Victor SIM, PhD in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (Singapore)

Victor is a Process Engineer by training with deep expertise in state-of-art polymeric and ceramic membrane treatment systems. He has more than 8 years of experience in the design and delivery of waste management, water and sanitation projects in Singapore and the region. He is elected as a Council Member representing the Young Engineers Division in the Institution of Engineers, Singapore for the 2018-2020 Term.

Current position: Head of Resiliency (ESD), Sustainability and Resiliency Office at Surbana Jurong, Singapore

Research focus: Design considerations and process options for drinking water systems

Victor honed his technical and engineering skills when he was CH2M Singapore’s (now Jacobs Engineering) lead process engineer for design considerations and process options for drinking water works (Choa Chu Kang and Woodleigh Waterworks) where he specialised in process option trades-off with disinfection criteria and by-products formation, equipment life-cycle analysis and chemical systems. He also supported the construction of Singapore’s 3rd seawater desalination plant and Kranji NEWater Factory Expansion.

As the immediate past Deputy Director of NEWRIComm, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) unique philanthropy arm, he was responsible for the leadership of a team of engineers and project managers in the overall coordination of the activities. Currently, he is the Head of Resiliency for the Sustainability and Resiliency Office at Surbana Jurong. He is interested in the intertwined needs of social, economic and environment concerns that include but not limited to water, power, environmental, social and security matters affecting the urban development and city landscape. He is tapping into Industrialisation 4.0 where digitalisation enables the interaction of multiple layers of data to generate insights and predictions unlike before. His team’s flood resiliency solution transcends current approaches, which are currently conducted in a siloed, non-repeatable, and non-integrated fashion, as well as address currently missing key considerations, from specific geographies to the timing of storms that introduces complex compound flooding.

Victor graduated from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2014 with a PhD on the support of the National Research Foundation Environment and Water Technology (NRF-EWT) scholarship by the Singapore government. His doctoral dissertation on fouling of desalination systems was awarded with two separate PhD awards in 2015, World Future Foundation PhD Prize and American Water Works Association (AWWA) Academic Achievement Award. The AWWA award is the inaugural award to a dissertation outside of North America since 1966. He graduated with first class honours in Applied Chemistry from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2008.

His contributions to the field of water and environmental sustainability have been recognised with the Nanyang Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Singapore-Netherlands Sustainability Award, and the International Desalination Association Young Leader Award.

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2011):

Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

Research focus: Desalination and Water Re-Use

As groundwater becomes increasingly depleted and surface water deteriorates due to climate change, desalination and water reuse technologies will become more important for providing sufficient, affordable drinking water to the world’s population. Victor Sim, a PhD candidate at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, is working on a process that could reduce the costs of using reverse osmosis membranes for desalination.

As part of his doctoral studies at the Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC) at NTU, Victor Sim is developing novel monitors for early detection of fouling in reverse osmosis systems. Specifically, he is working with Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and Ultrasonic Time Domain Reflectometry (UTDR) to provide a real-time, non-invasive method for detecting membrane biofouling.

Mr Sim, who is studying on a scholarship from the National Research Foundation with the support of the Environment and Water Industry Development Council, presented a paper on the novel monitors he is developing at the 2011 World Congress of the International Desalination Association. He was awarded "Best Paper Presentation for the Young Leaders Program."

Impressed with Mr Sim's work developing a sensor to monitor membrane fouling, the jury said his research could lead to critical solutions for improved membrane technology for seawater desalination that would also be cost-effective.

Mr Sim looks forward to utilising the sensory techniques developed in his PhD in other research fields and to learn more about membrane biocatalysis. "While in Germany, I am looking forward to further inspiration in the field of desalination and water reuse from Germany's strong engineering know-how," he said. In addition, Mr Sim will be checking out Germany as a potential place for postdoctoral studies.