Prof. Yong Kwet Yew: SEAGS 50th Anniversary Lecturer

Lecture Titled: 50 years of Geotechnical Challenges in Singapore Infrastructure Development
Yong Kwet Yew

Er Professor Yong Kwet Yew is Vice President at the National University of Singapore and oversees the planning and sustainable development of campus infrastructure including the S$1 billion development of University Town, one of the largest construction program undertaken in NUS. A graduate of the University of Sheffield, England, under a Grouped Scholarship and George Senior Fellowship, he joined NUS in 1979. He has held senior leadership positions including Head of Civil Engineering, Founding Director of Centre for Soft Ground Engineering, Chairman of NUS-MINDEF Centre for Protective Technology and Co-Chairman of NUS-MINDEF Infrastructure Committee. He was elected Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Singapore in 2001 and appointed Accredited Adjudicator, Singapore Mediation Centre in 2005.

Prof. Yong’s research is a microcosm of the infrastructure development in Singapore. In the early 1980s during the building boom, his research was on performance of pile foundation. Some of the findings were later incorporated into the Singapore Code for Pile Design. In the late 1980s, his research with several colleagues on land reclamation led to an award winning layered clay-sand scheme of reclamation using marine clay as an alternative to sand-only fill for reclamation. In the 1990s, several innovative methods of ground improvement were developed to control movements associated with deep excavations and flood alleviation projects in urbanized Singapore. In the 2000s, with the rapid development of underground transportation, his focus was in the effects of tunneling on nearby buildings. Going forward into 2010s, the optimal use of land and underground space ranks high on the national agenda. He has published more than 200 technical publications, delivered over 30 keynote/guest lectures at international conferences.

Prof. Yong is past Chairman of AGSSEA, Past President of SEAGS and chairs/chaired several boards and national committees in land transport and construction including the International Board of Advisers to LTA, Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety & Health for the Construction Industry (MOM) and the Accredited Checkers Selection Panel (BCA). He is a member of a high-level Development Projects Advisory Panel that vets and review large infrastructure projects for the Ministry of Finance. He also serves on the Board of Land Transport Authority and is non-Executive Chairman of 2 public listed engineering companies established by former students. He is Co-Chair and Scientific Lead in the national MND-NRF R&D Committee on Land & Livability. He chaired LTA’s Independent Investigation Panel on Nicoll Highway Collapse in 2004 and was a member of the Expert Panel on Enhancing Flood Protection in Singapore, MEWR in 2011/12. He has also served as consultant to government agencies as well as local and international companies on over 150 major construction projects in Singapore, ASEAN and China.

He received the Faculty of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (1993, 1994 & 1996) and the Faculty Hall of Fame for Teaching Excellence (1997). A recipient of the Outstanding Geotechnical Engineer Award 2016 from GeoSS, he also received commendations from the Ministry of Manpower in 2000, Ministry of Education in 2006, Distinguish Service Award from Ministry of National Development in 2016 and 3 National Day Awards – Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2000, Public Service Medal in 2004 and the Public Service Star in 2008 – for significant contributions to the university, construction safety and land transport.