AND MARS EXPLORATION Boeing recently unveiled concepts for the deep space gateway and transport systems that could help achieve the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s goal of having robust human space exploration from the Moon to Mars. NASA’s Space Launch System, which Boeing is helping develop, will deliver the habitat to cislunar space near the Moon. Known as the Deep Space Gateway, the habitat could support critical research and help open opportunities for global government or commercial partnerships in deep space, including lunar missions. It would be powered by a Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system. “The ability to simultaneously launch humans and cargo on SLS would allow us to assemble the gateway in four launches in the early 2020s,” said Mr Pete McGrath, director of global sales and marketing for Boeing’s space exploration division. The Deep Space Gateway could be the waypoint for Mars missions. Utilising a docking system akin to what the International Space Station uses for commercial operations, it could host the Deep Space Transport vehicle, which would take humans to Mars. Once near Mars, crews could deploy a lander for surface missions or conduct other scientific and robotic missions in orbit.

Artist’s impression of the Deep Space Gateway. Image: Boeing

The transport vehicle would be equipped with a habitat specifically designed to protect passengers from deep space’s harsh environment and its own robust SEP bus. The gateway and transport systems are partially being developed as part of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Technologies (Next Step) program and an ongoing High Power SEP technology development effort within the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate.



KONE Corporation, press release, March 29, 2017 KONE, one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry, has unveiled its renewed high-rise elevator testing facility in Tytyri, Finland, after extensive renovations. The test lab reaches a depth of 350 metres, making it the world’s deepest elevator test shaft, and is an integral part of a working limestone mine. At the site, KONE can carry out tests under extreme conditions, which are much harsher than in regular buildings. The depth of the shafts means that elevator speeds of up to 70 km/h can be tested, or around 19 metres per second at conventional acceleration rates. With KONE’s unique free-fall tests, speeds of up to 90 km/hour, or 26 meters per second, can also be reached. In total, the transformed site at Tytyri comprises of 11 elevator shafts with a combined length of 1.6 kilometers. Seven shafts are dedicated for super-tall and mega-tall

testing, with the remaining four shafts available for midand low-rise testing. In addition to sophisticated analysis of ride comfort and aerodynamics, KONE can advance other cutting-edge innovations, such as robot-aided solutions for precision installation, resulting in faster installation times and better ride comfort. “At KONE, we have introduced technological breakthroughs which have changed the face of the industry. With the deepest and tallest facility of its kind in the world, we are excited to bring together design, engineering and technology, specifically to meet and exceed the needs of our customers,” said said Mr Tomio Pihkala, Chief Technology Officer, KONE Corporation. KONE’s high-rise laboratory at Tytyri was first opened in 1997. Today, it is part of the company’s global testing network, located at seven different R&D sites in Finland, Italy, China, USA, Mexico, and India.




SIEMENS PARTNERS SIT TO PROVIDE TRAINING IN DIGITALISATION AND ADVANCED MANUFACTURING Siemens and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) have announced their intention to work together to train future engineers and strengthen the collaboration between industry and academia in the area of Digitalisation and Advanced Manufacturing. Towards achieving this objective, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was recently signed by Dr Armin Bruck, President and CEO of Siemens Pte Ltd, on behalf of Siemens, and Prof Loh Han Tong, Deputy President (Academic) & Provost, SIT, on behalf of SIT. Digitalisation is key to increasing productivity and competitiveness in the manufacturing industries. It is also creating completely new business and growth opportunities for companies, as well as new jobs. The Siemens-SIT collaboration aims to train and nurture talents who will be ready for this evolving job landscape. The agreement covers three areas. They are the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP), the Licensed Software Agreement, and Mid-Term Scholarships.

SMSCP Two academics and/or professional officers from SIT will undergo SMSCP’s Level 3 Instructor Certification Course at the Siemens Technik Akademie in Berlin, Germany. Thereafter, they will explore the implementation of SMSCP Level 3 to complement existing modules within SIT’s relevant undergraduate and Continuing Education and Training programmes. The SIT instructors will be the first in Southeast Asia to receive the SMSCP Level 3 Instructor Certification. SMSCP is a comprehensive training programme in which students learn about the complexities of the mechatronic system in a holistic fashion, as opposed to traditional methods of teaching in which students learn about electrical, mechanical and computer technologies, separately.

solution that synchronises Product Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering and Production; and LMS, a simulation software for Model-Based Systems Engineering.

Mid-Term Scholarships Siemens will offer one mid-term scholarship per year to an SIT student pursuing a degree programme relevant to the fields of Digitalisation and Advanced Manufacturing. The selection of the candidate will be a joint-process conducted by Siemens and SIT. “The digitalisation of the manufacturing industry is significantly changing the industrial and job landscape. As a world leader in developing and producing the most advanced engineering technologies to improve lives and impact society, we deem it important to help train and equip a new generation of human capital for this evolving landscape”, commented Dr Bruck.

A SMSCP Level 3 Mechatronic Professional will be a skilled designer of, and expert on, complex machines that require multiple technologies to function.

“SIT, with its vision of being a leader in innovative learning, and mission of nurturing individuals who build on their talents to impact society meaningfully, is a perfect partner for this”, he added.

Licensed Software Agreement

“It is vital for our workforce to be in tune with the continuously changing skill sets required by industry. Through our applied learning pedagogy and tight nexus with industry, SIT is committed to delivering specialised degree programmes with strong industry focus, to meet the local manpower and industry demands. Our students and staff will benefit through this partnership, leveraging off the expertise of a global technology powerhouse like Siemens to support their development in Digitalisation and Advanced Manufacturing. This will enhance our students’ learning experience, while preparing them for successful careers ahead”, said Prof Loh.

Siemens will grant 70 licenses of software and maintenance products to SIT. The software will be used for training in relevant engineering degree programmes such as Mechanical Design, Manufacturing Engineering and Systems Engineering, to expose the students to the concept of Advanced Manufacturing and, by employing the same software and technology used by leading manufacturers, provide them with real-world experience. The software are NX Software, an integrated Product Design solution; Tecnomatix, a Digital Manufacturing 12

After the signing of the MOU are Prof Loh Han Tong, Deputy President (Academic) & Provost, SIT and Dr Armin Bruck, President and CEO of Siemens Pte Ltd.




ON IOT APPLICATIONS Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation, and Siemens, recently unveiled a new collaboration around Internet of Things (IoT) innovation. Focused on customers in the manufacturing, energy, building technology, healthcare and railway industries, the partnership will enable customers to benefit from new data insights and services based on MindSphere, the cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens. Customers will benefit from new applications for MindSphere, by TCS, enabling new digital and analytical services such as predictive maintenance and energy monitoring. Solutions from Siemens and TCS will enable customers to explore new models that capitalise on IoT innovation.

Through this partnership, TCS will also support developments around MindConnect Nano, the cloud gateway that can be used to connect production to cloud-based analysis of machine and production data. Siemens and TCS will also seek to implement the MindSphere core platform, including operation and support services such as application and infrastructure management as well as analytical and testing services. Drawing on TCS’ experience, Siemens will offer MindSphere applications as well as digital and analytical services that can reduce downtime, maintenance-related costs and energy consumption, while increasing the lifetime of machinery.







The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) has announced that the World Engineers Summit-Applied Energy Symposium & Forum: Low Carbon Cities & Urban Energy Joint Conference 2017 (WES-CUE 2017) will take place from 18 to 21 July 2017, at the Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore. The conference will be a focal point for addressing pressing global issues arising from energy- and carbon- intensive urban development, with a special focus on harnessing engineering innovations to create a sustainable, low carbon future. Rapid urbanisation is elevating energy demand to unprecedented levels. According to the World Bank, cities consume about two-thirds of the world’s energy and 14


account for more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. WES-CUE 2017 will bring together eminent experts, renowned researchers, practitioners and policy makers, to share the latest research findings and engineering advancements critical for moving cities towards highly energy-efficient and sustainable practices. For the first time, the biennial WES series is partnering with the internationally-reputed Applied Energy Symposium and Forum series, to deliver profound and diverse technical content to multi-disciplinary engineers and scientists; energy, urban planning and environmental & water specialists; business leaders; academics; and policy makers, from around the world. The conference tech-


nical committee received a record 288 technical paper abstracts from more than 35 countries in response to its Call for Submissions. “WES-CUE 2017 is designed to bring delegates to the forefront of scientific research and facilitate exchange of the latest progress in urban energy systems and policy options. This year’s summit will play a major role in helping engineers, business leaders, policy makers and other professionals accelerate the transformation of cities into low carbon urban systems and move the world towards a cleaner, more energy-efficient and resilient future”, said Prof S K Chou, Co-Chair, WES-CUE 2017 Joint Conference. Prof J Yan, Co-Chair of WES-CUE 2017, added, “Singapore offers an excellent meeting point for the chosen theme of the joint conference. Applied Energy Symposium & Forum: Low Carbon Cities & Urban Energy (CUE) is a platform under the Applied Energy network, that focuses on urban energy systems covering topics such as energy supply, distribution and end-use; smart eco-cities; urban transportation with efficient energy use and low emissions; microgrid and smart homes; BIPV and renewable energy applications; urban waste to energy; nexus of energy-water; and policy options.”

Summit highlights • WES-CUE 2017 will address a range of critical issues that focus on six key topics: Transport, Building, Industry, Environment, Power Generation & Energy Storage, and Urban Planning. Four sustainability thought leaders will kick off the conference as keynote speakers. They are Ms Jean Venables, Vice President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) and Chair of Committee on Engineering & Environment (CEE); Prof Lui Pao Chuen, Advisor, Strategic Planning Division, Ministry of National Development, Singapore; Dr Liu Thai Ker, Senior Director, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd, Singapore; and Dr Richard E Rocheleau, Director, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii, USA.

The World Engineers Summit on Climate Change 2015 (WES 2015), the previous event in the biennial series, attracted some 800 engineers, climate change experts and professionals, from 35 countries.

• The ASHRAE Distinguished Lectures Seminar, to be held on 21 July 2017, will focus on the integrated design, installation and operation of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems and Building Automation Systems (BAS), in buildings, to achieve high performance, thermal comfort and indoor air quality. • Technical Site Visits will be organised on 21 July 2017, to enable delegates to tour several of Singapore’s world-class facilities boasting sophisticated sustainability features.

• WES-CUE 2017 Plenary & Opening Ceremony on 19 July 2017 will be graced by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for National Security, Singapore.

• National Engineers Day 2017, to be held on 19, 20 and 21 July 2017, is an engineering festival organised by IES to promote engineering to the young. The festival is held every year.

• WES-CUE 2017 Conference Dinner on 20 July 2017 will be graced by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore.

World Engineers Summit

• The pre-event Floating Structures Workshop, organised by IStructE, will be held on 18 July 2017. The workshop will keep delegates abreast of the latest developments and research, as well as highlight the challenges and potential in the future use of sea space for industry, housing and recreation. • The WiSER Forum on 20 July 2017 is a platform focusing on empowering and promoting women leadership in the engineering industry and professional fields.

Launched in 2013, the biennial World Engineers Summit (WES) is a premier platform that focuses on addressing global challenges arising from the impact of climate change, by gathering influential thought leaders, policy makers, specialists, business leaders, multi-disciplinary engineers and leading academics from across the globe, to exchange expert opinions and present sound engineering solutions for the future. WES is organised by IES. More information on WES can be obtained from








ASIA POWER WEEK 2017 Asia Power Week 2017, comprising POWER‐GEN Asia 2017 and Renewable Energy World Asia 2017, has published its Conference Programme as part of the newly released Preliminary Event Guide for the upcoming event, taking place from 19 to 21 September 2017 at BITEC Exhibition Centre, Bangkok, Thailand.

“As Thailand is establishing itself as a central energy hub in ASEAN, and as Asia is also stepping up efforts to decarbonise its production of electricity, I believe that opportunities provided by Asia Power Week will help Thailand and the wider Asian region to become a true low‐carbon energy leader in the near future”, she added.

Aiming to promote the transition to a low carbon, high‐ efficiency energy future, Asia Power Week 2017 will bring together industry experts who will exchange knowledge and generate solutions for the Asian power sector.

Asia Power Week 2017 has confirmed the participation and support of various influential Thai power industry players, such as the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), in addition to the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), EGCO, RATCH, BCPG, Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (OERC). The event also has the support of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).

Organised by PennWell Corporation, Asia Power Week 2017 will feature the presentations of more than 180 international speakers at the conference, while the accompanying exhibition has attracted over 200 exhibitors who will showcase their latest products, services, technologies and innovations. Delegates will have an opportunity to choose from more than 45 conference sessions, under eight main themes. They are Trends, Projects & Planning; Finance & Investment; Optimizing Plant Operation; Power Technologies; Digitalization; Integration, Storage & Distributed Generation; Renewable Energy Strategy; and Renewable Energy Technologies. Across the extensive Asia Power Week 2017 Conference Programme, there are numerous highlights, including the ‘What’s Next for the Renewable Market’ Panel Discussion as well as the Hotspot Market Focus session which will take an in‐depth look at frontier markets in Asia through the lens of specialists with in‐depth experience of doing deals, managing risks and taking advantage of opportunities in such countries. In addition, there is a dedicated Panel Discussion which will take an informative and comprehensive look at China’s innovative Belt and Road Initiative. As part of the hot topic of digitalisation, there is a Cyber Security session, with contributions from Siemens, Kaspersky and Mitsubishi Hitachi, while AWR Lloyd is hosting a highly‐interactive Energy Storage Investment Analysis 101 Workshop. Dr Heather Johnstone, Event Director, said, “We are extremely proud to have been serving the ASEAN, as well as the wider Asian, power industry, for a quarter of a century, and we look forward to continuing to serve by providing a forum where the industry’s wants and needs, in terms of both strategic market thinking and the latest technological advances, are met”. 16


Kornrasit Pakchotanon, Governor of EGAT, said, “We are glad that Asia Power Week has returned to Thailand once again, where it will also celebrate its 25th anniversary. Asia Power Week is a great platform for everyone to not only learn and share the latest innovations and inspiring experiences, but also strengthen global connections regarding the business of power generation and energy management. EGAT believes Asia Power Week 2017 will be a promising opportunity for all participants to communicate, brainstorm innovative ideas and generate significant solutions to global power issues”. In addition, Asia Power Week 2017 is offering specific workshops on the efficient and effective management of carbon emissions and the challenges or risks faced in developing a secure and affordable gas market in Asia. Asia Power Week 2017 is also introducing a new easy‐ to‐use Business‐Matching Service, called hubsCONNECT which will help attendees connect and meet with the people they wish to do business with. Complemented by technical tours, multiple networking receptions, panel discussions, and many learning and business opportunities, Asia Power Week 2017 will be one of the most comprehensive power industry events to be held this year. Further information on registration and the full conference programme can be found in the Asia Power Week 2017 Preliminary Event Guide, available at the event website (


McKINSEY OPENS DIGITAL CAPABILITY CENTER IN SINGAPORE The Singapore facility is part of a global network of Industry 4.0-focused capability centres that will assist companies in their digital transformation.

Located at, and established in partnership with, the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (pictured), McKinsey’s Singapore DCC will help companies adapt and benefit from the powerful technological changes taking place.

Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company recently launched a global network of Digital Capability Centers (DCCs), with a key hub in Singapore for Southeast Asian companies. Established in partnership with the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), McKinsey’s Singapore DCC will help companies adapt and benefit from the powerful technological changes, known collectively as ‘Industry 4.0’, that are disrupting industries across the world. The Singapore DCC is located within the ARTC premises at Clean Tech Park in the Jurong Innovation District.

Industry 4.0 Industry 4.0 describes four broad disruptions: • Increasing data availability and interconnectivity. • Analytics and business-intelligence capabilities, including Artificial Intelligence. • Advanced Human-Machine Interactions such as cobots (a collaborative robot that interacts with humans in the workplace). 18


• Advanced production methods, such as 3-D and 4-D printing, that will transform the entire lifecycle of a company’s product, from customer order to after-sales. The expectations of organisations that successfully harness these technologies are high. McKinsey’s survey of 300 manufacturing leaders found that nine out of 10 believe Industry 4.0 will alter their operational effectiveness. Yet only 48% of manufacturers think they are ready for Industry 4.0. McKinsey has opened five DCCs around the globe to help companies meet the demands of Industry 4.0, understanding that their needs and readiness vary by region and industry. The DCC network includes facilities in Aachen (Germany), Beijing (China), Chicago (USA), Singapore and Venice (Italy). Each centre has been established in partnership with a leading industry consortium, government organisation or research institution. The DCC network complements McKinsey’s suite of capability-building centres and programmes which range from hands-on design-to-value centres to leadership institutes.


Developing digitally-enabled industry leaders Offering services from experiential learning and capability-building to piloting new technologies, the DCCs support companies at every stage of their digital transformation journey. The features of a DCC include the following: • A realistic production environment: The centres present examples of real enterprises that are moving towards Industry 4.0. In one case, the Singapore DCC simulates a gearbox manufacturer with USD 2 billion in revenue and 8,000 employees. • Digital showcases: Companies can explore over 20 themes related to Industry 4.0. One such showcase will be on predictive maintenance. McKinsey research has found that by using real-time data to predict and prevent breakdowns, companies can reduce downtime by 50%. • Experiential capability building workshops: The DCCs offer one-day workshops targeted at senior executives, designed to build awareness of Industry 4.0, as well as multi-day workshops for companies, that equip their mid-level managers with the skills to undertake digital transformations within their organisations. According to McKinsey, in addition to being technology showcases, the DCCs can also leverage the company’s global expertise and help clients transform to Industry 4.0. The Singapore DCC hopes to serve both large and small manufacturers. Initially, four learning themes will be offered, covering predictive maintenance, digitised performance management, digital procurement, and

downstream supply chain. New themes will be offered in each quarter.

Collaboration with EDB and ARTC The Singapore facility is in line with the nation’s push to become a regional hub for advanced manufacturing. It is designed to be especially relevant to regionally important sectors including discrete manufacturing, semiconductors, oil and gas, electric power, and mining. The Singapore DCC is part of the McKinsey Innovation Campus, run in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). It has been set up in collaboration with the ARTC, a public-private collaboration between the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and industry partners, to develop digital manufacturing and industrial design expertise for Asia. DCC Singapore draws upon ARTC’s state-of-the-art facilities and research & development capabilities across A*STAR, ranging from manufacturing data analytics, virtual process modelling, and digital solutions for complex manufacturing processes.

About McKinsey & Company McKinsey & Company has been serving institutions in the private, public and social sectors, for over eight decades. The company employs consultants in more than 100 offices in 60 countries, across industries and functions.

All images by McKinsey & Company.



~50 billion interconnected machines by 2030 compared to 1 billion people connected today


~2010s to now

Data, computational power and connectivity Machine-to-machine and machine-to-product connectivity will help realize mass personalization

Analytics and intelligence Advanced analytics will enable a shift from detection to prediction, and then to prevention

$1.2 to $3.7 trillion value from IoT in factories from using the Internet of Things (IoT) in factories to enable real time process optimization

Advanced production methods Additive manufacturing will integrate and accelerate prototyping and manufacturing (e.g. 3D printing)

Human machine interaction 44% of work activities have the technical potential to be automated

Use of collaborative robots that interact with humans in the workplace

Integrated digital thread Seamless flow of information across the value chain in procurement, production and the supply chain

Industry 4.0 is a key disruptive force that will have enormous impact. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER June 2017



Customer specific orders

Translate orders into unique RFID tags that dictate product parameters to use in production, from material to delivery

Product development


Use advanced analytics to evolve key design parameters

Create value through digitized workflow and advanced analytics

Combine design thinking and design-to-value to create a unique value proposition

E-procurement (e-sourcing, e-auction, e-catalogue) Collaborative platform and supplier screening tools

The Singapore DCC can create a realistic production environment. For example, it has simulated the end-to-end digital thread of a gearbox manufacturer with USD 2 billion in revenue and 8,000 employees. The simulation demonstrates how key Industry 4.0 themes are being applied across the gearbox line. This spans a range of themes, including predictive maintenance, 3D printing, the use of Augmented Reality in maintenance operations, and human-robot collaboration.





Dynamic network configuration and real-time material tracking Digital warehouse with automated guided vehicles, pick-up, and inventory optimization

Production (incl. planning)

Mass personalization without waste Process re-invention through advanced analytics Advanced production methods

Customer service

Real-time access to product usage and condition data Track failure information back to key drivers Predictive replenishment

Human-machine interaction




ROBOTICS RISING: GETTING INTO THE THICK OF IT by Queek Jiayu The DJI RoboMasters Mobile Manipulation Challenge (MMC) is one in a series of Robot Challenges held as part of the programme for the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). The Singapore Engineer dropped by on the final day of the Challenge (31 May) to spectate on competition preparations and proceedings, and managed to catch up with two of the teams. Manned forklifts will easily become a thing of the past, if all the participating teams at the MMC had their way. Held on 30 and 31 May 2017 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, each team had to build a robot that could autonomously pick, transport and then stack up a series of 20 cm cubes, each weighing 600g, within the designated zone. The robot that could stack the highest amount of cubes within the shortest time would net its masters the grand prize of USD 20,000. Team Duxing from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, putting their robot through its paces.

With 13 teams in the finals, the competitive tension inside the convention space was almost palpable. Scaled up, these robots, which hailed from the US, Germany, Malaysia, China, India, Hong Kong and Singapore would more than be able to fill logistics roles, for starters.

The MMC was sponsored and organised by Shenzhen-based drone and camera specialist Dà-Jiāng Innovations. Better known as DJI, the consumer electronics firm has gone on a crusade over the past three years to foster engineering talent amongst youth and give them a chance to apply classroom theories to practical applications. This is done through the main RoboMasters competition, which pits teams against each other to build five robots each that would duke it out in an arena, shooting pellets and dropping golf balls on their opposing number. The competition is watched live and online by some six million fans. Being DJI’s first regional spin-off event under the RoboMasters brand, the MMC is designed to introduce participants to the competition series, as well as empowering them to be “creative with today’s technology”, said DJI communication director Kevin On. Participating teams are supplied with a DJI-manufactured four-wheel rover base, batteries, as well as basic programming codes for their autonomous robots. 22


“What they create, whether in this competition, in logistics – moving packages, delivering something – it’s all done autonomously. We’re really looking at exploring the future of what robotics can do,” remarked Mr On. The competition was held as part of a series of Robot Challenges that are a part of the programme at the 2017 edition of ICRA, which is held annually in different cities by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Robotics & Automation Society (IEEE RAS). According to IEEE RAS, ICRA, held since 1984, is “a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work” and is a platform for experts to gather and push the frontiers of robotics and automation technology. As robots become increasingly sophisticated, they begin to play bigger and bigger roles in our lives. Around the world, companies and organisations have demonstrated and deployed autonomous robots to perform a wide range of jobs and tasks such as providing concierge services, food delivery, law enforcement and security. In Singapore, trials of tray collection robots, autonomous vehicles, delivery drones and even robotics-assisted home care have already begun or are in the works. This is in addition to the use of advanced robotics in industries, as part of the nation’s drive towards its Smart Nation and Industry 4.0 goals.


Nadine (centre, in black), a robotic receptionist, and EDGAR, a telepresence robot, both built by NTU, are examples of how robotics can be used to assist humans in their jobs. Image: NTU.

In his opening address for ICRA 2017, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran noted that Singapore has had a good track record in the adoption of robotics. “The number of industrial robots in Singapore grew by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent from 2010 to 2015, outstripping the global CAGR of 16 per cent indicated by the International Federation of Robotics. “Local companies are making significant strides not just in adoption but also in technology development,” he said, referring to local aerospace supplier Sankei Eagle’s collaboration with A*STAR on the development of a machine that could automate the process of applying coatings to selected areas in aerospace components. Such is the potential of robotics engineering to affect everyone’s lives in the years to come; it is an exciting field with seemingly endless horizons.

Team homer@UniKoblenz from the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, consisting of (left to right), Mr Malte Roosen, 24; Mr Florian Polster, 24; Mr Lukas Buchhold, 22; and Mr Raphael Memmesheimer, 29.

This sentiment is embodied in the MMC participants, who are driven by their dreams to make life easier for people as engineers, and also their desires to see the “babies” they have created functioning as intended. Speaking to The Singapore Engineer, the leader of Germany’s team homer@UniKoblenz, 29-year-old Raphael Memmesheimer, revealed that their final competition entry was completely different from their initial submission, and they were glad that it performed better than expected. “In the beginning we could only stack three cubes; then the first round we did four, the second round it was seven and now we’ve managed eight cubes … that was way above our goal and we’re proud of this baby,” said Mr Memmesheimer, who is currently doing his doctorate in computer science at the University of Koblenz-Landau. For NTU’s team Bixi (one of the two teams from Singapore), it was their first-ever robotics competition. Their

Team Bixi from NTU, consisting of (left to right), Mr Calvin Tanudjaju, 21; Mr Soon Seng Yong, 27; Mr Vasanth Elangovan, 24; Mr Yan Paing Oo, 23; and Mr Reinaldo Maslim, 22.

robot, which made use of many self-fabricated parts, had to undergo five major redesigns to “slim down” to below the weight limit. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER June 2017



“It’s a very good opportunity not just in terms of talking about robo(tics) stuff; we also had fun mingling and talking to each other about our lives at home,” said Mr Soon Seng Yong, 27, also a mechanical engineering undergraduate and leader of team Bixi. Stoked from the MMC, Bixi is in fact planning to take part in the main DJI RoboMasters competition, having already assembled a team of 30. According to Mr Elangovan, the experience gained from the MMC would come in handy for the team, which has already begun brushing up its knowledge of mechanical systems and fabrication techniques. The German and Indian teams having a chat during a lull in the competition’s proceedings.

Reflecting on their journey to the finals, Mr Vasanth Elangovan, 24, a mechanical engineering undergraduate and one of the team’s hardware design specialists, said, “We were first introduced to this competition around end of January. Since then we assembled our team, and took about five months to design, fabricate and test (our robot).” “I am extremely thankful for the dedication of our team – how we put our effort for this robot even after working hours, and outside of curriculum time,” he added. Although both teams did not win, they agreed that it was a big achievement just making it to the finals. They unanimously agreed that it was a good opportunity to learn from each other and exchange views in the company of like-minded individuals from around the world.

For Mr Memmesheimer (of homer@UniKoblenz), the first order of business is to complete his doctorate, before turning his sights onto job opportunities in the field of robotics. “Maybe I’ll form a Homer Corporation,” he quipped. And he, as well as others like him, may very well be equipped to succeed. Professor Chen I-Ming, General Chairperson for ICRA 2017 and Director of NTU’s Robotics Research Centre, had this to say: “I think this competition is very good in terms of robot education, for general engineering training, and for getting the students to know more regarding robotics, which is (about) hardware, software and systems integration. “Based on feedback from the industry, students who have gone through competitions, where they have to produce results under stress, perform much better than other engineering graduates without such experience.”

The finalist teams for the DJI RoboMaster Mobile Manipulation Challenge, posing with some of their autonomous robot creations. 24





These can help in Singapore’s industrial progress. Bosch Ville 2017, a one-day IoT industry conference, was recently held in Singapore, for the very first time. Organised by Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, the event showcased a range of offerings from the company. Among the exhibits, within the Industry 4.0 domain, were the Connected Industrial Sensor Solution (CISS) and the Production Performance Manager (PPM) Starter Kit. The CISS is a small but robust multi-sensor device that detects motion and environmental conditions. It can be used for retrofitting industrial machinery to enable functions such as condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. The PPM Starter Kit will help Singapore’s SME manufacturers to kick-start connected industry implementation. The software monitors and analyses production data generated by various sensors along the manufacturing process, to reduce downtime and identify areas for improvement and streamlining.

The CISS is a multi-sensor device that detects motion and environmental conditions. It can be used for retrofitting industrial machinery to enable functions such as condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.

Bosch Ville 2017 included breakout sessions and panel discussions with industry experts. Besides Industry 4.0, Bosch also presented its latest connected innovations for the Singapore market, clustered within the following five domains: Mobility, Ports & Airports, Commercial Services, Residential Applications, and Agriculture. Mobility The solutions include a connected automotive workshop concept employing Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies that improve the speed and accuracy of vehicle diagnosis. Ports & Airports Intuitive surveillance innovations to manage queues and crowds were presented, including a Transport Data Logger sensor solution that tracks the handling of, and journey conditions for, sensitive goods. Commercial Services On display were intelligent solutions for commercial properties, such as crowd-, retail-, and mood-analytics, and elevator monitoring solutions. Residential Applications A glimpse into how a Smart Home in Singapore might look like was provided by Bosch’s connected home appliances and Mykie, the robotic kitchen assistant. Agriculture The services involving sensors and software are directed towards improving agriculture and aquaculture.



The Transport Data Logger sensor solution tracks the handling of, and journey conditions for, sensitive goods.

BOSCH SOFTWARE INNOVATIONS The Bosch Group’s software solutions subsidiary, with a development centre in Singapore, has been ramping up its local efforts in all of the domains mentioned earlier - for example, with the creation of analytical tools and solutions for agriculture, lift management, as well as production planning, for the Asia Pacific and global markets. Out of Singapore, the subsidiary is also driving IoT developments through its active contributions in the Eclipse Foundation, a platform that promotes open standards for greater interoperability.


JURONG ISLAND: WHAT IT TAKES TO ACHIEVE A WORLD-CLASS PETROCHEMICALS HUB by Tan Wooi Leong, Director (Oil & Gas), Surbana Jurong Private Limited The stellar success of Singapore’s Jurong Island Chemicals Hub can be attributed to clever land utilisation, adaptability to volatile markets and adequate attention to safety and security. Singapore has limited land space and no oil or gas resources. But against all odds, it has achieved tremendous success in the petrochemicals industry. Today, Singapore is the third-largest oil refining centre in the world, the largest bunkering port, one of the top three oil trading hubs in the world and the price discovery centre for Asia’s oil trading industry. And Jurong Island Chemicals Hub, the pillar of Singapore’s petrochemicals industry, is an embodiment of the country’s success. The island is an amalgamation of seven small islands in the western part of Singapore, effected through land reclamation. The process started in 1983, through the combined efforts of various government agencies in Singapore, in particular, the Economic Development Board and JTC Corporation. With no feedstock advantage or a substantial domestic market to support petrochemicals production, Jurong Island still persevered against stiff competition, to attain its position as one of the top global petrochemicals hubs. Today, Jurong Island Chemicals Hub is home to almost 90 international petroleum and chemical companies and

Jurong Island Chemicals Hub is the pillar of Singapore’s petrochemicals industry. 28


has contributed to investments of over SGD 47 billion. The hub hosts the manufacturing of refined chemical products by the integrated petrochemical complexes of Mr Tan Wooi Leong oil majors Exxon Mobil and Shell, intermediate products by chemical producers such as Sumitomo and BASF, as well as speciality chemicals by firms such as Evonik and Solvay. There are many reasons for this success.

Effective utilisation of land space The effective utilisation of land has allowed all these facilities to be built within a relatively small area. There is a large focus on infrastructural support, such as common pipeline corridors to make plant-to-plant transfers easier and more cost-efficient. The close proximity of the plants allows one company’s output to be used as


feedstock for another, thereby reducing logistics costs. Additionally, the presence of third-party providers that handle non-manufacturing services helps reduce costs. The network also offers companies alternative options for product storage, freeing up space to carry out more processing. The Jurong Rock Caverns (JRC) is an important breakthrough in the provision of infrastructure for the Jurong Island Chemicals Hub. When the idea was first conceptualised in the early 2000s, storing oil underground was unheard of in Singapore and in many parts of the world. The JRC is constructed at about 130 m below the sea and is designed for flexible operations that can link to various customers on the island. In 2006, Surbana Jurong, together with Geostock, embarked on the basic engineering design of the JRC and construction management, including commissioning. JRC Phase 1 officially opened in 2014. With 1.47 million m3 of storage space underground, it freed up about 60 hectares of surface land. Now that this previously unthinkable idea has become a reality, further underground expansion is being considered.

Adaptability and flexibility Singapore has been able to adapt to market volatility, allowing the industry to flourish. With the Jurong Island Version 2.0 Initiative announced, the focus expanded from investment attraction to enhancing competitiveness and sustainability through creating robustness, optimisation and optionality. Instead of building more refineries, Jurong Island will transform itself to focus on speciality chemicals which are generally used in the textile, automotive and agriculture sectors. They are higher up the value chain, as they serve more unique functions, and in 2015, it was reported that one-third of more than SGD 6 billion in fixed asset investments, in recent years, went to speciality chemicals alone. Some countries have seen difficulties in attracting speciality chemicals investments, due to lax intellectual property laws. Singapore has managed to gain investor confidence in this sector due to its intellectual property protection laws, access to skilled labour and research & development capabilities. Flexibility is important in finding solutions to challenges. Take for example the ongoing development of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex, a petrochemicals hub in Johor, Malaysia. Although at first glance, it might seem to pose a threat, there is also potential for both Singapore and Malaysia to collaborate and mutually benefit, given that land is limited in Singapore.

Safety and security Safety is arguably the most important factor in ensuring Jurong Island operates smoothly. A key lesson is that in the implementation of a project, from the initial planning and design stages to construction and operation of facilities, meticulous supervision is required and must be enforced. Additionally, in-depth knowledge of the industry is essential, as facilities see thousands of chemicals and products that possess unique properties. Knowledge and

With 1.47 million m3 of storage space underground, Jurong Rock Caverns Phase 1 freed up about 60 hectares of surface land.

experience in handling these products are paramount in ensuring safe, synergistic clustering. Singapore has extremely high standards and rigorous guidelines on individual plant safety - this is vital for plants located close to one another. Singapore has shown it can respond efficiently, should an unfortunate accident occur, like it did during the 2016 Jurong Aromatics fire. The fire, which started in a condensate storage tank, was isolated and put out by the Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in a five-hour operation. The neighbouring companies were evacuated immediately, despite there being no immediate threat, and companies with connecting pipelines to the affected plant executed mitigation measures to isolate any potential escalation of the fire into their own facilities. All stakeholders were in constant communication while they monitored the situation, and the SCDF also provided updates on the fire situation, through Facebook. Such a transparent and proven effective response system is necessary to maintain the confidence and trust of both investors and the public.

The future of Singapore’s petrochemicals industry A foreseeable challenge to the industry is the world’s move towards protectionism. This means that Asian refiners, especially those in Singapore, need to constantly innovate to stay competitive. Moving ahead, there are some things that could be considered for the future of Jurong Island. They are the development of sustainable feedstock and technologies, moving towards lower carbon emissions and improving overall energy efficiency. Additionally, floating platforms could be considered to increase space, or perhaps even hyperloop technology can be applied, such as that proposed in Dubai, to increase product transport efficiency. A comprehensive development plan is merely the first step in achieving success. Singapore has the added advantage of a whole-of-government ecosystem, whereby various government agencies form a cohesive committee to support the development plan. The collective experience of the team that implements the plan and a focus on Images by Surbana prudence and adaptability to global economic and oil cycles are vital to turn the Jurong Private Limited dream into reality. Jurong Island already stands as testimony to this. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER June 2017



EXPLOSION-PROOF EQUIPMENT FOR HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENTS by Anvar Kasimov, Regional Product Manager, Explosion Proof Portfolio, MHE-Demag There is growing awareness of the risks and the need to comply with international standards. Explosion-prone manufacturing environments For years, it has been a common truth among industry players from the oil & gas, chemical, petrochemical, coal, steel as well as paints & coatings industries that the environments they operate in are explosion-prone. Therefore, it is fundamental to adopt explosion-proof material handling equipment in these industries. There is, however, an industry which is commonly overlooked, where the facilities are as explosion-prone as the environments mentioned earlier. The food & beverage manufacturing environment, especially in milk powder plants, alcohol factories, sugar refineries, grain refineries and flour mills, is associated with a high risk of explosion. When fine dusts from these food products are mixed with air, the result is almost as explosive as coal dust. The explosion and fire, in early 2016, that caused about AUD 300,000 in damage to a milk processing factory located east of Melbourne, Australia, has once again sparked conversations about the importance of explosion-proof equipment in high-risk manufacturing environments. Milk powder is dried at high temperatures. Under these conditions, a mere spark can cause a life-threatening dust explosion.

Risks due to material handling equipment A dust explosion can be caused by a spark produced by an individual’s action, such as smoking. It could also be caused by the malfunction of material handling components - a short circuit in the electrical boxes or gearboxes, for instance. Friction between steel components of the material handling equipment could also contribute to the risk of explosion. There are many types of lifting equipment in the manufacturing environment, made for different purposes, including overhead cranes, slewing cranes, mobile cranes and fixed cranes. Likewise, there are a variety of hoists available, such as mobile hoists, stand-up hoists, ceiling or overhead hoists, fixed-wall or mounted hoists and bath hoists. Defective or poorly designed cranes and hoists can create sparks, through friction or from being 30


overloaded. An overloaded crane can break its lattice boom, hook or hoist boom, creatMr Anvar Kasimov ing a spark which, in turn, can cause an explosion and endanger workers. According to the paper ‘Causes of Fatal Accidents Involving Cranes in the Australian Construction Industry’ authored by researchers from RMIT University, Australia, and published in the journal ‘Construction Economics and Building’, 45.5% of crane accidents were caused by falling materials, between 2004 and 2013. Falling materials can also produce sparks which, in turn, can cause explosions.

ATEX and IECEx The European directive ATEX (Atmosphères Explosibles), on the manufacture and use of equipment designed for explosion-prone environments, has become mandatory in the European Union. It has also evolved into a worldwide benchmark for lifting equipment, including cranes and hoists. Each piece of equipment that bears the symbol ‘Ex’ must meet the requirement of directives 94/9/EC and 99/92/EC. Separately, products certified in accordance with IECEx (IEC System for Certification to Standards relating to Equipment for use in Explosive Atmospheres), from IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), are accepted in several countries.

Certification to ATEX and IECEx standards Adopting material handling equipment, certified under ATEX and IECEx, will reduce the risk of explosions and the impact caused by explosions. As one of the leading manufacturers of explosion-proof cranes in Asia Pacific, MHE-Demag specialises in products and systems certified under ATEX and IECEx. The company’s explosion-protected products and systems include fully integrated custom panels, electrical control panels,


circuit breaker panels, plugs and receptacles, terminal boxes, intrinsically safe interfaces, cameras, HMIs, horns and strobes, helidecks, and navigation lighting. MHE-Demag’s standard portfolio offers all methods of protection, including explosion-proofing, flame proofing, increased safety, purge systems and intrinsic safety. With a team of engineers, the company also supports the design and construction of equipment that are specific to each customer’s needs. MHE-DEMAG’s ATEX- and IECEx-certified explosion-proof crane minimises the risk of overloading and the falling of materials. The crane solves the problem of overloading, with its two-speed control via inverter control for trolley and bridge motion, allowing smooth and precise operations. The crane also solves the problem of falling materials, by delivering smooth operations and offering a strong load potential of 20 t. In addition, the explosion-proof chain hoist can carry up to 4 t. MHE-Demag’s series of hoists is available in capacities ranging from 1.6 t to 20 t, with standard or low headroom designs, and up to 100 t (as a foot-mounted hoist). The explosion-proof winch series covers

heavy lifting capacities up to 180 t. The company’s explosion-proof air hoists offer a wide range of lifting capacities, from 125 kg for general workshops to 100 t for offshore applications. MHE-Demag has supplied explosion-proof equipment to Thai Whisky & SangSom Co Ltd (Thailand), PureCircle Sdn Bhd (Malaysia), PETRONAS’ RAPID project in Pengerang (Malaysia), British Petroleum (Indonesia) and Afton Chemical Asia (Singapore).

Moving forward The demand for explosion-proof equipment for hazardous environments is increasing. With greater education and awareness, more industries are expected to comply with ATEX and IECEx standards. For instance, an insurance association in Thailand has enforced strict compliance to ATEX standards, effective 2016, on all clients whose businesses deal with hazardous environments. In Indonesia, British Petroleum has also begun scrapping its existing explosion-proof lifting systems and adopting fully ATEX-certified cranes.

Explosion-proof electrical enclosure box

Ten-tonne explosion-proof crane

Explosion-proof chain hoist on circular track

Explosion-proof material handling equipment at PureCircle Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, a leading producer of food ingredients.





GANTRY CRANE SYSTEM by Bob L Y Cheung, Bob Cheung Offshore Consultants, Singapore Bidding for international offshore projects, amid low oil and gas prices, can be very challenging and risky. The owner/client will, most likely, add in more demanding and unreasonable Terms and Conditions in the contract, such as a fixed lump sum price contract without change orders, and/or delayed payment schedule without penalty. The owner will always look for full compliance of all the specifications without qualifications and at the lowest price. This is not an easy market to make a profit in or survive. However, there is one area where the bidders are free to choose, and that is which fabrication / installation method they want to use in the project, as different yards have different practices. Hence, high productivity is the key to getting the job. To improve productivity, many yards opt for big investments in equipment and upgrading of facilities. Equipment upgrade is a never-ending investment cycle, so what one can hope for is to create a longer interval before other yards catch up. This article focuses on special equipment for fabrication, especially for EPCI (Engineering-Procurement-Construction-Installation) turnkey projects. Nowadays, Basic Engineering Design is usually performed during the FEED (Front-End-Engineering-Design) stage, and therefore no discussion is necessary. Introduction

hours. Provision of safe working platforms at height will take longer and cost The proposed equipment is the Catamamore money, too, as they have to ran Floating Gantry Crane which can be dismantled and re-built many cut down fabrication man-hours and times, in order to follow the shorten schedules. It can perform fabrication sequence for the multiple tasks, using one piece of whole project. equipment, and can carry out the whole EPCI project with the Hence, the preferred option same equipment. This idea was is to maximise ground first published in IES Journal fabrication, either in [3], but the then proposed open air or inside a equipment was really for much workshop. This leads smaller structures and was to block fabrication in A smaller sized floating gantry crane. uni-directional, with restrictThe idea was published in 2010. rig and shipbuilding, and ed movements. The present jacket fabrication, on the design is omni-directional ground. However, the problem that and is capable of multi-tasking. One can use it to build every fabricator must face is how to move the completed offshore platform topsides and jackets, semi-submersblocks to the assembly area and lift them up for joining. ible rigs, jack-up rigs, FPSO topside modules as well as Different yards have their own solutions [4]. cruise-ships. It can also be used for ship-breaking. The When the fabrication is complete, other problems arise advantage is that it does not need a dry-dock for fabrica- how to load the structure onto a transportation barge tion and float-out or a special reinforced foundation for for towing out to sea, to the site; how to mate the deck the gantry crane. Everything can be done on land, and box of a semi-submersible to the pontoon legs [2]; and it can be used for mass production of different types of how to lift / launch a fully fitted up cruise ship into the structures, similar to assembly line production. sea without damaging the out-fittings. These structures could weigh between a few thousand tons to 100,000 The proposed structure t and any re-work due to damage in transit / relocation In fabrication, the most time-consuming activity is doing is totally unacceptable as it can cause project over-runs work at height. Fitting up members or positioning equipand liquidated damages. For a big structure, every yard ment or blocks at height will takes lots of extra man32



movement or operation can cost millions of dollars. In fact, the whole fabrication procedure is dictated by the selected loadout / mating / launching method which could have a huge impact on the project cost. How can a yard deal with these problems? What investments are necessary in to gain bidding advantage? There are three types of heavy equipment commonly in use, for fabrication. The first one is the crawler crane. It is an ideal equipment in a yard, as it can travel anywhere and can turn in any direction. But, in most yards, a typical crawler crane can lift only about 200 t to 300 t. For bigger capacities, it needs a much bigger counter-weight. Furthermore, its movement is very restricted, for safety reasons, and the cost is a lot higher. Very few yards would be willing to invest in an equipment that is very expensive, difficult to operate, and is not very productive in daily operation. Nowadays, it is possible to buy or rent a 3500 t land crane, not a crawler crane, which is almost fixed, once set up onsite, but it can rotate. The cost for renting this crane, including mobilisation and de-mobilisation, will be in millions. It takes many weeks to ship it to site and many more weeks to set it up and perform the load test, then all the blocks must be moved to within the lifting radius of the crane. All these movements take time and cost more money if you also need heavy transporters. In the case of FPSO topside integration, you have to move the ship to suit the big crane location.

The proposed floating gantry crane (2017).

The second equipment is a sheerleg barge. Building one with a modest 3000 t lifting capacity may cost well above USD 100 million. Lifting is one issue and positioning is another issue. In a very small sea-state, the vessel will still be swaying, making it difficult or almost impossible to set the block within the desirable tolerances. Hence, time-consuming site Loadout and mating of semi-submersible rig. modifications will usually be necessary. Nowadays, bigger sheerleg barges are available ture being lifted may have to be massively reinforced in Holland and Korea, but the project economics may for the lift, and the foundation cost for the crane could preclude its use. be very high. The new crane provides an internal clear space of 100.6 m (330 ft) in width and 67.1 m (220 ft) in The third equipment is a gantry crane. A big gantry crane height, which is big enough to accommodate an aircraft commonly available in big yards is between 700 t and carrier. Lifting is done using strand jacks and each jack 1500 t. However, you still need other yard facilities to can lift 1000 t. There are many hard points on the upper support its operations. There are lots of restrictions in all and lower decks to support the jacks. The combined these super-expensive equipment. space provided is about 2,601 m² (28,000 ft²), but the Therefore, this article proposes a multi-purpose, easy-tosuitable working space is smaller. Small final positioning use equipment to handle EPCI projects, in order to gain adjustments can be done using moveable pancake-type bidding advantage, in terms of costs and schedules. platforms. The diameter of the top and bottom chord is 2.44 m (96 in), which can make it easy for internal The proposed gantry crane system consists of two units maintenance inspection. It is always necessary to check and each one can lift 10,000 t, yielding a total capacity of and repair fatigue cracks on a regular basis. There are 20,000 t. It is no problem to design a unit with 20,000 t no work-point offsets in the structure. This is to avoid capacity, but there is no economic advantage. The strucTHE SINGAPORE ENGINEER June 2017



Launching of cruise ship.

secondary moments. The punching shear problem can be overcome by internal ring stiffeners, avoiding the use of heavy wall cans. Using large diameter tubes will make inspection a simple walk-through exercise. Many pin connections are needed to make it easy for repair or upgrading of various structural components, if required. For loadout of platforms, mating of semi-submersible deck boxes to the pontoon legs, loadout of cruise ships, and off-loading of blocks from nearby supporting yards, we need to build two L-shaped finger piers for the floating gantry crane to operate from. A graphical presentation was given in IES Journal [3]. For the gantry crane, we will use 512 air cushions, yielding a load capacity of 512 x 40 t = 20,480 t, per gantry crane. If we add on the self-weight and the weight of the strand jacks, the final Factor of Safety should be at least 1.25 to 1.5. A few examples are given to explain the whole process. Since the floating gantry crane is supported by air cushions, movement is relatively simple. In recent years, more contractors have used air cushions to move heavy objects. A few examples can be found in the Internet. For mass production of rigs, platforms and ships, we need to revisit the installation of the first SIA Hangar Roof at Changi Airport in Singapore [1]. This hangar roof was the biggest column-free structure in the world, at the time. The roof was divided into four units for easy transportation from the McDermott fabrication yard in Batam to Changi Airport. Each unit weighed about 800 t and was supported at three points, using air cushions. Each unit was moved, within tolerances, to the target area inside the Engineering Building, using a series of pre-laid skidways. The whole operation was completed quickly and easily. 34


For mass production, we can simply reverse the load-in operation and use the floating gantry crane system to carry the rigs to the finger piers for loadout.

Conclusion The proposed design is yet to be confirmed by a production job. However, there are two 20,000 t gantry crane systems in the world, both in China. One is the immovable Tai Sun crane and the other is a conventional gantry crane run on fixed rails. The proposed design offers a much more flexible arrangement and is more competitive. It can be expanded to support cruise ship fabrication, as well. References [1] Cheung L Y (1989): ‘SIA Hangar Roof at Changi Airport:

Bidding, Fabrication and Installation’, Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Singapore, Vol 29, No 1, 67-81. [2] Cheung L Y and Foong K G (2008): ‘Design considerations of a loadout skid frame for a 14,000 ton upper hull structure’, IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering, Vol l, No 1, 83-95. [3] Cheung Bob L Y (2010): ‘Catamaran gantry crane for engineering-procurement-construction-installation contract’, IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering, Vol 3, No 4, 257-266. [4] Cho K R, Kim Y S and Fern D T (2001): ‘11000 t deck superlift for RBS-8M drilling semi-submersible’, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Structures and Buildings, Volume 146, 2001, Issue 2, 203-216. (More information can be obtained by contacting the author via email:


Each unit used three loadout shoes moving on three skidways.

Typical skid shoe with air cushions.

Unit A at the temporary bulkhead built in front of the hangar building. The skidway was made up of steel plates.

Unit A was moved in the x and y directions, to get inside the hangar building. A small winch was used for pulling. The roof for the first SIA Hangar at Changi Airport was divided into four units for easy transportation from the fabrication yard in Batam. Each unit, which weighed about 800 t, was supported at three points, using air cushions, and moved to the target area inside the Engineering Building, using a series of pre-laid skidways.




A power gearbox has been incorporated in the engine architecture.




ULTRA SPECIAL by David Howie, Director, Redburn Communications, UK

Three years ago, Rolls-Royce announced two new engine designs, Advance and UltraFan, to deliver transformational efficiency improvements in future large aero engines.

Why was such transformational change needed? To explain, it is useful to look at what is happening in the current product ranges, where the rate of improvement in the efficiency of large aero engines averages at around 0.5% to 1% per annum and the scale of investment to achieve that modest but important outcome is increasing. To achieve this annual improvement, engineers are primarily tweaking technology in the high temperature part of the engine, but the science is maturing and it is getting harder to gain the changes by focusing mainly on thermal efficiency. The current Rolls-Royce production line boasts the world’s most efficient large aero engine in the Trent XWB, but for the generation of engines beyond Trent, iterative design and development would not be good enough. The company would be spending more on R&D for less in return. To gain fundamental improvement, fundamental change was needed. A new engine architecture, together with very advanced technologies including the use of new materials and composites, was necessary to make progress possible at the pace required. Both play a key role in enabling the company to stay on track to meet engine and aircraft efficiency targets for 2050 set by the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE). ACARE has set challenging goals for aviation, to be met by 2050. These include developing technologies and procedures to achieve the following (all relative to a typical new aircraft produced in 2000): • Reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by 75% (per passenger kilometre) • Reduce noise by 65% • Reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 90% Advance is the first of the new designs and is critical to meeting the ACARE targets as the

engine core technology is vital to achieving the necessary improvements in emissions and efficiency. Advance, available from 2020, is 20% more fuel efficient than the original Trent engine, the Trent 700, while UltraFan, available from 2015, is 25% more efficient. Advance features a new core that incorporates design changes across the engine in the HP and IP spools. Assembly has begun and the core, known as Advance3, will run for the first time this summer. Compressor and individual technology tests have all been successfully achieved already in the lead up to the full system test. For test purposes, Advance3 will employ a Trent XWB fan system and a Trent 1000 LP system - basically because these were the best match. UltraFan is the second engine design. It incorporates the new Advance core. It also integrates a new fan system (carbon composite and titanium fan blades). Perhaps most notably, though, the demonstrator employs a power gearbox within the architecture of the engine - the first time Rolls-Royce has opted for this design approach on a large engine. The design of UltraFan is based on a simple premise that there are two key elements in a gas turbine that you are trying to maximise: thermal efficiency and propulsive efficiency. Thermal efficiency comes from running turbines hot and fast, whereas propulsive efficiency comes primarily from a very large front fan running at slow speed. Hence modern engines have large bypass ratios, as much of the thrust is derived from the front fan itself. If you optimise the fan at low speed, then you are left with the challenge of how to incorporate a fast LP turbine. By incorporating a gearbox between the two, you disassociate the speeds as the engine is no longer direct drive.




Not physically bigger but in terms of its torque density, the power transmitting through it and the weight and volume limitations we would be operating within - this would be off the scale compared to anything anyone had done before”, he added. Although Rolls-Royce has experience in the design of gear systems for gas turbines stretching back as far as the 1940s and right up to today’s LiftSystem on the F-35B Lightning fighter, the company wanted to bring an experienced partner into the programme to work on this area of technology, particularly in manufacturing.

Assembly of the Advance3 compressor.

“I could not design a gearbox without knowing how to make it. The manufacturing method you need has got to be consistent with the design methodology”, Mr Whitehead pointed out. For this, Rolls-Royce found an ideal partner in Liebherr, a company that has great experience in gears and that understands the aerospace industry, too. Together RollsRoyce and Liebherr have created Aerospace Transmission Technologies, a joint venture to do the work. To test the gearbox system, Rolls-Royce built a EUR 65 million test facility at its site in Dahlewitz, Germany. Testing began in October last year. The facility houses two rigs - an attitude rig and a power test rig.

Rolls-Royce partnered with Leibherr to work on the UltraFan gearbox. A purpose-built, EUR 65 million test facility was constructed in Germany to test it.

Leading the UltraFan demonstrator programme is Mr Mike Whitehead, Chief Engineer and Head of Programme-UltraFan Technologies. “We could see that using our traditional engine architecture would create an issue with the size and weight of the LP turbine. Engine designs will continue to move towards larger fan sizes moving at slower speeds to maximise efficiency. By incorporating a power gearbox, we have been able to reduce the size of the LP turbine and the number of stages. We have also grown the IP turbine a few stages and so we share the power load between the two. If you look at the industry it is fairly obvious that our competitors have gone through similar thought processes. We know the competition are flying this technology but on much smaller engines”, said Mr Whitehead “I believe what we are doing (for large engines) is far more challenging, particularly in the management of power loads. UltraFan will employ the most powerful gearbox in the world. The differences are not just in the power, torque and technology, but also in how the engines operate. We knew that it would be more complicated than any gearbox anyone had ever built before. 38


“Currently we are commissioning the power gear test facility, training the people who work in the facility and testing the new power gear system itself. We are doing it all at the same time. This year is about continuing to test the gearbox on the attitude rig in the new facility. This rig allows us to simulate the effects on the gears of take-off, landing, and banking in flight. It also allows an understanding of the oil system flow dynamics”, said Mr Whitehead. “Soon, we will be commissioning the power test rig which will allow us to run the gearbox at full power with representative torque and speed. That rig will be completed and be testing at the end of Q1. We will assemble another gearbox to go on that rig and then it is about commissioning that rig in the facility, in 2017, and extracting data as we increase power on the gearbox”, he added.

Ultrafan uses a composite fan blade with a titanium leading edge.


We have a second major design of the gearbox in place now and that will go on test towards the end of this year. Our first UltraFan (should be) built and ready for test in 2019. By end of 2021 we will have flown the UltraFan demonstrator … (and) will consider what a production engine will look like for estimated EIS in 2025. - Mr Mike Whitehead, Chief Engineer and Head of Programme for UltraFan Technologies.

Testing the power gearbox in the new facility in Germany.

[This article is adapted from an article written by David Howie, Director, Redburn Communications, UK, a business marketing and brand consultancy, and published in ISSUE 152 (the March 2017 Issue) of ‘the magazine’, a Rolls-Royce publication].




INSPIRING TOMORROW’S WOMEN ROCKSTAR ENGINEERS STARTS TODAY by Dr Liau Vui Kien, Head, School of Engineering and Technology, PSB Academy Singapore needs to attract female talent into the engineering sector. Singapore needs 1,000 more engineers each year in the next few years to keep public infrastructure projects going [1]. The demand for a steady supply of nation-builders has prompted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to highlight, several times in 2016, the need to rethink the value of engineering. Despite the efforts made in trying to attract and retain talent in engineering, the sector seems to hold little favour among women in the country. Currently, only 4 in 10 students studying engineering at the university level are females [2]. This number drops further if we bring in students who are studying engineering at the diploma level [3]. On a positive note, in 2014, nearly three in 10 (29%) research scientists and engineers here were women, up from just 23.5% in 2004, according to statistics from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) [4]. In recent years, Singapore’s Smart Nation ambitions seem clearly within reach. While, in many cases, we may depend on skills and talents beyond our borders to fulfil this vision, we must also be able to harness the intelligence, energy, and resourcefulness of our female population, and build valuable capabilities from within our borders. The case for diversity is clear, not only for the purpose of inclusivity, but also for productivity and profitability.

Dr Liau Vui Kien

tasks. As engineering work becomes skewed towards Information Management, as opposed to labour-intensive tasks, barriers to entry for women are lifted, and a world of career possibilities is opened to them. Ms Fiona Tay, a Software Engineer who is currently working at Airbnb, and Ms Jackie Ying, who was named one of the 100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era, are exemplary female engineers in future-forward companies [5].

Recognising potential for career mobility When choosing their degrees, finding out which jobs pay well is one of the biggest criteria considered by students. To start with, the median gross salary for engineering graduates from universities here ranges between SGD 3,200 and SGD 3,700 monthly. Earlier this year, it was announced that engineering graduates joining the public sector can expect salaries of at least SGD 3,800 [6]. The future for an engineer in Singapore is bright. Both the public and private sectors have been rolling out programmes that help develop engineering talents. Corporations like SMRT and L’Oreal have been offering incentives and programmes that help engineers develop their careers further [7].

Less physically demanding engineering work The advent of technologies like Clean Technology, Water Engineering and Computer Science has allowed the field of Engineering to push the boundaries that currently limit employment opportunities for women. Jobs that might have once been physically challenging or even dangerous, have become less so, with the advancement of automation. Because of automation, these jobs have naturally evolved to become more analytical in nature, requiring creative and strategic thinking in supervisory roles, while machines are left to complete menial and technical 40


The advent of technologies like Clean Technology, Water Engineering and Computer Science has allowed the field of Engineering to push the boundaries that currently limit employment opportunities for women.


In view of the need to groom leaders in this field, institutions like PSB Academy have started postgraduate courses that prepare specialist engineers for executive leadership, and others that encourage personal development and soft skills to complement their technical skills. Employers from different industries recognise the value of engineers and that their capabilities in problem-solving can extend across different industries. Engineers who make a mid-career switch to the banking sector or move into a consultancy role outside of the field, could be paid more because of their experience in people management and knowledge in design thinking.

Challenge gender stereotypes in engineering In Singapore, as it is globally, women often point to the hegemonic masculine culture of engineering itself, as a reason for leaving the industry [8]. It has been found in multiple studies that the workplace echoed gender stereotyping that happened in schools. Men were assigned ‘higher value’ tasks while women were often assigned ‘lower value’ jobs that did not help develop their skill sets [9]. In order to curb the high rates of women leaving the field, engineering programmes need to address gender stereotypes perpetuated in schools and at workplaces [10]. Educational institutions have the resources to equip students with tools, skillsets and social values, while they work closely with key industry players to build workplace practices and norms that are more inclusive, through engaging collaborative projects or networking activities.

[2] education_and_literacy/ssnmar16-pg7-11.pdf [3] education_and_literacy/ssnmar16-pg7-11.pdf [4] [5] [6] [7] SMRT Engineer Professional Career Roadmap (2015) and L’Oreal Singapore for Women in Science National Fellowships [8] [9] [10] [11]

Equal opportunity and access to avenues for development is a start. Women who have substantially invested in their own development were found to be more satisfied with their careers and subsequently more committed to the engineering field. To encourage this, companies that invest in tailored training and development programmes for women can reap rich payoffs with regard to productivity and profitability and, more importantly, faster rates of innovation [11]. It must be said that the promise of career progression, opportunities for creative expression, or compensation, can only do so much to retain female talent in the industry. Presently, while there might be platforms designed to recognise the significant achievements of women by women, these channels can only serve as echo chambers that have little impact on changing the cultural phenomenon that permeates workplaces in the engineering industry, unless they are also championed by their male colleagues, or men in leadership. While educational institutions can serve to normalise socialisation between genders in controlled teaching environments, success in cementing these practices will rely on corporations consciously committing to this agenda and taking measured steps to create egalitarian workflows in everyday workplaces. References [1]



PSB Academy was selected as the Best Private School for Engineering, at the JobsCentral Learning Training and Education Development (TED) Awards 2016, held in early December 2016.



IES Council Members for Session 2017/2018 (Standing, L to R): Dr Zhou Yi, Mr Lew Yii Der, Er. Lim Beng Kwee, Mr Ong Eng Teck, Er. Alfred Wong, Er. Seow Kang Seng, Mr Norman Lee, Mr Danny Lee, Er. Dr Ho Kwong Meng, Dr David Low. (Seated, L to R): Er. Ong Ser Huan, Er. Dr Lee Bee Wah, Dr Teo Tee Hui, Mr Dalson Chung, Er. Chong Kee Sen, Er. Edwin Khew, Er. Joseph Goh, Er. Ho Siong Hin, Er. Chan Ewe Jin, Mr Mervyn Sirisena, Ms Jasmine Foo.

The 51st IES Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on 27 May 2017 at One Farrer Hotel & Spa, located along Farrer Park Station Road. The key highlight of the meeting was the passing of two resolutions on amendments to the IES Constitution. Er. Edwin Khew, the 26th IES President, began the day’s proceedings by thanking the gathered crowd of some 120 members for their attendance. After the minutes from the previous AGM were confirmed, Er. Khew moved on to the President’s Report for Council Session 2016/2017. In it, he updated members on the progress of the strategic outcomes he had laid down for the Institution since taking over the mantle of President. With events such as MoU signings, meetings with external partners, as well as initiatives such as the Engineers’ Leadership Programmes, Engineering Feats and National Engineers Day, much has been achieved over the past year in terms of membership growth, improving the perception of engineering, and forming partnerships with industry, government and academia, he reported. Honorary Treasurer Er. Joseph Goh then referred members to the Treasurer’s Report and Statement of Accounts for FY 2016/2017, highlighting its important elements. He pointed out that IES’ financial performance, operations-wise, had actually been improving despite the marginally reduced surplus, which was due to the fact that no major conferences (e.g. World Engineers Summit) were held last year. Following this, Honorary Secretary Dr Boh Jaw Woei presented the election results for the positions of Deputy President, the Vice Presidents and Council vacancies. Dr Yeoh Lean 44


Weng, previously Vice President and Chairman of the Integration Cluster, was elected as Deputy President. Dr Boh then tabled two proposed amendments to the IES Constitution. The first was to align the financial year, which currently ends on 31 March each year, with the calendar year, which ends on 31 December. The main reason for this proposal was to bring IES in line with industry practices. With the increase in buffer time between the end of the financial year and the AGM, better-refined and accurate reports can also be generated. The second amendment was to allow the co-option of four general members to the Council, up from two previously. This is to enable greater diversity and representation amongst engineering disciplines and industry sectors, contributing towards IES’ vision of being the heart and voice of engineers. After some discussion amongst the gathered members, the resolution to approve the two amendments was passed. Before closing the AGM, Er. Khew thanked the retiring Council members for their service. Special mention went to Dr Boh, who had served as Honorary Secretary for a total of five years, the longest-ever in the history of IES. The other retiring Council members were: Professor Chan Eng Soon, Mr Joseph Eades, Professor Er Meng Joo, Associate Professor Goh Yang Miang, Er. Ng Say Cheong, Professor Seeram Ramakrishna, Mr David So, Mr Tan Sim Chuan and Er. Joseph Toh. They were each presented with a token of appreciation by Er. Khew. Full list of Council members on page 46


IES Council Members 2017/2018 President

Er. Edwin Khew

Deputy President

Dr Yeoh Lean Weng

Vice Presidents

Er. Chan Ewe Jin, Mr Mervyn Sirisena, Mr Dalson Chung, Er. Ong See Ho, Dr Richard Kwok

Honorary Secretary

Er. Joseph Goh

Honorary Treasurer

Dr Teo Tee Hui

Immediate Past President

Er. Chong Kee Sen

Past Presidents

Prof Chou Siaw Kiang, Er. Ho Siong Hin

Council Members

Er. Dr Chew Soon Hoe, Ms Jasmine Foo, Er. Dr Ho Kwong Meng, Mr Danny Lee, Mr Lee Kwok Weng, Mr Norman Lee, A/Prof Lee Poh Seng , Mr Lew Yii Der, Er. Lim Beng Kwee, A/Prof Lim Kok Hwa, Dr David Low, Mr Ong Eng Teck, Mr Nelson Quek, Er. Seow Kang Seng, Er. Teo Chor Kok, Er. Teo Tiong Yong, Ms Wan Siew Ping, Er. Alfred Wong, Dr Zhou Yi

Honorary Council Members

Er. Dr Lee Bee Wah, Er. Ong Ser Huan, Er. Tan Seng Chuan

IES VISIT TO IRSE (UK) (L to R) Dr Zhou Yi, Deputy Chairman, Railway and Transportation Engineering Technical Committee (RTTC); Mr Francis How, Chief Executive, Institution of Railway Signal Engineers; Er. Ng Say Cheong, Vice President, Smart Nation Cluster; and Dr Zheng Jianxin, Member, RTTC visited the UK-based IRSE on 29 March 2017. During the visit, IES exchanged details with IRSE on their respective Chartered Engineer programmes. IRSE has also showcased the recognition systems they had in place for railway engineering professionals. Both parties agreed to support each other on relevant engineering matters and indicated their interest in exploring collaboration opportunities.

AWAY DAY 2017 Over the first weekend of May, IES Council and Secretariat sat down together to chart the strategic direction for the Institution in the coming year, as part of Away Day 2017. This was held in Kota Kinabalu. Apart from work, it was also a good bonding opportunity as everyone got to interact freely during and after meals. The results of the Away Day discussions were shared during the recent AGM.

NEW CE FOR IES With effect from 1 June 2017, Mr Alvin Charm has been appointed as IES’ new Chief Executive. He brings with him 28 years of experience as a leader in the industrial manufacturing and business development sector. He has extensive knowledge in business operations regionally and in Singapore, having led and managed the growth of MNCs and large local organisations. Mr Charm will play a crucial role in supporting the President and Council by leading the IES Secretariat to the next level. The Institution is privileged to have him accept the appointment.




ER. TAN SENG CHUAN CONFERRED TOP REGIONAL ENGINEERING HONOUR The Federation of Engineering Institutions of Asia and the Pacific (FEIAP) awarded Er. Tan Seng Chuan, Honorary Fellow and Past President of IES, with its prestigious Engineer of the Year Award on 17 May 2017. The accolade celebrates Er. Tan’s distinctive efforts in championing the development of the engineering profession in the region and driving benefits to regional communities. He was presented with the plaque of honour by Er. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, governor of PaEr. Tan (second from right) receiving the certificate and plaque of honour for the FEIAP Engineer of the Year 2017. kistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, together with Dr After his presidency, Er. Tan continued to help IES John Li, President of FEIAP, during the Fourth FEIAP Constrengthen its global presence by bringing major events vention & 25th General Assembly Meeting in Islamabad. and conferences to Singapore. These include the inaugural FEIAP Convention in 2011, the WFEO General AssemEr. Tan propelled the engineering industry into transformably and the first-ever World Engineers Summit (WES) tive growth when he served as FEIAP President from 2007 in 2013. to 2011. Apart from expanding its membership to include more Asia-Pacific countries, he also initiated the FEIAP Engineering Education Guidelines that have helped member economies raise the standard of engineering programmes in their universities. In addition, he was instrumental in setting up the FEIAP Professional Code of Ethics and Conduct and the Engineer of the Year Award. On the local front, Er. Tan has made immense contributions to IES since joining in 1984. Over the years, he headed the Civil and Structural Engineering Technical Committee, the Environmental Engineering Technical Committee, the National Committee of Engineering Organisations, the IES Awards Task Force and the Strategic Plan Task Force, and was elected to the Council in 2000. During his term as IES President from 2006 to 2008, he reorganised the Council structure to sharpen its industry focus. By representing IES in various bodies such as the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations, World Federation of Engineering Organisations and the International Engineering Alliance, he also raised IES’ international profile.

Under his leadership, IES again hosted WES in 2015, building it to become a premier platform for the global community to exchange insights on climate change. In recognition of his stellar leadership, he was named Honorary Fellow of IES in 2015 and that of Engineers Australia in 2016. Said Dr Li, “Er. Tan is an inspiring leader who has made pivotal contributions in fostering vibrant cooperation amongst regional engineering communities leading to widespread economic and social benefits. “His exceptional efforts in uplifting the quality of engineering education in Asia Pacific have also raised the standards of the profession and positioned engineers well for the new era.” Reflecting on the honour, Er. Tan commented, “It has been a privilege for me to support our region’s rapid transformation through my knowledge and passion in engineering. I hope this award will inspire younger engineers to continue the journey to move our economies and societies to greater heights.”




TAKING VERTICAL FLIGHT BEYOND THE LINE OF SIGHT Scott Drennan, Director of Innovation, Bell Helicopter In March, Bell Helicopter unveiled its vision for the future of rotorcraft – the FCX-001. This is Bell Helicopter’s first concept aircraft and presents a 3-D roadmap for delivering safer, smarter and more efficient rotorcraft solutions. The future of vertical flight requires a renewed focus on innovative solutions and technologies, bringing to life new ideas that can solve the hard challenges that limit rotorcraft, with a focus on improving safety, efficiency, and bringing value to customers. Some projected trends in this field include: • Advanced VTOL designs – manned and unmanned • Hybrid and clean propulsion • Fly-by-wire systems – pilot assist as well as completely autonomous • Avionics that keep pace with smart phones • Advanced material technologies • Safety that rivals and exceeds commercial airline travel These are heavily-driven by technology and it is critical that we continue to evolve and incorporate into our products with the latest ones that are available. At Bell Helicopter, we recognise the importance of collaborating with engineers from around the world and from all different backgrounds. Our Innovation team at Bell Helicopter includes a core group of engineers and a team of graphic designers and pilots that are highly collaborative and are constantly demonstrate a new way of thinking. Last year, Bell Helicopter also unveiled the Bell V-247 Vigilant tiltrotor. The Bell V-247 tiltrotor is an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that will combine the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft. UAS can potentially provide a solution to issues including but not limited to the ability to operate successfully without a runway, such as in maritime environments, as well as providing seamless performance in locations without secure runway availability, such as at shrinking land bases in contested areas. It will also contribute towards a significant reduction in the logistical footprint while retaining superior operational performance, since it does not need a large amount of prepared landing space, with the capability for vertical takeoffs and landings, and yet can fly just as fast and as long as fixed-wing aircraft. UAS will provide solutions in all regions, including the Asia were runway availability, speed and range congestion due to over population are areas of concern. As we look at the future of vertical flight, it is important as an industry that we have a renewed focus on innovative solutions and technologies.



Annual Dinner –––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 43

PennWell Corporation ––––––––––––––––– –––– Page 27

Building and Construction Authority ––––––––– Page 25

Prota Asia Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––––– Inside Front Cover

Cementaid S.E.A. Pte Ltd –––––––––––––––––– Page 09

SBS Transit Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 13

Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd ––––– Outside Back Cover

Singapore University of Social Sciences –––––––– Page 01

MultiNine Corporation Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––– Page 45

World Engineers Summit 2017 ––––––––––––––– Page 17


The Singapore Engineer June 2017  
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