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Management Message

“The SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Laboratory is an interdisciplinary research laboratory jointly funded by National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore, SMRT and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Hosted by NTU, the laboratory focuses on research and development of new technologies relevant to urban rail transportation. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) operates from very early in the morning to near midnight, leaving the engineers very little time to inspect and maintain the railway tracks. Condition-monitoring technologies developed in the laboratory will eventually transform trains so they double up as inspection vehicles to hunt down potential problems before they happen. In-depth analytical tools will also be developed to predict the life-span of critical rail assets for timely periodic replacement purposes. By combining the expertise of SMRT engineers and NTU’s researchers is a great opportunity to cultivate new railway engineering capabilities in Singapore. Through the partnership, the laboratory also serves as a place to train good researchers and engineers for the railway industry”.

Associate Professor See Kye Yak
Nanyang Technological University
Director of SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Lab

“SMRT is pleased to collaborate with NTU in the development of technologies and solutions to improve the reliability and resilience of our rail networks. We would also like to thank NRF for facilitating and co-funding the setting up of this Smart Urban Rail Corporate Laboratory, and LTA in their guidance & support on all our projects.This Corporate Laboratory allows SMRT staff to leverage on the deep expertise of NTU professors and researchers in rail engineering.  Since the launch of the Lab in May 2016, NTU researchers and SMRT staff have been working on 13 projects in rail condition monitoring and enhancements to integrity and reliability of rail assets. I am pleased to note that four projects have already transited from the Lab to the track for field trials and will greatly benefit SMRT in its service to the commuters. Our Advanced Door Sensor system will pro-actively identify potential problems to enable our train captains and maintenance crew prevent door failures. The patented radio-frequency induction method for detecting track defects turns a passenger train into a track inspection machine as it carries passengers around Singapore.  This is a first-of-its kind being applied to the rail industry. Two other projects automate the inspection of wheels & axles and repairs worn-out rail tracks using additive manufacturing processes.  Both use robotic devices and will decrease manpower and save precious engineering time for SMRT.Through the involvement of SMRT staff in these projects, we elevate their knowledge and expertise in these advanced techniques and solutions.  We believe the SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Laboratory will go a long way in enhancing our service reliability and rail resilience.”

Mr Gan Boon Jin
SMRT Corporation Ltd
Co-Director of SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Lab