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11 Jul 2019

Lianhe Zaobao, 11 Jul 2019, SUTD launches first Master in Innovation by Design programme in Singapore (translation)
The 10-year-old Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will continue to promote design education by launching the first Master in Innovation by Design and Bachelor in Design and Artificial Intelligence programmes in Singapore. At the same time, it is bringing its expertise in technology and design into healthcare, aviation and other fields to encourage societal development.
When Education Minister Ong Ye Kung attended SUTD’s 10th Anniversary celebration yesterday, he affirmed the university’s accomplishments, and emphasised that it needed to continue enhancing its unique selling point in design education.
SUTD is Singapore’s fourth public university and during its establishment, it collaborated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Zhejiang University to co-create a curriculum with a unique emphasis on technology and design innovation.
Mr Ong pointed out that SUTD is unique in its objective to equip Singaporeans with the right skills in an environment where technology is advancing rapidly, the world is more globally connected, and the boundaries between disciplines are blurring.
Among all the AUs, SUTD’s graduates have the highest employment rate last year – at 94%. SUTD also topped a list by MIT on emerging engineering schools.
He further emphasised that SUTD also applies design thinking not only to technology and engineering, but also to humanities research.
“Going forward, SUTD will have to enhance its unique strengths and deliver even better results. The key strategy for SUTD is to advocate design education. Design is a specialty that is needed in all fields and work.”
30 students for first batch
The new Master in Innovation by Design will start in September this year, with 30 places for its first batch of students, and is not limited to only SUTD undergraduates. The university also plans to launch a Bachelor programme in design and artificial intelligence next year.
In addition to adding new courses, SUTD will also strengthen its collaborations with the government and industry in the areas of healthcare, aviation, cities and data science, to support Singapore’s economic growth priorities.
For example, SUTD and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) jointly established the Aviation Studies Institute this year, focusing on air traffic management and related areas of research. SUTD also collaborated with Changi General Hospital to jointly conduct research projects with clinicians.
Previously the Founding Provost, SUTD’s current President Professor Chong Tow Chong also shared his interesting experiences in the “Start-up University”, including working with the close-knit team to personally deliver university offer letters to the students.
He joined SUTD in 2010. At that time, the SUTD campus in Changi was not yet built and the interim campus in Dover was not confirmed. The office was located on the 4th floor of the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language located at Ghim Moh Road. SUTD organised its very first Admissions briefing in 2010 with only a team of 14 staff.
“What was very memorable for me was the personal delivery of offer letters, to the homes of our first few batches of students. For many evenings after work and during the weekends, we visited the potential students’ homes, to deliver their offer letters personally and also shared more about SUTD’s vision and mission with their parents. I still remember in one visit, I had to struggle with using Cantonese to explain SUTD to the parents. Although it was a tiring process, we believe it was worth all the effort.”
This year, SUTD welcomed the 8th batch of undergraduate students, with over 1000 alumni from four batches. At yesterday’s meaningful 10th Anniversary celebration, SUTD also launched a time capsule that was specially designed and built by faculty.
The time capsule contained 33 artefacts, which include student and faculty’s projects and prototypes.
For example, a smart ring designed by the pioneer batch of students, a small model of the ‘Future of Us’ pavilion, etc. The time capsule will be opened up 20 years from now.
Yesterday, SUTD also launched its new Entrepreneurship Centre, with signed Memorandums of Understanding with SingCham and with UPS. The Entrepreneurship Centre provides incubation space for start-up companies.
Over 800 guests attended SUTD’s anniversary celebration, including SUTD’s Founding Chairman, Philip Ng, Founding President and President Emeritus, Professor Thomas Magnanti, and many others.