Newcastle University in Singapore

Staff Profile

Dr Ivan CK Tam

Associate Professor in Marine Engineering Design & Technology


Roles and Responsibilities

Associate Professor 

Research Scientist, Newcastle Research and Innovation Institute, NewRIIS        

PhD (Newcastle), BEng (Newcastle)


Ivan is an Associate Professor with a wealth of experience in multi-disciplinary research and a strong track record of leading innovative teaching projects. Upon completing his engineering training in thermal power stations and shipyards, he established his research interest at the then Cranfield Institute of Technology as a Research Officer. He has strong interest in the combustion process, exhaust emission control, energy management and renewable energy technology. His recent research interest is the application of cryogenic technology in the reduction of ship hull resistance. as well as ballast water and sewage water treatment technologies. He has a good connection with engineering companies through the network of learned societies and consultancy work with local industries in Singapore. He is a Fellow member, Assessor of Registration, the Honorary Advisor and Immediate Past Chairman of the Joint Branch (IMarEST & RINA). He received the President's Commendation Award from IMarEST in 2016. He is currently the Director of Operations in Marine Technology (Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture & Offshore Engineering) at the Singapore campus.

Professional Memberships 

  • Chartered Engineer (Marine & Offshore Engineering) - Institution of Engineers, Singapore 
  • Chartered Engineer - Engineering Council, UK
  • Chartered Marine Engineer - Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, UK 
  • Senior Member - Institution of Engineers, Singapore
  • Fellow Member - Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK
  • Fellow Member - Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, UK
  • Fellow Member - Higher Education Academy, UK

 Esteemed Indicators


Research Interest: 


  • The efficient transportation and conversion of liquid to gas fuel with the use of heat exchangers on board ship is vital in terms of economy and environment protection The efficient use of LNG fuel as marine fuel is being studied in various projects. The combination of the clean fuel and the development of an efficient hull of low resistance is the currently the research theme of the Singapore research team.
  • Combustion process in Internal Combustion Engines with fossil fuels. The combination of experimental techniques and theoretical studies are used to investigate combustion process and its correlation with fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions in marine and automotive engines. Simulation programs of engine cycles are developed to compare and correlate with experimental data found.
  • Various techniques were developed to investigate the combustion and fuel atomization process in the gas turbine engines. The knowledge developed from the understanding from these processes are expected to yield better fuel efficiency and reduction of exhaust emissions. The experimental techniques include the use of laser diagnostics in examination of pressure atomized spray as well as the cross-correlation of drop sizing techniques.
  • Scopus
  • ResearchGate
  • Google Scholars

Research Editorial and Reviewer Activities:

  • Entropy - Special Issue - Advances in Applied Thermodynamics - Open Access Journal - MDPI AG

           **Top 4 Reviewer on PUBLONS (Last 12 Months) for Journal of Marine Engineering & Technology

External Funded Projects

1. EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account Phase 2 – Joint Research in Urban Sustainability with NUMED, NU‐Singapore (Dr Ivan CK Tam), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, and the National University of Singapore and Malaysian Ministry of Health. This project will create a research team, including engineers, scientists, and health experts at Newcastle University, NUMED, NU-Singapore and local partners, to refine this technology, set-up a field-trial in suburban villages, and initiate community health assessments of improved water quality; increasing research integration across campuses and raising the bar among all groups. Waste management in suburban villages often lags behind economic growth in emerging countries (e.g. Malaysia), leaving peripheral communuities without adequate wastewater treatment, poor water quality, and increased exposure to infectious disease.

PI: Professor David Graham (School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences)

2. Funded by Singapore Maritime Institute - “Reduction of Resistance on Ship Hull by TFI Lubrication Technology

     Industry Collaborator - A leading shipping company in Singapore

     Recipient of Inaugural of Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) Research Funding Grant Call, "Maritime Energy Systems R&D Programme" 18th July, 2013

   PI – Centre of Innovation, Ngee Ann Polytechnic/Maritime Institute @NP

3. Research project for gas turbine for Rolls Royce and European Communities

  • EC funded BRITE/EURAM low emissions combustor technology programme (To investigate the  limitations of 1-D phase Doppler particle analyser for drop size and velocity measurement in a dense spray at elevated air pressure conditions

  • Ford (UK) Motors funded project on lean burn internal combustion engines

4.  Ford (UK) Motors funded project on lean burn internal combustion engines

  •  “An Examination of the Combustion Process in the Lean Burn Spark Ignition Engines”

  • Industry Collaborator - Ford Motor Company Ltd

Internal Funded Projects

1. "Development of multi-generation system for passenger ships with LNG and bio-wastes as prime heat sources", SAgE Newcastle-Singapore Scholarship, awarded in April 2016, GBP80,000. Joint Supervisor: Dr Dawei Wu

2. "Development of Dynamic Strain Sensor for Monitoring Integrity of Marine Structures", NSS1712, SAgE Newcastle-Singapore Scholarship, awarded in March 2017, GBP80,000. Joint Supervisor: Dr Wai Lok Wu.


MPil / PhD scholarships (for Polytechnic and University Staff)

1. CHIN, Yuen Yeen Terence (under NU Scholarship for Polytechnic and University in Singapore)

“Reducing Shipping Emissions with an Integrated Wet Scrubbing Process” - 2015

PhD Candidate (Nanyang Polytechnic)

MPil / PhD studentships (for Marine Industry)

1. NG, Chun Wee

"Dynamic simulation of waste heat recovery system using organic Rankine cycle (ORC) onboard a LNG fueled offshore service vessel" - 2016

3.1 Part of the work was published in the "International Conference on Computer Applications in Shipbuilding (ICCAS) 2017.A study into the waste heat recovery using organic Rankine cycle (ORC) onboard LNG fueled ships. 

3.2 Part of his work was also published in the Elsevier Applied Energy Conference 2018. "System Modelling Of Organic Rankine Cycle For Waste Energy Recovery System  In Marine Applications"


1.  Safe Affordable Ferry Design Competition - First Prize (2018) - Worldwide Ferry Safety Association

Newcastle University led Singapore Collaborative with students of NTU and SMU.

2. Outstanding Contribution to Marine Education (2017) - IMarEST

3. "Learning and teaching sustainability through Marine Engineering design", Learning and Teaching Conference: Education for Life: celebrating partnership, encouraging innovation, 21 March 2018, Newcastle University

4. Undergraduate Teaching

  • Integrated Work Study Programme
  • Marine Engineering Design
  • Internal Combustion Engines
  • Marine Engineering III
  • Final Year Capstone Project

  • Marine Engineering Practice II
  • Marine Engineering Science II
  • Engineering Applications
  • Project and Report
  • Future Marine Projects

5. Undergraduate Project Supervision

  • A Study of the Shipbuilding Technology of LNG Carriers
  • Formulation Stability Requirements for Anchor Handling Tug & Supply (AHTS) Vessels
  • Feasibility Study of Carbon Sequestration in SEA
  • Estimate the Natural Frequency of Engine Crankshaft
6. Postgraduate MSc Marine Technology Taught Programme
  • MAR8201 Advanced Marine Engineering Design 
  • MAR8202 Marine and Offshore Project Management

7. Postgraduate MSc Project Supervision

  • Improving commissioning schedule of Jack Up drilling rigs in the dry dock
  • The risk analysis framework of an accomodation and repair vessel
  • Impact of Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 on design and performance of new ships