Posts Tagged ‘cambodia

1        Implementation Strategy

The MFB was designed in such a way as to allow the community to repair, rebuild and replicate the design right throughout Cambodia.  However, whereas in the Western World, we can do so through a range of product distribution lines, government organizations, and marketing; to do so in Cambodia, is not as straightforward.  To put it simply, supply and demand alone is not what guides a third world country (Quinion, 2005).

1.1    Stakeholder and Customer Communications

Whereas in the America, Europe, Australia, and most other developed nations, a communications strategy can use existing media channels such as radio, television, and the Internet, third world countries often lack such communications infrastructure, which delivers those countries a comparative disadvantage to developed nations.

When assessing a suitable communications strategy, an essential belief of our team was to use communications strategies that were native to the Tonle Sap, Cambodia.

Since Cambodia is community-oriented, the fact that a new bridge is being built by the cooperation of locals and Westerners will already raise awareness.  As the town planner begins to work with families to establish where the “main street” should go, there should be a community participation rate between 90-100%.

One of the most effective ways to train staff to build the MFB is to initiate a “Requirement Publication” which details the start-to-finish construction of the MFB.

1.1.1   Marketing Mix

The model used to assess the marketing mix is the 5P model (Borden, 1953).  Product

One of the foremost considerations we made for the production of the MFB was, in what ways, could we satisfy a want or need (Kolter, 2006) in the Tonle Sap region of Cambodia, but yet could do so in a way that was somewhat constricted by the low GDP of Cambodia.

As a tangible product, the MFB in the Cambodian economic climate interestingly does not work on an economies-of-scale production model.  Instead, a better representation of the production model would be a “franchising system”.  In summary, this business philosophy has the franchisor granting its franchisee’s the right to distribute products, techniques, and trademarks for a percentage of gross monthly and royalty fees.  The franchisor additionally commonly also makes available advertising and training.

Reasons for why the franchise business model works include (Alon, 2005):

v  The MFB is based on the infrastructure of the West which has a good track record of profitability (civil usability)

v  The MFB is based around the unique concept of “walking on water”

v  The MFB has a broad geographical appeal, for opportunities in other towns that struggle with flooding

v  The MFB is relatively easy to operate, particularly considering the constant considerations we made for its lower level of labor education

v  The MFB is relatively inexpensive to operate, made from environmentally friendly wood products, and recycled plastic drums

v  The MFB can be easily duplicated around Cambodia due to its simplicity and its low cost appeal  Price

As the old saying goes “nothing is free”; there is a price involved in the construction of even the MFB.  It may be cheap to the West’s standards of pricing, but including assessment for Labor pricing and Value of time, it starts to become obvious that critical to the expansion of MFB is finance.

The method of funding and financing the MFB Roll-Out (network maintenance, improvement, expansion) are taxes and user fees.  With Cambodia, this will derive from federal income tax (20%) (Asian Development Bank, 2008), as well as local (sales tax or CGT [capital gains tax]), variable (fuel tax), or user fees (tolls, congestion charges / fares).

In the West, the main form of financing is loans; bonds; public-private partnerships; and concessions.  In principle, the dominant forms of financing available in the West (loans, bonds) are unavailable in Cambodia due to its low credit rating and GDP.

However, there are definitely innovative opportunities for sponsorship, such as “Coca-Cola” or “McDonald”-sponsored Cambodian bridges that could be a great source of advertising revenue, as already implemented by the Huajian Rice Industry on a Chinese Highway, shown in Figure 7.1.

7.1: Advertising Bridge by Sihun Highway
(Huajian Rice Industry, 2007)

The Cambodian Government could also provide tax breaks and guaranteed annual revenues to help rapid expansion of the MFB.

Furthermore, as a third world country, Cambodia also has access to international financial institutions who are dedicated to financing and technically assisting third world countries for development programs, usually including “bridges” and “roads”, with the role of reducing poverty. This includes:

v  The World Bank (World Bank, 2008)

v  International Monetary Fund (Sullivan, 2003)

v  World Trade Organization (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009)  Place

There are three separate materials used in the construction of the MFB:

Waterproof (Tung oiled) wooden planks: The planks are from the forests of Cambodia, so require little transport, but the waterproofing method requires considerations for the application of the Tung oil.  Fortunately, this process is easy and can be applied at build time.

Recycled plastic drums: The recycled plastic drums are available from within Cambodia

Steel bracket: This is the primary consideration for the “Place” problem, in relation to distribution channels, et cetera.  They will need to be manufactured overseas, or in factories in Cambodia.  Fortunately, because of the compact size and relatively lightweight of these steel brackets, the outcome is reduced transport size, transport costs, and furthermore carbon footprint as a result.  Promotion

The promotion used for the MFB will predominantly be word-of-mouth (Grewal, 2003), due to the viral nature of this form of publicity which works well particularly in Cambodia, as well as more generally for public civil-engineering projects.

PR will also be used (Grunig, 1984), both in relation to raising awareness for the production of the MFB, as well as to address Green lobby groups who may want to diminish development of developing countries because of environmental impacts it may have (Sullivan, 2003).

Advertising will also have its place in the production of MFB, to raise awareness for the MFB in Cambodia, on the television stations, radio, and billboards of Cambodia.  Billboard advertising may present itself to be rather effective.

Because of the franchise-like system used for the distribution of MFB, one of the issues facing this system is “control”, particularly in face of lack of possible legal sanctions in the legal environment of Cambodia.  For this reason, it is probably useful to establish an “mfb” brand, analogous to that of Hewlett-Packard (“hp”), as shown in Figure 7.2.

Figure 7.2: Users know they are buying “quality”
when they spot the Hewlett Packard “HP” Brand
As a result, bridges manufactured by “mfb” can be separately identified by that of a non-branded, non-certified nature.  In some ways, the culture, as well as entrepreneurial ship in MFB bridges could be reflected in other aspects of business in Cambodia as a result.  Packaging

Because of the political nature of infrastructure building, public opinion may sway trends and knowledge, as well as political power.  As a result, careful consideration must be given to:

People, of which high-ranking officials of Cambodia should sit on the Board of the MFB

Process, in that procedures, mechanisms, must be professional and understood well by Western businesspeople to garner their support

Physical evidence, which may include customer treatment, cover letters.

1.2    Infrastructure Preparation

The existing civil infrastructure in Tonle Sap, Cambodia, is housing and transport.  Houses are built on raised platforms to prevent flooding, and transport (during the wet season) is generally via self-made boats.

In order to maximize the usefulness of the MFB, a town planner must map out where families are residing within the community and a way in which to maximize access to the bridge.

1.3    Manufacturing Roll-Out

The metal brackets will be imported into Cambodian, funded by both Government and charitable organizations.

The Live & Learn staff, volunteers, and the Tonle Sap communities will be involved in the development of the MFB.  When coming up with our manufacturing design, we had this fact in mind, and for these reasons, have only used materials that are easily obtainable in Cambodia.

Construction may occur during the wet or dry season, but once the main street is constructed, its use is not validated until it connects the housing infrastructure.  Although some side streets may need to be constructed, in general, many shops, if not housing, can connect directly with the “main street”.  For privacy reasons however, the MFB’s should not connect directly with housing.  Rather, a boat of any kind, which can be docked at either the house or the MFB, should be used.

1.3.1   Quantity of Production

This design was not specifically constructed to connect an entire village together, thus a village would only have 2-3 MFB’s connecting the major parts of the village together such as connecting the local trade markets together.  Since the MFB is a very generic design and each section of the bridge is repeated every few meters, this allows the villagers in Cambodia to easily maintain the bridge and keep it in service for as long as possible. 

1.4    Training

Training and education is key to the production of the MFB.

Both the Cambodians and Live & Learn staff workers should be taught basic skills in construction from DIY parts.  Informal half-hour training seminars should be effective enough.  The Cambodians could then teach one another once a critical mass has learnt how to construct the MFB.

The educational process must be:

Instructional, facilitating staff towards learning objectives delivered by instruction

Taught, refer to the actions of a real life instructor designed to impart learning to a student; that can be applied upon completion

The MFB Training Guide should include learning modules that are (Theroux, 2004):

Visual, learning based on observation, such as drawings, images, and models of the bridge

Auditory, learning based on audible instructions/information, such as the conveyance of the process to manufacture bridge

Kinesthetic, learning based on hands-on work, such as actual construction of the bridge

1.5    Change Management

Traditionally, bridges in Cambodia are built with bamboo, water-permeable wood, and are typically non-movable.

In considering management of change, as consideration is made to the PDLC (product development life cycle), the question of how to deal with market decline.  In particular, say if an entire network of MFB’s were to be created, if it were to reach anywhere near the size of the United States network of roads, at 6,430,336 kilometers (CIA World Fact Book, 2009); how would such infrastructure deal with change?

Furthermore, as a result of the introduction of the MFB, an interesting network of effects on the economy will occur.  Immediately, new jobs will be created:

v  Bridge constructers

v  Transport economists (Discrete choice modeling / Traffic flow) (McFadden, 2007)

v  Town planners / regulatory agencies (RCW MRS Center of Washington, 2005)

v  Businesses relating to tolls (IBTT Association, 2007)

v  Pollution/health authorities

7.3: Bridge on Tonle Sap
(TravelPod, 2009)

With existing Tonle Sap bridges, as shown in Figure 7.3, the issue with such traditional design, is that when the water levels rise, the dirt loosens, and the structure falls apart as a result.  The differentiating factor with the MFB is that the bridge attaches itself to infrastructure, rather than the ground, and can ascend and descend depending on the water levels.  It is difficult to comprehend how Cambodians would not accept such transformational proposal, but may need some adjust from predominantly using boating to a combination of boating and MFB’s for navigation purposes.  This will be a change for the good however.

1.6    Problem Resolution

Because this project is a community project, individuals or certain groups may oppose construction methods, or in particular, how the town planner plans where to insert the “main street”.  The Vice President in charge from overseas should sort out any problems.

Although congestion is quite a big problem in the Western World (Small, Kenneth; 1998), this will not be considered in this design brief for now.  There are ways however, to combat this issue, using congestion pricing (such as tolls).

One big issue with such a large project is “where to start?”  Professional project appraisals and evaluators from the Western World should head these projects, and use their business tools in conjunction with their decision-making. In doing so, their coming to their decision should be transparent and clearly drafted and presentable to the Cambodian Cabinet.  These analyses may include:

v  Cost-benefit analysis (European Commission, 2001), analyzing cost effectiveness

v  Social Return on Investment (SROI, which is the best targeted to NGO’s) (Lingane, 2004)

v  Value of time (Mackie, 2003)

1        Background

1.1    Political

The Political environment of Cambodia, which was once unstable, but now somewhat improving, affected the development of the MFB Conceptual Design in numerous ways.

1.1.1   Increasing Use of Own Resources

The argument that Cambodia’s natural resources, particularly it’s valuable timber, is being exploited by the likes of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia (Asia Sentinel, 2007), predominantly because Cambodia cannot utilize its resources is an interesting one.  As a result, the MFB attempts to use, still on a basis of need, Cambodia’s own resource industry, to help improve its own civil infrastructure.  As the old saying goes:

“The person who can best help you – is yourself”

Despite deforestation will remain a Cambodian plague (Butler, 2005), the utilization of Cambodia’s resources by their own people for their own use, will increase demand for the same output supply, thus reducing price, as shown in Figure 2.1.

2.1: For the same Supply curve, if the Demand of Cambodian wood increases,
 the price will increase, thus deterring “exploit” pricing of Cambodian wood.

1.1.2   Dealing with Misappropriation

Because of the some-what corrupted Political climate of Cambodia (BBC Asia-Pacific News, 2006), aid from the United States is sometimes being misappropriated into private accounts (High Beam Research, 2005).  This is a real concern to charitable civil engineering projects such as the MFB, because the primary source of funding for these projects are international aid funds.  As a result, MFB was not only built using mostly local Cambodia materials, but also materials that needed to be exported (such as steel brackets), were manufactured in such a character, as so to make it almost impossible to misappropriate.

1.2    Economic

1.2.1   Access to Debt Finance

In terms of financing, in the past ten years, because Cambodia’s economic growth rate has been reasonably strong, as shown in Table 2.1, with its GDP averaging 6.9% between the years of 1994 and 2004 (Assean Affairs, 2009), obtaining financing from debt (rather than equity) will become increasing easy.  Despite the MFB’s lead in price (hyper-)competitiveness and labor efficiency, because of the strong reliance on labor and natural resources, as the Cambodian economy continues to strengthen, debt financing will become essential.  Note however, the Return-on-Investment (Frontier Investments and Development Partners, 2008) should eventually well offset the initial investment, particularly in terms of civil usability (and thus taxes as a result).
Table 2.1: NIS Statistical Year Book 2005, CDHS 2000, State of the Environment Report 2004

1.2.2   Benefits to Industry

The MFB introduction would come in perfect timing, particularly as the once-flourishing agricultural, fishery, and forestry industry of Cambodia begins to deplete (IPS Inter Press, 2008).  Unfortunately, as the World Climate changes, and continues to change, this gentle erosion of Cambodia’s traditional industries is looking unlikely to impede.  Fortunately, because of International Free Trade Agreements (Bilaterals, 2008), Cambodia can in some ways move away from primary industries (natural resources) to secondary (manufacturing and construction) and even tertiary (services) industries.  Interesting to observe is the production of the MFB in itself is classed as the much-heralded secondary and tertiary industry production, which the West has previously dominated (Chen, 2001).  Furthermore, by inference, civil infrastructure development will increase access to labor, which will increase labor supply to already-huge export industries such as textiles, garments, and footwear (Cambodia Garment Industry, 2006), which on a larger scale could inflate GDP.

Furthermore, the MFB supports well the Tourism industry, already reaching two million per annum (China Post, 2008), by providing foreign travelers with, despite a unique experience, one that is more “close to home” or free, than merely travel-by-boat.

1.2.3   Benefits to Community

Increased public infrastructure also means reduced barriers of entry, whether that be in relation to schooling, or work-related.  In other words, because a boat would be a private possession, person(s) who cannot afford a boat will be limited in their travelling ability.  However, the introduction of public transport (the MFB) would mean that person(s) who cannot afford a boat would not be limited in the same way as if public transport were not present.

In terms of education, the MFB Training Sessions will also provide workforce with invaluable skills and working culture, which will greatly benefit the community, providing workers with hands-on experience that they can use for their own private enterprises.

1.3    Social

1.3.1   “Free Lunch”

One of the benefits for some of working for some big corporations in the West is whether the employment package includes a “free lunch” (Google Inc, 2009).  Similarly, in Cambodia, the United Nations has introduced a “Food for Work” program (Friends of the World Food Program, 2009) that encourages low-skilled laborers to work for healthy and yummy food.  After all, even Westerners long for a taste of Khmer cuisine – fermented fish, sticky rice, curry dishes (, 2009).

1.3.2   Population Growth

As the population of the Tonle Sap River grows, the MFB needs to extend, take greater capacities, and deal with network economics.  The MFB took into consideration all these factors, and in many respects, delegated much of the planning roles to dedicated “Town Planners” who would know the demand for the MFB more than Westerners’’ from a different cultural and geographical context would.

Nevertheless, the MFB components were chosen for strength-to-cost ratio and durability, to account for the expanding Cambodian population.

Even at the current population of fourteen million people (CIA, 2008), and a growth forecast of nineteen million by 2020 (JICA, 2007), the MFB was designed and simulated based on:

v  Individual /Tourist use (one to seven person)

v  Household use (4.1 people (Population Reference Bureau, 2003))

v  Community use (estimation of between fifty to five hundred families)

v  School use (estimation of fifty to five thousand pupils)

Another consideration is average population density, which is around 67 people per square kilometer (PopulStat, 2004).  This is compared with say 90.40 people per square kilometer in the State of California (United States Census Bureau, 2006).  Increasing population density will only mean increased economies of scale of production (Sullivan, 2007).  Elderly Population

As the elderly population increases faster than other market segmentations (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 2007), Cambodia must find ways to provide health care facilities and housing to improve their wellbeing.  Because the MFB decreases barriers to entry (as discussed in 2.2.3), it increases access (as well as presence) of health facilities.

1.3.3   Culture

In designing the MFB, special considerations were made into cultural elements of Cambodia that were key to the Country; such as music, dance, and the arts (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998).  Because of decreased barriers to entry, there is increased access to celebrations and festivals that take place throughout the year.  Particularly in areas of Cambodia with low income per capita, this will revitalize dying cultural industries.

1.4    Technological

As an engineering design solution, the technological environment of Cambodia was critical to the assessment of materials, as well as tools and labor knowledge, which were available.  The MFB successfully utilizes natural resources derived from within Cambodia, with the only element that needs to be imported being the steel bracket.

1.5    Legal

Conducting business in Cambodia means complying with Cambodian labor law (iFrance, 1997).

Furthermore, because there are likely to be no laws or regulations on the dimensions of walkways and length of handrails, in the capacity of a professional engineer, it is a vital role that the highest level of safety is attained.  Thus incorporating the United States standards of construction, a safe ethical design can be achieved.

Handrails in United States are required (Eng-Tips, 2003) to be made of steel tubing or timber with a minimum diameter of 40mm with support posts to be maximally spaced at 1.8 meters.  United States standards consider stainless steel wire (minimum diameter of 3.2mm) below the handrails to be at a maximum of 100mm apart. However, in this design, it is necessary to keep cost low and therefore rope will be used for the support rails below the main handrail.

Walkways in the United States are required (Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, 2009) to be at least 120 centimeters wide (two feet per person, for a walkway that allows for a two-way lane).

1.6    Environmental

1.6.1   Climate Weather

Cambodia, in particular the Tonle Sap region, goes through annual monsoonal cycles (Cambodia Travel Guides, 2009), resulting in alternative wet and dry seasons, thus rising and falling water levels.  Over the June to October period, the Tonle Sap Lake increases by five times in land coverage with respect to the dry season and gains a depth of up to ten meters (GIS Development, 1998).  This rapid extension of the Lake’s land coverage is a direct result of the Tonle Sap’s flat landscape (Australian National University, 2008).

Due to this annual cycle, which results in adversely different landscapes, the design of the MFB was designed to be compatible with the Cambodian lifestyle throughout the seasonal changes, of both the wet and dry seasons.

For instance, a series of small detachable bridging sections were employed in preference to a large fixed bridging unit.  This accommodates with portability and extendibility during the wet season in areas where most required, as well usability throughout the dry season in areas still covered by water.

1        Introduction

Cambodia is located across the Pacific Ocean from the West Coast of the United States of America, a bit further than Australia, as shown in Figure 1.1.  It is the successor of the once powerful Hindu/Buddhist Khmer Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries (The Phnom Penh Post, 2009), but Christianity is rapidly expanding and shaping culture (Back to Jerusalem, 2006).


Figure 1.1: This is where Cambodia is located in
context of the World (University of Texas, 2009)

The Tonle Sap, Cambodian for “Large Freshwater River” (Geotimes, 2007), or “Great Lake” (Articles Base, 2009), is located in central Cambodia, and expands and contracts depending on the time of the year, as shown in Figure 1.2.


Figure 1.2: This is where the Tonle Sap is located in context
of Cambodia (Helsinki University of Technology, 2006)

Because the Tonle Sap region is susceptible to rising water levels (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2001), Cambodians mostly live in stilted (The Phnom Penh Post, 2009) or floating houses (Angkor Travel, 2009), predominantly travelling by boat.  Figure 1.3 shows a modern-day example of a stilted house.


Figure 1.3: An example of a stilted house, from Disney’s Bridge to Terrabithia

Unfortunately, travelling in this manner restricts movement, and ultimately, geographical freedom.  A modern-day equivalent would be requiring all Beverly Hills residents to use a vehicle when navigating the roadways, rather than allowing residents to walk freely through the roads.  Obviously, requiring so would be somewhat limiting.  The fundamental idea of a bridge was proposed to allow Cambodians to freely walk their “land”, or more semantically correct, freely “walk on water”.

As shown in Figure 1.4 however, even a Beverly Hills road is truly complex, everything from construction (Lay, 1992) to routing (Lexico Publishing Group, 2007) to transport economics (Nobel Foundation, 2000).  It truly astonishing to see just how many Westerners take their roads and other civil infrastructure for granted.


Figure 1.4: A Beverly Hills road is complex in way of both design and construction.

Furthermore, unlike much of the Western World (including Venice in Europe), Cambodia faces a unique problem in relation to continuously changing water levels that differ vastly depending on season and time of year (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2001).  In other words, the distinctive question that applied to Cambodia was what way was there to create a bridge that firstly, could stay stationary despite it was a large distance away from land; and secondly, could adjust for changing water levels.

The only solution was the Modular Floating Bridge (herein referred to as the “MFB”), which in its preliminary level has previously been used in the United States and around the World in defense, usually referred to as “pontoon bridges” (Brook, 1998).  The MFB team’s task was ultimately transposing this Western idea to suit the Eastern environment that the Tonle Sap finds itself.

1.1    SWOT Analysis

The Strengths of Cambodia lies in the public perception it needs help, thus attracts attention from various agencies (Engineers Without Borders UK, 2004).  Although this is counteracted by lack of access to capital (World Vision Singapore, 2007), it means that the MFB project has at least some start-up capital.

The Weaknesses of Cambodia lies in its inability to access capital, due to its bad credit rating (although slowly improving) (Monster’s and Critic’s, 2008), low aggregate country income (Bharat Book Bureau, 2005), and public perception (World Federation of Public Health Associations, 2005).  Thus, the MFB budget was severely limited as a result.  As a result, materials were also limited to those that were commonly available within Cambodia, rather than importing materials from overseas that would likely be comparatively more expensive, not even considering freight (ASENA Secretariat, 2009) and tariff charges (World Bank, 2008).

The Opportunities in Cambodia lie in its underdevelopment (Foundations Pour Des Actions Concretes, 2007), thus there are huge opportunities for investment in infrastructure (Government of Cambodia, 2009), which could potentially attract advertising revenue (Beyond Madison Avenue, 2008), as well as business-government partnerships (Asian Development Bank, 2005), and government funding (Economic Institute of Cambodia, 2004).

The Threats to Cambodia are that because the country is slowly gaining momentum, many companies may already be investing in Cambodia (Government of Cambodia, 2009), which could attract huge completion, which could ultimately lead to a price war (Ryckman, 1994).

1.2    Problem Definition

The problem the MFB team faced was creating a civil infrastructure, which would assist persons residing in the Tonle Sap Lake and River in Cambodia.

The proposal outlined is a response to the EWB Challenge, which hopes to help the lives of people living in poverty and disadvantage.  The aim is to respond to the disadvantaged communities living on and around the Tonle Sap Lake and River in Cambodia, by presenting a sustainable human development solution (United Nations Development Program, 2007).  It is truly hoped the Live & Learn and EWB community partners will find the MFB solution innovative and beneficial for new trials and pilot tests.

The various conceptual designs include an integrated design solution, including physical infrastructure, machinery, equipment and appropriate technologies.  The design aims to assist Live & Learn to support the local communities in their own efforts to improve the quality of their lives from a social, environmental and economic perspective.

In short, the aim is to build a bridge that differentiates itself from the current pontoon bridges on the market because of its extendibility.  Whereas current pontoon bridges are built to specific lengths, the MFB idea is to create a pontoon bridge that can be extended and shortened like the aggregating and disaggregating of Lego blocks.

Letter to the Stakeholders


  would like to personally thank you for taking your time to read the engineering design brief for the MFB.  My team and I honestly believe this will absolutely revolutionize the Tonle Sap, Cambodia; and its success would inspire other Cambodians to dream big and achieve huge.

I do not think I could have found a more qualified team of engineers, who from their various backgrounds, have contributed well to this project.

The Modular Floating Bridge Inc team included:

Jerry Shum       [CEO]




As Chief Engineering Officer, I felt that I could not have achieved what I have without my team of engineers, who I now call friends.  Each person played a different but integral part; and at times had to put up with my spontaneity that is not a managerial style always appreciated!  Nevertheless, I hope you appreciate the somewhat interesting integration I make of Engineering with Management, and inspire many engineers in years to come to do so too.

Operations team:

Jordan Ward     [SVP]


Mr. Ward, Senior Vice-President of Operations brought an excellent amount of talent to the competition, having attained phenomenal matriculation results.  I would like to thank him for his support and the large amount of administrative work he has done.  His portfolio was sustainability, and studied and researched various techniques worldwide to come up with just the right solution in relation to sustainable engineering.
Alden Pascua


Mr. Pascua, as his final-year project, has treated this project with nothing short of that description.  He was a driver for the PESTLE Analysis, deriving an in-depth analysis, outlining particular social and cultural constraints in the Tonle Sap, not well versed by Westerners.
Leigh Costello


Mr. Costello delivered a strong written evaluation in the area of ethics.  He was also key in the Design and Production team.  For a large portion of the project, he was my P.A. and provided much needed personal support for the project.

Design and Production team:

Marty Sellar    [ESVP]


Mr. Sellar, Executive Senior Vice President of Design and Production, delegated the role of editor over much of the design brief documentation.  Without his support, I could not have managed such a large team, so I would like to personally thank him as a team member and friend, for his brilliant managerial skills.
Carmen Tkalec    [VP]


An excellent communications manager, Ms. Tkalec, Vice President of Marketing, worked well to deliver a strong team oral presentation.  Furthermore, she did a phenomenal job drawing the various MFB renders you find in this design brief.  Without her contribution, the MFB could not have been communicated with the clarity that it has.

Finally, I’d like to thank Elizabeth Smith for her efforts in coordinating and reviewing this engineering design project.  Her help has been both tremendous and necessary.

The MFB Team hopes you enjoy our innovative solution and hope to see you face-to-face on November 6, 2009 as one of the six outstanding teams at the EWB conference.




Jerry Shum – B.S.E.E., B.Com(Acctng), LL.B

President, Chief Engineering Officer

Executive Summary

This design brief is for the construction of a Modular Floating Bridge (herein referred to as the “MFB”) for the region of Tonle Sap, Cambodia.  We have used the Product Development Lifecycle (PDLC) model to detail the complete process of bringing the MFB to the Cambodian market.

An attempt has been made to combine the most up-to-date Civil Engineering techniques, with the latest Harvard Business School analysis, to come up with a solution that is both innovative as well as achievable.  With superior knowledge of Cambodia, we structured a solution to bring a bridge that would be easily understood, as well as manufactured by the people of the Tonle Sap.

Our engineering solution is best summarized by the Chinese proverb:

Economical; Exquisite; Excellent

The MFB is supreme from the perspectives of price, exterior design, and interior design (manufacturing quality).

Brief Overview

The MFB Design Brief features the following:

v  Outlines alternative options during the design process, and justification for the selected technology

v  Provides detail of conceptual design, analysis, and final design

v  Considerations for budget (design, construction, and maintenance costs)

v  PESTLE Analysis (political, economic, social, technological, legal, environmental) of the Tonle Sap in Cambodia

v  Ethics, long-term sustainability, and maintenance considerations

v  Implementation strategy describing construction and operation advice to cast members

In short, the Modular Floating Bridge (referred to as the “MFB”) is an independent floating/bridging system that “plug-and-play’s” with existing Cambodian infrastructure, with “hot-swap” speeds, taking into account possible boats that may need to cross through the MFB.  The design uses materials that are 100% native to Cambodia, with the exclusion of the steel brackets, which can nonetheless be manufactured in Cambodia.

I guess you can call this a bit of an ‘Internet leak’, maybe more so a ‘news leak’ (Dictionary definition- disclosure of embargoed information in advance of its official release, or the unsanctioned release of confidential information).

Anyway, this seems to have not been an officially authorized disclosure, but somehow it may be in public interest due to need for speedy publication, which is the excuse I’m going to use today my good friends!!

Disclaimer: I’m not facilitating this leak by doing any journalists a personal favor (for any exchange of cooperation etc) but if any lawyers start coming to me screaming for why confidential intellectual property was released on to the Internet, you agree by looking at this page not to talk about it or pursue further charges!

I’ve attached the PDF, but since it’s 2.7MB it’s a bit big so for those who don’t mind not having the pictures, I’ll upload everything in Word format, etc, etc.

Be back very soon my good friends… You are doing a good deed helping the very very veeeeeeeeeeeery poor people of Cambodia!

Link: Modular Floating Bridge Design Brief (2009) [PDF]