The WFEO Executive Board and the Committee on Young Engineers/Future Leaders has been proud to host a competition for the best ideas and projects from young engineers around the world, who are progressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals through engineering. This was a key initiative of WFEO President Dr Marlene Kanga to recognise the contributions of young engineers in leading sustainable development projects.
The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) announced that Dr Victor Sim, IES Council Member 2018/2020 and an IES Chartered Engineer, has won the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) 2018 Young Engineers Competition for his project on “Clean Water Access for Don Bosco School Hlaing Thar Yar, Myanmar”. The win marks a milestone for IES, a member of WFEO, in supporting engineers to create a sustainable world through engineering for the benefit of humanity.
Held in conjunction with WFEO’s 50th anniversary, the competition recognises young engineers below 35 years of age for leading projects that advance the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. Dr Sim emerged as the winner from amongst more than 140 international submissions after a rigorous round of judging, for his outstanding contributions to the UN SDGs of Clean Water and Sanitation, Good Health and Well-Being for People, Quality Education and Partnership for the Goals.
Currently the Principal Engineer of Sustainable Urban Solutions at Surbana Jurong, Dr Sim steered his team when he was with NEWRIComm, the philanthropic arm of Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) to design an innovative reverse osmosis water treatment system. Their aim was to provide clean and safe water to an under-privileged community in Hlaing Thar Yar, a large industrial city in Yangon, Myanmar.
Dr Sim has taken his breakthrough work in membrane technology that has earned him prestigious international water and sustainability awards, to real-life application in this project. By taking a holistic approach, he has made a seemingly high-cost technology affordable and accessible to a needy community in Myanmar.
The inter-disciplinary team of process, civil, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation engineers innovatively integrated a smart Internet of Things (IoT) concept using sensors and solar power into the system, to optimise maintenance, enable continuous monitoring and reduce operating expenses. The team also developed a business model to make the system affordable through the subsidised sale of water to the school’s surrounding community.