NG How Yong

Deputy Head (Administration)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, Sembcorp-NUS Corporate Laboratory


Postal Address: Department of Civil and
  Environmental Engineering,
  National University of Singapore
  1 Engineering Drive 2, E1A 07-03
  Singapore 117576
Tel: (65) 651 64777 / 64512
Office: E2-02-21 / E1A-07-3


Dr. Ng graduated from the National University of Singapore with a BEng (Civil Engrg) and a MEng (Civil Engrg) in 1997 and 2000, respectively. He received his Ph.D. (Environmental Engrg) from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. Prior to joining NUS as an Assistant Professor, he engaged in post-doctoral research in environmental engineering at Yale University in 2003.

Dr. Ng's core research interest is in membrane science and technology, focusing on membrane fouling - elucidating its mechanisms and minimizing its occurrence. By coupling with aerobic and anaerobic processes to derive high quality water from alternative sources for water reclamation and reuse, he studies biological reactor technologies such as membrane bioreactors and forward osmosis bioreactor. As biological processes could be inhibited by heavy metals, his research also focuses on rapid detection of heavy metals in wastewater using microbial fuel cell as a biological sensor.

Overall, Dr. Ng's research aims at achieving the following objectives: 1) optimizing of biological treatment performance of industrial wastewater, particularly for membrane bioreactors; 2) understanding the fundamental science of membrane fouling, aimed towards developing technologies and control strategies for membrane fouling; 3) developing novel membrane processes for desalination and zero liquid discharge; 4) optimizing anaerobic processes for energy recovery from industrial wastewater; and 5) developing microbial electrochemical sensor for rapid detection of heavy metals in wastewater.


  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A., 2002.
  • M.Eng., National University of Singapore, Singapore, 2000.
  • B.Eng., National University of Singapore, Singapore, 1997.

Honours & Awards

  • Dean’s Chair (2013 -2016)
  • National University of Singapore Engineering Researcher Award (2016)
  • International Water Association Asia Pacific Regional Project Innovation (PIA) Awards (Applied Research - Honour Award) for the project "Development of Microbial Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals and Cyanide Detection in Used Water" (2014)
  • International Water Association Fellow (2012).
  • National University of Singapore Young Researcher Award (2009)
  • Singapore Youth Award (2008)
  • Singapore Young Scientist Award (2007)
  • International Water Association (IWA) Young Professionals Award (2006).
  • Editor, Journal of Water Reuse and Desalination.
  • Associate Editor, Water Research.
  • Topical Editor, Drinking Water Engineering and Science.
  • Member of Editorial Board, Membrane Water Treatment (MWT) - An International Journal of Water and Waste Water Treatment by using Membrane Technologies.
  • Member, International Water Association Publication Committee.
  • NUS Postdoctoral Fellowship (2003).
  • NUS Overseas Graduate Scholarship (1998-2002).

Professional Activities

  • Deputy Chair, Management Committee of the International Water Association Specialist Group on Membrane Technology (2017 - Present).
  • Member, Management Committee of the International Water Association Specialist Group on Membrane Technology (2010 - 2017).
  • Secretary, Management Committee of the International Water Association Specialist Group on Membrane Technology (2006 - 2009).
  • Member, International Water Association Young Water Professionals Committee (2006 - 2011)
  • President, Environmental Engineering Society of Singapore (2017 - Present)
  • Council Member, Singapore Water Association (2009 - 2012).
  • Honorary Secretary, Environmental Engineering Society of Singapore (2004 - 2009).
  • 2nd Alternate Chairman, Environmental Engineering Technical Committee, Institution of Engineers Singapore (2007 - 2010).
  • Chairman, Organizing Committee for the 8th IWA Specialist Conference on Membrane Technology for Water and Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in 2017.
  • Chairman, Organizing Committee for the WEF-EESS Asia-Pacific Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Conference in 2015.
  • Chairman, Organizing Committee for the 2nd Asia Pacific - International Society of Microbial Electrochemistry and Technology Meeting in 2014.
  • Chairman, Organizing Committee for the 4th Asia Pacific Desalination Association (APDA) Conference - Future Perspective of Asia-Pacific Area on Desalination & Water Reuse in 2011.
  • Chairperson, Organizing Committee for the 3rd Asia Pacific Young Water Professional Conference in 2010.
  • Co-Chairperson, Organizing Committee for the 1st IWA-ASPIRE 2005 Conference.
  • Chairman, Organizing Committee for the Watershed, Stormwater and Erosion Management Conference and Exhibition in 2007 organized by the Institution of Engineers Singapore.
  • Member, International Water Association.
  • Member, Water Environmental Federation.
  • Member, Singapore Water Association

Teaching Areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Membrane Technology
  • Bioenergy

Research Interests

  • Membrane separation processes.
  • Membrane bioreactor.
  • Anaerobic and aerobic technology for wastewater treatment.
  • Microbial Fuel Cell.

Selected Publications

  1. P. J. Quek and H. Y. Ng. 2017. “Applicability of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket and dynamic membrane-coupled process for the treatment of municipal wastewater”, Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 101, .6531-6540.
  2. X. Mei, P. J. Quek, Z. Wang and H. Y. Ng. 2017. “Alkali-assisted membrane cleaning for fouling control of anaerobic ceramic membrane bioreactor”, Bioresour. Technol., 240, 25-32.
  3. F. Chen, X. Yue, X. Shi, K. K. Ng and H. Y. Ng. 2017. “Membrane fouling between a membrane bioreactor and a moving bed membrane bioreactor: Effects of solids retention time”, Chem. Eng. J., 309, 397-408.
  4. S. Kharkwal, Y. C., M. Lu and H. Y. Ng* 2017. “Development and long-term stability of a novel microbial fuel cell BOD sensor with MnO2 catalyst”, Inter. J. Mol. Sci. 18(2), 276.
  5. K. K. Ng, X. Shi, S. L. Ong, C.F. Lin and H. Y. Ng. 2016. “An innovative of aerobic bio-entrapped salt marsh sediment membrane reactor for the treatment of high-saline pharmaceutical wastewater”, Chem. Eng. J., 295, 317-325.
  6. X. Liu, S. L. Ong and H. Y. Ng. 2016. “Fabrication of Mesh-Embedded Double-Skinned Substrate Membrane and Enhancement of Its Surface Hydrophilicity to Improve Anti-Fouling Performance of Resultant Thin-Film Composite Forward Osmosis Membrane”, J. Membr. Sci., 511, 40-53.
  7. C. Fu, X. Bi and H. Y. Ng. 2016. “Effects of Bio-carriers on Membrane Fouling Mitigation in Moving Bed Membrane Bioreactor”, J. Membr. Sci., 499, 134-142.
  8. X. Yue, Y. K. K. Koh and H. Y. Ng, 2015. “Effects of Dissolved Organic Matters (DOMs) on Membrane Fouling in Anaerobic Ceramic Membrane Bioreactors (AnCMBRs) Treating Domestic Wastewater”, Water Res., 86, 96-107.
  9. K. K. Ng, X. Shi and H. Y. Ng. 2015. “Evaluation of System Performance and Microbial Communities of a Bioaugmented Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Treating Pharmaceutical Wastewater”, Water Res., 81, 311-324.
  10. X. Shi, K. K. Ng, X. Li and H. Y. Ng. 2015. “Investigation of Intertidal Wetland Sediment as a Novel Inoculation Source for Anaerobic Saline Wastewater Treatment”, Environ. Sci. Technol., 49(10), 6231-6239.
  11. K. K. Ng, X. Shi, Y. Yao and H. Y. Ng. 2014. “Bio-entrapped Membrane Reactor and Salt Marsh Sediment Membrane Bioreactor for the Treatment of Pharmaceutical Wastewater: Treatment Performance and Microbial Communities”, Bioresour. Technol., 171, 265-273.
  12. C. H. Tan and H. Y. Ng. 2013. "Revised External and Internal Concentration Polarization Models to Improve Flux Prediction in Forward Osmosis Process", Desalination, 309, 125-140.
  13. O. Lefebvre, Z. Tan, Y. Shen and H. Y. Ng. 2013. "Optimization of a microbial fuel cell for wastewater treatment using recycled scrap metals as a cost-effective cathode material", Bioresource Technol., 127, 158-164.
  14. L. Jin, S. L. Ong and H. Y. Ng. 2013. "Fouling control mechanism by suspended biofilm carrier addition in submerged ceramic membrane bioreactors (SCMBR)", J. Membrane Sci., 427, 250-258.
  15. O. Lefebvre, C. M. Neculita, X. Yue and H. Y. Ng. 2012. "Bioelectrochemical Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage Dominated with Iron", J. Hazard. Mater., 241-242, 411-417.
  16. O. Lefebvre, Z. Tan, S. Kharkwal and H. Y. Ng. 2012. "Effect of increasing anodic NaCl concentration on microbial fuel cell performance", Bioresource Technol., 112, 336-340.
  17. O. Lefebvre, Y. Shen, Z. Tan, A. Uzabiaga, I. S. Chang and H. Y. Ng. 2011. "A comparison of membranes and enrichment strategies for microbial fuel cells", Bioresource Technol., 102, 6291-6294.
  18. Y. Shen, M. Wang, I. S. Chang and H. Y. Ng. 2013. “Effect of Shear Rate on the Response of Microbial Fuel Cell Toxicity Sensor to Cu(II)”, Bioresour. Technol., 136, 707-710.
  19. Z. Huang, S. L. Ong and H. Y. Ng. 2011. "Submerged Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor For Low-Strength Wastewater Treatment: Effect of HRT and SRT on Treatment Performance And Membrane Fouling", Water Res., 45, 705-713.
  20. L. Jin, S. L. Ong and H. Y. Ng. 2010. "Comparison of Treatment and Membrane Performances of Different Pore-Sized Submerged Ceramic Membrane Bioreactors", Water Res., 44, 5907-5918.
  21. T. C. Ng and H. Y. Ng. 2010 "Characterisation of Initial Fouling in Aerobic Submerged Membrane Bioreactors in relation to Physico-Chemical Characteristics under Different Flux Conditions", Water Res., 44(7), 2336-2348.
  22. J. H. Choi, S. K. Park and H. Y. Ng. 2009. "Membrane fouling in a submerged membrane bioreactor using track-etched and phase-inversed porous membranes". Sep. Purif. Technol., 65(2), 184-192.
  23. L. Y. Lee, H. Y. Ng, S. L. Ong, J. Y. Hu, G. Tao, K. Kekre, B. Viswanath, W. Lay and H. Seah. 2009. "Integrated Pretreatment with Capacitive Deionization for Reverse Osmosis Reject Recovery from Water Reclamation Plant", Water Res., 43(18), 4769-4777.
  24. L. Y. Lee, H. Y. Ng, S. L. Ong, J. Y. Hu, G. Tao, K. Kekreb, B. Viswanathb, W. Lay and H. Seah. 2009. "Ozone-Biological Activated Carbon as a Pretreatment Process for Reverse Osmosis Brine Treatment and Recovery", Water Res., 43(16), 3948-3955.
  25. O. Lefebvre, W. K. Ooi, Z. Tang, Md. Abdullah-Al-Mamun, D. H. C. Chua and H. Y. Ng. 2009. "Optimization of a Pt-free cathode suitable for practical applications of microbial fuel cells". Bioresource Technol., 100(20), 4907-4910.
  26. C. H. Tan and H. Y. Ng. 2008. "Modified Models to Predict Flux Behavior in Forward Osmosis in Consideration of External and Internal Concentration Polarizations", J. Membrane Sci., 324, 209-219.
  27. H. Mo, K. G. Tay and H. Y. Ng. 2008. "Fouling of Reverse Osmosis Membrane by Protein (BSA): Effect of pH, Calcium, Magnesium, Ionic Strength and Temperature", J. Membrane Sci., 315, 28-35.
  28. H. Y. Ng, K. G. Tay, S. C. Chua and H. Seah. 2008. "Novel 16-inch spiral-wound RO systems for water reclamation - a quantum leap in water reclamation technology", Desalination, 225, 274-287.
  29. T. W. Tan and H. Y. Ng. 2008. "Influence of Mixed Liquor Recycle Ratio and Dissolved Oxygen on Performance of Pre-Denitrification Submerged Membrane Bioreactors", Water Res., 42, 1122-1132.
  30. T. W. Tan, S. L. Ong and H. Y. Ng. 2008. "Effect of mean cell residence time on the performance and microbial diversity of pre-denitrification submerged membrane bioreactors", Chemosphere, 70, 387-396.
  31. W. Tang and H. Y. Ng, 2008. "Concentration of brine by forward osmosis: Performance and influence of membrane structure", Desalination, 224, 143-153.
  32. H. Y. Ng, Wanling Tang and Wei S. Wong. 2006. "Performance of Forward (Direct) Osmosis Process: Membrane Structure and Transport Phenomenon", Environ. Sci. & Technol., 40 (7), 2408-2413.
  33. H. Y. Ng, T. W. Tan and S. L. Ong. 2006. "Membrane Fouling of Pre-Denitrification Submerged Membrane Bioreactors: Impact of Mean Cell Residence Time and the Contributing Factors", Environ. Sci. & Technol., 40 (8), 2706-2713.
  34. J. H. Choi, K. Fukushi, H. Y. Ng and K. Yamamoto. 2006. "Evaluation of a long-term operation of a submerged nanofiltration membrane bioreactor (NF MBR) for advanced wastewater treatment", Water Sci. & Technol., 53(6), 131-136.
  35. H. Y. Ng. 2005. "RO Membrane Solute Rejection Behavior at the Initial Stage of Colloidal Fouling", Desalination, 174 (2), 211-217.
  36. H. Y. Ng and M. Elimelech. 2005. "Effect of colloidal fouling on trace organic rejection in reverse osmosis separation", J. Membrane Sci., 244, 215-226.
  37. H. Y. Ng and S. W. Hermanowicz. 2005. "Membrane bioreactor operation at short solids retention times: performance and biomass characteristics", Water Res., 39 (6), 981-992.

Last Updated on 3 January 2018 by Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering