SUTD’s First Batch of Students Graduate

31 Aug 2015
  • 298 undergraduate(UG) and 10 masters students received their degrees
  • More than two out of three UG students have either secured jobs prior to graduation or will be pursuing graduate studies
  • One in four who secured jobs had return offers from the internship company

Singapore, 29 August 2015 – The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore's fourth public university, marks a significant milestone with the graduation of its pioneer batch of undergraduate students (enrolled in May 2012) today. In total, 308 students received their bachelor and masters’ degree certificates from Singapore President and SUTD Chancellor, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, at the Graduation ceremony. Gracing the event was also Minister for Education, Mr Heng Swee Keat, who gave the graduation speech.

More than two out of three undergraduate students in the first cohort have either secured jobs prior to graduation or will be pursuing graduate studies. Students who majored in the three engineering pillars — Engineering Product Development, Engineering Systems and Design and Information Systems Technology and Design — were awarded Bachelor of Engineering degrees with the respective majors. The majority of them have secured employment in more than 70 per cent of Singapore’s key industries and emerging business sectors*, with the top three being Engineering (e.g. Aerospace Engineering, Aviation, Marine & Offshore Engineering, etc.), Banking & Finance, and Defence. Among them, one in four students had return offers from the internship programme, with companies like Accenture, Barclays, British Petroleum, Citibank, P&G, and Keppel FELS, among others.

Engineering Systems and Design pillar graduate Jocelyn Kow, 22, one of those who impressed her superiors so much during her internship that she received a return offer from the organisation six months before she graduated said: “I was very happy that Keppel FELS liked the work that I did during my internship. I learnt a lot about oil rigs and the company's operations from my mentor and colleagues during the four months I spent there and the tasks assigned to me were both challenging and exciting. I look forward to starting my career in such an interesting industry.”

Another group of students from this cohort have also chosen the unconventional route of entrepreneurship, opting to spin off companies from their capstone (final year) projects. These include a startup to produce a device that would enable parents to monitor their young children when they are out of home, one that would produce and market a set of smart barbecue tongs which can tell the doneness of meat and another to develop a payment splitting platform to solve issues arising from buying items as a group.

For students who majored in Architecture and Sustainable Design, and were awarded a Bachelor of Science, almost 90 per cent of them will continue to pursue their Master of Architecture at SUTD.

Of the students’ versatility, SUTD President, Professor Thomas L. Magnanti said: “Our students have now completed an academic programme that is one of the most rigorous, and most multidisciplinary in the world. This has prepared them for careers in a myriad of fields as can be seen by the numerous industries they are joining. Through their engaging active learning curriculum, they are equipped with a wide range of skills, and we believe, they will use them to contribute fresh designs, ideas and technologies to help address important societal needs.”

In support of the national SkillsFuture movement of creating a future based on skills and encouraging a culture of lifelong learning, SUTD will provide each graduating student S$500 in their alumni e-account, called LIFE (Lifelong Initiative For Education). LIFE is an investment into our graduates’ continuous professional development and technological relevance. Students can tap LIFE to take courses in areas of SUTD’s deep expertise, such as cyber security, design innovation, advanced manufacturing, sustainability, etc. SUTD hopes that this graduation gift will help its graduates foster a continuous learning spirit.

*This is from the Economic Development Board’s list of Singapore’s industries and emerging business sectors

Speeches by:
Minister for Education, Mr Heng Swee Keat
SUTD President, Professor Thomas Magnanti
Annex A
Quotes from SUTD graduating students:
“My time at SUTD has been truly ineffable, opening doors and giving me opportunities not found in other universities. With the school’s support, my peers and I were successful in our venture to set up a beer brewery student club. More significantly, SUTD has played an instrumental role in turning my final year capstone project into a startup by providing industrial and academic guidance, monetary support and incubation facilities. I am thrilled to be working full-time on this startup and I owe it all to SUTD.”
Aditya Batura, 23, an aspiring entrepreneur and graduate from the Information Systems Technology and Design pillar, will be working in his own startup company, which spun off from his final year capstone project.

“The skills I have learnt at SUTD will facilitate my lifelong goal to ‘disable disabilities’ through technology and design. This will allow me to help produce useful tools that can assist PwDs to lead equitable lives minimising disadvantage and maximising opportunities.”
Another aspiring entrepreneur and graduate from the Engineering Product Development pillar, Ken Chua, 24, who has great empathy for the disabled, has set up his own social enterprise, (these)abilities, to work closely with persons with disabilities (PwD), to design and build assistive technology products that are cheaper and more functional than what is currently in the market.
Quotes from our internship partners:
“Ian is a very talented individual who always gave us a hundred per cent to the responsibilities he is assigned to and had done exceptionally well in multiple assignments. His versatility to excel in multiple areas has earned him extremely good feedback from his colleagues.”
Mr Shivendu Goyal, Manager at Accenture, was SUTD student Ian Martin Teoh’s supervisor during his internship. They have since hired Ian.

“Jean has been a great asset to BP during her summer internship with us with her passion for innovation and relentless attitude in problem solving clearly on display. We look forward to her future contributions as she embarks on our BP Challenger graduate program.”
Mr Kevin Liu, Regional Head of IT Operations, Integrated Supply and Trading, British Petroleum

“SUTD is a valuable partner. They have many students who are passionate and talented in science and technology. With many exciting and innovative projects for undergraduates, including overseas opportunities with our international collaborators, DSO National Laboratories is confident that they can make a difference to enhance the nation’s defence capabilities.
Chua Jiehan is a fine example – a high calibre undergraduate who impressed us during his internship. We offered him a scholarship and job before he graduated. With his keen interest in this field, Jiehan will continue to contribute significantly in his new exciting career in defence research and development.”
Mr Chan Hian Lim is the Director of the Sensors Divison at DSO National Laboratories.