Developing Advanced Robotics and Automation Solutions to Address Industry Challenges: A*STAR Systems Engineering Communities of Practice (CoP)

Launched by A*STAR CEO Frederick Chew in May 2022, the A*STAR Systems Engineering Community of Practice (CoP) was established to drive the adoption of systems engineering methodologies and best practices, especially for multidisciplinary R&D projects, across A*STAR entities. Creating a critical mass of systems engineering talent and professionals in A*STAR is one of the key success factors for this initiative.

Read to find out more about our member, Philip Wey, and how he makes a difference by applying Systems Engineering knowledge into his work in A*STAR’s Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC).

Developing Advanced Robotics and Automation Solutions to Address Industry

As Section Manager of the Autonomous Systems & Robotics (ASR) Group at ARTC, Philip leads a team of engineers and scientists who research and develop advanced robotics and automation solutions to address industry challenges.

Philip has extensive experience in the electronics manufacturing industry, having worked for more than 25 years at various multinational companies. Before joining A*STAR, Philip worked in diverse capacities from individual contributor to leading technical teams. In previous roles, he has managed portfolios including engineering team management, automation technology development, technology implementations, and new product development. Philip has been instrumental in driving operational efficiency improvement and sustainability initiatives for the organisations where he has worked. Philip is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Nanyang Technological University.

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on designing, integrating, and managing complex systems over their life cycles. For the past ten years, Philip has been a systems engineering practitioner and has demonstrated knowledge and experience in many functional areas of the discipline.

At ARTC, Philip begins a project’s systems engineering life cycle with a comprehensive systems requirements engineering process to analyse, identify, and manage the needs and expectations of stakeholders. He collaborates with domain experts in system concept development, exploration, and down-selection to yield an optimal system concept design with key stakeholders. Philip’s strength in systems engineering includes his ability to collaborate with various system integrators in critical design review, construction, system integration, verification, and validation of systems at deployment sites.

In complex system development, stakeholder expectations and design requirement changes are often dynamic and can be challenging. Stakeholder management, systems thinking, and change configuration management are among the essential systems engineering skills required to address such challenges. The systems engineering process delivers a better understanding of stakeholder needs and helps engineers to manage change and configuration effectively through the project life cycle.

In 2018, Philip co-developed and implemented a robotic solution for automating a secondary packaging process for a multinational FMCG company. From 2019 to 2022, as part of an IAF-PP (Industry Alignment Fund - Pre-positioning Programme) project, he championed a team of project technical leads in system development and integration to showcase robotic automation for a customised order fulfilment testbed line in ARTC. Currently, he is leading an IAF-ICP (Industry Alignment Fund - Industry Collaboration Project) project team in the system development and deployment of an agile robotic box packaging automation line for a local MedTech company.

Being an active A*STAR Systems Engineering CoP work group member, Philip has assisted in establishing a competency development framework for CoP members. His contributions include defining professional development roadmaps and training plans for certifications, and he is currently co-developing a systems engineering guidebook for A*STAR. Philip loves to share best practices and experiences with fellow CoP members. He is also a member and Chartered Engineer of The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES).

Outside of work, Philip enjoys bowling. He leads the ARTC bowling interest group as its captain and has formed a team to participate in bowling tournaments on several occasions.

Philip enjoys working at A*STAR because it has opened opportunities for him to work across industry sectors including FMCG, Aerospace, and MedTech and to collaborate with various domain experts. He is motivated to share his extensive years of industry work experience with a younger generation of engineers. He believes strongly that his team will continue to contribute and develop advanced robotic and automation solutions that will help companies to address their needs and stay competitive.