Students at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) can now look forward to an authentic learning experience in a building management facility right on campus after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between ITE and Johnson Controls, a leader in creating intelligent buildings and energy-efficient solutions to deliver on the promise of smart cities and communities.
A move to nurture the next generation of skilled technicians and hands-on engineers in the building technology and services industry, the agreement was inked by Ms Low Khah Gek, chief executive officer, ITE; and Ken Lim, general manager, Building Technologies & Solutions Singapore, Johnson Controls, at ITE College East.
As Singapore pushes ahead with the goal to transform 80 per cent of all buildings to be energy-efficient by 2030, engineers and technicians will need to master cutting-edge technologies that will make buildings smart and green.
Collectively, the Integrated Facilities Management market in the Southeast Asia region will experience a double-digit growth of more than 10 per cent to reach market revenues exceeding US$2 billion from 2015 to 2021, and with that comes the need for trained experts who are able to operate and manage these systems.
The ITE-Johnson Controls Building Technologies and Solutions Centre is the first fully-functioning chiller plant system designed for a classroom setting in Singapore. It will serve as a training centre for students enrolled in Higher Nitec in Facility Management; Nitec in Facility Technology; and the new Work-Learn Technical Diploma in Mechanical & Electrical (M&E;) Services Supervision, allowing them to apply their knowledge to real-life smart building management systems.
Previously, students could only attend observation lessons outside of the classroom and did not have access to live systems to experiment and operate in real-time.
“We’re entering into a new era of facilities management with the Internet of Things, advanced analytics as well as increasing need for sustainability and security”, said Ken Lim, general manager, Building Technologies & Solutions Singapore, Johnson Controls.
“As more technology-enabled applications impact our daily lives, a smart city is no longer just an abstract concept. In fact, we’re gradually transitioning into what can be described as a responsive city, where we are no longer just passive beneficiaries but also active players and contributors.”
“To ensure citizens are ready and able to ride the waves of change, technology companies will have to assume a bigger role in empowering the workforce. Johnson Controls takes pride in undertaking this responsibility and is delighted to partner with a world-class, internationally-recognised leader in skill-based learning to nurture the next generation of technicians and engineers.”
Ms Low Khah Gek, chief executive officer of ITE added, “The partnership between industry and education institutions makes a big difference in the teaching and learning of work-relevant skills. With this MOU with Johnson Controls, theory lessons come alive for students when they can use and work on a real chiller plant system. It makes learning authentic and helps our students to assimilate quickly into the actual work environment.”
A comprehensive, first-of-its-kind training centre
The Centre will feature top-grade technical equipment programmed and installed by Johnson Controls to simulate a real-world chiller plant room, including:
- Water-cooled YORK® chiller
- Smart building management system powered by Metasys®
- Smart connected chiller application
- Physical security and video management solution
Creating a smart, safe, and sustainable environment
Following the MoU signing ceremony, ITE and Johnson Controls hosted a thought leadership forum, “A Smart Workforce for a Smart Nation”, gathering academia and stakeholders in the built environment industry. Active steps to take in securing Singapore’s future, shifts needed for Singapore to thrive as a Smart Nation, and strategies to prepare the nation’s workforce were key themes explored during the session.
The forum featured a panel discussion led by Adrian Tan, managing director of Asia Insights Pte Ltd, with the following keynote speakers and panellists:
- Swarup Biswas, vice president of service in Asia Pacific, Johnson Controls
- Poon King Wang, director of Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Singapore University of Design and Technology
- Dr. Yek Tiew Ming, Principal, ITE College East
- Eddy Lau, director of certification & technology, Singapore Green Building Council
- James Ng, deputy director, business strategy & development, Surbana Jurong
A gateway to future opportunities
The MoU also signifies Johnson Controls’ continued support to ITE and their students via sponsored book prizes and internship opportunities—a collaboration between both parties since 2014. Johnson Controls and ITE will award book prizes to students who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated exemplary conduct, as well as internship opportunities at Johnson Controls offices and facilities around the country.
Ms. Shirley Wong
Regional Communications Manager, Asia Pacific/ Building Technologies & Solutions
Tel: 6854 8630
Institute of Technical Education
Ms. Mah Yen Ling
Head, Stakeholder Communications/ITE
Tel: 6590 2057