Chan Eng Soon

Keppel Chair Professor

Postal Address: Department of Civil and
  Environmental Engineering
  National University of Singapore
  1 Engineering Drive 2, E1A 07-03
  Singapore 117576
Tel: (65)6516-2275
Office: E1A-07-06


Professor CHAN ENG SOON joined NUS as a Senior Tutor in 1981 immediately after his Bachelor’s Degree. He was subsequently awarded a NUS Overseas Scholarship to pursue doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He returned to the Department of Civil Engineering, NUS, with a Doctor of Science in Hydrodynamics and has since been teaching in the Department. In 1995, he was appointed Head of the Physical Oceanography Research Laboratory, a laboratory set up to pursue research on coastal and offshore processes pertaining to tropical marine waters. Since then, he has also been appointed as the Director of the Tropical Marine Science Institute, Head of Civil Engineering Department and Executive Director of Centre for Offshore Research and Engineering.

Professor Chan’s research interests and activities are focussed on marine processes, including marine hydrodynamics, wave-structure interactions, sediment transport and coastal protection. In more recent years, Professor Chan has also focussed on the study of tidal hydrodynamics and circulation in tropical waters, with a special emphasis on Singapore waters. Following his experimental work on breaking waves, he pursues active research in the theoretical modeling of extreme waves, bubble entrainment, and turbulence intensities associated with surface wave breaking. These concepts are incorporated into three-dimensional hydrodynamic models for the enhanced prediction of tidal mixing and transport. Such circulation models are used to describe the transport of contaminants and other materials in environmental impact assessment studies. The area of impact assessment is expected to become more important in the light of recent interests on climate change, coupled to the increased coastal developments and shipping in the region.

The culmination of Professor Chan’s research activities has been the formation of the Physical Oceanography Research Laboratory (PORL). PORL has successfully developed the capabilities needed to monitor and model major marine processes in tropical seas, including the prediction of physical, chemical and biological parameters in tropical waters. PORL has also developed capabilities in aquatic sensing and modeling, including water quality monitoring and the development of underwater instrumentation. With the focus on offshore engineering in Singapore, Professor Chan has recently gone back into his earlier favorite topic - extreme wave loadings on offshore structures.


  • ScD (1986) in Hydrodynamics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • MEng (1982), BEng Hons. 1st (1980) in Civil Engineering, National University of Singapore

Honours & Awards

  • MND Minister Award 2006
  • MSc (Construction Engineering) Class of 1977 Silver Medal, 1980
  • NUS-Overseas Graduate Scholarship, 1981
  • Arthur Ippen Fellowship, 1984
  • Teaching Excellence Award, 1995, 1997, 1998
  • Teaching Honours List, 1996

Professional Activities

  • PEng (Singapore)
  • Member, Institution of Engineers Singapore
  • Chairman, Management Board, Singapore-Delft Water Alliance, (2010-present)
  • Member, Temasek Defense Systems Institute Management Board (Dec 2009 - present)
  • Member, Temasek Laboratories Management Board (Feb 2009 - present)
  • Member, Interactive & Digital Media Institute Management Board (Aug 2008 - 31 present)
  • Member, Tropical Marine Science Management Board (Feb 2009-present)

Key external appointments (current term)

  Name of Corporation/Firm Nature of Interest Duration
1 Republic Polytechnic, Board of Governors Member 1 Aug 2014 - 31 July 2016
2 Republic Polytechnic, School of Engineering (SEG), Advisory Committee Chairperson 1 Aug 2014 - 31 July 2016
3 Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Work Safety and Health Council, Singapore Member 1 Apr 2014 - 31 Mar 2017
4 Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Work Safety and Health Council, Marine Industries Committee Chairman 1 Apr 2014 - 31 Mar 2017
5 DSO Laboratories, Board of Directors Director 1 Apr 2015 - 31 Mar 2017
6 DSO Laboratories, Audit Committee Member 1 Apr 2015 - 31 Mar 2017
7 Public Utilities Board Member 1 Apr 2015 - 31 Mar 2017
8 Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), Project Evaluation Committee, Environmental Water Industry Development Council Member 1 Oct 2013 - 30 Sep 2015
9 Public Utilities Board (PUB), Expert Panel on Drainage Design and Floor Management, Singapore Chairman 1 Sep 2014 - 30 Aug 2017
10 Public Utilities Board (PUB), Independent Expert Panel, Deep Tunnel Sewerage System Phase 2 Chairman 3 Jun 2014 - 2 Jun 2016
11 Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Coastal Adaptation Study, Local Panel of Experts Chairman 11 Nov 2013 - 10 Nov 2016
12 Keppel Corporation, Keppel Technology Advisory Panel Member 1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2015

Teaching Areas

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Coastal Engineering
  • Offshore Engineering

Research Focus

  • Marine Hydrodynamics
  • Free Surface Waves and Mixing Processes
  • Wave Actions
  • Coastal Sediment Transport
  • Coastal Protection

Selected Publications

  1. Tkalich*, P and E S Chan, “Breaking wind waves as a source of ambient noise”, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 112. no. 2 (2002): 456-463. (United States).
  2. Kway, J H L, Y S Loh and E S Chan*, “Laboratory study of deep water breaking waves”. Ocean Engineering, 25, no. 8 (1998): 657-676. (United Kingdom).
  3. Sannasiraj*, S A, BABOVIC Vladan and E S Chan, “Local model approximation in the real time wave forecasting”, Coastal Engineering, 52, no. 3 (2005): 221-236. (Netherlands).
  4. Tkalich*, P and E S Chan, “Vertical Mixing of Oil Droplets by Breaking Waves”, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 44, no. 11 (2002): 1219-1229. (United Kingdom).
  5. Sannasiraj*, S A, H Zhang*. V Babovic and E S Chan, “Enhancing tidal prediction accuracy in a deterministic model using chaos theory”, Advances in Water Resources, 27 (2004): 761-772. (Netherlands).
  6. Zhang*, H, E S Chan, OLE S. Madsen, S A Sannasiraj and E S Chan, “Hydrodynamic model with wave-current interaction in coastal regions”. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 61 (2004): 317-324. (Netherlands).
  7. Sannasiraj*, S A, V Babovic and E S Chan, “Wave data assimilation using ensemble error covariances for operational wave forecast”, Ocean Modelling, 14 [2006: 102-121. (United Kingdom.)]
  8. Vladan*, BABOVIC, S A Sannasiraj and E S Chan, “Error correction of a predictive ocean wave model using local linear approximation”. Journal of Marine Systems, 53, no. 1-4 (2005): 1-17. (Belgium).
  9. Islam*, MD. MONIRUL, E S Chan and KIMITERU Sado, “Analysis of Satellite Derived Sea Surface Temperature Data for South China Sea and Java Sea”. Asian Journal of Geoinformatics, 5, No. 3 (2005) (Thailand).

Last Updated on 24 June, 2015 by Department of Civil and Environmental Enginering