Invited/Theme presentations

Prof. Chee-Kiong SOH

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


CK Soh received his BEng from Concordia University, Canada, SM from MIT, USA, and PhD from University of Wales College of Cardiff, UK.   Prior to joining NTU, he worked as an offshore engineer  with  McDermott  South  East  Asia  and  as  a  marine surveyor with Noble Denton & Associates Singapore.   Over the years at NTU, he has held various appointments such as sub-dean and vice-dean of the School of Civil & Structural Engineering, head of the Division of Structures & Construction, head of the Division of Structures & Mechanics, Assistant Director of Research at NTU Office of Research, and Associate Chair (Administration) as well as Acting Chair of the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering. He is also a Fellow of the Singapore Academy of Engineering.

As an offshore engineer, CK Soh had designed, fabricated, installed, hooked up and commissioned more than a dozen offshore platforms for the South East Asian waters, including laying the then world largest submarine pipeline in the E11 gas field off Bintulu for Sarawak Shell. As a marine surveyor, he had reviewed and approved on site numerous construction and marine operations carried out in the shipyards in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and in just about every shipyard in Singapore. As an academia, CK Soh has published more than a hundred and seventy journal  papers,  one  of  which  entitled  "Fuzzy  controlled  genetic  algorithm  search  for  shape optimization" received the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Best TCCP Paper Award in 1996, another entitled “Design economics of offshore structures: eccentric jacket” received the ES-IStructE  (Singapore)  Best  Structural  Paper  Award  in  2001,  and  yet  another  entitled “Performance of smart piezoceramic patches in health monitoring of RC bridge” was in 2011 been identified by the Council of Canadian Academies as a top-1% most highly cited paper in its field in the world.  His current research interests are in human-centric development of sustainable urban systems and in using smart materials for structural health monitoring, damage prognosis and energy arvesting. He has also co-authored a book on "Analysis and Design of Offshore Structures" published by the Singapore Structural Steel Society in 1991, a PC-based courseware on “Intelligent Interactive Tutoring System for Engineering Mechanics - Statics” published by Pearson-Prentice Hall in 2000, and another book “Smart Materials in Structural Health Monitoring, Control and Bio- mechanics” published by Springer-ZJUP in 2012.  The last book is a ‘3 generations’ book in which the chapters are co-authored by him and his students and their students.

In addition, CK Soh received the NTU CoE First Year Common Engineering Teaching Excellence Award in 2004.  That class had more than 1,800 students. As a registered Professional Engineer of Singapore, he has been active in providing consulting services to the offshore and marine industry since mid-1980s.


Developing and Communicating High-value, Human-centered Underground Work Spaces: Results of a Multi-disciplinary, Multi-year Study

Recent advances in engineering and related disciplines have significantly improved underground construction: we can now build underground spaces (UGS) much faster, with less cost and, critically, of high engineering and architectural standards. However, an important question remains largely unanswered: what would make UGS as popular as, or more popular than, aboveground spaces? As such, it is important for developers to learn and address common misconceptions on UGS. This would enable them to design UGS working environments that would appeal to their clients, the public and policy makers.

In response to this critical and urgent question, we present an overview of the main results of the latest and largest systematic interdisciplinary research examining psychological, social and health parameters of workers in UGS. Beginning with general public’s perceptions of UGS, we explore health and psychological differences between UG and AG workers in very similar workspaces. Emphasising architectural and engineering priorities for UG spaces, we present empirical evidence demonstrating how smaller spaces could impact on performance. Introducing cost-effective solutions could dramatically improve performance. We conclude with a brief introduction to a lab experiment: combining real life and virtual reality, we can systematically and objectively assess the impact of characteristics of underground spaces (such as lighting, ceiling height, virtual windows, air flow etc.) on human cognition – thus allowing a low-cost evaluation of an UG space before the space is built.

Overall, the findings will help engineers, developers and policy makers to understand how they can more effectively communicate UG spaces to users and also ensure that the developed space respects basic parameters of human beliefs, psychology, performance and health – thus increasing the market value of the developed space.

Keywords: urban underground space, design aspects, psychology, health, human-centered, attitudes, virtual reality



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