TUCSS Event-Details Page

The Hulme Prize Paper Competit

The Hulme Prize Paper Competition 2021

16 September

  • 16 September 2021, Thursday
  • 18:30 To 19:30
  • Online

  • -
Registration Closed

Event details


The Hulme Prize was set up by TUCSS in 1999 in honour of the late Mr. Terry Hulme, for his outstanding contribution to TUCSS and Tunnelling in Singapore. It is an annual competition for the best technical papers from young engineers or students on a subject associated with tunnelling and underground construction. One first, second and third prizes each will be awarded every year.

The competition is open to anyone below the age of 35 years on 1st September 2021 who is living or working in Singapore.

The winner(s) of the first prize paper will be presented with a cash prize of $1,000, second prize paper with $500 and third prize paper with $250, at the TUCSS Monthly Seminar 2021.

Out of the 7 papers submitted for the TUCSS Hulme Prize 2021 Competition, the following three papers have been shortlisted:

1. Review of Investigation Methods to Determine Pile Lengths
By Mr Fu Jiajun, Land Transport Authority

2. The Use of Classification Machine learning for Cone Penetration Test Interpretation in a Singapore Context
By Ms Amelia Loo, Mott MacDonald

3. Testing of a Muck Pumping System for EPB TBMs for Thomson-East Coast Line T307 Tunneling Works

By Mr Vincent Zillianstetra, Land Transport Authority

Three eminent judges will decide on the winners after the presentations based on the submitted papers as well as their presentations.


The presentation will take place online via Zoom on Thursday 16 September 2021 at 18:30 hrs to 19:30 hrs.


This is the 22nd Hulme Prize presentations by TUCSS and is open to valid TUCSS Members only. Seats are on first-come-first-served basis and limited to 500 persons.


Members are to sign up for the seminar via their TUCSS account on the TUCSS Website or TUCSS Mobile App. The details on how to access the seminar will be sent to the members who has successfully signed up for the seminar, at a date nearer to the seminar. The deadline for registration is on Wednesday, 8 September 2021 or when total registered participants reaches 500 whichever comes earlier.

*TUCSS Corporate Members limited to 5 registrations only. For TUCSS corporate members, please email us the following email information (Name, TUCSS Corporate membership number, company name, email address, PE/RE/RTO number if applicable) 


For members who require certificate of attendance, please note of the attendance policy:

  • Login at the beginning of the seminar (link will be accessible at 18:15 hours)
  • Evidence of participation by video switched on throughout the seminar
  • Complete the quiz at the end of the seminar before logging out. The duration for the quiz is 15mins.

Certificate of Attendance will be uploaded to the member’s account after the compliance to the Attendance Policy is verified.


Points have been applied and pending approval.


Note 1: Members are not required to indicate their names and TUCSS registration details through Chat function. Members shall not send messages through Chat function during the presentation.
Note 2: Higher no-show was observed at the last TUCSS monthly seminar. As there are limited openings for the seminar, members are urged to register for the seminar only if they can attend the seminar.
Note 3: For any suggestions/feedback to improve the online seminar, members are to email to the secretariat.
Thank you.


Review of Investigation Methods to Determine Pile Lengths
By Mr Fu Jiajun, Land Transport Authority

Abstract: The scarcity of aboveground space has driven most transport infrastructures underground and beneath the densely built-up area where underground obstruction such as pile foundations are expected during construction. Underground obstructions impose additional risk to tunnelling works and damaging the foundation can undermine the structural integrity of a building. To mitigate the risk, it is crucial to know the length of the undercrossed pile foundation, however the availability of as-built pile length information is limited, hence foundation investigation is employed to determine the depth of pile toe. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore have employed different methods to investigate the pile length depending on the site conditions and foundation characteristics. Most of the interpreted pile lengths were later evaluated to be in reasonable accordance with the as-built record. This paper reviews the effectiveness and reliability of different methods that are commonly employed in Singapore and can serve as a reference in the selection of pile length investigation method(s).

About the presenter: Jiajun possess a B.E. in Civil from Nanyang Technological University with over 3 years of experience as a Geotechnical Engineer in transport infrastructure projects. He is driven by his passion to understand the technicality of engineering works with a detailed but balanced approach.
He is always ready to explore ‘new tools’ that can improve productivity and reduce risk. In this aspect, he has developed several 3D geological models to identify plausible zones of higher geotechnical risk and the use of geophysics in detecting underground obstructions ahead of time to reduce construction risk.

Jiajun is currently involved in the design aspects of the Cross Island Line rail project.

The Use of Classification Machine learning for Cone Penetration Test Interpretation in a Singapore Context
By Ms Amelia Loo, Mott MacDonald

Abstract: The idea and usage of machine learning has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Leveraging on this movement, we aim to apply these machine learning techniques to geotechnics workflow to increase work efficiency and accuracy. In this paper, we will be evaluating the use of multiclass random forest (RF) and support-vector machine (SVM) algorithms in predicting geological classification from cone penetrometer test (CPT) outputs. This study will predominantly be focused on the following geological units sampled in the east of Singapore - Fill, Made Ground, Marine Clay (M), Estuarine Materials (E), Fluvial Sand (F1) and Fluvial Clay (F2) and the Old Alluvium (OA). At this experimental and exploration stage, this machine learning tool is capable of making contextualized pre-dictions, which when coupled with the geologist’s technical experience, can aid in geological interpretation with time savings.

About the presenter: Amelia graduated from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) with a degree in Environmental Earth System Science, specializing in geosciences. She later joined Mott MacDonald as an engineering geologist, where she undertook several major infrastructural projects in Singapore – notably the North South Corridor. She has a keen interest in data science and is exploring new methods to improve, optimize and automate geotechnical analyses and processes.

Testing of a Muck Pumping System for EPB TBMs for Thomson-East Coast Line T307 Tunneling Works
By Mr Vincent Zillianstetra, Land Transport Authority

Abstract: Land is scarce in Singapore and roads have already taken up about 12% of the land area. The Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) serves as the key to a sustainable transport system with most of the lines built underground without the need for significant land use. Throughout the tunnelling history in Singapore, significant development in tunnelling techniques has taken place and new technologies have been adopted to address the challenges of underground construction in urban areas and in variable ground conditions. Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) are widely used in Singapore as the ground conditions are mostly Old Alluvium and Marine Clay. However, as the tunnelling works are taking place in more congested urban areas, some measures are required to reduce noise and disturbances to the nearby population. Prospective T307 contractor at time of ten-der, Samsung C&T Corporation, proposed to use a muck pumping system (solid matter pumps) for spoil transportation from TBMs all the way to the surface muck pits as measure to enhance productivity along with certain operational advantage, closed system noise reduction at surface and smaller worksite, and the contract was awarded on this basis. As part of demonstration of workability of the method, this paper will introduce the preliminary testing for usage of a muck pumping system as a means of transporting spoil in EPB TBMs for Contract T307 of Thomson-East Coast Line.

About the presenter: Mr. Vincent Zillianstetra graduated from National University of Singapore with Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) in 2010 and Master of Science (Civil Engineering) specialised in Geotechnical Engineering in 2015.

He joined Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) in the year of 2011 and had been involved in various Singapore MRT projects namely Downtown Line Stage 2 (DTL2) Contracts C916 & C917A, and Thomson-East Coast Line Contracts T307 and T308. He has gradually built on his experience and has proactively involved in managing tunnelling projects with both Slurry Mixshield and EPB TBMs. He has experiences of managing challenges related tunnelling in Bukit Timah Granite rock and soft ground in Kallang Formation geology; and also managed the Contractor’s works to ensure safe and successful completion of the tunnelling projects. He was also involved as independent risk reviewer for SPPA Cable Tunnel safety submission.

Currently, Vincent is working at Principal Engineer with Geotechnical & Tunnels division under LTA Infrastructure and Design Engineering group and has been involved in geotechnical design for Cross Island Line project and also technical review for Thomson-East Coast line (East Coast stretch).