An educator's pursuit of sustainable living

Apr 13 2012

An educator's pursuit of sustainable living

For Dr Teh Yong Liang, being energy-efficient is a logical way of life. This rationality was the basis for a research thesis that garnered him the notable World Future Foundation PhD Prize in 2010, an award to recognise his outstanding research work in the development of energy-efficient compressors. Today this talented alumnus continues his quest for more sustainable ways of living.

Dr Teh Yong Liang, MAE alumnus and advocate of austainable living.

“Why should we use more than what is needed?” This deceptively simple question is one of the key mottos by which Yong Liang lives his life. In fact, his conviction led him to work on the development of a new compressor for refrigeration and airconditioning purposes, winning him the World Future Foundation PhD Prize for excellence in environmental and sustain­ability research in July 2010.

Energy Efficiency As a Way of Life
‘Air-conditioning and refrigeration consume an enormous portion of the world’s energy usage, so I
thought that a little improvement in this area might point to substantial savings in global energy con­sumption,” Yong Liang shares of his motivation for the choice of his thesis. “Being energy efficient seems like a logical way of life for me,” he adds. He believes that technological innovations that increase energy efficiency would make rational sense to users since the innovations would help them to cut cost on top of save energy. But the work is not without its challenges.“In the development of any new product, the biggest challenges are probably those of the unknown. Until the technology has been rigorously proven to work, we are unsure of its functionality, effectiveness, usefulness Iconomic, viability and rehahil fly. And when the technological difticulties have been somewhat overcome, the business-associated obstacles arise.” Fear and greed are two emotions that are very difficult to deal with,” he explains.

Yong Liang’s passion for energy-efficiency began as early as 2003, when he was still a third-year undergraduate at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), where he conceived the idea of an energy-efficient compressor that went on to win him and his NTU team the silver prize at the World’s Best Technologics Showcase.

Towards Sustainable Living
Today, Yong Liang is a lecturer in green building and sustainability at TemasekPolytechnic. On his
choice of career he says:"I love to teach and I want to learn more about green and sustainable technologies and not to limit myself to compressors." In his day-to-day activities, this vegetarian tries to practise sustainable habits like using only what is necessary. He urges alumni to take their first step to wards sustainable living in realistic means. “Try to start with something small such as driving only when necessary, taking public transport during peak hours, changing your water faucets to water-saving types, avoiding heated baths, and cutting down on unnecessary shopping etc. When you see the savings accumulate, you will naturally be motivated to do even more." he explains.

For Yong Liang. sustainability means the ability to co-exist with the environment for an indefinite length of time. But he is fully aware that there are no easy solutions to mankind’s issue of sustainability. “We will eventually be sustainable, but only when we are forced by higher prices to lower our consumption rate to the point that it balances with the replenishment rate of resources. Prices will sky-rocket when supply dwindles. To better cope with this predicament, I would advocate that we have niort prudently, consume only what is needed and save the excess,” he advises.

 

For Dr Teh Yong Liang, being energy-efficient is a logical way of life. This rationality was the basis for a research thesis that garnered him the notable World Future Foundation PhD Prize in 2010, an award to recognise his outstanding research work in the development of energy-efficient compressors. Today this talented alumnus continues his quest for more sustainable ways of living.

Dr Teh Yong Liang, MAE alumnus and advocate of austainable living.

“Why should we use more than what is needed?” This deceptively simple question is one of the key mottos by which Yong Liang lives his life. In fact, his conviction led him to work on the development of a new compressor for refrigeration and airconditioning purposes, winning him the World Future Foundation PhD Prize for excellence in environmental and sustain­ability research in July 2010.

Energy Efficiency As a Way of Life
‘Air-conditioning and refrigeration consume an enormous portion of the world’s energy usage, so I
thought that a little improvement in this area might point to substantial savings in global energy con­sumption,” Yong Liang shares of his motivation for the choice of his thesis. “Being energy efficient seems like a logical way of life for me,” he adds. He believes that technological innovations that increase energy efficiency would make rational sense to users since the innovations would help them to cut cost on top of save energy. But the work is not without its challenges.“In the development of any new product, the biggest challenges are probably those of the unknown. Until the technology has been rigorously proven to work, we are unsure of its functionality, effectiveness, usefulness Iconomic, viability and rehahil fly. And when the technological difticulties have been somewhat overcome, the business-associated obstacles arise.” Fear and greed are two emotions that are very difficult to deal with,” he explains.

Yong Liang’s passion for energy-efficiency began as early as 2003, when he was still a third-year undergraduate at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), where he conceived the idea of an energy-efficient compressor that went on to win him and his NTU team the silver prize at the World’s Best Technologics Showcase.

Towards Sustainable Living
Today, Yong Liang is a lecturer in green building and sustainability at TemasekPolytechnic. On his
choice of career he says:"I love to teach and I want to learn more about green and sustainable technologies and not to limit myself to compressors." In his day-to-day activities, this vegetarian tries to practise sustainable habits like using only what is necessary. He urges alumni to take their first step to wards sustainable living in realistic means. “Try to start with something small such as driving only when necessary, taking public transport during peak hours, changing your water faucets to water-saving types, avoiding heated baths, and cutting down on unnecessary shopping etc. When you see the savings accumulate, you will naturally be motivated to do even more." he explains.

For Yong Liang. sustainability means the ability to co-exist with the environment for an indefinite length of time. But he is fully aware that there are no easy solutions to mankind’s issue of sustainability. “We will eventually be sustainable, but only when we are forced by higher prices to lower our consumption rate to the point that it balances with the replenishment rate of resources. Prices will sky-rocket when supply dwindles. To better cope with this predicament, I would advocate that we have niort prudently, consume only what is needed and save the excess,” he advises.