Opening Webinar

Date: 26th March, Friday
Time: 4PM – 6PM (GMT +8)


Guest of Honour

Desmond Lee

Mr Desmond Lee

Minister for National Development and Minister in Charge of Social Services Integration

Opening Address


The year-long Urban Sustainability R&D e-Symposia series will commence with an Opening Webinar. Our guest of honour, Minister Desmond Lee, will share more about RIE2025 focus areas for USS. Two international guest speakers have also been invited to share global research opportunities for USS, strategies for research-industry partnerships and commercialisation of R&D.

Webinar Videos


Slides by Mr Thomas Kirmayr (PDF, 8.82MB)

Slides by Dr Chris Luebkeman (PDF, 9.29MB)

About the Speakers

Dr Johnny Wong

Er Dr Johnny Wong
Chief Technology Officer,
Ministry of National Development
Group Director (Building & Research Institute)
Housing and Development Board

As the Chief Technology Officer/ Senior Director (R&D) in the Ministry of National Development (MND), Dr Wong looks into mapping the R&D and technology development workplans for the MND family, essentially promoting research collaboration with both public and private organisations so as to scale up R&D investments and technology transfer efforts to the industry. He also serves as Group Director of Building & Research Institute (BRI), and is responsible for leading HDB’s efforts in spearheading innovative, cost effective solutions and technologies to create a better living environment and achieve greater sustainability.

Dr Wong is responsible for promoting Smart and sustainable development initiatives in HDB buildings and estates. Some of the initiatives which he spearheaded included the development of the HDB Smart Town framework to map out the deployment of Smart initiatives, deployment of solar energy systems in public housing, Smart Integrated Construction and integrated environmental modelling for optimising thermal comfort. With notable contributions to his field of work as a Professional Engineer, Dr Wong has been conferred several awards including the Henry-Boot Award, Laverick-Webster-Hewitt Award, the Institute of Civil Engineers Award and Public Administration Medal (Silver). 

Dr Chris Luebkeman

Dr Chris Luebkeman
Head, Strategic Foresight Office, ETH Zurich

Chris Luebkeman’s career to date has spanned professions and geographies. His multidisciplinary education (geology, civil engineering, structural engineering, entrepreneurship and a Doctorate in Architecture) was encouraged by his Mid-Western family of educators. His journey included Vanderbilt, Cornell and the ETH in Zurich.

He is deeply passionate about curating constructive dialogue, insatiably curious, relished the opportunity to discover the opportunities which will be created by change and, perhaps most importantly, to evolve positive solutions to the profound challenges we face today. For twenty years he travelled the globe sharing his observations and insights by leading projects focused on the future for Arup, Arup’s clients and for many of the world’s leading institutions. He is a member of the nominating committee for the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, the external advisory Board of URA and the Brain Trust of the Climate Music Project. He returned to the ETH in Zurich in 2020 as a strategic advisor to the President and Executive Board.

Mr Thomas Kirmayr

Mr Thomas Kirmayr
Managing Director, Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance

Mr Thomas Kirmayr is Managing Director of the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance and Head of the Mittelstand (SME) 4.0 Competence Center for Planning and Building. Mr Kirmayr leads Fraunhofer’s digitalization and business development efforts through driving the implementation of Innovative building solutions for the industry. His expertise includes process management, industrially manufactured building system solutions and modular construction. Under his leadership, he has helped match and integrate an extensive list of cutting-edge solutions to thousands of SMEs across Germany.

Mr. Kirmayr also co-leads the Innovation World Cup Series, a global event soliciting cutting-edge solutions in smart construction, real estate, smart city and urban planning. The event has seen contributions from hundreds of international start-ups and SMEs worldwide demonstrating what the future of smart solutions could look like.

Prof Lam Khee Poh

Prof Lam Khee Poh
Dean, School of Design and Environment, NUS

Professor Lam is architect, educator and researcher who specializes in computational design support systems for total building performance analysis and building diagnostics. He is a Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities Ltd., Singapore, and Advisory Board member of Delos, USA, which established the world's first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness.

He is a building performance consultant for several major award-winning projects and certified green buildings in the private and public sectors in Singapore, China and USA. He was awarded the 2013 Alexander Schwarzkopf Prize for Technological Innovation from the US National Science Foundation “for exemplary research contribution to technology innovation and positive impact on technology, industry and the society as a whole”. He was conferred the inaugural iBuildSG LEAD Distinguished Fellow by the Building and Construction Authority, Singapore in 2020.

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