Engineering vital for S'pore's growth: SM Teo

The main attraction of the permanent exhibition at the Science Centre is a theatre run by four robotic arms holding television screens. Through videos and synchronised movement, the robots explain the scope of modern engineering. Senior Minister and
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean being shown an "escape room" at the Future Makers exhibition at the Science Centre. Visitors can use engineering concepts learnt from the exhibition to navigate the mini escape room, which resembles a spacecraft.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
The main attraction of the permanent exhibition at the Science Centre is a theatre run by four robotic arms holding television screens. Through videos and synchronised movement, the robots explain the scope of modern engineering. Senior Minister and
The main attraction of the permanent exhibition at the Science Centre is a theatre run by four robotic arms holding television screens. Through videos and synchronised movement, the robots explain the scope of modern engineering.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

He urges young people to pursue career in science or engineering

Engineering has played a major role in Singapore's growth and transformation and will remain important as the country enters the next phase of development, said Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.

Speaking at the launch of an exhibition on engineering at the Science Centre yesterday, Mr Teo also encouraged more young people to pursue a career as an engineer or scientist. Singapore offers some of the best facilities and support for big companies and start-ups and the possibilities are limitless, he added.

"We can see feats of engineering all around us: from Newater to our transportation networks; from the Stamford Detention Tank and Stamford Diversion Canal that protect Orchard Road from floods to our new mega port at Tuas, scheduled to open in 2021," he said.

Mr Teo, who is also the Science Centre's patron, cited Jewel Changi Airport as an engineering marvel due to its glass roof that looks like it is suspended in mid-air.

Jewel was designed with minimal columns and beams to prevent its indoor waterfall and greenery from being obstructed. The glass roof, which weighs 3,500 tonnes or as heavy as six A-380 planes, is propped up by a ring beam and 14 branched-out columns attached to the ends of the roof.

Mr Teo also cited young engineer Grace Chia, who co-founded local start-up BeeX that develops autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

As the remotely operated vehicles used by the offshore oil and gas industry are bulky, heavy and costly, Ms Chia and her team designed a highly mobile AUV that can operate wirelessly and can be programmed with specific mission routes using artificial intelligence.

MAKING A MARK IN THE WORLD

Singapore has some of the best facilities and the ecosystem to support not only major companies like Keppel to design offshore structures and ice-breakers for the Arctic, but also for marine robotics start-ups like BeeX to develop cutting-edge technology and make their mark in the world.

MR TEO CHEE HEAN, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, on developing innovations in Singapore.

Early this year, Ms Chia and her team received $50,000 from the National University of Singapore's Graduate Research Innovation Programme to form BeeX to commercialise their inventions.

"Singapore has some of the best facilities and the ecosystem to support not only major companies like Keppel to design offshore structures and ice-breakers for the Arctic, but also for marine robotics start-ups like BeeX to develop cutting-edge technology and make their mark in the world," said Mr Teo.

The Science Centre's Future Makers exhibition seeks to bring to life the beauty of engineering and innovation, while explaining how mega structures, rockets and even medicines are invented.

The main attraction of the permanent exhibition is a theatre run by four robotic arms holding television screens. Through videos and synchronised movement, the robots explain the scope of modern engineering.

Visitors will also get to fly drones and operate rovers in an enclosed aviary.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2019, with the headline 'Engineering vital for S'pore's growth: SM Teo'. Print Edition | Subscribe