VOL. 23 January ISSUE YEAR 2022


in Vol. 23 - January Issue - Year 2022
2nd International Conference on Advanced Surface Enhancement (INCASE 2021)
Symposium session

Symposium session

Dr. Tan Kai Liang (K. L.) from Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), Singapore

Dr. Tan Kai Liang (K. L.) from Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), Singapore

Industry collaborative session

Industry collaborative session

We had an opportunity to talk to Dr. Tan Kai Liang (K. L.) from Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), Singapore. Dr. Tan is the Organising Committee chair of INCASE 2021, which was successfully held from 7th – 8th Sept 2021 virtually. In this interview, he shared with us the highlights of the conference and what to look forward in INCASE 2023.

(?) MFN: Dr. Tan, thank you for taking the time for this interview. We were glad to be part of INCASE 2021! Can you briefly summarise the outcomes of INCASE 2021?

(!) K. L.: Thank you, it’s my pleasure! We are proud to have gone ahead with the organization despite the uncertainties over the past two years. INCASE 2021 received tremendous support from MFN, sponsors, keynote speakers, industrial experts, and delegates. We had over 110 attendees hailing from 15 countries and territories – not bad for a virtual conference! Forty percent of the attendees logged in from outside Singapore. There were over 60 high-quality presentations delivered, and numerous networking sessions between the attendees. The accepted papers have been successfully published in the INCASE 2021 Proceedings (Springer), indexed in Scopus. Despite being only the second installment of the INCASE conference series, INCASE 2021 has emerged as one of the top events in the surface enhancement field. All these would not be possible without the kind support from the delegates!

(?) MFN: Wow, it is amazing that INCASE 2021 managed to accomplish all those, despite being a fully virtual conference. What were some of the highlights in INCASE 2021?

(!) K. L.: Well, there were many highlights over the two days. The keynote lectures are certainly high on the list, and have been cited by most participants as the most enjoyable sessions throughout the conference. We had high-caliber speakers – Prof Chen Zhong, Prof Mario Guagliano, Prof Ong Soh Khim and Dr Elmar Bonaccurso – to share information on diverse topics, including surface functionality, cold spray and augmented reality. Another highlight would be the industry sharing session featuring three experts. Delegates really liked the interactive session, where they could pose questions and engage in discussion. There was also a virtual exhibit featuring posters and sponsors. Delegates could ‘visit’ the booth and speak to the presenters seamlessly, so it all felt like a physical event!

(?) MFN: Sounds like an engaging event! It is interesting to note that all presentations were delivered LIVE, and attendees could interact with one another seamlessly. 

(!) K. L.: Yeah, we were pleasantly surprised by the technologies that power virtual events. INCASE 2021 was originally planned as an in-person conference, as face-to-face interactions are critical in any conference. The pandemic forced us to adapt. While the transition was challenging at first, we were blown away by the features available on a virtual platform! We engaged the best-in-class virtual event provider to ensure that the attendees would not want to go back to physical conferencing. Sessions were broadcast LIVE, Q&A sessions were engaging, and we even launched a little conference game to identify the most enthusiastic attendees! The sessions were recorded and made available for on-demand streaming. While it was challenging to replace physical interactions, we had the next best thing, and the responses from delegates were fabulous.

(?) MFN: Do you foresee future conferences being held virtually as well? How about INCASE 2023?

(!) K. L.: It is hard to say, so much has changed over the past two years. I believe conference participants still crave the physical conference experience. It is a part of human nature to explore and to feel close to people. 

For INCASE 2023, we are considering a hybrid event. Hybrid conferences could become the norm in the future, with people attending both physically and virtually. I personally know quite a few of the INCASE 2021 technical committee members who can’t wait to travel to Singapore in 2023. On the other hand, people are increasingly conscious about sustainability issues and carbon footprint in travelling. A hybrid model really has the best of both worlds – it offers physical interaction and travel opportunities while significantly broadening the potential conference audience.
Regardless, do mark your calendar for INCASE 2023 in September 2023!

(?) MFN: Hybrid sounds like a really good balance. Congratulations once again for the successful organization of INCASE 2021. Any final words before we wrap up?

(!) K. L.: Thank you to all attendees and delegates, you all made INCASE 2021 possible. We hope all of you had a great time, and we really look forward to see you in INCASE 2023 physically. 

(?) MFN: And that’s a wrap. Thank you, Dr. Tan, stay safe.

(!) K. L.: Thank you for having me, it has been fun. Stay safe too.

MFN would like to thank Dr. Tan Kai Liang for this interview!

For Information: 
Advanced Remanufacturing and
Technology Centre (ARTC)
3 Cleantech Loop, #01-01, CleanTech Two
Singapore 637143
Tel. +65.6715-6972
E-mail: tan_kai_liang@artc.a-star.edu.sg