Managing Director, Singapore Rail Engineering

Mario Favaits leads SMRT’s efforts to develop a suite of rail engineering and system integration capabilities, to position SMRT for rail engineering projects in Singapore and overseas.

Before joining SMRT, he served as the Global Director of Services Sales & Marketing at Faiveley Transport. Between 2011 and 2014, Mr Favaits was Director of Services at Alstom Transport in Asia-Pacific. He was a member of the Asia-Pacific Management team and was responsible for the Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul projects and operations in the region. He was invited to be part of a global team tasked with driving and implementing a culture change programme at Alstom Transport.

In the 10 years prior to joining Alstom, Mr Favaits held senior leadership positions at Siemens and Continental in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. His responsibilities focused on business development and growth, building a sustainable competitive advantage and driving change.

Mr Favaits holds a Master of Science in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from the University of Brussels, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Antwerp Management School and a Master of Laws from the University of Liverpool.



Director, Business Planning and Joint Venture Management

Cheong Keng Soon joins us as Director, Business Planning and Joint Venture Management, Singapore Rail Engineering. In this role, he will develop our business with Land Transport Authority and other strategic partners. He will work closely with SMRT’s corporate functions to support the business growth.

Prior to joining SMRT, Mr Cheong had held the positions of Director (Port Division) and Director (Shipping Division)/Director of Marine at the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). In these positions, he ensured that the port of Singapore was efficiently and effectively managed, and oversaw the development and implementation of policies and programmes to promote the maritime industry and attract companies to establish themselves in Singapore. Through ongoing stakeholder engagement and the development of pro-business policies, he successfully led his team in expanding the fleet of merchant ships flagged in the Singapore Registry by 30%. Before his appointment at MPA, he held various staff and command positions in his 26-year career with the Singapore Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence.

Mr Cheong holds a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science.



Director, Project Management Office

John Cross joins us as Director, Project Management Office, Singapore Rail Engineering. In this role, John will assume quality, cost and delivery responsibility for the projects awarded to Singapore Rail Engineering as well as groom future project leaders. Mr Cross will also be the Project Director for the C-651  Refurbishment Project.

Mr Cross brings along more than 20 years in leading engineering projects and operations for some of the world’s largest urban and mainline transportation systems. He joins us from London Underground, where he was the Programme Delivery Manager for Transport for London. In this capacity, he led the delivery of a €1.8billion Rolling Stock replacement programme across the three major Sub Surface Lines of London Underground. Earlier in his career, he was the Head of Production Introduction at Bombardier Transportation India, New Delhi. He spearheaded a €0.5billion market entry programme which included the final acceptance of approximately 600 metro cars for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation that led to a follow on 111 car order for the Delhi metro programme.

Mr Cross is an incorporated engineer certified by the Institute of Engineering and Technology and graduated in Electrical Engineering from Greenwich University. He holds a postgraduate diploma in business management from Chennai University.

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