Sustainability: Circular Economy

Date: 4 October, Wednesday
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm


This breakout session will provide an overview of the efforts by NEA, PUB and SFA in the drive towards circular economy by sharing a high-level perspective of current R&D efforts and future directions.  


About the Speakers


Prof Seeram Ramakrishna resized

Prof Seeram Ramakrishna
FREng, Everest Chair
National University of Singapore (NUS)

Professor Seeram Ramakrishna, FREng, Everest Chair is a world-renowned poly-disciplinary scholar at the National University of SingaporeHe is a leading voice in Singapore’s sustainability development advocacy. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Springer NATURE Journal Materials Circular EconomAssociate Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier Journal Circular Economynd Editorial board member of RSC Energy and Environmental Science and NPJ Urban Sustainability journal. He is the Director of Center for Nanotechnology and Sustainability. Researchers in materials science as well as cross-fields categories. He is a point of contact for the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (MSE) Singapore on the circular economy competency and skillsets. He is also a member of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) committee at the Singapore Institute of Directors ( and a member of the ISO technical committee on Circular Economy.  


Topic: Overview of Circular Economy and Future Trends

This presentation provides an overview of Circular Economy and its future trends, highlighting the importance of sustainability and potential benefits. Prof Seeram will share on current efforts to move towards materials circularity in Singapore, with a focus on waste, water, and food, and suggests measures to enhance circularity, such as adopting circular business models and promoting sustainable consumption. The presentation will also provide an understanding of Circular Economy and its potential to create a sustainable economic system by minimising waste and maximising resource use, ultimately achieving better liveability, sustainability, and resilience.


Dr Pang Chee Meng resized

Dr Pang Chee Meng
Chief Engineering and Technology Officer
Public Utilities Board (PUB)

Dr Pang Chee Meng is currently the Chief Engineering and Technology Officer of PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. In this role, he leads PUB’s Technology and Engineering Department to administer its R&D program for the development and application of new water technologies in the entire water cycle.

Prior to his current role, Chee Meng was the Director of the Industry Development Department. He led a team to formulate and implement strategies to grow the Singapore water industry and facilitate the commercialisation of new water technologies.

Chee Meng has experience in used water treatment and water-policy development, having served as the General Manager of the Jurong Water Reclamation Plant and the Senior Assistant Director of the Water Policy Division of Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. He was also actively involved in the development of water-related standards in Singapore and in various international subcommittees that developed new ISO standards for water reuse. He was appointed as the Convenor of the Working Group on Industrial Water Reuse, which prepared Singapore Standard 627 to encourage water reuse in oil refineries, petrochemical, chemical and utility plants.

Chee Meng holds a PhD in Environmental Technology and a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering from the National University of Singapore. He also attended the Stanford Executive Programme at Stanford University.


Circularity in the Water System

PUB’s operations generate large waste streams such as treatment sludge. With limited land for waste disposal and Singapore’s vision to become a zero waste nation, PUB strives to reduce and reuse operational waste at the system level. Maximising resource circularity preserves our scarce resources and allows PUB to do more with less for a more sustainable future.


Prof William Chen resized

Prof William Chen
Director of the Food Science & Technology Programme
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Prof William Chen is the Michael Fam Endowed Professor and Director of the Food Science & Technology Programme (NTU FST). He is Director of Singapore Agri-food Innovation Lab (SAIL), Scientific Director of Singapore Future Ready Food Safety Hub (FRESH), and Director of Food Industry Joint Innovation Lab. His team has developed food technology platforms towards zero waste Food Circular Economy, with active industry partnership and successful commercialization of their innovations. NTU FST’s innovations have been extensively attracting global attention. Prof. Chen is advisor/consultant to government agencies, international organizations (ADB, FAO, GFI APAC, WHO), and food industry on matters related to food technology and food security.


Topic: Urban Food Circular Economy: Resource Efficiency and Safety Considerations

Food waste reduction is an important step in building an efficient food system. This presentation looks at how nutrients are recovered from food processing side-streams, and reintegrated into the food value chain. These include soybean residues, barley spent grain among others. In such a resource efficient system, food safety assessment should be considered alongside nutrition profile as potential hazards remain in the circular model.


Dr Yeo Zhiquan resized

Dr Yeo Zhiquan
Division Director
Sustainability and Life Cycle Management Division
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Dr. Yeo Zhiquan is the R&D Deputy Division Director of the Sustainability and Life Cycle Management Division at A*STAR SIMTech and ARTC. Over the past thirteen years, he has been actively involved in industry and research projects that promotes industrial sustainability, ranging from Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies to data science applications for enabling industrial symbiosis and circular economy activities. Zhiquan is also involved in knowledge transfer activities to the industry through developing and conducting carbon footprint assessment courses. He is also one of the co-developers of SIMTech’s first carbon footprint assessment software tailored for industry users. Zhiquan currently serves as the Convenor for the Working Group on Greenhouse Gas and Product Life Cycle Assessment under the Singapore Standardisation Programme.


Topic: Analysing the Environmental Impact of Food Consumption through Life Cycle Assessment

As the global population continues to expand, understanding the ecological consequences of our food choices becomes increasingly critical. This presentation focuses on the assessment of environmental impacts in food production systems, utilizing the methodology of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA offers a comprehensive approach that analyses the ecological consequences throughout the entire food production process, from farm to fork. The presentation begins by exploring the concept of LCA and its pivotal role in quantifying the environmental footprint of various food products. It further delves into the interpretation of LCA results, providing valuable insights to support decision-making. By serving as a tool for promoting more eco-conscious choices, LCA paves the way for a greener and more sustainable future, benefiting both human well-being and the health of our planet.