Home / People / Faculty / Foong Shaohui

Foong Shaohui

Associate Professor, Associate Head of Pillar (EPD) (Education) & Co-Director for Dyson SUTD Innovation Studio

Website: https://people.sutd.edu.sg/~shao
Telephone: +65 6303 6670
Room Number: 3.301.05 (Block 3 Level 3, IDC Gutenberg Collaboration Space, Lobby J)
Research Areas:
Bio-Medical Engineering, Design Science, Mechanical Engineering, Human-Machine Interfaces, Robotics, Automation and Control

Pillar / Cluster: Engineering Product Development

Follow me on ResearchGate    orcid.org/0000-0002-9724-6159ORCID iD icon       Google Scholar

Research Opportunities!

Research and postdoc fellow, research assistant and engineers, PhD and Master’s students, as well as undergraduate student research assistant opportunities are available. Please email me for details.

Interdisciplinary collaborative research projects and opportunities are welcome as well!


Dr Foong Shaohui is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Product Development (EPD) pillar at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2011. He is currently the principal investigator for the Aerial Innovation Research (AIR) Laboratory @ SUTD and has significant expertise in unmanned systems and robotics and works closely with the Ministry of Defence Singapore (MINDEF) on developing intelligent micro spherical ground robots (Project STARS) and nature inspired aerial crafts (Project MONOCO) which adapts the dispersal mechanism of maple seeds to achieve efficient flight. This under-actuated configuration is a true hybrid between fixed-wing aerial crafts and helicopters/multi-rotors: It is able to perform vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) as well as possess flight endurance similar to that of fixed-wing crafts. Dr Foong is also the principal investigator for an NRF/PUB funded research project to design and develop a novel UAV to perform autonomous inspection of the deep tunnel sewerage system (DTSS). This bespoke aerial platform is designed around a novel 360° revolving camera which allows high-fidelity images to be captured with minimal optical distortion and a composite-based structural frame to minimize weight and enhance flight endurance.

Dr Foong also has extensive R&D experience in applied magnetic sensing for medical application and is currently the PI for a number of funded grants that focus on incorporating magnetic localization techniques into conception, design, prototyping and development of novel medical devices. In collaboration with the National University Hospital (NUH), one of these funded research project is on devising and fabricating a patented ergonomic magnetic-based system to track insertion of a nasogastric tube as it descends into the stomach in real-time. In early 2016, this magnetic-based localization system was tested successfully in a cadaver. Dr Foong also has also published extensively on utilizing passive magnetic fields for localization in renowned peer-reviewed journals and conferences where has contributed significantly to the field of magnetic field modelling, spatial design optimization of sensing assemblies and introducing flexible magnetic sensing devices. In 2014, he was award the Best Application Paper at the SCIS & ISIS joint conference for his contribution to robust magnetic sensing. Along with Changi General Hospital (CGH), he is developing a novel device harnessing optical methods for reliable detection of blood at wound sites. This device can potentially translate to significant cost savings with regard to reducing workload of nurses and yet provide reliable and continuous monitoring of wound sites which is currently not feasible with periodic inspection by nurses.

Last but not least, Dr Foong has a deep passion in engineering education and has worked with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to devise and organize a series of Aerial Craft Design Workshops for pre-tertiary students to educate, advice and guide them through the process of designing, building and flying their own aerial crafts from scratch and without any prior knowledge.


  • PhD, The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2010.
  • MS, The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia USA, 2008.
  • BS (with Highest Honour), The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia USA, 2005.

Research Interests:

  • Systems Dynamics & Control
  • Applied Magnetic and Field-Based Sensing
  • Intelligent Mechatronics & Automation
  • Nature-Inspired Robotics
  • Unmanned Ground/Aerial Systems
  • Medical Devices
  • Design Education & Pedagogy

Selected Research Projects:

Nature Inspired Aerial Crafts
Transformable HOvering Rotorcraft (THOR)
 https://youtu.be/SJpqp8sWp5I  https://youtu.be/EPQdIDy2atY
Passive Magnetic Localization for Instrument Tracking 
EVD/Ventriculostomy Nasogastric (NG) Tube
Design-Centric Competitive Infused Pedagogy
Control Education Design-Build-Fly Workshop
https://youtu.be/t5qntiav1OA https://youtu.be/xvdZAPMC-yU

Selected Patents:

  • K.-M. Lee, B. Poindexter, B. A. Webster, S. Foong and C.-H. Liu, Live Bird Shackle Transfer System and Methods, Application No: 12/693,876, Publication No: US20100190426 A1, Filed 26 Jan 2010
  • S. Foong and F. Wu, Method and/Or System for Magnet Localization, PCT/SG2014/000200, Application No: 14/889,578, Publication No: US20160086080 A1, Filed 7 May 2014
  • S. Foong, Z. Sun, U-.X. Tan, T. H. Teo and A. Shabbir, An Apparatus and Method for Tracking a Device, PCT/SG2014/000552, Application No: 15/038,412, Publication No: US20160287134 A1, Filed 21 Nov 2014 [Technology Licensed to Medergo Pte. Ltd.]
  • E. Wilhelm, S. Nanayakkara, S. Foong, J. Falvella and D. S. Elvitigala, Power Monitoring Apparatus, A Method for Power Monitoring and a Base Station Used with the Aforementioned, PCT/SG2015/050123, Publication No: US20160287134 A1, Filed 25 May 2015
  • J. P. Cortes, S. C. Nanayakkara, S. Foong and C. Y. Chioh, On-site Device for Detecting Presence of a Liquid, PCT/SG2016/050327, Application No: 15/038,412, Publication No: WO2017010942 A1, Filed 13 Jul 2016

Selected Publications:

  • K.-M. Lee and S. Foong, “Lateral Optical Sensor With Slip Detection for Locating Live Products on Moving Conveyor,” in IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 123-132, Jan. 2010. doi: 10.1109/TASE.2009.2025505
  • S. Foong, K.-M. Lee and K. Bai, “Harnessing Embedded Magnetic Fields for Angular Sensing With Nanodegree Accuracy,” in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 687-696, Aug. 2012. doi: 10.1109/TMECH.2011.2119325
  • F. Y. Wu, S. Foong and Z. Sun, “A Hybrid Field Model for Enhanced Magnetic Localization and Position Control,” in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 1278-1287, June 2015. doi: 10.1109/TMECH.2014.2341644
  • Z. Sun, S. Foong, L. Maréchal, U.-X. Tan, T. H. Teo, and A. Shabbir, “A Non-invasive Real-time Localization System for Enhanced Efficacy in Nasogastric Intubation,” Annals of Biomedical Engineering (2015) 43: 2941. doi: 10.1007/s10439-015-1361-0
  • L. Maréchal, S. Foong, S. Ding, K. L. Wood, V. Patil and R. Gupta, “Design Optimization of a Magnetic Field-Based Localization Device for Enhanced Ventriculostomy.” ASME Journal of Medical Devices, 2016, 10(1):011006-011006-9. doi: 10.1115/1.4032614
  • C. Telenko, K. L. Wood, K. Otto, M. R. Elara, S. Foong, K. L. Pey, U.-X. Tan, B. Camburn, D. Moreno and D. Frey, “Designettes: An Approach to Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Education,” ASME. Journal of Mechanical Design, 2015;138(2):022001-022001-11. doi: 10.1115/1.4031638
  • S. Foong and Z. Sun, “High Accuracy Passive Magnetic Field-Based Localization for Feedback Control Using Principal Component Analysis,” Sensors. 2016; 16(8):1280. doi:10.3390/s16081280
  • H. Hariri, G. S. Soh, S. Foong and K. Wood, “Locomotion Study of a Standing Wave Driven Piezoelectric Miniature Robot for Bi-Directional Motion,” in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 742-747, June 2017. doi: 10.1109/TRO.2017.2656902
  • F. Wu, A. Vibhute, G. S. Soh, K. L. Wood and S. Foong, “A Compact Magnetic Field-Based Obstacle Detection and Avoidance System for Miniature Spherical Robots,”Sensors. 2017; 17(6):1231, doi:10.3390/s17061231