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Students Build and Run Membrane Bioreactors to Clinch Sembcorp Water Technology Prize 2016

July 11, 2016

A team of two students from Nanyang Technological University, Oh En Yao Joshua and Goh Jing Yaw, has been named the winner of the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize (SWTP) 2016. This is an annual nationwide competition sponsored by Sembcorp and supported by PUB that aims to give students a taste of what it is like to be water engineers for a day. 

Participants in this year’s SWTP competed to build and run the best-performing, most efficient membrane bioreactor (MBR) system. This required them to make key decisions in configuring their MBR units for optimum life cycle cost, and finding the best strategy to operate their plants with the lowest possible power usage.
A total of 28 students from polytechnics, ITEs and universities took part. The winning team was presented a cash prize of S$5,000 by Sembcorp Group President & CEO Tang Kin Fei at a ceremony at Singapore International Water Week today, and also won an internship opportunity with Sembcorp Industries. The first and second runner-up teams, from National University of Singapore and Republic Polytechnic respectively, took home cash prizes of S$3,000 and S$1,500. 

Mr Tang Kin Fei said, “Sembcorp is proud to sponsor the Sembcorp Water Technology Prize once again. As Singapore’s leading water company, we hope to expose young people to water technology, and inspire them to consider a career in our industry. I would like to congratulate the winners, and I hope that all our participants found the experience a fun and meaningful one.”

Mr George Madhavan, PUB’s Director of 3P Network added, “Research and development is vital in overcoming water challenges, as demonstrated by Singapore’s relentless pursuit of technology that eventually led to alternative sources of water such as NEWater. We are glad that Sembcorp provides such hands-on opportunities for students to understand the real-life challenges faced in water management today. We hope that the youths of today are inspired to come up with innovative solutions of tomorrow as we continue to search for more cost-efficient and effective ways of producing water.”

– END –

For media enquiries and high-res photographs, please contact:

Fock Siu Ling (Ms)
Assistant Vice President
Group Corporate Relations
DID: +65 67233011, +65 91053654
Email: [email protected]

Joya Chang (Ms)
Group Corporate Relations
DID: +65 67233153
Email: [email protected]


Sembcorp Industries is a leading energy, water and marine group operating across five continents worldwide. With facilities of over 10,000 megawatts of gross power capacity and close to nine million cubic metres of water per day in operation and under development, Sembcorp is a trusted provider of essential energy and water solutions to both industrial and municipal customers. It is also a world leader in marine and offshore engineering as well as an established brand name in urban development. The Group has total assets of over S$21 billion and employs over 7,000 employees. Listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, it is a component stock of the Straits Times Index and several MSCI and FTSE indices.

Note to Editors: Please refer to the company as “Sembcorp” (with “S” in upper case and “c” in lower case), or “Sembcorp Industries” in full. Please also note that “Sembcorp” is not an abbreviation of “Sembawang Corporation” but a brand name in itself, and it is therefore incorrect to refer to our company as “Sembawang”, “Sembawang Corporation” or similar.


MBRs are an advanced solution for wastewater treatment, capable of treating even very concentrated wastewater streams. The technology produces high-quality permeate that is ideal for use as feed water for water reclamation, and also offers benefits such as reduced sludge produced, improved odour control and smaller plant footprint. Key challenges for MBR plants include minimising power consumption, which can be higher compared to traditional wastewater treatment plants, and maximising membrane life to optimise life cycle cost.