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SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Lab

SMRT and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have launched a joint research laboratory to develop technology-driven solutions to build an urban rail system that is even more resilient and reliable as Singapore moves towards a car-lite future.

The new SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Laboratory was officially launched today by the Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan.

The $60 million Corporate Laboratory will integrate the rail operations and engineering capabilities of SMRT with NTU’s research strengths in engineering.

The joint laboratory is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore under its Corporate Laboratory@University Scheme, which funds key corporate laboratories set up through public-private partnerships.

It is aimed at driving the effective translation of research into solutions that have direct relevance in addressing our national needs and meeting global challenges. The SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Laboratory is the first laboratory under this scheme to focus on rail transport capabilities.

NRF Chief Executive Officer Prof Low Teck Seng said, “The SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Laboratory is yet another collaboration under NRF’s Corporate Laboratory@University Scheme that will enable Singapore universities to carry out industry-relevant research. We are hopeful that the two partners will establish a strong collaboration that enables research to be translated into eventual benefits not just for the industry, but also Singaporeans.”

NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said, “Singapore’s rail system is an important pillar supporting public transportation and economic growth, and it is important that it remains reliable and sustainable. This joint lab will leverage NTU’s established strengths in engineering and technology to develop innovative rail solutions that will not only enhance Singapore’s rail system but benefit the global transportation industry.”

SMRT President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Desmond Kuek, said, “The SMRT-NTU Corporate Laboratory marks a significant milestone in SMRT’s journey to improving rail reliability and delivering commuter-centric services. It is an excellent collaborative platform that brings together the operational and engineering experience of SMRT, and the scientific and research capabilities of NTU to deliver operational solutions that better serve the needs of our ageing and expanding rail transport network. These innovations will help solve some of the more intractable problems faced today, as well as proactively address the anticipated future challenges of a sustainable rail system that is safe and reliable for all.”

The SMRT-NTU Corporate Laboratory will focus on two complementary research tracks in the development of innovative urban rail solutions. Projects include developing real-time condition monitoring systems and enhancing the reliability of rail infrastructure and assets.

 

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Chief of Staff and Vice President for Research, said, “The new SMRT-NTU corporate lab will pave the way towards developing next-generation urban rail technologies and nurturing professionals that will contribute to Singapore's smart mobility eco-system and network. This partnership also builds on NTU’s strong track record of collaboration with local and multinational companies including ST Engineering, Rolls-Royce, and BMW Group.”

Managing Director, SMRT Trains, Mr Lee Ling Wee, said, “Both research tracks supported by the SMRT-NTU Corporate Laboratory aim to strengthen the operational resilience of our rail network.

“By leveraging on the expertise of NTU, we hope to strengthen our current condition monitoring system capabilities and enhance the resilience of our rail infrastructure and trains. SMRT intends to integrate techniques from both complementary research tracks to improve rail reliability and better serve our commuters. The collaborative effort will also provide an opportunity to nurture our rail engineers and instil greater engineering passion while acquiring new knowledge and skills.”

The SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Laboratory will nurture engineering specialists in the rail industry who are prepared to tackle future national transportation challenges and develop innovative transportation solutions that can be used globally.

The joint lab will provide training opportunities for over 100 undergraduates, 35 graduate students and 60 researchers, across a broad range of specialisations.​