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SUTD Rolls Out Multi-million Dollar Five-Year Growth Programmes; Global Search for Next SUTD President Ongoing, Acting President Appointed

01 Dec 2017

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has set aside a multi-million dollar budget to spearhead its next phase of growth, with the support of the Ministry of Education, to develop a suite of integrated, multi-disciplinary programmes in key economic sectors over the next five years. These programmes will further enhance SUTD’s education and research offerings, allow SUTD to better prepare its graduates for the future economy, and support national growth priorities.
 
These programmes will leverage SUTD’s unique Technology and “Big D” Design approach, and are designed to tighten the integration between research, education, and industry to develop multi-faceted skills and a holistic understanding of the sectors that students will enter. Initiatives will include research collaborations to develop state-of-the-art technologies and capabilities to support industry transformation, in-depth faculty-staff learning and training exchanges, co-development of specialised, skills-based courses, access to advanced facilities and equipment for teaching, learning, and research, and enhanced internship and mentorship programmes focusing on job placements, innovation and entrepreneurship.
 
These initiatives go beyond the existing robust technology and design curriculum, and overseas programmes that SUTD offers.
 
To design and implement these programmes, SUTD will be establishing strategic collaborations with industry, government, and academia in four key areas – Healthcare, Cities, Artificial Intelligence/Data Science, and Aviation. For example, with the Healthcare sector, as a start, SUTD will be expanding its partnership with the Changi General Hospital to develop more specialised undergraduate programmes in healthcare-related disciplines, and provide more incubation and test-bedding opportunities to facilitate research, innovation, and enterprise efforts, especially in the medical technologies start-up cluster. Students will explore research innovations such as healthcare product/equipment design, automated drug dispensing and delivery systems, optimisation of hospital layout and processes, robotic surgery, and more.
 
In addition, SUTD has a partnership with Duke-NUS Medical School, to offer an SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track to nurture future clinicians who are adept at both practising medicine and harnessing technological advancements across disciplines to impact healthcare. (Please see Annex A for more details of the track.)
 
With such partnerships, students will be able to gain deeper real-life knowledge and experience of working in these industries, more research and development exposure, and more internship opportunities with both local and overseas companies, and ultimately better career prospects.
 
SUTD Chairman, Mr Lee Tzu Yang said: “SUTD’s next phase will tightly integrate education, research, innovation and enterprise. It will also build on our robust technology and design curriculum to meet the future needs of industry and government. We will greatly widen our current level of collaborations beyond the current 700 companies for projects and student internships. Our aim is that every SUTD graduate is not just ready for the future economy but will create the future through technology and design.”
 
Ongoing global search for next SUTD President; Appointment of Acting President
As SUTD embarks on its next phase of development, Professor Thomas Magnanti will be appointed President Emeritus after the end of his eight-year term as SUTD’s Founding President on 31 December 2017. As President Emeritus, Professor Magnanti will act as adviser, to give counsel on university matters, as well as represent SUTD where appropriate. The appointment is also in recognition of his tremendous contributions to setting up the university.
 
SUTD’s Founding Provost, Professor Chong Tow Chong, will take on the role of Acting President from 1 January 2018. He has worked from the beginning with Professor Magnanti and on their shared vision of design and technology in making SUTD uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. Both leaders have worked together with the leadership team of SUTD on the above five-year growth programmes.
 
The global academic search for a new president is ongoing.  A high-level search committee will continue efforts to find the next President to further SUTD’s vision of preparing students for the future and creating a better world by design.
 
Professor Magnanti said: “I am so proud of the accomplishments and teamwork of the pioneering faculty, staff and students of SUTD. Together, we have achieved an innovative and robust curriculum that is producing graduates who are highly valued by industry and graduate schools, and who can create a better world. As a research-intensive university, SUTD has also made tremendous contributions to the research community in technology and design. With the strong and dedicated team we have assembled, I am certain that SUTD is well on its way to being among the world’s best universities in technology and design.”
 
Professor Chong Tow Chong said: “SUTD’s next phase will be big and bold - in both vision and ambition. With our innovative education, multi-disciplinary research and pervasive partnerships with industry, government and global universities, we will deliver a truly unique and exciting university experience for our students to create a better world by design. We will continue to produce technically grounded leaders and innovators to meet the challenges of Singapore and the world.”