Faculty and Staff Achievements

SUTD Faculty Listed Among World’s Top Scientists in Clarivate’s Highly Cited Researchers 2023

SUTD faculty in Highly Cited Researchers 2023

Professor Chua Chee Kai, SUTD’s Associate Provost for Research and Cheng Tsang Man Chair Professor, has been named in the prestigious list of Highly Cited Researchers™ (HCR) for the second year running, alongside Assistant Professor Xiong Zehui from the Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) pillar. They were both named under the category of cross-field.

Clarivate’s list of Highly Cited Researchers™ identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers with significant and broad influence in their fields. 6,849 individual researchers from institutions in 67 countries and regions have been selected in the 2023 list, with 109 from Singapore. According to Clarivate, Highly Cited Researchers are 1 in 1,000 of the world’s population of scientists and social scientists.

An expert in 3D printing and rapid prototyping, Prof Chua is at the forefront of additive manufacturing research in Singapore. In 2022, he chaired the inaugural International Conference of Additive Manufacturing for a Better World 2022 at SUTD and published a textbook titled 'Digital Gastronomy - From 3D Food Printing to Personalised Nutrition' with World Scientific.

Assistant Prof Xiong’s research interests include wireless communications, Internet of Things, blockchain, edge intelligence, and Metaverse. He has won multiple Best Paper Awards in various international conferences and now serves as the editor or guest editor for many leading journals including IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Internet of Things Journal and IEEE Transactions. Early this year, he joined the list of young trailblazers in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Class of 2023.

Most recently, both Prof Chua and Assistant Prof Xiong were also ranked amongst the top 2 percent of most-cited scientists globally in a list as compiled by Stanford University.

This is the seventh time that SUTD has been placed on the HCR list. Professor Tony Quek, SUTD’s Head of Pillar for ISTD, was listed as an HCR in the field of Computer Science for five consecutive years from 2016 to 2020.

Assistant Professor Karthyek Murthy Wins INFORMS Best Publication Award 2023

Assistant Prof Karthyek Murthy (second from left) and his co-authors received the award from Professor David A. Goldberg (Chair of the INFORMS Applied Probability Society).
Assistant Professor Karthyek Murthy, Engineering Systems and Design (ESD), has won the 2023 Best Publication Award from the Applied Probability Society (APS) of INFORMS - the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Assistant Prof Murthy and his co-authors won the award for the following papers:

These papers “develop foundational tools that use optimal transport to effectively quantify distributional model risk in a broad range of applications, including distributionally robust optimisation, diffusion approximations, and adversarially robust machine learning.” (Read full citation)

The APS Best Publication Award recognises outstanding contributions to applied probability. This year, the bi-annual award takes into consideration publications which appeared during the period from 2019 to 2022. Amongst the distinguished past winners who have made immense contribution to the subject, Assistant Prof Murthy is the first winner from the Asia-Pacific region.

Second place for SUTD-VLG at MICCAI 2023’s Cephalometric Landmark Detection Challenge

Assistant Professor Liu Jun and his team members from the SUTD Computer Vision & Learning Group (VLG) won the international second place in the Cephalometric Landmark Detection (CL-Detection) 2023 Grand Challenge. The challenge was part of the 26th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI), which was held on 8 October 2023, in Vancouver, Canada.

The localisation of cephalometric landmarks in lateral X-ray images is of significant importance in the fields of orthodontics, maxillofacial surgery and craniofacial treatment, as it aids in diagnosing dental and skeletal abnormalities in patients, devising treatment plans, assessing facial reconstruction outcomes, and predicting the growth trends of bones and teeth in adolescents. The CL-Detection Challenge aimed to design precise and reliable algorithms for the automatic positioning of head X-ray measurement points, providing reference tools for clinical practitioners.

SUTD-VLG creatively revisited the challenges and differences in medical landmark detection from the perspective of human pose estimation to propose an innovative solution based on efficient heatmap super-resolution. This solution reduced the computational load during upsampling while mitigating the challenges of heatmap localisation, leading to more precise detection. Their approach outshone competitors from prestigious institutions and organisations like Cornell University, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and Zhejiang University. Specifically, SUTD-VLG claimed the top position in the two-stage rankings for the Successful Detection Rate under 2mm (SDR2mm) metric and achieved first and third place in the Mean Radial Error (MRE).

The red points indicate the cephalometric landmarks as predicted by the SUTD-VLG team’s algorithm; the green points indicate the ground truth.

MICCAI is a premier international event in the field of medical image intelligent computing, renowned for showcasing the latest research and hosting international challenges related to various medical image-assisted diagnostic scenarios.

The SUTD-VLG team comprises:

  • Assistant Professor Liu Jun, Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD)

  • Visiting Research Assistant Wu Qian

  • Assistant Professor Yeo Si Yong, LKC Medicine, NTU (ISTD alumni faculty)

Young Scientist Award at 2023 President’s Science & Technology Awards: Assistant Professor Soujanya Poria

Assistant Professor Soujanya Poria (right) is one of this year’s recipients of the Young Scientist Award. (Image credit: National Research Foundation)

For his outstanding work in multimodal conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language processing (NLP), Assistant Professor Soujanya Poria received the Young Scientist Award at the President’s Science & Technology Awards (PSTA) ceremony on 20 October 2023.

Honouring young researchers aged 35 and below who show great potential in their fields, the Young Scientist Award is administered by the Singapore National Academy of Science and supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF). Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, chairman of NRF, presented the award to this year’s three recipients at the award ceremony held in the Istana.

Assistant Prof Poria develops techniques to improve the common-sense reasoning abilities of foundational AI models. By combining text, audio and video data from human interactions, he helps AI systems understand human emotions and intentions. This enhances interactions between human and machine, with the potential to greatly benefit society in areas like education, healthcare, and workplace productivity.

(Young Scientist Award 2023 Winners, National Research Foundation)

"Dr Poria's primary focus has been on overcoming the challenge of fusing multimodal information, achieved through multimodal representation learning and information theoretic methods like mutual-information maximisation. Dr Poria's work shows that amalgamating data from complementary modalities yields superior performance as compared to single-modal systems. The open-source code developed by Dr Poria's team has gained widespread adoption in both academic and industrial spheres." read the full citation

A faculty member of the Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) pillar, Assistant Prof Poria was also ranked within the top 0.1% in his field, amongst scientists in the world. The list, as compiled by Stanford University, is based on the bibliometric information in the Scopus database and includes more than 210,000 researchers from across the globe.

President’s Science & Technology Medal
The PSTA are the country’s top honours for research scientists and engineers, given annually to individuals and teams that have made exceptional contributions in science and technology in Singapore.

This year, SUTD’s member of the Board of Trustee Mr Quek Gim Pew, also received the President’s Science & Technology Medal for his pivotal role in developing Singapore’s research ecosystem in critical areas including defence capabilities, space technology, advancing quantum engineering, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing. Mr Quek is currently senior research and development consultant at the Ministry of Defence.

SG 100 Women in Tech 2023

Assistant Professor Malika Meghjani joins the 2023 list of Singapore 100 Women in Tech.

“The driving force in my work is the opportunity to create meaningful impact through the advancement of autonomous field robots which can collaborate with humans in real-world applications especially in protecting and reviving the marine and ground environments.

The cornerstone of achieving success lies in diversity, as it includes different perspectives that converge to shape successful outcomes.”

Assistant Prof Meghjani received her PhD in Computer Science from McGill University, Canada. Her research areas include networked and autonomous systems, computing theory, and artificial and augmented intelligence.

The 100 exceptional women honoured this year were selected from a total of 800 nominations received. Organised by the Singapore Computer Society (SCS), in partnership with SG Women in Tech and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the SG100WIT list recognises and celebrates women based in Singapore who have been inspiring and have made significant contributions to the tech industry.

SUTD Recipients of the National Day Awards 2023

A total of 6,598 awards were conferred for this year’s National Day Awards. The Awards recognises individuals for various forms of merit and service to Singapore.

SUTD recipients of the National Day Awards 2023:

  • Commendation Medal - Mr Chan Kok Wah, Assistant Director, Information Systems, Office of Information Technology

  • Commendation Medal - Mdm Suryakala Mahankali, Lead Specialist, Information Systems, Office of Information Technology

Fulbright Scholar Program for 2023-2024 

Assistant Professor Nilanjan Raghunath and Dr Zhao Zhenxing, both from the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) cluster, have received awards under the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program and the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program respectively.

With her Fulbright research scholar award and grant, Assistant Prof Raghunath will be conducting research as a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Department of Sociology. She will present her research there and at The Trust Collaboratory (under INCITE, an interdisciplinary social science research institute at Columbia University). Her research will focus on understanding interdisciplinary scientific networks of female scientists and academics between Singapore and the United States.

As the only scholar nominated and awarded in Chinese literature (part of East Asian literature) this year, Dr Zhao will be taking up residency at Utah Valley University from August 2023 to May 2024. While there, Dr Zhao will teach courses on Chinese culture, conduct comparative research on traditional Chinese culture and Western culture, give lectures to the university community on the research, and help with Chinese table and Chinese cultural activities on and off campus. Prior to departing for Utah, Dr Zhao will also be organising a pedagogical webinar featuring Fulbright Scholars from 30 countries around world, to share their teaching experiences and how digital tools are being used to reshape teaching and learning in 21st century higher education.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational and cultural exchange programme sponsored by the US government.

IEEE TCSVC 2023 Rising Star Award

The IEEE Technical Community on Services Computing (TCSVC) sponsors and administers five IEEE TCSVC awards each year. Assistant Professor Xiong Zehui from SUTD’s Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) pillar is the recipient for the IEEE TCSVC 2023 Rising Star Award.

The Award is given to one unique recipient each year – a promising individual who are in the early stages of their independent research careers, and have made outstanding, impactful, and potentially long-lasting contributions to the science and engineering of Services Computing.

Assistant Prof Xiong is also an Honorary Adjunct Senior Research Scientist with Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute, Singapore. Most recently, he was featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list – 2023 edition, and he has also received the IEEE TCI Rising Star Award and various best paper awards. He is also listed amongst the world’s top 2% scientists according to the database by Stanford University and Elsevier BV in September 2022.

Special Recognition in Architectural Design - Design Educates Awards 2023

Image credit: Koh Sze Kiat

The Bayfront Pavilion, also known as The Future of Us Pavilion, has received the Special Recognition in Architectural Design award in the 2023 edition of the Design Educates Awards (DEAwards).

Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD) Professor Thomas Schroepfer, as director of the Advanced Architecture Lab, is the lead for this project which was originally built to house The Future of Us exhibition commemorating Singapore’s golden jubilee in 2015. Spanning almost 50-metres wide and 16-metres tall, the Bayfront Pavilion is now a permanent feature located between Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, hosting various public festivals and events.

Promoting architecture and designs with impact beyond aesthetics and technicality, the annual DEAwards recognise and showcase the best projects that also offer an informative and educational added value. The 2023 jury included, among others, Professor Toyo Ito, founder of Toyo Ito & Associates, Tokyo, Japan, and Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2013, and Professor Achim Menges, founding director of the Institute for Computational Design and Construction at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Six SUTD Faculty, Alumni and Student in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Class of 2023

Six SUTD faculty, alumni and student join the 300 outstanding young trailblazers of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Class of 2023. They are:

  • Assistant Professor Xiong Zehui from SUTD’s Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) Pillar;

  • Engineering Product Development (EPD) alumni Eleora Teo Jia Yee (Class of 2019) and Johannes Brian Sunarko (Class of 2021);

  • Computer Science and Design* (CSD) alumni Aravind Kandiah and Charles Wong (both Class of 2019); and

  • EPD PhD student Denzel Lee.

Assistant Prof Xiong Zehui - Forbes 30 Under 30 AsiaAssistant Professor Xiong Zehui is recognised for his research in AI.

Under the category of Healthcare & Science, Assistant Prof Xiong is recognised for his research in Artificial Intelligence (AI), data science and wireless technology; while Eleora (Jia Yee) and Johannes, together with their co-founder Abel Teo, are featured for their med-tech startup Castomize.
Castomize - Forbes 30 Under 30 AsiaJohannes (centre) and Eleora (right) are featured for their startup Castomize along with co-founder Abel Teo (left). (Image credit: forbes.com)

Bifrost - Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia
Co-founders Aravind and Charles are honoured under the category of Enterprise Technology for the achievements of their startup Bifrost AI in fields of generative AI and synthetic data.

Datature - Forbes 30 Under 30 AsiaDenzel Lee (left) with his co-founder Keechin Goh from Datature. (Image credit: Denzel Lee)

Also selected in the category of Enterprise Technology are Denzel Lee and his co-founder Keechin Goh, whose company Datature helps professionals without coding skills to build machine learning applications.

The Class of 2023 honourees were vetted and selected from over 4,000 candidates by the Forbes Asia team and a panel of independent, expert judges. In its eighth year, the 2023 list features a diverse set of young entrepreneurs and leaders who are championing innovations within their respective fields, with 20 countries and territories represented across the Asia-Pacific region.

* SUTD’s Computer Science and Design (CSD) degree programme was previously named Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) prior to 2020.

AI’s 10 to Watch 2022

Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) Assistant Professor Soujanya Poria is named one of AI’s 10 to Watch – 2022 edition.

The top 10 researchers named in the 2022 edition are outstanding individuals who have obtained their PhD up to 10 years prior, and are selected from a pool of more than 30 competitive and strong nominations.

Since 2006, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Intelligent Systems celebrates the community of AI researchers and their works with its biennial AI’s 10 to Watch, which recognises young and rising top AI scientists.

Assistant Prof Soujanya Poria also recently received the 2023 AI 2000 Most Influential Scholar Honorable Mention in AAAI/IJCAI.


(Photo credit: Fabian Ong)

The Body Heart & Soul exhibition has won the iF DESIGN AWARD 2023. Led by Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD) lecturer Dr Jason Lim (co-founder of YUME ARCHITECTS), Body Heart & Soul was an interactive art exhibition staged at four different venues within the Marina Central district over a period of 9 months.

Illuminated, mirrored cubes were reconfigured and customised for display at each venue, presenting four different themes namely Body at Play, Heartfelt, In the Mood and Collective Soul. The cubes can sense and respond to people’s movement within the installation, thus inviting human interaction. Body Heart & Soul illustrates the convergence of art, technology, and human consciousness within the public sphere. (More information about Body Heart & Soul)

(Photo credit: Fabian Ong)

The iF DESIGN AWARD is one of the most prestigious design prizes in the world and this year, a total of almost 11,000 entries were received, coming from 56 nations, and across 9 disciplines and 82 categories. The jury was made up of 88 international, independent design experts.

Body Heart & Soul was designed by YUME ARCHITECTS, in collaboration with SUTD and Tinkertanker. The SUTD alumni and students involved in the project are:

  • Jonathan Chan
  • Rachel Low
  • Sandy Low
  • Levona Chan
  • Chan Xinze
  • Chen Yu Tung
  • David Chung
  • Nasrin Fotohi
  • Austin Law
  • Faith Low
  • Saw Man Lin
  • Jolene The
  • Yu Xiang

2023 AI 2000 Most Influential Scholar Honourable Mention

Recognised for his outstanding contributions to research in Artificial Intelligence between 2013 and 2022, Assistant Professor Soujanya Poria has received the 2023 AI 2000 Most Influential Scholar Honorable Mention in AAAI/IJCAI.

Assistant Prof Soujanya Poria is with the Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) pillar at SUTD and his research interests include Natural Language Processing, Sentiment Analysis and Emotion Recognition.

Each year, the AI 2000 Most Influential Scholar names the world's top 2,000 scholars with outstanding achievements, contributions and impact to research in artificial intelligence over the past decade.

Best Manipulation Award at RoboSoft 2023 Competition

At the RoboSoft 2023 Competition held in conjunction with the 6th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft 2023), the SUTD-led team won first prize for the Best Manipulation Award.

This year, the RoboSoft Competition focused on real-world robot applications and the team led by SUTD’s Bio-inspired Robotics and Design Laboratory (BRD Lab) took on the challenge based on the scenario of ‘food handling for trays preparation’. The manipulation tasks were designed to evaluate advances in gripper materials, grasping strategies, system integration, autonomy, and execution speed and repeatability.

The competition centered around assembling a tray of food, a scenario that is applicable in healthcare, air travel, food & beverage, hospitality, and other service industries. Robots were tasked to autonomously assemble as many complete food trays as possible within a specified time limit. Each food tray had to contain seven different types of items from a diverse range including sausages, meatballs, green beans, cooked spaghetti noodles, cookies, fried eggs, local pastry snacks and orange juice.

Participants included accomplished teams from institutes renowned for their expertise in soft grasping, such as École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Istituto Italiano di Technologia (IIT), National University of Singapore (NUS), Ritsumeikan University, and University of Bristol.

The SUTD-led team comprised:

  • Saikrishna Dontu (Senior Research Assistant, EPD/BRD Lab & Master of Engineering alumni, Class of 2021)
  • Virbhadrappa Swaminath Kalburgi (Senior Research Assistant, ISTD/Multi-agent Robot Vision & Learning Laboratory)
  • Shrutika Vishal Thengane (Senior Research Assistant, ISTD/Multi-agent Robot Vision & Learning Laboratory)
  • Chooi An Rong Aaron (Research Assistant, EPD/BRD Lab & PhD student)
  • Audelia Gumarus Dharmawan (Research Assistant, EPD/Articulated Systems and Biomechanics Group)
  • Elgar Vikram Kanhere (Research Fellow, EPD/BRD Lab)
  • Thileepan Stalin (PhD student, EPD/BRD Lab)
  • Arturo Castillo Ugalde (PhD student, EPD/BRD Lab)
  • Chidanand Hegde (CREATE-SHARE, Smart Grippers for Soft Robotics)
  • Jiangtao Su (CREATE-SHARE, Smart Grippers for Soft Robotics)
  • Joel Tan (CREATE-SHARE, Smart Grippers for Soft Robotics)

3rd Place Winner at 2023 TigerLaunch Singapore

TigerLaunch Singapore SNAP Robotics
Team SNAP Robotics, comprising SUTD Engineering Product Development (EPD) research assistants Saikrishna Dontu and Chooi An Rong Aaron, won the 3rd place at 2023 TigerLaunch Singapore. Saikrishna is also an SUTD Master of Engineering alumni (Class of 2021) while Aaron is a current EPD PhD student.

They presented the design and proposed business model for the Reconfigurable Workspace Soft Gripper. The Reconfigurable Workspace Soft Gripper is a soft pneumatic gripper that is able to handle thin, fragile, soft and granular objects, thus capable of working in high-mix packaging environments. (Read more about the research ‘A Multimodal, Reconfigurable Workspace Soft Gripper for Advanced Grasping Tasks’ by Snehal Jain, Saikrishna Dontu, Joanne Ee Mei Teoh and Assistant Prof Pablo Valdivia Y Alvarado.)

TigerLaunch is the world’s biggest student-run entrepreneurship pitching competition founded by Princeton Entrepreneurship Club. The 2023 TigerLaunch Singapore was held on 28 January 2023, as part of the second day programme of UNICON 2023, organised by NUS Entrepreneurship Society.

SNIC-AsCA2019 Distinguished Woman Chemist Award for Year 2023

Prof Yang Hui Ying SNIC-AsCA2019 Distinguished Woman Chemist Award
In recognition of her contribution to chemical research, Professor Yang Hui Ying (Engineering Product Development) has been selected as the year 2023 recipient for the SNIC-AsCA2019 Distinguished Woman Chemist Award. This prestigious award is presented only once to a researcher for her lifetime. As the Award recipient, Prof Yang will be giving a lecture at the Singapore National Chemistry Meeting (ChnmSG) to be held in August 2023.

Prof Yang currently leads the SUTD-CGU Dual Masters Programme in Nano-Electronic Engineering and Design (NEED) as programme director. Last year, she was also listed as one of the world’s top 2% scientists in the field of Nanoscience & Nanotechnology.

Established by the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry (SNIC), the SNIC-AsCA2019 Distinguished Woman Chemist Award gives recognition to women in academia, government agencies or industry, who have contributed significantly to chemical research, education or development. It is jointly funded by SNIC and the local organising committee chair of the 16th Conference of the Asian Crystallographic Association held at the National University of Singapore (17-20 December 2019).

Co-Chair of Publications Committee of the Society for Research in Child Development

Assoc Prof Yow Wei Quin
Associate Professor Yow Wei Quin has been appointed as Co-Chair of the Publications Committee of the Society for Research in Child Development. Her term starts on 23 March 2023 for a period of four years. She will take on responsibilities including the review of existing publications and evaluate proposals for new publications.

Assoc Prof Yow is the acting Head of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) at SUTD. She has published more than 50 peer-refereed papers, conference proceedings and book chapters in top-tiered journals and conferences such as Developmental Science, Child Development, Journal of Gerontology Series B, Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, Frontiers in Psychology, Cognitive Science Society, etc.

Prof Cheong Koon Hean Appointed Non-Resident Ambassador to Finland

Prof Cheong Koon Hean and President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö. (Image credit: Juhani Kandell/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland)
Professor Cheong Koon Hean, Chair of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC) at SUTD, has been appointed as Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Finland.

Prof Cheong presented her credentials to the President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, on 15 February 2023, marking the commencement of her appointment.

ETHRWorld Southeast Asia’s HR Icons List: Top 100 Influential HR Leaders

Dr Jaclyn Lee ETHRWorld Southeast Asia HR Icons 2023
SUTD’s Chief Human Resource Officer, Dr Jaclyn Lee, has been listed within Southeast Asia’s top 100 most influential HR leaders by ETHRWorld Southeast Asia in their inaugural HR Icons list.

In celebration of the HR initiatives, milestones and accomplishments in recent years and to gain perspectives into the HR vision for 2023, the editorial team of ETHRWorld Southeast Asia has curated this top 100 list. The HR Icons are recognised based on their experience, influence, and contributions, and how they have “redefined what it means to lead the Future of Work”.

At SUTD, Dr Lee manages Strategic Human Resources and Capability Development as Chief Human Resource Officer. She has over 25 years of experience in HR in various industries. (View Dr Jaclyn Lee's profile)