Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Loh Sook Yee, First Asian woman to receive U.K. top surveying award

The Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) only female surveyor, Ms Loh Sook Yee, became the first Asian woman to win the coveted Hart Prize in Surveying from the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering from the University of Central London (UCL) in February this year. At just 28 years of age, she is the youngest woman surveyor in Singapore, To-date, there are only 3 women out of 67 registered surveyors with the Singapore Land Surveyors Board (LSB). SLA is the national land surveying authority and it manages and maintains the national land survey system, including the defining of boundaries or legal limits of properties based on a coordinated cadastre survey system.

The UCL in the United Kingdom is the Ivy League-equivalent in surveying and UK is the international authority in surveying and mapping. The prestigious Hart Prize from UCL awards the best student on exams and coursework. Recognized as the most prestigious surveying academic award in U.K., it is founded in 1971 by Mrs Elsie H B Hart in memory of her husband, Cecil Augustus Hart, sometime student and member of staff of the College, Professor of Photogrammetry and Surveying and Fellow of the College. The recipient receives 250 pounds and a distinguished award.

Sook Yee’s course project was on Singapore’s high-accuracy GPS positioning called SiReNt, which stands for Singapore Satellite Positioning Reference Network. Developed by SLA, SiReNt uses reference stations to improve the accuracy of positions acquired using GPS technology. It is physically represented by five GPS reference stations strategically located around the island and provides many new opportunities for various geospatial applications. The applications are far-reaching, such as in transport, logistics, fleet, security, and homeland and incident management.

Sook Yee said: “The positioning of vehicles and moving objects achieves accuracy levels in the several metres range. With SiReNt, users can tap into it to achieve sub-metre accuracy levels. This makes for more efficient and secure operations. We envision that SiReNt will become the national GPS-reference network for customised applications and change the way we work, live and play. It will mark a new era of high precision and improved productivity for land and maritime surveying, emergency response, public transport fleet management, mapping, navigation and tracking activities in Singapore."

Sook Yee graduated with a 2nd Upper degree in Civil Engineering of NUS, and has been with SLA for 4 years in its Land Information Centre and Survey Services, doing mapping and positioning technologies. She went on SLA’s Postgraduate Scholarship Award (a development program for our high potential officers) and obtained her MSc in Surveying with the top distinguished Hart Prize in the cap. She is now involved in the National Spatial Data Infrastructure project and promotion of high-accuracy GPS infrastructure to both the public and private sectors.

The award Council spokesperson from UCL, Dr Jon Iliffe said, “Sook Yee showed a strong performance across the full range of the course, from the highly theoretical and mathematical aspects to field surveying. She survived the rigours of a field course under challenging weather conditions in March, and won the respect and affection of both staff and her fellow students”.

Soh Kheng Peng, Singapore’s Chief Surveyor and President of Singapore’s Land Surveyors Board said, “The small female presence in this traditionally male-dominated discipline is undaunted. Our female surveyors are today making significant inroads in surveying, in their own ways. The Board hopes to increase public interest in pursuing land surveying as a profession.”

Source : http://www.sla.gov.sg


Post a Comment