Dr. John G Heng
Ph.D, M.Sc, B.Eng(Hons), C.Eng, MIMechE, MIET

Certified Train the Trainer, Life Coach & NLP practitioner


Senior Lecturer

School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Division of Mechatronics and Design
Nanyang Avenue

Singapore 639798

Contact Details:
Tel: +(65) 67905900

Fax: +(65) 67924062
Office: N3.2-01-24
Email to John HengEmail: mkhheng[a]ntu.edu.sg   (please use the usual @ for the email)  This is to reduce spamming.

Research Interests

       Synergistic Physio-Neuro Rehabilitation Platform (SynPhNe) using EEG/SEMG based orthosis for accelerated stroke rehabilitation.

       Haptic Devices and Interfaces using  Electroencephalograms (EEC) (brain signals) and Surface Electromyography (SEMG) (muscle signals).

       Brain Entrainment and neuro-plasticity studies.

        Development of Haptic interface for exoskeletal robotic systems (wearable robotics). 

       Exploring the use of Surface Electromyograms (SEMG) for the activation of upper limb exoskeketal systems.

        Assistive Technology (AT) and Rehabilitation Engineering (RE).

       Areas of adaptive  mobility aids and Haptic HIDs for physically disabled.

View the Wheel Chair Gap enabler invention that was featured in the news….


-Straits Times 1 June 2006

-"Today" 1 June 2006

-Channel News Asia (News Clip) 2 June 2006


        Development of an  Autonomous Legged Vehicle (ALV). Legged vehicle and propulsion systems.

        Telepresence and Teleoperation systems.

        Mechatronics and Mechanical systems design.


Tech Startup

         (Biz Reg: 201332496Z)

SynPhNe Pte. Ltd. Singapore is targeting the multi-billion dollar stroke rehabilitation market which has a worldwide manpower and technology shortage. Every year, 5 million people are left disabled and incidence levels are growing. Our initial target markets, Singapore and India, account for a population of over 7 million existing patients and 1.5 million new patients each year.


SynPhNe is a wearable, non-invasive device which highlights a person’s unconscious responses which may be hampering performance. It then uses a person’s brain and muscle signals to assess, train and enhance functional capabilities. The person becomes aware of maladaptive, habitual brain-muscle responses in real-time which are then self-corrected using the SynPhNe protocol.


Clinical studies with stroke patients whose improvement had plateaued 12-44 months post stroke after standard rehabilitation showed visible and significant improvements in a 4 week, 12 session intervention. The patented SynPhNe assessment and training routine resulted in functional gains of 70% further when compared to starting baseline. Sub-clinical improvements that could not be captured by typical clinical scales were successfully highlighted by our algorithms. Over 500 therapy hours of patient trials have been completed locally, with a new trial underway in an overseas market.

Project SynPhNe was awarded the SMART Innovation Grant, 2012 and mentioned in the EU April 2013 newsletter on ASEAN innovations. SynPhNe Pte Ltd incorporated in Dec 2013 and is now embarking on building the first commercially marketable prototypes.


Recent Media:

NTU scientists develop new stroke therapy device


Device 'improves stroke recovery'

The Straits Times, 12 Apr, page B5  and online

- Also reported on AsiaOne


NTU system for post-stroke therapy cuts costs too
The Business Times, 12 Apr, page 11 and online


New device greatly helps stroke patients’ recovery

The New Paper, 12 Apr, page 9


NTU’s new therapy device enables stroke victims to recover further
Gizmag, 11 Apr


Device aims to accelerate stroke rehabilitation
The Engineer, 11 Apr
- Also reported in Health Canal and Medical Xpress


SynPhNe Stroke Rehabilitation System

Mobile Magazine, 12 Apr

- Also reported on News Medical.  

Publications List

Current Research Project Involvement

Title of Project

Source of Funding



Value SGD

Design of Seedling Transplanter AVA

9 Dec 2013-30 Jun 2014

Principal Investigator SGD106K
Automated physio-neuro rehabilitation platform for recovery of hand function after stroke Smart 1 Nov 2012- 31 Oct 2014 Principal Investigator SGD250K

Automated Neuro-Motor Stroke Rehabilitation Device - A Platform for Functional Recovery of Paralyzed Hand after Stroke


Nov 2010 - Feb 2012

Principal Investigator SGD250K

Unified Platform for acceleration functional return with EMG orthosis for accelerated stroke rehabilitation


Sep 2008 - Dec 2011

Principal Investigator

Wheel chair Gap Crossing mechanism TRD - NRF

Jan 2010 - Dec 2011

Project Consultant SGD130K

Universal Multi Level Haptic Interface  


Nov 2006 - May 2009

Principal Investigator


Other past funding sources:

         S$20K, Upper extremity exoskeleton using SEMG, Strategic Development Scheme, May 2002 - Apr 2005, PI

         $1500, Society for the Physically Disabled, Mar 2006.

         $120K of funding for joint SIA/NTU industrial collaboration 2000-2002


Gap Clearing Mechanism for Wheel Chair 

Patent Applications



Application No.

National Phase Entry Date

Systems, Apparatuses, Devices, And Processes For Synergistic Neuro-Physiological Rehabilitation And/Or Functional Development



5 Dec 2013 


PI 2013702210

20th Nov 2013



20 Nov 2013 



19 Nov 2013 



20 Nov 2013 


To be assigned 

To be filed on 20 Jan 2014 



19 Dec 2013 



           (Thesis Title: The Design and Application of A Unique Anthropomorphic Sensor Platform)

Engineering Classes and Seminars that I conduct;

Undergraduate Teaching:

MP4011 Mechanical System Design and Analysis
MP4010 Mechatronics System Design and Analysis
M3071 Laboratory Projects

MP2079 Engineering Innovation & Design

MP4007 Engineers and Society

Graduate Teaching:
M6403  Applied Mechatronics

Material for the above courses are available to registered students at edventure

 Personal Development Seminars that I run:

An opportunity to learn empowering mind strategies for handing our daily stressful living.  

**Your life successes start with winning your mind games first**

Short Empowerment Seminars


You can find this and other courses that I run at

Please contact me should you like me to run such seminars at your organization/club/company.

As a life coach, I help people to map and plan their life directions or are stressed or to overcome their fears or obstacles.

 I  also conduct  smoking or gambling, drinking  cessation sessions.

If you are currently experiencing stress, depression, worry, lost, hopelessness, please come and have a chat with me.

If you are into addictions like smoking, gambling, drinking....etc... please also come and have a chat with me.

You have not realized how much 'inner power' you have. - To your Life Success! - John


Article in The Tribune , February 2009

(Please click again one more time on the picture after it has enlarge to restore it to its full size so that you can read the print.)


He who knows others is wise;
He who know himself is enlightened.



**Study Techniques**

Past  Testimonies from the classes and courses I have conducted:

General Feedback


Awarded by NTU Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) student's club

Most Inspiring Professor 2009



Involvement in Professional and Community groups:

         Institution of Mechanical Engineers (S'pore Branch - Vice Chair , 2011)

        Chairman of the Singapore Robotics Society  (Singapore Robotics Games) 2011

       Judge for the NJRC, FRS, SSEF  organized by the Singapore Science Centre

        Past Chairman of the NTU Staff Recreation Club (23rd Management Committee)

       Bishan East Constituency  (Inter Religious Confidence Circle) committee

       Christian Meditation Ministry (Risen Christ Church)



Other links:

Who's Who in Engineering Academia

The Profession of Engineering.........

Engineering… it is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life… That is the engineer’s high privilege.

The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget.

The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned…

That is the phantasmagoria that haunts his nights and dogs his days. He comes from the job at the end of the day resolved to calculate it again. He wakes in the night in a cold sweat and puts something on paper that looks silly in the morning. All day he shivers at the thought of the bugs which will inevitably appear to jolt his smooth consummation.

On the other hand, unlike the doctor he is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort and hope.

No doubt as years go by the people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew. Or some politician puts his name on it. Or they credit it to some promoter who used other people’s money… but the engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness which flows from his successes with satisfaction that few professions may know. And the verdict of his fellow professionals is all the accolade he wants.

President Herbert Hoover 31st US President

Wise words to live by....

  • If you want to change the world, change yourself first.

  • People may doubt what you say but they will believe what you do.

  • Courage is not a lack o fear but the ability to act while facing fear.

  • You got to do your own growing up no matter how tall your father was.

  • The best way to predict your future is to create it.

  • Only the present is reality. The future is a dream and the past is history. That is why is it called the present.

  • Living with guilt is living in the past. Living with worry is living in the future.  The only reality is living in the present.

  • To the world you may not be someone, but to someone you may be the world.

  • “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” ...Napoleon Hill

  • Failure is an event. It is does not define you.

  • I do not care  what you know but want to know what you care.



 I highly recommend you read the following books below for your own personal developmentI have benefitted greatly from them.

Mind Power into the 21st Century: Techniques to Harness the Astounding Powers of Thought      The Power of Your Subconscious MindFollow Your HeartThe Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams

Click on an of them to get a synopsis.

Many of them are available at our National Library.



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School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering