Appointment of Lee Tzu Yang as Chairman of SUTD Board of Trustees, As Founding Chairman Philip Ng Finishes Term

10 Aug 2016

Singapore, 5 August 2016 – On August 11, Mr Philip Ng will step down as Chairman of the Singapore University of Technology and Design’s (SUTD) Board of Trustees. Since 2007, Mr Ng has served as the Chairman of the Steering Committee for Singapore’s 4th university, then as the Founding Chairman of SUTD. He was not only instrumental in establishing SUTD’s two key partnerships with MIT and Zhejiang University, but also spearheaded the development of SUTD’s vision, strategic principles and the building of SUTD’s permanent campus.  

“SUTD could not be blessed with a more committed, strategic, generous and kinder Founding Chairman. His imprint is visible throughout the entire University. From the University’s inception, Mr Philip Ng has shepherded the creation, development and nurturing of SUTD. He was deeply involved in the development of SUTD’s identity and was so committed to building the brand that he personally attended numerous publicity and admissions events to garner support for SUTD in the initial years,” said SUTD President, Professor Thomas Magnanti. “We are deeply grateful to Mr Ng for his leadership and unwavering support; he created a solid foundation of industry scholarships for SUTD and rallied support from his vast network to support SUTD in many valuable ways.”

Professor Chan Heng Chee, who chairs the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in SUTD, added: “Mr Philip Ng's vision to establish a research centre in SUTD to bring the focus to cities drawing on the technical expertise of the university and the social science perspectives saw the establishment of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities. His interest, generosity and support in the growth of the centre throughout has been inspiring and unstinting. His leadership is much appreciated."

Mr Philip Ng is the Chief Executive Officer of the Far East Organization, the largest private property developer and investment group operating in Singapore and Malaysia. He is also the Director of the Hong Kong-based Sino Group, which is Far East Organization's sister company, engaging in real estate activities in Hong Kong and China.

“I have been privileged to work with so many committed and passionate people to realise this most exciting endeavour in higher education. It is truly remarkable that SUTD is so well received by academia all around the world and it is most gratifying to see our young graduates transformed by the unique curriculum at SUTD. I have no doubt that faculty, graduates and students alike will fulfil our aspirations of making a better world by design," said Mr Ng.

Incoming SUTD Chairman, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, is Chairman of the Esplanade, the national performing arts centre, and currently Deputy Chairman of SUTD. He retired as Chairman of Shell Singapore in 2014 after a distinguished 35-year career in Shell and brings rich corporate experience and links to SUTD. He is active in the public service and has been involved in education and talent development, the arts and culture, as well as health, safety and the environment.

“SUTD brings innovation in technology to excite people and create a better world through design.  Remarkable progress has been achieved under Philip’s leadership, and my objective is to build on that to develop new opportunities, and work on new collaborations to benefit students, faculty, staff and partners in society.  Opportunities abound and will require inter-disciplinary insights and skills in design thinking to tackle the most complex challenges,” said Mr Lee. 

Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Mr Ong Ye Kung expressed appreciation for Mr Ng’s service. “Mr Philip Ng is the first Chairman of SUTD, and played a crucial role in establishing SUTD as Singapore’s fourth university. His immense dedication and contributions to SUTD since 2007 have created a solid foundation for the university to nurture Science, Technology and Engineering talent for generations to come. I look forward to working with Mr Lee Tzu Yang and am confident that he will build on the good work of Mr Ng, and take SUTD to greater heights.”

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About Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

SUTD is Singapore’s fourth public university, and one of the first universities in the world to incorporate the art and science of design and technology into a multi-disciplinary curriculum. Established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), SUTD seeks to nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators in engineering product development, engineering systems and design, information systems technology and design, and architecture and sustainable design, to serve societal needs.

Also in collaboration with Zhejiang University (ZJU) and Singapore Management University (SMU), SUTD, a research-intensive university, is distinguished by its unique East and West academic programme which incorporates elements of technology, entrepreneurship, management and design thinking. Graduate opportunities include an MIT-SUTD Dual Masters' Programme and an SUTD PhD Programme.

Annex A

Bio of Mr Lee Tzu Yang

Mr Lee Tzu Yang, 61 years old, is Chairman of the Board of the Esplanade, the national performing arts centre. He was the first chairman of the School of the Arts, the pre-tertiary specialised arts school, and led the Arts and Culture Strategic Review for Singapore, a national study commissioned by the Government to engage stakeholders on issues, policies and opportunities.

He retired in 2014 as Chairman of Shell Companies in Singapore after over 35 years with Shell in diverse markets working in operational, commercial and shareholder roles across different countries and regions. He has been active in industry leadership and advocacy on business issues including talent, technology, the environment, and workplace health and safety.

He is active in public service, and serves on the Council of Presidential Advisers, the Legal Service Commission, and the Centre for Liveable Cities. In addition to the Board of the Esplanade, he chairs the Casino Regulatory Authority and the NUS Middle East Institute.

Mr Lee is Singaporean and was educated at the Anglo-Chinese School Singapore, London School of Economics and Political Science, and London Business School. He was conferred the Public Service Star in 2005 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2014.

Bio of Mr Philip Ng

Mr Philip Ng, 57 years old, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Far East Organization, a family-owned property development and investment group operating in Singapore and Malaysia. He is also the Director of the Hong Kong-based Sino Group, which is Far East Organization's sister company, engaging in real estate activities in Hong Kong and China.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with first class honours from King’s College, University of London, and two masters' degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Technology & Policy, specialising in Geotechnical Engineering as well as in City Planning, specialising in Urban Economics.

Mr Ng is also a member of the MIT Corporation.