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[FEATURED NEWS] Breaking down silos at HTX

Silos can be detrimental. This inter-departmental engagement session was an effort to break them down.

1 - Engagement(Photo: HTX/Li Xin Hui)

As HTX’s scientists and engineers work in very specialised fields, they can easily form silos in which they only pay attention to their specialisation and ignore what’s going on in other departments. This can be detrimental to HTX as the scientists and engineers may miss fruitful opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration.

One major effort to break down silos took place on 8 February 2023, when the Land Systems Centre of Expertise (LS CoE), Human Factors & Simulation Centre of Expertise (HFS CoE) and Sense-making and Surveillance Centre of Expertise (S&S CoE) held an inter-departmental engagement session at Civil Defence Academy.

Tan Chuan-Yean (Director LS CoE) explained that LS had organised this event with HFS and S&S to help their scientists and engineers “understand what each CoE does.” He noted that both Ying Meng Fai (Director HFS CoE) and Lim Kian Boon (Director S&S CoE) were “highly supportive for this event.”

The event began with a sharing session from LS, which highlighted their Weapons, Vehicles and Safety & Governance Roadmaps to their colleagues in HFS and S&S and showcased the capabilities of several new vehicles. Trevor Heung, Engineer (Autonomous Vehicle Solutions), explained to the attendees that LS hoped to “synchronise ideas” with their counterparts in HFS and S&S and “explore any potential collaboration.”

2 - HFSHFS Sharing Session (Photo: HTX/Li Xin Hui)

This was followed by a sharing session from HFS which showcased the advanced technologies deployed in the Emergency Responders’ Fitness Condition and Enhancement Lab (EXCEL) to improve the operational performance of Home Team officers.

Jennifer Ang, Scientist (Human Performance, Interaction & Teaming), noted that “each CoE not only had the opportunity to showcase their work, but to also share more about their future directions and plans. This was especially helpful as we all try to synchronise our efforts together within HTX to help support the Home Team.” Her colleague Lowell Chong, Scientist (Human Performance, Interaction & Teaming) concurred: “The sharing by the colleagues from LS and S&S helped us to better identify potential areas for collaboration as there are some similar areas of interest.”

3 - SSS&S Sharing Session (Photo: HTX/Li Xin Hui)

The final session was from S&S, which showcased their work in Computer Vision and Intelligent Sensing, and Sensors and IoT. Douglas Chua, Lead Engineer (Solution & Design), also explained S&S’ “shift towards a product mindset and the ingredients that would enable this.”

The S&S engineers learned a lot about the work of their LS and HFS colleagues from their event. One noted that they previously “only know about their work from internal broadcast but this session let us interact with the people and try out their state-of-the-art equipment.” Another appreciated how the event “allowed them to ‘see’ how the work of CoEs is put into operational use.”

Lowell Chong recommended that there should be more such engagement sessions between CoEs, “especially those that are offsite or deployed at different facilities, so that we can experience in person the type of work they do and the equipment they use.” Trevor Heung expressed his hope “to continue having more engagement with other departments, not only to share our work but also share this initiative across HTX.”