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Metros & Urban Rail

People profile: Steve Liew

Steve Liew

Steve also has extensive experience in risk management and delivering management and technology consulting assignments for both public and private sector clients in Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

With a PHD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Southampton in the UK and an Executive MBA from Helsinki School of Economics, Steve is a UK Chartered Engineer and has specialised in metro, light rail, heavy rail and roads projects.

What urban rail projects have you most enjoyed delivering during your career and why?

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on a number of significant urban rail projects in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Singapore pioneered fully underground, automated and driverless mass rail transit systems with the North East MRT line more than 10 years ago.

There are currently very few such driverless mass rail transit systems in the world. I was involved in the development of the Singapore North East MRT line, in particular on its safety certification to enable operation readiness of the whole line.

It was challenging and exciting work as there were no comparable systems for reference. I also enjoyed the collaborative efforts of the team which comprised some very smart people.

Singapore skylineWhat do you think the main trends are in urban rail in Asia and ANZ currently?

In Asia, due to increasing building and population density in cities, urban rails are being built underground. Ease of connectivity with other modes of transport and accessibility of stations for the population are key factors in driving the growth of urban rail.

What impact has technology had on urban rail development?

Advances in signalling systems allow increased frequency of trains and increased capacity of the rail lines. This is exciting for operators seeking to improve the reliability and capacity of services.

Social networking tools (Twitter, Facebook etc.) are increasingly being used by operators to convey quick and meaningful messages to the public and passengers when situations deviate from normal, e.g. in an emergency.

What is the future for urban transport in Asia?

The rapid urbanisation and growing wealth in Asia will increase demand on urban transport (roads and rails). It is expected that in the developing cities of Asia, rail will help to promote developments along the alignment as was the case in Hong Kong and Singapore in the past 20+ years.  I see a great future for professional offerings to this sector in Asia.

Can you give an example of a project / projects where Aurecon’s multidisciplinary approach to an urban rail project has been particularly effective?

The Mauritius LRT project is just one of our urban rail projects that has significantly benefited from Aurecon’s diverse expertise in rail, traffic planning, advisory and project management.

The success of the project to-date is the result of collaboration between a number of Aurecon offices in Asia, Africa and Australia.

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