Students Tackle Global Water Issues In National Water Technology Competition
March 21, 2015
A team of three students from Raffles Girls’ School have been named the winners of the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize 2015, a nationwide competition which gives participants as young as 15 a taste of what it is like to be water scientists and engineers.
Organised by Science Centre Singapore, supported by Singapore’s national water agency, PUB, and sponsored by Sembcorp Industries, the competition provides students with the opportunity to build their own mini water treatment plants using technology employed by industry players.
80 secondary school and junior college students were introduced to membrane bioreactors, an advanced wastewater treatment system that combines membrane filtration and biological wastewater treatment processes. Sembcorp Industries was the first company to successfully apply membrane bioreactor technology for the treatment of industrial wastewater in Singapore.
“The world has always been on a continuous quest for diversified and sustainable supplies of water, and it is through research and technology that a robust and diversified supply of water is created here in Singapore. At Science Centre Singapore, we have always focused on creative learning in science and technology and innovation and this programme is an excellent platform for students to experience how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics knowledge can be pulled together to solve practical real-world problems such as the water challenge that is so close to our home,” said Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore.
Harry Seah, Chief Technology Officer, PUB, added, “R&D is, and will continue to be vital in ensuring water sustainability and efficiency in water treatment processes. It is important that our youths are exposed to the challenges faced in water management today. Through programmes such as the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize, we hope to increase their awareness of these issues, and encourage them to look towards developing new and innovative water solutions in the future.”
To prepare them for the challenge of building their own water treatment plants, students received hands-on training and exposure to materials, technologies and strategies used in the water industry and by water policy makers. They learnt where water for everyday life comes from, and how water is treated on a large scale to meet the needs of millions.
The winning team, comprising Shannon Tan, Ding Ning Ke and Jamie Lim, impressed the judges by addressing their challenges analytically and systematically, just like water engineers would. The team won a cash prize of S$1,500 and a two-week internship with Sembcorp. The first and second runner-up teams came from Victoria Junior College and Bukit Panjang Government High respectively, and won cash prizes of S$1,000 and S$500. All three winning teams were presented their awards by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at the World Water Day celebrations.
Said Dennis Chin, Vice President & Head of Sembcorp Utilities Singapore, “Sembcorp is proud to sponsor the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize for the fifth consecutive year. We believe that providing relevant education and experience helps build knowledge and competencies in youth. As a leading industry player, we certainly hope this competition interests young people in water technology, and inspires them to be the future generation of talents for the industry.”
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About Sembcorp Water Technology Prize
The Sembcorp Water Technology Prize is a national competition for secondary and junior college students. It aims to stimulate students’ interest in a career in the water industry, provide a platform for them to create innovative solutions to solve water and environmental issues, and build affinity towards water and awareness of Singapore’s water assets.
The competition is sponsored Sembcorp Industries, organised by Science Centre Singapore and supported by PUB – Singapore’s National Water Agency.
About Sembcorp Industries
One of Singapore’s largest listed companies, Sembcorp Industries is a leading energy, water and marine group operating across six continents worldwide. With facilities of over 8,200 megawatts of gross power capacity and over nine million cubic metres of water per day in operation and under development, it is a trusted provider of essential energy and water solutions to both industrial and municipal customers.
Supported by in-house analytical and laboratory capabilities, expertise from local tertiary research institutes and strategic partnerships with water technology players, Sembcorp is committed to applying best available technology to meet its customers’ needs. The company pioneered the commercial reclamation of treated municipal and industrial wastewater effluent into high purity reclaimed water in Singapore using advanced membrane systems such as microfiltration and reverse osmosis. In addition, it developed, owns and operates the Sembcorp NEWater Plant, the largest and most advanced NEWater plant in Singapore.
Sembcorp’s facilities worldwide include diverse models of water and wastewater treatment plants. Together with its pilot plants, these provide important test-beds to conduct research, improve and develop technologies and applications in total water and wastewater management.
About Science Centre Singapore Science Centre
Singapore is a non-formal educational institution and a leading regional Science Centre. A custodian of creativity and innovation, the Centre has captured the evolution of scientific developments through unique and relevant exhibitions and shows.
The Centre houses 14 exhibition galleries with more than 1,000 exhibits, another 30,000 square metres of outdoor exhibition space showcasing the Waterworks exhibition, Ecogarden and Kinetic Garden as well as the Omni-Theatre — Singapore’s only dome-shaped, 5-storey high IMAX theatre.
The Centre and its partners have played a pivotal role in transforming the way students and the public interact with and learn about science & technology. Together with the Omni-Theatre and Snow City, it has engaged and enriched more than 29.5 million students and visitors since 1977.
The Science Centre, Omni-Theatre and Snow City received 1.09 million visitors for FY2013/2014. For more information, please visit www.science.edu.sg
PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. It is the national water agency, managing Singapore’s water supply, water catchment and used water in an integrated way.
About PUB’s tagline: Water for All: Conserve, Value, Enjoy
PUB has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for Singapore with the Four National Taps (local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, desalinated water). To provide water for all, PUB calls on all to play our part to conserve water, keep our water catchments and waterways clean and build a relationship with water so we can enjoy our water resources. If we all play our part, we can have enough water – for industry, for living, for life.