SMRT, University of Birmingham tie up to offer railway course in Singapore

SMRT, University of Birmingham tie up to offer railway course in Singapore

A total of 190 SMRT engineers will attend the inaugural course, meant to deepen the expertise of Singapore's railway engineers.

SINGAPORE: A new postgraduate course will be offered here from Saturday (Oct 22) to boost training of the country's railway engineers. It's a collaboration between SMRT and the United Kingdom's University of Birmingham (UoB).

Announcing details of the course on Friday (Oct 21), SMRT and UoB said it will be a three-year course, open to engineers from Singapore's railway operators and the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Students have to complete two modules per year - one to be held in October and the other in December.

SMRT and UoB said the course is designed to give participants “a thorough appreciation of the railway business and urban railway operations”, according to their work specialisation. This will "contribute to accelerating the development of our rapidly growing railway engineering workforce," they added.

UoB is touted as one of the UK’s top universities for railway research and education. The course is jointly run by its Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), and the SMRT Institute, which serves as the academic centre for SMRT.

“We are delighted to be supporting SMRT in the development of their staff,” said BCRRE director Clive Roberts. “The new Postgraduate Certificate in Urban Railway Engineering (Singapore) is the most advanced qualification that has been developed for any metro or railway operator.”


190 SMRT engineers are set to attend the inaugural course, which will be conducted by 12 faculty members from UoB and SMRT.

SMRT chairman Koh Yong Guan said the company hopes the course will be able to equip engineers with the ability to pre-empt problems.

"Rail engineering professionals at all levels ... must have the adaptive skills to identify and overcome current and future problems as they arise. We want to be able do this proactively and predictively to avoid faults even before they occur," he said.

He added that the old models and methods of working were not longer sufficient for rail engineers, given the "complex and multi-disciplinary" challenges they face today.

"It is no longer tenable to solely depend and rely on the original equipment manufacturer manuals for technical solutions to overcome and solve problems as was possible in the early years of our network development," he said.

"Relying on old mental models to solving problems is no long sufficient as a formula. It's not longer just for the chief engineer to be giving top-down engineering prescriptions to solve engineering issues."

According to SMRT Institute principal and dean Kang Huey Ling, the school will continue to partner renowned centres for railway research and education to develop employees to their fullest potential. “We will leverage on experience gained from overcoming engineering and operational challenges running high-capacity railway systems so that future engineers and maintenance personnel can benefit from such know-how and serve commuters better,” she said.

Source: CNA/xk