Research projects

Year 2021 Research Projects

Grant amount: A$9,950

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ifte Ahmed

Research Team: A/Prof. Iftekhar Ahmed, A/Prof. Lynne McCormack, A/Prof. Mark Rubin, A/Prof. Kavitha Palaniappan, Dr. Maggie Tang, Dr. Elsa Licumba

This project aims to explore interpretations of the ‘lived’ experience relating to the emergent issue of mental health of migrant construction workers in the Hunter Region in Australia that has been less studied and consequently identifies and explores themes that can inform resilience-building programs.


Year 2020 Research Projects

External funding agency: Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) Phase 1/2020

Country: Malaysia

Project Leader: Mr. Vincent Oh Kim Seng (Multimedia University, Malaysia)

Project Members:

  • Prof. Dr. Lai Ming Ming (Multimedia University, Malaysia)
  • Dr. Abdullah Al Mamun Sarwar (Multimedia University, Malaysia)
  • Dr. Gowrie Vinayan (Heriot-Watt University, Malaysia)
  • Dr. Yeap Peik Foong (University of Newcastle, Australia)

Cultivating positive emotional experiences in everyday life and responding to negative life circumstances helps to buffer against adversity while building the capacity to deal with major crises. This project aims to investigate the role of mindfulness in increasing resilience among Malaysian youth and facilitates navigation in the context of uncertainty and ambiguity to improve individual youth psychological health, wellbeing, societal progress, and ultimately country growth. This is because the youth will be the ones that move the country forward.  With all the adversity happenings, the youth need resilience enhancement to face these adversities.

Grant Amount: S$10,000

Principal Investigator: Dr. Koh Yit Yan

This project aims to investigate the effects of yoga on sleeping patterns in adults, explore if sleep affects the body fat percentage or body fat mass, and determine the feasibility of yoga as a therapy for sleep deprivation.

Grant amount: $10,000

Project leader: Dr Charles CC Lee

Peatlands are the largest natural terrestrial carbon store, which sequesters 0.37 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide CO2 a year. Damaged peatlands are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, annually releasing almost 6% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Peatland restoration is therefore crucial in emissions reductions, thereby mitigating climate change impacts. In the Sungai Tohor area in Riau province, Indonesia, its rich peatland is drained to support monoculture plantations (pulpwood) leading to massive fires, land subsidence, and flooding. The village communities would not be able to survive in the long term without a healthy peatland ecosystem.

In September 2019, a local Singaporean non-profit organisation, People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM Haze), which has a significant relationship (4 years) with the village community, initiated a pilot peatland restoration (PPR) project in Sungai Tohor. Leveraging on the close relationship between Dr Charles Lee and PM Haze, UONS has an unprecedented opportunity to provide strong scientific support at the university level to PM Haze for the PPR project. The main objective is to restore the damaged Sungai Tohor peatland. In the initial phase, the project will be conducted over an experimental area consisting of 3 hectares, which is 30% burnt, and 70% partly degraded land. The key restoration initiatives will involve: (a) peatland vegetation replanting; and (b) rewetting of peatland. Our results will yield new findings in: (a) specific revegetation methods; and (b) imparting a renewed life to the villages from the restored peatlands. The methods can be designed as a best practice ecological restoration of peatlands handbook, which can be implemented across similar ecosystems in Indonesia and ASEAN countries.

Year 2019 Research Projects

Grant Amount: A$19,560

Co-Investigator, Dr Rita Pidani

Following the strand in the transactional cost and learning based theories literature focusing on firm heterogeneity in this research we investigate the determinants of firm’s export performance in context of Chinese firms. Examining both financial and non-financial performance measures, we attempt to determine if export propensity and intensity is related to mode of entry, level of productivity, firm size, and management’s prior international experience.

Grant Amount: S$10,000

Project Contributor, Dr Hassan Ali

Air pollution ranks among the highest environmental risk factors worldwide. In Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, air pollution hotspots in urban areas continue to pose significant environmental and health risks.    This project aims to design and develop a solar powered real time ambient air quality monitoring based on low cost commercially available air quality sensors, LORAWAN network architecture and Microsoft Azure Cloud technologies.

The network will enable the transportation of sensor data securely and seamlessly through gateways and a Network Server to the Microsoft Azure Cloud data and analytics platform for data storage, visualization, alerts (of incidents exceeding a pre-set threshold) and analysis. The simple Cloud portal will display key metrics, historical and current data, and high emission nodes with their location.

This project is currently being carried out in collaboration with Prof. Steven Weller from UON Australia and Prof. Raziq Yaqub from Alabama A&M University, USA.

Grant Amount: S$9,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Yeap Peik Foong

This study explores the possibilities of providing integration and support to increase efficiency by way of mentoring by the Multinational Corporations (MNCs) to the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) suppliers in Singapore and Malaysia.  This study applies an amalgamation of Resource-Based View and Relational View theories in explaining the mentoring effort and, is currently in progress.

Grant Amount: S$10,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Kavitha Palaniappan

This study aims to determine the prevalence rates of depression, anxiety and stress levels among migrant workers in the Singapore’s construction industry and provide peer training for mental health support.  This study also aims to determine the effectiveness of peer training in reducing the depression, anxiety and stress levels among migrant workers.

Grant Amount: S$15,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Farnaz Arefian

This research aims to understand the overlapping areas of urban processes, reconstruction processes and heritage processes, and practical implications of the way those overlapping areas have been addressed during the implementation of reconstruction activities in two case study countries from ASEAN (Vietnam and Philippines).  The research is in progress. Approvals from Faculty’s peer-review and the head of school have been obtained for the proposed methodology. It is at the stage of data collection for the case study research, for which the fieldtrips for data collection, visit and coordination with local collaborators have been organised to take place in June 2019.

Grant Amount: S$9,500

Principal Investigator, Dr Vahid Biglari

Big data analytics is an emerging research trend within accounting field. Estimating accurate real-time prices for goods and services highlights the need to introduce a real-time tracking model that estimates prices for the use of accounting system. Existing accounting systems use historical cost accounting which provides outdated value of assets. Fair value accounting has been suggested to resolve this problem. Building upon Hedonic Demand Theory (HDT), this study develops a Real-time Tracking Model (RTM) to record all of the transactions of different assets that take place in a certain geographical region. The RTM model considers all of the important characteristics of assets to determine their fair value. R-studio will be used to develop the pilot software. The findings of this research will help accountants to determine accurate and objective value of assets. Besides that, the results will introduce reliable fair value measurement.

Year 2017 Research Projects

Grant Amount: S$5,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Kavitha Palaniappan

In this study, a contemporary style of yoga, that is, the Vinyasa Flow Yoga, which graciously combines the physical postures and breathing patterns is explored for its weight-related outcomes in its practitioners. This study is expected to reveal the possible weight-related outcomes due to regular practice of Vinyasa Flow Yoga for a short period of 6 months and thereby pave way for further studies on other health related outcomes such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc. by practicing Vinyasa Flow Yoga.

Grant Amount: S$ 5,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Charles Lee

Co-Principal Investigator, Dr Yeap Peik Foong

The study aims to develop an environmental sustainability ranking tool to assist companies to benchmark their environmental performance against their peers in Singapore.  The study further aims to develop this further into a powerful quantitative ranking tool. The tool consists of a robust scorecard which includes at least 50 environmental performance indicators such as materials, energy, effluent, biodiversity, compliance and environmental management systems.

Result: A conceptual paper was presented in The 14th International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability, Queensland, Australia.

Grant Amount: S$10,000, LearnSG Seed Fund (Lifelong Learning Council, Singapore)

Co-Investigator, Dr Kavitha Palaniappan

This project aims to examine the relationship between innovation and lifelong learning, explore innovative research and practices regarding lifelong learning, engage industry practitioners, academics, policy makers, and different groups of lifelong learners, including senior citizens, PMETs, students, etc. to share the encourage work and life skills learning, and develop links among various groups of stakeholders to promote lifelong learning in Singapore.

Grant Amount: AUD$16,783

Principal Investigator, Dr Kavitha Palaniappan

The hand-held Condensation Particle Counter was obtained through this grant and is currently being used for nanomaterials exposure characterization and risk assessment studies in the Singapore industrial sector.  The typical features of this equipment indicate that it could be used for a wide range of research projects ranging from outdoor and indoor air quality monitoring, basic aerosol research, particle formation and growth studies, combustion and engine exhaust studies, inhalation or exposure chamber studies, health effects studies, nanoparticle work area surveys to atmospheric and climate studies.

Grant Amount: S$228,400

Principal Investigator, Dr Ali Rajabipour

Bamboo Composite (BC) is a newly developed material by ETH Singapore.  BC has tensile strength of 400 MPa, compression strength of 180 MPa, negative CO2 footprint (steel CO2 footprint is 1.3 ton/ton) and low in production costs. Using a bio-based polymer systems, BC is resistant against moisture, fungi and insects. Australia and South East Asia has a great potential in growing quality bamboo. All these have made BC a promising sustainable construction material.

Structural applications of Bamboo composite is under development. The aim of this research was to investigate potential structural applications of bamboo composite.

Year 2016 Research Projects

Grant Amount: S$5,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Rita Pidani

This research examines the influence of board gender diversity on firm financial performance in four ASEAN countries. Adopting agency and resource dependence approaches, board gender diversity’s interactions with three mediating organizational variables were evaluated against four organizational performance measures. Partially supporting agency theory and resource dependence theory, the results suggest that gender-diverse boards of directors are only positively associated with sales to fixed asset ratio and sales per employee ratio. The Board gender diversity’s effects at the organizational level are moderated distinctly by firm size, ownership structure, and industry nature respectively, and by the multivariate interaction among these variables. The results of this paper support the findings of other studies that found a partially significant link between the board gender diversity and the firm’s performance. Decision-makers in society and politics, therefore, need to be aware of the empirical evidence indicating that stimulating organizational environment may need to be configured before the valuable outcomes of gender diversity can be achieved.

Grant Amount: S$5,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Yeap Peik Foong

The study explores the perspectives of the MNC knowledge workers on the main situations, factors, effects and countermeasures of information overload. The study further inverstigates the knowledge workers perceptions for the management of information overload in the workplace.

Result: A conceptual paper was presented in the MT International Conference on Business Research, Milan, Italy.

Grant Amount: S$5,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Kavitha Palaniappan

This study aims to establish the prevalence rates of the three main psychosocial illnesses, namely, depression, anxiety and stress among professionals in the commercial banking sector, using Singapore as a case study; identify demographic and occupational factors contributing to the increase in such psychosocial illnesses; demonstrate that a work-life balance can serve as an effective coping mechanism to overcome such psychosocial illnesses; and propose strategies to improve psychosocial well-being and work-life balance of professionals in the banking sector.  Overall,this study provides better insights of how psychosocial well-being and a work-life balance strategy can help banks address the challenges associated with employees’ performance.

Year 2014 Research Projects

Grant Amount: S$5,000

Principal Investigator, Dr Yeap Peik Foong

The study explores the perspectives of the MNC knowledge workers on the main situations, factors, effects and countermeasures of information overload. The study further inverstigates the knowledge workers perceptions for the management of information overload in the workplace.

Result: A conceptual paper was presented in the MT International Conference on Business Research, Milan, Italy.

Grant Amount: S$361,000

Co-Researchers, Dr Charles LeeDr Kavitha Palaniappan

The aim of the research project was to determine the prevalence of psychosocial illnesses in a representative cross-section of construction workers in Singapore, and the consequences of such illnesses on workers' general health, safety and productivity.

The study has enabled the implementation of suitable intervention measures on top of existing measures to ensure the mental health of construction workers in Singapore is taken care of. The final research project will include the results and impact of such interventions. The research was conducted with industry collaborator, Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Company on their construction worksites.

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