Boosting Applied Research and Innovation in Construction Through New Construction Technology Innovation Lab (CTIL) at SIT
New Centre established in collaboration with Woh Hup, with a fund contribution of S$2 million
The signing ceremony and cheque presentation that took place on 16 Dec 2020 was attended by key representatives (from left): Mr Eugene Yong Kon Yoon, Executive Director, Woh Hup; Mr Yong Derong, Executive Director, Woh Hup; A/Prof Ivan Lee, Vice President (Industry & Community) SIT; and Prof Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT.
The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) officially launches the Construction Technology Innovation Laboratory (CTIL) today, in a move to propel adoption of innovative technologies in the construction industry through applied research and innovation. The Centre is set up in collaboration with leading construction and civil engineering company Woh Hup (Private) Limited (Woh Hup), which contributed S$2 million in funding to CTIL.
Leveraging a symbiotic industry-academia partnership, CTIL provides Singapore-based construction companies and SIT researchers a platform to boost applied research efforts and develop innovative construction technologies for building structures and sub-structures. The Centre aims to address industrial needs in three focus areas:
- Technology Thrust: Adoption of the latest technology to develop new, innovative solutions to advance Singapore’s construction industry;
- Translational Strategy: Translating technologies to improve site safety, productivity, cost efficiency and reduce site labour and manpower requirement; and
- Upskilling Programme: Strengthening construction talent pipeline through upskilling training programmes for professionals to deepen their knowledge and skills.
For a start, the Centre will focus on implementing innovative construction technologies for deep foundation and excavation, to achieve improvements in various construction areas such as waler systems, piling systems and crack and corrosion-resistant concrete. Carried out in collaboration with construction companies SEN SG Pte Ltd, TTJ Design & Engineering Pte Ltd and NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd, the projects are aimed at improving productivity, introducing safer and flexible construction technologies, and increasing durability and resilience of deep foundation construction elements.
CTIL will also provide opportunities for SIT students reading the Bachelor and Master of Civil Engineering degree programmes to gain practical hands-on experience in industrial environments and be exposed to applied research and innovation projects. Apart from deepening their mastery, the experience will help strengthen students’ agility in independent and lifelong learning in the context of continuous technological changes. The Centre will also benefit SIT professional officers and research engineers through opportunities to hone and demonstrate their capabilities, improve their technical competencies and be updated on industry trends by working on the construction research projects.
Associate Professor Ivan Lee, Vice President (Industry & Community), SIT, commented: “As Singapore’s University of Applied Learning that strives to integrate learning with research, industry and community, SIT is well positioned to co-create solutions with the construction industry through applied research innovations. The construction sector has been one of the hardest-hit industries amid the COVID-19 pandemic but we are looking forward to some extent of recovery in construction demand this year, and CTIL will be driving technology and digitalisation to help build industry resilience.”
Mr Yong Derong, Executive Director, Woh Hup, commented: “CTIL reinforces Woh Hup’s and SIT’s intent on collaborating to bring about educational and technological advancement to the built environment industry, by providing a platform for the fostering and development of innovative ideas to make construction work safer, more efficient and more effective. We are also certain that the upskilling training programmes will benefit industry professionals, by deepening their knowledge and preparing them well for the positive changes brought about by new technologies.”
The Centre has been officially launched today at a technical webinar on Emerging Technologies for Construction in Singapore, organised by SITLEARN Professional Development, the lifelong learning division of SIT that caters to working adults keen on gaining new skills. Featuring speakers from SIT, Ministry of National Development, JTC Corporation and National University of Singapore, the half day-long webinar discussed various innovation and emerging technologies that are impacting the construction industry.
 Waler systems are parts of steel strutting structural supports that help maintain deep excavation construction.
 Piling systems refer to installations that help create solid foundations.