Born and raised in Singapore, I grew up in a multicultural metropolis before moving at the age of 16 to Malaysia to finish off high school and then set off to Melbourne, Australia for university. I graduated with a Bachelor in Civil Engineering with Honours in 2009 from Monash University and went on to pursue my PhD in 2010, which I concluded four years later. In 2017, I moved to Zurich, Switzerland and am now based there as a senior research scientist at the Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences (Ostschweizer Fachhochschule) in Rapperswil (short: OST) based in the Institute for Environmental and Process Engineering (UMTEC). For those unfamiliar with its location, it’s at the end of Zurich lake (I can highly recommend the lake ferry from Rapperswil to Zurich).
My interests and hobbies are broad and span from travel (which was the original focus of this website) to podcasting and music, photography, videography, games (digital and tabletop), food and books. I have had a passion since childhood for creating cool cities – vibrant and interesting places that represent the melting pot of different culture, creative ideas, technologies and lifestyles. I also strongly believe in creating sustainable environments, for humans and the ecosystem and that it is essential to embrace the complexity of this melting pot to its fullest. Having sunk hours into SimCity, other simulation games, Lego and arts and craft projects, it is no surprise that my research has focussed on the development of computational models that provide virtual laboratories and sandboxes for planners to understand the inner workings of our urban environments and to experiment with new, out-of-this-world ideas. My PhD thesis titled “UrbanBEATS: A virtual urban water system tool for exploring strategic planning scenarios” kickstarted the development of the UrbanBEATS planning-support system. If you would like to know more about my research, you can find more information here.
Travel has been an eye-opening and incredible experience for me. I love visiting new cities and experience the life and culture that is on offer. Other than the hustle and bustle of the urban metropolis, I also enjoy a nice relaxing sun-downer on a sandy beach, taking time out to refuel and harness new creative ideas.
Podcasting and listening to a range of podcasts are a favourite pastime of mine. There are definitely a few podcasts I can recommend, which have inspired me to embark on my very own podcast, which launched in January 2023. You can check out my podcast recommendations for some inspiration of my own podcast, The Grand Challengers Podcast. Be sure to follow and like!
Music has been a significant part of my life since childhood. I personally play the piano and have learnt the violin and drums. But I also enjoy listening to a broad variety of genres and cultures, creating new playlists every few months. Keep an eye out as I will share my favourite finds regularly.
Photography and videography have allowed me to capture memories, visualise ideas and concepts and communicate this back to friends and family. I am currently learning more about working with videos and my YouTube Channel, which I started this year will provide me opportunities to share my journey with the world. Also check out my Instagram
I regularly enjoy playing digital and tabletop games. Games provides you an insight into a simulated world with rule sets that require you to think and strategize about an overarching thematic. One day, I wish to create my own computer and/or board game and am pursuing game design and development in my free time.
Cooking has been a way for me to relax from a hard day’s work and to enjoy the food from around the world in the comfort of my own home. Who knows what creative ideas I plan to brew in my head as I create the next stir fry or research a dish that I have been wanting to eat for ages. I really enjoy Asian cuisine, but also cook a lot of other dishes from around the world.
About this web page
One of the most incredible things I have learnt through my research career and through life in general is the communication of knowledge and sharing of ideas. I continue to enjoy the opportunity to mentor amazing young talent in students who are filled in creative and world-changing ideas, especially in how we can create fulfilling and enriching lifestyles for ourselves and to build a sustainable and beautiful world to live in (I know it sounds corny, but I am sure you can understand where my excitement comes from).
Life is a journey filled with ups and downs and I have had my fair share of these. I hope to share cool ideas, interesting finds and helpful tips to anyone looking for something to spark their creativity. Whether it is about research, travel, art and creativity or just generally lifestyle design, I hope that you will find my content useful in some form and that it will motivate you to pursue meaningful and exciting goals. You can expect to see a broad range of content, not just around my own research and those of my students, but also on things that I have stumbled across that are interesting and that I feel are worth sharing to a broader audience.
Getting in touch
If you’d like to get in touch with me, you can view the Contact Me page for many options. Alternatively, feel free to follow me on social media. Although I am not as active generally on social media, I try to keep up-to-date with messages and key events happening.
Welcome to my journey!