Newcastle University in Singapore

Staff Profile

Dr Ivan CK Tam

Director of Operations & Associate Professor in Marine Engineering Design & Technology


Roles and Responsibilities

Director of Operations & Associate Professor

Board Member - Board of Studies - MSc Marine Technology International





PhD Newcastle, BEng(Hons) 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 - Engineering Council, UK
  • Chartered Marine Engineer - Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, UK
  • Chartered Engineer - Institution of Engineers, Singapore
  • 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: 

  • 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.
  • Recently, the efficient use of LNG fuel as marine fuel is being studied. The efficient transportation and conversion of liquid to gas fuel with the use of heat exchangers on board ship is vital. 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.

Research Editorial and Reviewer Activities:

  • Open Access Journal Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417) Special Issue: "Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) for Ground Transport" Guest edited by Prof. Dr. Jose Ramon Serrano;
  • Open Access - International Conference on Environmental, Industrial and Energy Engineering 2017 (EI2E 2017) - International Committee -
  • Entropy -Special Issue - Advances in Applied Thermodynamics - Open Access Journal - MDPI AG

  • WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs (JoMA) - ISSN: 1651-436X (Print) 1654-1642 (Online) - Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  • Journal of Marine Engineering & Technology - Taylor & Francis online -

  • Book Peer Reviewer - Computer-Aided Control System Design - Practical Applications using Matlab & Simulink

A. Current Funded Project (2016 onwards)

EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account Phase 2 – Joint Research in Urban Sustainability with NUMED (Dr Michaela Louise Goodson), NU‐Singapore (Dr Ivan CK Tam), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (Prof Dr Mohd Razman Salim), and the National University of Singapore (Dr Katrina Yew-Hoong Gin) and Malaysian Ministry of Health (Dr Badrul Hisham) - 

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)

B. Past Funded Research Projects: (Pre 2016)

1. 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

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

2. 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

3.  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

C. MPil / PhD scholarships for Polytechnic Staff in Singapore

I am seeking PhD students who are interested in research topics above. Currently, there are several PhD scholarships available for Polytechnic staff in Sinagpore. Applicants wishing to be considered for these opportunities should submit their applications and CV to my email address. For more information, it can be found here

"Reducing Shipping Emissions with an Integrated Wet Scrubbing Process" (Since 2015)

MPhil/PhD Candidate: Terence Chin (Nanyang Polytechnic)

D. Research Degree Scholarships (PhD, MPhil) in Singapore/UK

Newcastle University International Singapore currently offers several PhD and MPhil scholarships for employees who conduct a research project for their employer. More information about this can be found here

Singapore Scholarships 2016 (GBP 80,000)

"Development of multi-generation system for passenger ships with LNG and bio-wastes as prime heat sources" (2016 onwards)

PI: Dr Dawei Wu (School of Marine Science & Technology, Newcastle University)

co-PI: Dr Dimitrios Konovessis (School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University)

D. Research Students in Singapore / UK

1. CHIN, Terrence

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

2. NG, Chun Wee

“A study into the waste heat recovery using organic Rankine cycle (ORC) onboard LNG fueled ships” - 2016

Part of the work was published in the "International Conference on Computer Applications in Shipbuilding (ICCAS) 2017.

3. TEO, Mark Ching Leong

“Exploration of Ship Big Data for Future Marine Applications" - 2016

4. ZHANG, Zhenhua

LNG cryogenic energy recovery for power generation and ice assisted cooling in marine vessels" - 2016


Undergraduate Teaching

  • Marine Engineering Practice II
  • Marine Engineering Science II
  • Marine Engineering Design
  • Internal Combustion Engines
  • Marine Engineering III
  • Engineering Applications
  • Project and Report
  • Future Marine Projects

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

Postgraduate Project Supervision

  • Improving commissioning schedule of Jack Up drilling rigs in the dry dock
  • The risk analysis framework of an accomodation and repair vessel