Structures Seminar 2021

Prefabricated and modular construction refers to the practice of taking construction off-site with the objective of enhancing productivity, precision, optimisation, and automation. Construction automation and robotics have been the driving forces that have guided advancement and innovation in the area. This seminar provides a platform for discourse between some of the brightest minds in prefabricated and modular construction, additive manufacturing, construction automation, and digitalisation, with construction and built environment stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region. Some of the topics that will be discussed include design considerations and structural assembly in prefabricated and modular construction, concrete 3D printing, automation and digitalisation in construction, and sharing of case examples from selected countries.



2 December 2021

Time :

8.30 am – 12.30 pm MYT (GMT+8)

via Zoom Webinar

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Program Flyer

Program Schedule


Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Australia.

Prof. Yu Bai’s research interests include modular construction, composite structures, structural connections, fibre reinforced composites for construction, and design for robotic construction. He has published more than 180 research articles, with an h-index of 41 and an overall citation of about 6000. Professor Yu Bai also serves in the Editorial Board for the journal of Advances in Concrete Construction and Journal of Composites for Construction. In addition to highly cited publications, his research outcomes have also been welcomed for a few engineering applications.

A few new design considerations for modular construction and structural assembly


It has been reported that building expends over 30% of the world’s resources in construction, consume approximately 40% of global energy and produce approximately 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions. As yet civil structures are still largely built on-site based on craft-based and labour-intensive methodology. Modular construction methods where complete planar or even volumetric building units are manufactured off-site for fast on-site installation and this may provide a potential solution to address many inefficiencies in traditional construction approaches. This keynote presentation will introduce examples of modular building structures and highlight a few new design considerations particularly important for modular construction. These include in detail the quantification of transportation loads for volumetric building modules on roads, the mechanical performances of structural and non-structural connections, as well as the system performance of robustness for modular buildings through modelling of their progressive collapse scenarios.

Professor Jay Sanjayan is a structural engineer specialising in concrete materials technology with more than 30 years of experience in teaching, research and consulting. Jay is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure and Digital Construction at the Swinburne University of Technology, and led the development of the Digital Construction Lab. Jay’s research projects include 3D printing of concrete, low carbon concretes, geopolymer concretes, and the use of phase change materials in construction. He has published more than 400 papers and books on these topics. His publications so far have received more than 18,000 citations with an H-index of 69.

3D Concrete Printing for Construction Automation


The presentation will outline the 3D Printing concept using concrete for construction applications. It will cover two popular methods of 3D concrete printing, namely, the extrusion-based method and the powder-based method. 3D concrete printing is an innovative technology, but it is still in its infancy with requiring many challenges to be solved before it becomes a successful construction method. The work needs real collaboration between concrete materials technology, robotics, and design practitioners to work collaboratively to solve the major research challenges. There is also a need to develop new devices and equipment to measure material properties. The presentation will identify the major material technology and robotic challenges.

Dr. Chua is a lecturer in Monash University Malaysia. She was a Research Fellow working in a modular construction research project under Sembcorp-NUS Corporate Laboratory, National University of Singapore. She graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia and a PhD from NUS. She has attached in Arup Perundingan Sdn Bhd and Surbana Jurong working on modular building for Housing and Development Board (HDB) Singapore. Her research interests focus on structural analysis, robustness, modular construction, design of connection, cold-formed steel and composite, and design of protective material against impact. She is also a committee member of Civil & Structural technical division of The Institute of Engineers, Malaysia.

Modular Construction for High-rise Building


Modular construction has been gaining popularity due to its significant contributions in improving construction productivity, quality control and increasing cost savings. Unlike conventional buildings such as cast in-situ structure, there is discontinuity in the structural elements at the connections between modules depending on the connection design. The nature of modular construction creates multiple floor diaphragms instead of the otherwise single rigid diaphragm present in conventional buildings. The discontinuity in the structural elements and floor slab diaphragms may affect the development of catenary forces in beams, which are essential in the resistance against progressive collapse. Furthermore, there is an abundance of connections in a modular building and these connections are different from the typical connections used in conventional buildings. Due to the relatively novel structural form of modular construction, this presentation highlights its structural behaviour, global modelling and design considerations.

Hui Yan graduated from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and a certified Project Management Practitioner under the EC Council. She is now the Executive Director of Gamuda Engineering Sdn Bhd in just less than 10 years in the industry. Hui Yan pioneered numerous innovative initiatives within the organization, from championing innovative material solutions for tunnelling operation, to starting our Digital IBS solution. Hui Yan oversees project management and manages bids and strategic planning of various business divisions.

Enhancing Sustainability Through Digital Construction


A great differentiator in business is when an organisation steps out and creates value through its unique capabilities. Anchored by the Gamuda Green Plan 2025 and, in particular, our fourth pillar on enhancing sustainability via digitalisation, embracing Digital IBS (Industrial Building System) is the natural outcome that we have chosen in our pursuit of accelerating technology and doing business responsibly. At the forefront of the industry in Malaysia, we attribute our success of hitting multiple bottom lines with our approach to Digital IBS through three cores: a cloud-based digital design seamlessly integrated with the Building Information Modelling (BIM), high level of automation and end-to-end precision robotic production. Greening the construction industry through digital design and build, we have transformed the delivery of our projects with an unparalleled level of design efficiency, product consistency, less material wastage, while contributing to increased productivity and higher quality.

Since graduating as an engineer in 1989, Edwin Ong has been leading teams to plan and design the foundation, structural framework for buildings, preparation of tender and construction drawings and supervision of construction works.    His experience includes coordinate design information between owners, other consultants and contractors for Design and Build Development; preparing tender document and contract administration for repair/retrofitting works; Civil Engineering projects for the Public Utilities Board; and development of educational institute projects.    His work has covered 40+ commercial, institutional and residential projects using reinforced concrete, post-tensioned concrete, precast concrete, steel and composite structures. In the last 10 years, his projects include four mega-projects in Singapore with project costs greater than $800 million.    A believer in collaborative approach, he brings my extensive experience with public and private projects to the discussion table to develop the best solution for the client.

Evolution of Precast Construction in Singapore


The Housing & Development Board was established in the 1960s to provide affordable housing for Singapore. HDB’s Building and Development Division was corporatized in 2003 and re-branded as Surbana Corporation Pte Ltd in 2005. Surbana Jurong Group was formed after Surbana Corporation merged with Jurong International Holdings, the spun-off Technical Services Group of JTC Corporation in 2015. Precast construction began in Singapore mainly for civil engineering works. As demand for housing increased, use of precast components found its way into the housing sector in the 1980s. The precast components used then were single-element columns, walls, beams, slabs and staircases. Precast construction further evolved with 3D components such as Prefabricated Bathroom Units (PBU) in the 1990s and Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) in the 2010s.

To date Surbana Jurong has built more than a million homes in Singapore with increasing use of precast structural components with greater complexity.

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Organising Committee


  • Prof. Anthony Guo
  • Prof. Chai Siang Piao
  • A/Prof Amin Talei

Committee Members

  • A/Prof. Sudharshan N. Raman
  • Dr. Chua Yie Sue
  • Dr. Daniel Kong
  • Dr. Kong Sih Ying
  • Sharon Gooi
  • Muhammad Tahir Lakhiar
  • Hafiz Zain Saeed
  • Hiew Shack Yee
  • ICE Student Chapter at Monash University Malaysia


Supporting Organisation