Published on 02 June 2020
Witteveen+Bos appoints Mr. Jaïr Smits as new Managing Director Witteveen+Bos South-East Asia
Witteveen+Bos appoints Mr. Jaïr Smits as new Managing Director Witteveen+Bos South-East Asia Pte. Ltd. (WBSEA). The appointment of Jaïr Smits marks the new strategy for the Singapore office, with more focus on the built environment in general and digital construction in particular. Jaïr Smits worked in the Singapore office before. His expertise in the field of smart and healthy cities and his creative, data-driven mindset are a good fit with the Singapore clients and challenges.
For forty years Witteveen+Bos has been active in this part of the world, which is one of the world's most dynamic regions. Witteveen+Bos designs and contributes to resilient cities through a multidisciplinary and solution-oriented approach. We call this strategic urban engineering: combining civil engineering, water, ecology, mobility, air quality, landscape and urban design in integrated urban projects.
When accepting the position of Managing Director of WBSEA, the global circumstances were much different than they are today. These will be more challenging times than we had envisioned before. Still, Jaïr is positive about the future. Jaïr: ‘Singapore deals with certain pressing challenges that can benefit from our services and solutions. For example, there will be an even greater push for digital construction solutions than before. There is a need to lessen the dependency on foreign workers, increase construction safety, increase construction efficiency. The Singapore team has already worked on projects that help to achieve these goals for past years with government agencies and contractors. With the years ahead, it is our aim for WBSEA to play a key role in Singapore’s adoption of digital construction.’
‘Jaïr’s experience in digitization of engineering solutions and his long term experience in doing business in Singapore made him a perfect match to further lead our Singapore office’, W+B director Stephan van der Biezen added to the positive view on WBSEA’s prospects.
Jaïr Smits emphasizes the ambitions of Witteveen+Bos: ‘We also like to support Singapore in further developing into a zero waste nation and increase sustainability and resilience at large. This is about healthy cities, circularity, climate mitigation, climate adaptation and other environmental engineering topics. We already collaborate with various agencies and partners on these topics. We are determined to strengthen and expand the ecosystem of clients and partners.’
About Jaïr Smits
Mr. Smits is a Singapore Permanent Resident and is a Dutch professional civil engineer. He obtained his master’s degree in water resources management at the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He is working with Witteveen+Bos since 2008 and worked on many urban development and urban water management projects for Dutch Municipalities. Mr. Smits also has extensive work experience in various sustainability fields in Singapore where he worked from 2012-2017.
Mr. Smits is founder of the Smart+Healthy Cities advisory group in Witteveen+Bos, is co-author of the Healthy City booklet, co-author of Witteveen+Bos sustainable design principles, co-founder of the cradle-to-cradle knowledge cluster within Witteveen+Bos, and co-founder of international knowledge group on sustainable cities within Strategic European Expertise Network (SEEN). He is also member of the Royal Dutch Engineering Society and the Royal Dutch Water Management Society.