The MEM Seminar Series 2001/2002





“Modelling the fate of spilled oil in Singapore Coastal Waters”




Prof Cheong Hin Fatt

Professor of Civil Engineering

Dean, School of Design and Environment

National University of Singapore










Saturday , 23 March 2002

10:00 am - 12 noon

Lecture Room  LR425 (SDE 3 Level 4)












All are Welcome


For more information, please call

Jennifer @ 874-3563 or e-mail




A major oil spill in the coastal waters of Singapore can cause long term damage to the aquatic environment, recreational facilities, and pose threats to water supplies to desalination plants apart from serious disruption to the port operations.


This seminar presents a study which aims to develop an oil spill trajectory model for combating oil spills in the Singapore coastal waters. The objective of this computer model is to predict the likely trajectory of the oil spill as soon as the location and magnitude of the spill is determined. 


The computer model consists of two parts: one which computes the tidal circulation and hydrodynamics and the other computes the trajectories of an ensemble of oil parcels. The computer model will assist in the planning and execution of the containment and recovery of oil so that damage to the marine environment and disruption to port operations can be minimized. Oil spill simulations were made for some hypothetical situations and has been found to be a useful tool for oil spill combatment in the Straits of Singapore.  It is fast, requiring less than 30 minutes of computation time.  It allows the oil combatment crews some time to study the movement and extent of the oil spill and decide on the type of equipment and the scope of manpower deployment.


About   the  speaker

Prof Cheong joined the University of Singapore in June 1973 after receiving his PhD in Hydraulic Engineering from Colorado State University where he was supervised by Prof Hsieh Wen Shen. He initiated the coastal engineering programme in the Department of Civil Engineering and worked closely with a group of faculty in the development of a suite of software for tidal circulation, dispersion of heated discharges, mud transport and water quality assessment in the marine environment.  His group has provided consultancy services on coastal reclamation projects to HDB, JTC, ENV and PSA as well as agencies in Malaysia and Indonesia.


He has also received a number of journal paper awards for his research – a merit award from the Institution of Engineers India, 6th Jan Schoemaker award from the International Association for Hydraulic Research, Netherlands and the KYD Gin award from the Institution of Engineers Singapore.  His current research interest is in coastal ecology.