About Vance

Vance Z H Tan GMICE PBICSc is a civil engineer by training and he is currently completing his doctorate (D.Phil) in flood risk management at the University of Oxford.

Before joining the Environmental Change Institute in 2018, Vance received engineering training at Ove Arup and Partners in Brunei, the Brunei Public Works Department and Hampshire County Council. Vance has been a Practitioner Member of the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) since 2020, having completed his Licence to Practice during the Covid-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam awarding the Sultan’s Scholar Scholarship to Vance Tan. Photo courtesy of Infofoto.

Vance’s D.Phil research at the University of Oxford is generously funded by The Sultan’s Scholar Scholarship awarded in 2016 by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. The awards ceremony was held at Istana Nurul Iman.

Vance’s work concerns issues of flooding at different scales and the devastation it brings to human lives, properties and infrastructure. He is interested in understanding how the impacts caused by flooding could be managed in the long run (i.e. 50-100 years from present day) by changing the ways in which we protect ourselves now such as raising existing flood barriers, introducing new programmes to restrict building on floodplains and working with nature to store floodwater. As achieving all these improvements would require substantial funding, there needs to be a systematic way to carefully select areas to introduce these measures to ensure the risks of flooding are reduced efficiently.