Engineering graduate students Victor Sim of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Anne Belski of Swinburne University of Technology, Australia were presented with the Singapore-Netherlands Sustainability Award.

This was announced by the Singapore-Delft Water Alliance (SDWA) and the ForeignTalent of the Netherlands on April 19.

The prestigious national award consists of an exclusive internship facilitated by SDWA, a centre of excellence at NUS’ Faculty of Engineering.

Anne Belski receives her Aingapore-Netherlands Sustainability Award from Dutch ambassador in Singapore Johannes Jansing.

Energy from salt water and brine disposal
In his proposal on ‘Pressure Retarded Osmosis for Marina Barrage & Sustainable Brine Disposal’, winner Victor Sim applied nature-inspired principles to unlock water-energy-temperature nexus of present-day cities. His proposed solution includes a hybrid pipeline which combines Newater and desalination plants in Singapore.

Less damage from backhoe-dredging
Anne Belski’s proposal focuses on making the development of new maritime infrastructure projects more environmentally sound. Specifically, she has proposed several novel solutions to reduce the environmental damage from backhoe-dredging, having done extensive field analysis at the Australian Maritime Complex in Perth.

Internship by sponsors
For the duration of their internship, Mr Sim and Ms Belski will be working closely with their respective programme partners to develop their proposed solutions further. They may also be offered project assignments or internship by the Challenge’s sponsors, namely Deltares, DutchCham Singapore, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Fugro, Hydronav, PUB Singapore, Royal Boskalis Westminister, Royal Haskoning, Surbana and YJP Surveyors.

Seven proposals shortlisted
The Challenge ran from August 2011 to January 2012, and attracted 39 participants across 15 nationalities. Based on the theme, case studies that describe a specific "challenge" related to coastal and urban water management were formulated. Each case study was managed by a professional expert from the programme partners. Participants were required to submit proposals for one or more of the case studies. Seven proposals were shortlisted before the two winning entries were picked.

Leading experts
The submissions were judged by leading experts from the water industry, government and academia, on the basis of their innovativeness, practical applicability and potential contribution to sustainability. The judges are: Associate Professor Vladan Babovic, Director, Singapore-Delft Water Alliance (chair); Dr Claire Jeuken, Senior Advisor, Coastal Morphology, Deltares; Mr Jeroen van den Bos, senior project engineer, Royal Boskalis Westminster; and Mr Michael van de Watering, director water South East Asia, Royal Haskoning.

Sustainable coastal and urban water solutions
The Singapore-Netherlands Water Challenge is a global competition for graduate students and young researchers who aspire to make a difference in the global delta and water community. Themed “Sustainable Solutions for Coastal and Urban Living” this year, the challenge drives participants to examine the environmental implications of coastal and urban water works and look for original and innovative sustainable solutions that specifically address them.

Topic of global importance
On occasion of the hand out of the awards, founding director of SDWA, associate professor Vladan Babovic said: “Sustainable water management is a topic of global importance. For countries like Singapore and Netherlands especially, growth is inexplicably linked to living and working in harmony with water. The Singapore-Netherlands Water Challenge seeks to inspire young talent to make their provides an international platform for the students to showcase and explore their innovative talent. The two winning concepts are innovative and have great potential in addressing issues of water-energy-temperature nexus of present-day cities and environmental damage from backhoe-dredging.”

Mr Arjan van der Weck, General Manager of Hydronamic at Royal Boskalis Westminister, said: “The Singapore-Netherlands Water Challenge has provided a great opportunity for Boskalis to get in touch with young international talent. By actively contributing our own inhouse expertise to the competition, we have been able to create attractive opportunities to interact with students, educate them about our business and involve them in our continuous efforts to develop more environmentally sustainable solutions.”

Registration for next edition
The next edition will be launched at the Singapore International Water Week 2012. Register of a student profile is possible at

Launching of other challenges
Following successful editions in Singapore and China in 2010 and 2011, the Holland Water Challenge is launching editions in Australia, Vietnam. A special event is planned to take place in the Netherlands this autumn as part of the 170th Anniversary of the TU Delft.

More information
Holland water challenge programme