Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2022 – EESS Youth Members Involvement
The EESS Youth Members were kindly invited by the SIWW programme committee to join them as Young Water Professionals (aged 35 years and below) to serve as thematic rapporteurs. As a rapporteur, they will get the chance to work closely with the Programme Committee and their Theme Leader to prepare a summary presentation at the Water Convention Closing Plenary. The ones that partake in this programme are as follows: Iman Jafari, Neo Wen Yang & Goh Jun Wei.
“It was an honour to co-chair a technical session 3.13 Integrated Approach in Removing Emerging Contaminants. Being the moderator of the panel, I was able to seize the opportunity to discuss about my research work in pharmaceutical abatement processes and have in-depth technical exchanges with the presenters. I was also pleased to have forged meaningful camaraderie with other YWPs during the 3 days event. I have also signed myself up for other programmes installed like Technical Poster Presentation and Youth Environment Leaders Immersion Programme (YIP) and I was glad to receive a comprehensive outlook on how Singapore is pushing forward on sustainability and green issues” – Goh Jun Wei
“Participating as a co-chair in the SIWW nexus and circularity theme was an enriching experience for me. The topics shared were truly splendid and it get me thinking about how the civilization could move forward to upcycle waste by-products as resources and devise a sustainable plan to eliminate human activities that are harmful to the environment. Interaction with the speakers and audience helped me gain insights into the global direction that the water sector is moving toward. Appreciate and grateful for the opportunity given by EESS to participate in such an eye-opening event.” – Neo Wen Yang
“ I had the honour of being part of a technical session in Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) as a co-chair on “Asset Management and Network Renewal”. As a co-chair I was responsible for determining the tone and direction of the session by moderating the dialogue between the presenters and delegates and providing a summary of the takeaways or lessons learnt from the session. 3 Key takeaways from the session: (1) GIS data is the essential data asset of all utilities. Both data model and hydraulic model (physics-based model) are needed for smart water supply network. (2) Leverage a hybrid AI model with weather data could improve leak detection accuracy. Data accuracy and validation are critical to ensure that models are useful. Both flow and energy calibration are required. (3) advanced datasets may include acoustic, pH, ORP and conductivity but to start a model, critical data are inflow data into a Supply Zone and pressure data at critical points in the network.”- Iman Jafari
EESS President Prof. Hu Jiangyong interacted with a few EESS young professionals who participated SIWW 2022 actively
IWA ACHSW/EESS/CWR/NUS CEE Online Workshop on Emerging Contaminants in Water
The IWA ACHSW/EESS/CWR online workshop on Emerging Contaminants in Water was co-organized by International Water Association (IWA) Assessment and Control of Hazardous Substances in Water (ACHSW), Environmental Engineering Society of Singapore (EESS), Centre of Water Research (CWR) at Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS).
The workshop serves as a platform for academics to conglomerate and share their research findings and direction in the niche area of emerging contaminants in water. The workshop span over two days with two distinct sessions being Occurrence, Monitoring and Toxicity of Micropollutants and Removal of Micropollutants from Water/Wastewater which were moderated by Dr Rajendra Khanal (Policy Research Institute, Nepal) and Dr Lim Fang Yee (NUS), respectively. The workshop attracted 148 participants from Singapore, USA, Mexico, China, Nepal, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.
The opening session was addressed by Prof Hu Jiangyong, Chair of IWA ACHSW Specialist Group Management Committee, President of Environmental Engineering Society of Singapore and Director of Centre for Water Research, NUS. Prof Hu welcomed all the participants and encouraged all participants to exchange and share their knowledge. On the first plenary session, it opens the two-day workshop by pinpointing the prevalence and the gravity of the issue regarding micro-pollutants in our environment especially in the water bodies. Asst Prof Bae (NUS) kicked off the workshop with a keynote speech. He presented “Ecotoxicogenomic and metabolomic approaches to unravel toxicity mechanisms of emerging contaminants in environmental water”. After that, it was highlighted by both Asst Prof Pabel Cervantes-Avilés (Cervantes-Avilés, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico) and Asst Prof Qumber Abbas (Xi’an Jiaotong University, China) that the prevailing usage of metal nanoparticles in automotive, catalysts, electronics, paints & coating and personal care products is leaving traces in our wastewater treatment plants and water bodies. Their toxicity is of real concern. Another emerging contaminant which is chemical based like antibiotics, endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) was shared by both Dr Yan Huang (Singapore’s National Water Agency, PUB) and Dr Rajendra Khanal (Policy Research Institute, Nepal). Their prevalence in wastewater treatment plant is not the one that the stakeholders can simply ignore. The plenary session was comprehensive in highlighting the various categories of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) from micro-plastics, nanoparticles to chemical substances like PFAs, PPCPs etc, addressing why they are of great concern through the sharing of potential exposure routes, environmental transformation and fate and also the various advanced analytical methods to identify and quantify them. During the panel discussion, Assistant Prof Bae further explained the unravel toxicity mechanisms of emerging contaminants in environmental water. Assistant Prof Abbas also discussed the potential pathway of nanoparticles released from PPCPs.
For the second plenary session, the focus was on how to remove the micropollutants that were largely identified and highlighted the day before. Assistant Prof Jenyuk (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand) delivered an attractive keynote speech about the removal of microplastics from wastewater. After that, several processes were discussed by Dr Junhee Kim (Georgia Institute of Technology, US), Assistant Prof Min Sik Kim (Jeonbuk National University, Korea), Dr Law Cheuk Fung Japhet (Hong Kong Baptist University) and Dr Roziana Kamaludin (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) ranging from photocatalytic to ozonation processes. The invited speakers shared their research findings like efficacy in removing CECs, the mechanism of the processes adopted, and the degradation pathways of the CECs used in their studies. The session proposed novel techniques and concepts on how to tackle this issue of contaminants of emerging concern in water bodies and wastewater treatment plants. During the panel discussion, Assistant Prof Jenyuk illustrated each treatment process in removing microplastics in wastewater. He showed a case study in Bangkok wastewater treatment facilities. He also shared his findings of seasonal effect on microplastic removal. Dr Law further clarified the importance of studying acesulfame, which is an artificial sweetener and has been used in wide range of food and drink. Although acesulfame is not toxic but its photodegradation behaviour and identity of its transformation products in critical.
In closing remark, Prof Hu, Chair of IWA ACHSW/EESS/CWR Workshop, thanked all the invited speakers, participants and committee members. The two-day workshop was conducted successfully with overwhelming response.
Thematic Webinar on A Career in Water Profession (EESS-SIWW)
The webinar was co-organized by SIWW and EEESS, was held on 24th June 2021 online successfully. This webinar is to attract young students thinking about and taking up a career in the water profession. Speakers from water industry, academia and government agency passionately presented the diverse opportunities in the water sector, the myriad of different career options, and the job satisfaction in providing safe drinking water and sanitation to the world. During the webinar, many excellent questions, comments and reviews were received from the participants. The speakers and audience had a wonderful interaction throughout the webinar.
The webinar started off with an introduction by moderator Dr Lim Fang Yee, EESS council member and NERI Senior Research Fellow, NUS. Then, a keynote speech was given by Mr Dave Flinton, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation, Technology & Products Officer, Xylem. He rallied the 310 youth participants in the webinar to join the water industry while riding on the latest trends in sustainability and digitalization. He emphasized that the youths belong to a generation that is in an enviable position with real environmental problems to be solved but undeniably qualified with a digital mindset.
The Young Water Professional speakers included Dr Cai Qinqing (Research Fellow, Center for Water Research, NUS), Ms Jasmine Hui (Manager, Centre of Excellence, Sembcorp Industries), Ms Tan Mei Xi (Application Engineer, Xylem), Mr David Pong (Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, Wateroam), Mr Kelven Lam (Sector Specialist, Emerald Technology Ventures) and Mr Phua Kian Ming (Senior Planner, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency).
Dr Cai Qinqing shared her journey from being a PhD candidate to a Research Fellow position in Center for Water Research, NUS and the skillsets needed to perform well in academia. She went on to present the novel technologies she is working on and how she is leveraging on NUS GRIP programme to further explore the possibility of doing a deep tech start-up.
Ms Jasmine Hui shared her involvement in Sembcorp being part of Innovation Water team and highlighted that there is a lot of innovation and industry transformation within Sembcorp. Her role is to create value for the water business through technology and business model innovation. She featured 4 core functions being Digital Transformation, Strategic Partnership, Process Technology & Operational Excellence and Business Development within her team.
Ms Tan Mei Xi started out her career as a pilot/process engineer in Xylem working on a demo plant in Kranji Water Reclamation plant. She and her team constructed and operated the demo plant for 2 years. She then took on the role as an application engineer for South East Asia in Xylem. She was trained on product application by coming out with proposal and solution to meet the clients’ needs. She continues to learn with her recent new role as a project engineer by liaising more with customers, suppliers, and internal stakeholders. She also kindly urged young professionals to continue to develop themselves both professionally and personally.
Mr David Pong co-founded Wateroam with two other peers from Environmental Engineering Program, National University of Singapore. After much trial and error, they arrived to their final prototype and have since worked with several international NGOs and companies. They sent many units to aid in humanitarian situations and to provide water for rural communities. Their filters have provided clean drinking water for 130,000 people across 38 countries.
Mr Kelven Lam also started his career by co-founding a start-up with his mentors from his alma mater and the research institute he interned in. He then moved on to work in an industrial wastewater consulting firm which makes him realise that water engineering goes beyond technical issues and knowledge. He then took a plunge to join a non-profit organization that helps water start-ups to deploy their solutions around the world. He is now in venture capital responsible in identifying early stage water companies by investing in them.
Mr Phua Kian Ming started his water career in Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation plant. He emphasized the importance of soft skills and the need to develop them for management and administration tasks. This ranges from procurement, project management and interpersonal relationship with colleagues and other stakeholders. He was tasked to explore some pilot projects like autonomous robots and augmented reality headsets within the plant. He strongly urged the participants to join the water sector and be part of Singapore’s water story.
WEF-EESS Conference 2019 on Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment and Reuse (AWWTR2019)
Date: 29 July to 1 August 2019
EESS APB Site Visit and AGM – with fresh beer ☺
On Saturday 6th January 2018, EESS organized an Asia Pacific Brewery (APB) site visit. Around 20 of us gathered at the APB visitors center. Shortly after the vivid video about the origins of tiger beer in Singapore, we proceeded to the site visit to understand about the brewing and bottling process.
For the brewing process, the tour guide allowed us to smell the raw malt, roasted malt, hops essence and yeast. Wow, the roasted malt looks so black and smelt like a coffee bean! Next, we stepped into the brewing house, where the secrete of beer making was revealed in front of us: crushing and boiling the malt, separating malt liquid and spent grain, adding hops, adding yeast, filtering out yeast, and adding CO2. We then moved to the bottling process house which housed Asia’s first automated bottling system. Cans were lined up in rows, transferred, packed into carton boxes and shipped out on wooden pallets.
At the end of the tour, we were treated specially and nicely with a buffet lunch companied with fresh bear, followed by the EESS AGM. Thank you so much EESS for organizing this! Looking forward to upcoming site visits!
— Miss Wang Qi
Meet ‘n’ Mingle Night
On 21st November 2017, EESS organized a Meet ‘n’ Mingle Night at the Tea Party Café in NUS to facilitate networking sessions for the members to share their experiences in the environmental engineering-related sectors. Six EESS members, Mr. Joseph Hui, Mr. Raajeevan Kandiah Sanmugaratnam, Dr. Lim Chiak Hwee, Dr. Lu Gang, Dr. Huang Zhi and Dr. Guo Huiling were invited to share about their work experiences. These speakers came from ranging professions ranging from air quality and water pollution, research , acoustic engineering as well as the education sectors.
The dialogue session allowed us to have a more in-depth understanding of what is it like to work in the various environmental engineering-related fields and I found the session on acoustic engineering to be very interesting as it was my first encounter with this field apart from my understandings in books. We would also like to thank the invited speakers for taking the time to share their experiences with us, thank you!
— Serene Lee
Behind-the-scenes of S.E.A Aquarium
On 24th October, EESS organized a technical visit to the S.E.A aquarium. The guided tour provided EESS members on insights regarding the Life Support System, the backbone of the aquarium.
We had the opportunity to visit the food preparatory area (for the fishes of course!) and also gained access to the divers’ area where we overlooked the largest tank in the aquarium. Our guide, Mr Saravanan explained that the credit to the water quality goes to the Life Support Systems team who works round the clock to maintain the extensive treatment systems comprising of fractionators, filters and disinfection units. Likewise, divers also have the responsibility of cleaning all tanks every morning to remove debris and food residual.
This technical visit was indeed an interesting one in which we learnt about water quality management in an aquarium, marine pollution and various aquatic animals.
— Dr. Guo Hui Ling
Technical Site Visit to Lower Seletar Waterworks (LSWW)
This site visit was an eye opener and an enriching experience for me. The plant manager and senior engineer gave us a comprehensive sharing on each of the water treatment processes. Basically, the main purpose of LSWW is to cater for the treatment of raw water from Lower Seletar Reservoir. The water is treated chemically first, followed by a pressurised ultra-filtration system and electrochlorination system.
The system that particularly interests me is the on-site hypochlorite generation system which is used for disinfection. Sodium hypochlorite can be generated by running an electric current through the salt water in an electrolyzer to trigger electrolysis. The main advantage of on-site hypochlorite generation system is that it can be easily stored and transported when it is produced on-site in comparison to the dangerous transportation, handling and storage of chlorine gas cylinders for chlorination. Hence, this technology enables the safety of the operators and community.
— Mr. Ng Bo Kai
To be updated.