Student Achievements 2020

Here are some of the accolades garnered by our students:

Merit Prize at the International Building Design Competition

Microcosm, a mixed-use development of the future, seeks to address sustainability through two aspects; lifestyle and construction methodology. An urban farming integrated housing programme with the use of efficient 3D printing construction technology, Microcosm by Team Somapah won the Merit Prize at the International Building Design Competition 2020.

The team, made up of six Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD) seniors, was supervised by Assistant Prof Michael Budig.

Organised by Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA), in partnership with Singapore Polytechnic (SP), National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), the International Building Design Competition 2020 shortlisted a total of 25 submissions and presented 15 prizes.

Team Somapah comprises (clockwise from top left in photo):

  • Lim Hai Heng Lester
  • Ngiam Ju Jin Lucas
  • Tan Jee Khang Benedict
  • Teo Shao Tian
  • Thet Naung Oo
  • Wong Shu Miin Naomi

Read more about the features of Microcosm.

SCDF X IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2020

At the Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call for Code 2020, students were given 48 hours to solve a problem statement in an e-Hackathon. Team ‘bad_with_names’ comprising four SUTD Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) students clinched the second prize.

The team pitched their proposal against four other finalists at the Grand Finals held on 18 July 2020. Using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and the IBM Cloud technologies to engage Community First Responders, the team’s solution streamlines and augments the aid process of unforeseen accidents occurring in households of vulnerable population members.

The Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call for Code 2020 is an inaugural collaboration between SCDF and IBM Singapore in support of the Singapore Together Movement.

Team ‘bad_with_names’ comprises:

  • Alex Wang Wei Jie, ISTD junior
  • Ng Jia Yi, ISTD junior
  • Jose Johnson Emerson Raja, ISTD junior
  • Sheikh Salim Bin Mohamed Aneess Alrragi, ISTD junior

For their win, the team received a cash prize of S$6,000 and US$120,000 IBM Cloud Credits. (L-R) Ng Jia Yi; Ms Natasha Kwan, General Manager of Enterprise Public Sector, IBM Singapore; Jose Johnson Emerson Raja; Alex Wang; Deputy Commissioner Teong How Hwa, Future Technology & Public Safety, SCDF; and Sheikh Salim Bin Mohamed Aneess Alrragi.

LKYCIC Research Fellow Wins Praemium Erasmianum Foundation Research Prize

Dr Thijs Willems, a research fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, SUTD, has won the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation Research Prize in the field of the humanities and the social sciences.

Dr Willems’ PhD dissertation was selected alongside four other winners. They were recognised for their dissertation papers’ outstanding quality, true interdisciplinary methods, originality, international scope and excellent readability.
The winners were also honoured in a virtual ceremony held on 23 June 2020, exactly 60 years from when the foundation was founded on 23 June 1958.
Hear more from Dr Willems on his ethnographic study of the Dutch railway system and view the virtual ceremony here (from 26:24 mins onwards).

The IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Prize

SUTD PhD student, Dr Thinh Quang Dinh, together with Professor Tony Quek (Head of Pillar, ISTD) were awarded the 2020 IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Prize for their excellent paper 'Offloading in Mobile Edge Computing: Task Allocation and Computational Frequency Scaling'.

Dr Thinh graduated from the SUTD PhD programme in January this year.

The IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper Award

The 2020 IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper Award was given to Dr Zheng Chen for her paper ‘Cooperative Caching and Transmission Design in Cluster-Centric Small Cell Networks’. Dr Zheng Chen was a visiting PhD student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design in 2015, under the guidance of Prof Tony Quek (Head of Pillar, ISTD), who is also a co-author of the awarded paper.

Dr Zheng Chen (left) did research at the Wireless Networks and Decision Systems (WNDS) Group led by Prof Tony Quek (right).
The Young Author Best Paper Award gives recognition to author(s) below the age of 30, who made substantial contribution to the paper, and is judged based on originality, utility, timeliness, impact and clarity of presentation.

Dr Zheng is currently a researcher at the Linköping University in Sweden.

First Qualified Architect from SUTD Pioneer Batch

SUTD is proud to announce our first Qualified Architect, Ar Bianca Su Fen Gill. An SUTD pioneer alumna from the Master of Architecture Class of 2016, Bianca successfully completed and passed the Professional Practice Examination 2019 held by the Board of Architects, Singapore (BOA).

Bianca shares:
To all my fellow friends pursuing Architecture in SUTD, enjoy the process of learning, experimenting and failing. We embark on this journey for different reasons but never lose sight of your purpose.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” - these wise words from Sir Winston Churchill beautifully sum up my journey in obtaining my Practising Certificate as a Qualified Architect. My late grandfather was a great story teller who happened to design and build affordable low cost housings as Chief of Housing Board in Malaysia and later became Chief of Human Settlements Division in ESCAP, United Nations where he was invited by mostly third world countries around the world to advise on possible improvements to their housing issues. One of my favourite stories was his visit to China in 1981 for a conference to understand the state of living and how his team can contribute. He saw the ideological and cultural challenges as the beauty of Architecture; being able to empathise for the people we are designing for. That sparked my love for Architecture. There will be obstacles faced in different Projects but whenever the challenges ahead seem insurmountable, what kept me going was to remember why I do what I do and the conviction that my work as an Architect can make the world a more inclusive place to live in.

Third Place at the Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Challenge 2020

A team of SUTD students took home the third place at the Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Challenge (AAVC) 2020, held in Chumphon, Thailand from 12 January to 14 January 2020.
The goal of the challenge is to design and build an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to complete the search and rescue tasks in a simulated humanitarian aid scenario. Teams will need to demonstrate the UAV’s autonomous capability in locating “casualty”, determining the injury type and delivering a survival payload.
A total of 24 teams participated in this international competition.
The SUTD team comprises:

  • Tan Kian Wee, EPD Junior
  • Chung Wah Kit, Freshmore
  • Yeo Wee Hian Sean, Freshmore
  • Lim Hui Qing Kristabel, Freshmore
  • Low Jia Hwee, Freshmore
  • Jedrek Teo Wei Zhi, Freshmore


SUTD Alumni Wins Jacques Rougerie Foundation Coup de Coeur Award

In its 9th edition, the 2019 Jacques Rougerie Foundation International Competition in Architecture called for submissions of bold and visionary projects based on biomimicry, that address major issues relating to humanity.

Nabila Larasati Pranoto, an SUTD Master of Architecture alumni (class of 2019), won the Coup de Coeur Award in the Architecture and Issues of the Sea Level Rise category with her work, ‘A Living Organism’.

Nabila (left) receiving the award from Justin Ahanhanzo of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the award ceremony held at Institut de France, on 22 January 2020.

Based on her master thesis and research which was mentored by Professor of Practice Eva Castro, the project presents an integrated community lifestyle which helps ensure the survival and empowerment of communities living along riverbanks. Her design converts the threats of climate change to benefit an alternative livelihood in the form of aquaculture, aquaponics and water desalination.


The 21st century is seeing a growing wave of environmental anxieties. Dispelling the notion that we were in control, the earth’s natural forces are becoming increasingly volatile, threatening the very fabric of human existence. Using tools like fiction, infrastructure, and integrated hybrid systems, this project attempts to imagine new socio-ecological realities for humanity at the mercy of climate change. With Mekong Delta as a testing bed, I have developed a fictional narrative regarding a new system of living that empowers marginalised communities living at the threshold of climate change. Formerly a leading rice exporter in Southeast Asia, Mekong Delta is facing issues of salinity intrusion and sea level rise, threatening their productivity. Occupying their new reality, the Mekong Delta community would build a thriving alternative lifestyle upon the foundations of aquaculture, aquaponics and water desalination. The very people who are at the threshold of a global catastrophe shall be the pioneers of a new world order.