SUTD Extends Collaboration with CAAS to Include Cybersecurity and Unmanned Aircraft Systems

04 Aug 2023

Students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will be offered aviation-related internship opportunities thanks to a new collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

(Left to right) Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS, Mr Chee Hong Tat, Acting Minister for Transport, and Professor Ashraf Kassim, Associate Provost (Education) of SUTD at the MOU signing ceremony on 4 August 2023.

As part of a new three-year tie-up, CAAS will offer SUTD students internship opportunities in a joint effort to strengthen and deepen knowledge in the aviation sector. The collaboration includes knowledge exchange in the areas of air traffic management, aviation operations-related cybersecurity and emerging unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology. The latter will leverage the Aerial Arena at SUTD, a netted outdoor facility for drones, for public educational outreach programmes on the safe and innovative applications of unmanned aircraft systems.

The latest collaboration comes on the heels of an existing five-year tie-up which is due to end in March 2024. Among the projects that have ensued from that joint effort is the Air Traffic Management project which aims to develop fast simulation models to support air traffic decisions within the terminal airspace, runways and gates. When launched in the future, this tool will be able to quickly and effectively evaluate the capacity of an airport such as Changi under different weather conditions and runway closures. This will, in turn, help traffic managers become more effective in balancing out demand and supply at any one time.

With the new agreement, SUTD and CAAS hope to further extend on existing collaboration efforts by tapping on the technology-driven, design-thinking solutioning that SUTD is known for.

Mr Chee Hong Tat, Acting Minister for Transport, visits the SUTD booth at the OneAviation Career Fair 2023.

"Through this partnership, CAAS hopes to better connect education and employment, to build a talent pipeline that starts with institutes of higher learning and develop from a younger age the deep capabilities we need in emerging areas like air traffic management, cybersecurity and unmanned aircraft system technologies," said Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of CAAS.

"This extension of our partnership with CAAS reinforces SUTD’s aviation focus in education and research to better support the capability and capacity development of SUTD undergraduates, graduates and alumni. We also look forward to conducting more joint projects and programmes to enhance the learning and human capital development to support Singapore’s unmanned aircraft ecosystem," said Professor Chong Tow Chong, SUTD President.

Professor Peter Jackson, Director of the Aviation Studies Institute (ASI), added: "CAAS has been an excellent research partner, posing research challenges, connecting us with subject matter experts in air traffic management, providing feedback on research outcomes, and supporting our efforts at outreach to students and aviation stakeholders."

When SUTD year 2 student, Hon Xue Yi, from the Engineering Systems and Design (ESD) pillar heard about the SUTD-CAAS tie-up, he said: "This collaboration not only has the potential to open up a plethora of opportunities in the aviation industry but also allows us to apply the systems design knowledge and skills we have acquired in ESD, and it also ties in nicely with the aviation systems focus track for our class of 2025. The partnership between SUTD and CAAS can benefit me and my coursemates by providing us with exposure to real-world challenges in the aviation industry to enhance our learning experience. The internship opportunities will also allow interested students to gain practical experience and understand the aviation industry better, providing a clearer future career path in the aviation industry."

See also: Singapore Unveils Industry Transformation Map to Position Aviation Sector for the Future