Friday, 9 December 2016

Critical Reflection

Assalamualaikum my dear friends. This would be my last blog post for this module. In this blog post, I would briefly reflect how I felt for this module.

I have been a student at Singapore Institute of Technology for almost 3 months, and over the course of my stay I took was given the opportunity to take up a module named Effective Communication. I can proudly say that I have grown and learned more than I thought possible. Though I have taken similar modules previously, this module has taught something which other English modules did not teach me, communication. Communication is an important life skill that enables us to better understand and connect with the people around us. This module was made interesting and interactive through blogging and Q&A sessions.

Firstly, I would like to thank my tutor, Brad, who made this module interesting. I have always hated English subject/modules; however, my tutor would add some interesting ingredients in the module and make I interesting and fun. It was not some ordinary mundane English module where the students would need to listen to the lecturer talk about assignments and projects. I still remember on my first day of this module, where I had to walk to every student and answer few questions that I ask. See, in this way you are already improving your communication skills when you do not even realise it.

Back to the module, this module has given me a great opportunity to develop my oral communication skills. I have learnt how to write numerous essays, reflection and most importantly, reports. It has taught me how to find the right answers at the right place. Most importantly, I have learned how important literature and language is. Best example would be the summary and reader response assignment. The first 2 drafts were merely a summary of brief reader responses. Whereas the third and fourth drafts required more effort and research. In this way, it helped me to write a brief summary, thesis and a reader response. I am confident this would definitely help me in the future when writing summaries for reports or articles.

From the comments I receive from my peers and my tutor on my blog post, I realised that I have poor language and verbs skills. I tend to have long and unnecessary sentences which tend to have many verbs and grammar faults. I have also learnt how to write various styles of papers in different forms and fields. I aim to improve on these problems and refrain myself from committing the same mistakes again.

I was given the opportunity present in front of the whole module cohort. At first, I was very nervous as I have never presented in front of a big group of people. However, after reading online tips such as Garr Reynolds presentation tipsMonre persuasive speech. However, after reading it online, it boosted my confidence. After the presentation, I gained confidence in presenting in front of a big group of people. Though it was my first, I hope this experience would boost my confidence for my future presentations.

Lastly, as this module comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow classmates and my dear tutor, Brad, for making this Effective Communication module journey an enjoyable and fruitful journey. I look forward to putting these skills to use soon.


Commented on Derrick, Ruzaini and Akmal blog post on 09 December 2016

Letter of Transmitter

From: Ike Domenden
To: Town Council
Cc: Brad Blackstone, Chris Kwa, Abiali
Subject: Proposal to Eliminate Water Disruptions in Public Housing Flats

Dear Town Council Management,
I am Ike Domenden, a first-year student from the Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering programme at the Singapore Institute of Technology. Our lecturer, Mr. Brad Blackstone, recently tasked us to identify, analyse and solve a specific problem chosen from an approved range of industries including housing, building construction, rail engineering, energy, water resources and the environment. To that end, I was assigned to a project group with two others, and we decided to research the issue of water disruptions in public housing flats with the purpose of finding a solution to this problem.
Attached is our proposal to achieve the abovementioned objective. This report includes the background of the water storage and supply situation in Singapore, our analysis of the problem of water disruption and its possible causes, as well as our proposed solutions to the problem, complete with technical details and comparison. Should you require any further information with regards to the proposal, kindly let us know and we will gladly furnish any requested documents.
We would like to acknowledge your assistance in providing us with statistics relating to water disruption frequency and downtime.
Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best regards,
Ike Domenden
Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services)
Singapore Institute of Technology

Friday, 25 November 2016

Analytical Reflection

Related to the presentation my team led recently, I thought each of the team members were very well prepared. We rehearse for the presentation numerous times to keep it up to standard. Now, I'm going to write a bit more on my part of the presentation, by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses.

For my strength, I think I was well prepared for the presentation. I knew my contents well which allowed me to go straight to the main point on my part of the presentation. The design of the presentation was clear and brief. Since I know my contents perfectly, I didn’t spend much time looking at the screen to see if I was on the correct slide at the right time. The last strength I will enlighten is the clarity of my English. The flow of my presentation was slow. I made pauses in between my presentation to make sure everyone understood what I was trying to present. It is also effective for the audience to analyse and get what I want to present.

My main weakness is giving speeches in front of a big group. However, the Effective Communication module helped me to improve on that. My tone throughout the presentation was rather monotonous. I also felt that there were certain pronunciation problems throughout my presentation. My presentation was missing a sense of humour. Usually, I love making fun and doing some jokes during a presentation. However, this time I was rather serious as it was an issue which was serious. I think I could have smiled more. It’s the essence of a presentation to make the audience comfortable.

All in all, this oral presentation was a valuable experience for me in giving presentation speeches.  I learned many things through the presentation and the whole project in general.


Commented on Iskandar and Frankie blog post on 09/12/2016

Monday, 14 November 2016

Group Meeting Minutes.

Before the group had decided on a Project Proposal, the team held a meeting to discuss whose idea was the most genuine idea. Here's the meeting minutes:

Team C.I.A

Meeting Minutes

September 29, 2016

I.      Call to order

Chris called to order the regular meeting of Team C.I.A at 1400 on September 29, 2016 at AP-S31C.

II.      Roll call

Abiali conducted a roll call. The following persons were present: Chris, Abiali, Ike

III.      Agenda Rising

a) To discuss topics for the next big project.
b) Deadlines to adhere.

IV.      Discussion

Chris – Chris mentioned on the need for more sustainable buildings due to the massive pollution. Thus, we need to reduce the usage of fossil fuels and have a more environmentally approach such as using windmills to produce electricity. He felt that the team could come out with more ways for sustainable solutions for buildings in Singapore such as solar power or even turbines. It would not only benefit us, but for the future generations. However, all these comes at a heavy price.

Abiali – In the north-south-east-west lines, train announcements are not made in a systematic way. The announcements are not in sync to the location of the train. For an example, when the train leaves station A for station B, the timer of the announcement starts. The timer will continue although the train has stopped in between 2 stations due to unknown events. Thus, the announcements are not accurate and may cause confusion among the commuters. He felt that the team could come out with a sensor to be placed on the track and on trains. When only the sensor on the track senses the sensor on train, the announcement will then start. In this way, the announcement will be more accurate and create lesser confusion among the commuters especially the tourist. However, the implementation of the sensor would be expensive and more manpower would be needed for maintenance needs.

Ike – Modern buildings in Singapore, tanks are placed on buildings to provide water for everyday usage. However, when maintenance/inspection is needed to be done, a partition would be placed in the tank. The partition would close half the water tank which would be needed for maintenance. Thus, only the other half of the water tank would provide water for the residence in the building. As this process is being repeated, the partition will start to deteriorate. Thus, causing water contamination. The team came out with an idea such that it will solve the problem of contamination. The water tank will be split into 2. In this way, when maintenance needs to be done, just close 1 of the water tank. The other water tank will provide water for the residence in the building. This will cause no leakage and contamination. However, by splitting into 2 tanks, more space would be needed in this space constrained land.

Conclusion – In conclusion, the team has decided to choose Ike’s idea as it creates an impact on our everyday life. It will not create any water contamination or disruption to our everyday water usage. Chris idea was good, however, the scale of the idea is too big and also there are too many companies solving this major problem. Abiali idea was good. However, it was a minor issue which does not create a massive impact for commuters on the train.

V.      Adjournment

Chris adjourned the meeting at 1500.
Minutes submitted by:  Abiali, Ike
Minutes approved by:  Chris

Friday, 11 November 2016

Summary + Reader Response Draft 4

In the article “Trains on the North-South, East-West lines safe for service”, the Land Transport Authority (LTA, 2016) wrote that despite undergoing rectification works, the trains that have been in the media spotlight are safe for service. According to LTA, all new trains are tested before they are put into service. For the defective trains, immediate action was taken to prevent defects from resurfacing during train operation. Hairline cracks that were discovered during inspection were confirmed to not affect operational safety. Nevertheless, to ensure that there are sufficient trains for commuters, all affected trains were sent back, one at a time, for rectification. Stringent checks would also be performed regularly to ensure operational safety of all trains. However, LTA should have made further investigation, about whether purchasing trains manufactured from CSR Sifang, is the most ideal choice. *

Firstly, the article mentions that ‘these hairline cracks were due to localised impurity in the aluminium car-body material’, however, it fails to mention on the severity of the condition. “As one engineer put it, impurities in aluminium alloy is a catastrophic problem - in any industry. The structure may be sound initially, but its durability will definitely be compromised” (Tan.C, 2016). This proves that the trains may not have been the most ideal choice as the quality standard of the train is lowered due to the impurities in the material found in the train. CSR Sifang trains are the first batch of trains that have experienced this problem. “C151, the predecessor of C151A, has been manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan since the 1980s. The two models share similar designs, but the C151 has been used by the SMRT since 1987 without experiencing cracks.” (Lai, 2016). Although ‘C151’ trains have been in service for more than 20 years, it has not experienced any cracks. Whereas the ‘C151A’ trains which is manufactured by CSR SIfang has been in service for less than 10 years and has given many problems compared to trains manufactured by Kawasaki. *In this case, CSR Sifang trains are not the ideal choice as the life span of the train is being compromised and the quality of the train is not up to standard.

Moreover, the hairline cracks were not only the major issue caused by C151A trains. “On 17 December 2011, seven SMRT trains stalled on the North South Line causing the worst disruption in the entire SMRT history. The disruption across 12 stations from Marina Bay to Ang Mo Kio station lasted for at least seven hours, affecting at least 94,000 commuters” (Chew, 2015). The main cause of this massive disruption was due to the stalling of the trains which had theCurrent Collector Device (CCD) damaged. As one of the engineer mentions, “the immediate cause of the stalling of the trains was damage to their Current Collector Device (CCD) 'shoes' due to sagging of the 'third rail' which supplies electrical power to the trains”. In this case, due to the poor quality of the CCD, it was not able to send the electricity signal to the train. As the report mentions “During both incidents, sections of the third rail sagged after multiple “claws” which hold up the third rail above the track bed were dislodged”. This has caused a massive disruption that proves that CSR Sifang trains are not the ideal choice of trains for service.

In conclusion, LTA should do their best to stop these incidents from occurring and ensuring a safe journey for its commuters. Although Singapore has ten of the best city train (Gwyn, 2014) network in the world, these are some of the minor/major issues that may lower the standard of quality.


Chew Hui Min (2015, July 8). Power shutdown at North-South, East-West lines: Past major train disruptions. The Straits Times. Retrieved from

Gwyn Topham (2014, February 18).  Ten of the best city train networks – in pictures. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Ministry of transport (2012). Report of the committee of inquiry into the disruption of MRT train services on 15 and 17 December 2011(Research Report). Retrieved from

Land Transport Authority (2016, July 06). Trains on the North-South and East-West Lines Safe for Service. Land Transport Authority Press Room. Retrieved from

Lai, M. H. S. (2016, July 05). Secret Recalls: China manufacturer for MTR secretly recalls 25 SMRT subway trains after cracks found.  Factwire. Retrieved from

Tan, C. (2016, July 14). Nothing routine about MRT cracks. The Straits Times.  Retrieved from


Commented on Jerry and Chris blog post on 09/12/2016

Reply from Tanjong Pagar Town Council.

Dear Ike,

Sincere apology for the delay and our reply as follows:

  1. Do most HDB flats have only one water tank on its rooftop to supply drinking water to residents? If so, do these water tanks have several internal compartments to provide against water supply interruptions?
    Ans: There are 2 or more water storage tanks on roof level in HDB apartment blocks. There is no internal compartment within the tank.
  2. Are there any HDB flats which supply drinking water using more than one tank?
    Ans: Under normal circumstances, drinking water to flats is supplied by all tanks at the block because the storage tanks are interlinked with the control valves.
  3. How often do water disruptions occur annually?
    (Due to shutting off tanks for inspection, cleaning, maintenance etc.)
    Ans: All water storage tanks (lower and upper levels) shall be washed, cleaned and sterilised annually. The Licensed Water Service Plumber shall submit water sample to a approved laboratory by PUB for testing and certification. 
  4. What is the average time taken for each of these water disruptions to be resolved?
    (Restoration of water supply to HDB residents)
    Ans: There is no disruption at all to water supply to residents. To avoid any misunderstanding, it is our practice to notify residents of the work by putting up notice on noticeboard in advance. 
  5. What is the Town Council’s view on expenditure towards water tank upgrading works?
    (Priority level compared to other Town Council projects)
Ans: Town Council is responsible for the routine and cyclical maintenance works of the water storage tanks. Any upgrading work to storage tank will come under the purview of HDB and the relevant authorities.

We hope the information will help your students in the study.

Best regards

Loy Sai Sai
Senior Property Manager

Tanjong Pagar Town Council

Email sent to Tanjong Pagar / Aljunied - Hougang Town Council Regarding Project Proposal.

Dear Town Council,

I am Ike, a first-year student at the Singapore Institute of Technology, and I am part of a project group that is looking into improving water supply in HDB flats by proposing methods to reduce, if not eliminate, water disruptions affecting residents. As such, we are currently conducting research on the rooftop water storage tanks. As your team is in charge of estate improvement works in the district, we thought it would be best to achieve a better understanding of the water storage and supply situation in HDB flats by drawing upon your team's many years of experience.

Our enquiries are as follows:

  1. Do most HDB flats have only one water tank on its rooftop to supply drinking water to residents? If so, do these water tanks have several internal compartments to provide against water supply interruptions?
  2. Are there any HDB flats which supply drinking water using more than one tank?
  3. How often do water disruptions occur annually?
    (Due to shutting off tanks for inspection, cleaning, maintenance etc.)
  4. What is the average time taken for each of these water disruptions to be resolved?
    (Restoration of water supply to HDB residents)
  5. What is the Town Council’s view on expenditure towards water tank upgrading works?
    (Priority level compared to other Town Council projects)

We would be grateful if you could assist us to answer some of these questions, as this will greatly aid our research. Many thanks and have a great week ahead!

Best regards,
Ike Domenden
Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services)
Singapore Institute of Technology

Email sent to PUB regarding The Team Project Proposal.

Dear Mr. Toh,

I am Ike, a first-year student from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). Having been tasked by our lecturer to find a solution for an engineering problem, my project group decided to conduct research on the water storage tanks found on the rooftops of buildings, and we thought it would be best to consult PUB and get a professional opinion.

As some of our questions are technical in nature and others revolve around the current water supply and storage situation in Singapore, we would be grateful if a PUB representative could answer a few of our questions via interview or writing and in doing so help us achieve a better understanding with regards to this subject.

Hence, we seek your kind assistance to redirect our request to the relevant persons, so that we can contact and follow up with them as soon as possible. Thank you very much and have a great week ahead!

Best regards,
Ike Domenden
Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services)

Singapore Institute of Technology