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


Victor is the Principal Engineer of Sustainable Urban Solutions at Surbana Jurong. A trained sustainability reporting specialist in both GRI Standards and Strategic Community Investment, Dr Sim is also a registered Chartered Engineer in the domain of Environmental and Water Engineering. 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: Principal Engineer of Sustainable Urban Solutions at Surbana Jurong, Singapore

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

His PhD work, focused on the development of novel monitors for early detection of fouling in reverse-osmosis systems, has won numerous awards and accolades.

In 2011 Victor was awarded a Green Talent. The jury was impressed by his research work, which could lead to critical solutions for improved and cost-effective membrane technology for seawater desalination. He was awarded two Best Doctoral Dissertation awards, a World Future Foundation PhD prize and the American Water Works Association Academic Achievement Award. The latter is the first award outside North America since 1966. He also has 3 patents, several fellowships and has authored 9 publications.

Prior to his current position, he was the Deputy Director of Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute Community Development unit (NEWRIComm) and led a team of engineers and project managers in the identification of water treatment and sanitation projects, spearheading project planning, implementation, documentation, monitoring, and stakeholder outreach and publicity. Before NEWRIComm, he was also CH2M Singapore’s lead process engineer for design considerations and process options for drinking water works (Choa Chu Kang Waterworks – 1st global competitively tendered ceramic membrane installation and Woodleigh Waterworks) with a total project cost >$200mil and had supported the construction of Singapore’s 3rd seawater desalination plant and Kranji NEWater Factory Expansion. He specialized in process option trades-off with disinfection criteria and by-products formation, equipment life cycle analysis and chemical system designs.

Dr Sim 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 under the supervision of renowned membrane expert, Prof. Dr. Anthony Gordon Fane (Tony Fane) 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 also graduated with first class honours in Applied Chemistry from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2008.

2018 Winner of the Young Engineers Competition
2016 Vice-chair of the Singapore Water Association Young Water Professionals
2015 Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator of the International Desalination Association Young Leaders Program

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.