SUTD Research Mentorship Programme

The SUTD Research Mentorship Programme (RMP) is one of our key outreach platforms to engage pre-university students who are keen in inter-disciplinary research. Through a series of activities conducted over a span of six to eight months, participating students will be able to hone their critical thinking and research skills while gaining first-hand experience of the research activities at SUTD, and the related programmes offered at the University.

The projects offered under RMP vary annually, and may range from topics such as robotics, artificial intelligence, game theory, sustainability to machine-augmented designs. Selected students will work on a research topic under the guidance of an SUTD faculty member for a period of six months or longer (subject to your school’s academic schedule). 
Note: Given the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, projects will be scoped to allow research work to be conducted remotely where possible.
 
To gain additional exposure, participants of SUTD RMP may also concurrently submit their research projects (subject to the approval of the project’s Principal Investigator) as entries to national-level programmes and competitions such as

  • MOE Science Research Programme (SRP) and Science Research Congress (SRC)
  • Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) and/or International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)
Programme Highlights

Other than working on research projects under the mentorship of our faculty, students in RMP may also look forward to:

Programme Timeline

May
Programme commences with an orientation conducted by the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Office of Admissions, as well as a mandatory safety briefing for projects that require laboratory access.

Project duration may range from 6 to 8 months.

November
RMP students in the penultimate and final years of study may be invited to apply for the SUTD Early Engagement and Development (SEED) programme or SUTD Special Scholarship Arrangement (SSA) respectively.

Application and Selection
  • Application opens: 4 February 2022
    (Students may apply for up to 3 projects, and indicate their preferred ranking of these choices in the application form)

  • Deadline for online application submission by students: 28 February 2022

  • Selection/interviews by PIs (if necessary): March 2022

  • Allocation of projects to successful students: By mid-April 2022
    (Applicants and their teachers-in-charge will be notified via email)

  • RMP duration: End April onwards
    (depending on the project duration determined by faculty)

Eligibility
  • RMP is open to all pre-University students enrolled in the Science stream of local high schools and selected Polytechnic diploma programmes*. However, priority will be given to students on SUTD’s early consideration programmes and/or in their upper years of pre-University studies.
    *Only open to Engineering, Computing and Architecture diploma programmes only.

  • Selection will be based on merit and competition, and applicability of existing skillsets to the research projects

RMP 2022 Projects
1 Name of Project: Panthera & WASP Publications

Synopsis: In recent years there has been an increase in the global demand for service robots, especially in two sectors, namely, healthcare and cleaning and maintenance tasks of the built environment. Towards this end, we have developed two indigenously designed reconfigurable robots, namely, 1) WASP- developed for healthcare settings in Singapore, and 2) PANTHERA- a self-reconfigurable class of robot for pavement cleaning and maintenance tasks. The developmental challenges we are aiming at are:
1) For the WASP robots, we are designing and testing a mechanism for joining two and more WASP robots. Also, we are modifying the WASP-mini design where the wheels will be selected and poisoned optimally to access the inclined surfaces. Interested students will aid in the design and integration of the developed solutions.
2) In Panthera, an omnidirectional pavement sweeping robot, we are looking for solutions to be integrated for the cleaning units, namely, vacuum and rotating brushes with the current chassis. Interested students will expected to support the team with design and integration aspects.
3) Apart from the above two, under design studies to facilitate design thinking, we have developed a set of DESIGN CARDS for helping designers to develop reconfigurable robots. The design cards have a set of interesting mechanical mechanisms that can be used as a transformation principle for the robot. We are seeking interested students to develop an Interactive Web-based Tool for designing reconfigurable robots (IWT-DRR) and a repository where these design cards will be hosted online with a provision to add more mechanisms under the reconfiguration facilitators.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Mohan Elara Rajesh
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: Design phase to be done remotely, development phase in SUTD
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 4
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
2 Name of Project: Vertical Robots Publication & Development

Synopsis: Vertical robots are robots that can manouver itself across a steep incline, such as that of buildings with curved facades, aircraft fuselages, complex curvatures of vehicle surfaces and so on. The reconfiguration of these robots allow them to change their profiles in order to accomodate the changing profiles along a complex surface, even allowing it to transit from flat horizontal ground onto a vertical wall. The applications for such vertical robots include cleaning acitivities, inspection and benchmarking of surfaces, as well as defouling of debris laden ship hulls. Students would conceptualise a wide variety of vertical robots, from which a set of these would be selected for prototyping and development. Students would also assist with publication work stemming from these developments.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Mohan Elara Rajesh
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: Design phase to be done remotely, development phase in SUTD
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 4
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
3 Name of Project: Tiling Robotics: Design and development of a polycairo-inspired tiling robot

Synopsis: Floor cleaning robots are developed to cater to the cleaning demands. A class of reconfigurable robots called tiling robots has been introduced to resolve the limitation of fixed-shape robots. The reconfiguration ability of a tiling robot allows the robot to access narrow areas that a fixed-shape robot would not access. Tilling robots can be constructed by considering different polygons. For example, hTetro is a tiling robot with four square-shaped blocks, and hHoneycomb is a tiling robot with four hexagon-shaped blocks. However, existing tiling robots have not considered the pentagon-shaped polyform known as polycairo. This project aimed to design and develop a polycairo-inspired tiling robot. The students are expected to engage in designing, constructing, and programming a robot prototype.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Mohan Elara Rajesh
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: Design phase to be done remotely, development phase in SUTD
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 3 to 4
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
4 Name of Project: AI Publication & Development

Synopsis: Deep learning based vision pipeline for reconfigurable floor and wall cleaning robot: With the advancements in perception and intelligence in the decision-making of floor cleaning robots, optimal spot cleaning has paved the way for more efficient cleaning capability. Due to this feature, less effort is required to clean only the designated areas for the cleaning robot. This project aims to develop the selective floor and wall cleaning framework using a deep learning-based vision pipeline and reconfigurable floor and wall cleaning robot. The DL-based vision pipeline is trained to detect the stains and trash on the wall & floor for executing the selective cleaning and obstacle avoidance function. The students will set up different semantic segmentation-based convolutional neural network (CNN) models for scene recognition, floor and wall segmentation, and object detection models to detect and classify the stains and trash on the floor and wall. Further, students will perform framework integration and validation using our reconfigurable floor and wall cleaning robots. Having completed this project, students will be capable of doing AI-based scene segmentation and object detection task.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Mohan Elara Rajesh
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: Design phase to be done remotely, development phase in SUTD
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 4
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
5 Name of Project: sTetro Publication & Development

Synopsis: sTetro: A self-reconfigurable staircase and floor cleaning robot. Floor cleaning robots are becoming a part of regular household items. There are numerous floor cleaning robots available in the commercial market. However, none of the existing cleaning robots can perform cleaning on floor and staircase surfaces, which is one prominent structure in every multi-story building. In this project, our objective is to develop a novel shape-shifting robotic platform called sTetro. sTetro robot can clean the floor surface and change its morphology to access and clean the staircase area. The students interested in this project will be asked to develop the robot system and test the system on existing staircases.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Mohan Elara Rajesh
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: Design phase to be done remotely, development phase in SUTD
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2 to 3
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
6 Name of Project: SUTD campusX (MVP) - Development and Deployment of Telepresence Robots to enhance Personalised Learning

Synopsis: As schools shift toward hybrid physical and online classes, there is a growing need to make learning a more immersive experience and keep remote students connected to the classroom. Telepresence robots have been seen as a promising solution in recent years. The project proposes the development of additional capabilities to existing commercially available telepresence robots such as the Ohmni robot platform to support the nuanced mixed in-person and remote student interactions and promote human-centric personalised learning within classroom settings. The project comprises of three key objectives, 1) the study of requirements for telepresence-based remote learning, 2) the design and development of add-ons upon two existing commercial robot platforms and 3) a pilot study of a proof-of-concept prototype in meaningful use cases within classroom settings in SUTD.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Mohan Elara Rajesh
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: Design phase to be done remotely, development phase in SUTD
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2 to 4
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
7 Name of Project: Image-based Vehicle Traffic Monitoring

Synopsis: In this project we monitor traffic conditions in Singapore by retrieving images from speed cameras located at major traffic junctions. A Convolutional Neural Network will be implemented for vehicle detection, and a variety of visualizations will be generated to gain insights from captured traffic. Our aim is to convert a vehicle density plots into a vehicle speed plots. We are also interested in exploring the relationship between traffic flow and CO2 emissions. You can click here https://geobm.github.io/Image-based-vehicle-traffic-monitoring/api.html to find more about our Educational Module.

Name of PI: Dr Francisco Benita
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Systems and Design (ESD)
Location: Remote
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 1 to 2
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
8 Name of Project: Magnet Optimisation for Head-only Portable MRI

Synopsis: The students will learn and use our in-house built magnet simulator, 'MagTetris' to design magnet array that is suitable for portable MRI

Name of PI: Associate Prof Huang Shaoying
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: SUTD (Lab 2.617)
Prerequisties: GCE O Level/Year 10 Physics and Math background
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
9 Name of Project: Finger MRI

Synopsis: The students will build a finger MRI based on a C-shaped magnet

Name of PI: Associate Prof Huang Shaoying
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: SUTD (Lab 2.617)
Prerequisties: GCE O Level/Year 10 Physics and Math background
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
10 Name of Project: Optimisation of Non-linear Gradients for Portable MRI

Synopsis: The students will learn MRI basic physics, learn the working principle of MRI using non-linear gradient, and conduct optimization on the gradients for improving image quality in a portable MRI setup using permanent magnet array.

Name of PI: Associate Prof Huang Shaoying
Pillar/Research Centre: Engineering Product Development (EPD)
Location: SUTD (Lab 2.617)
Prerequisties: GCE O Level/Year 10 Physics and Math background
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
11 Name of Project: Learning of Concepts related to Electromagnetism and its Practical Applications using Interactive Simulations and Laboratory Experiments

Synopsis: The main objective of the project is to explore theoretical and experimental aspects of concepts related to electromagnetism through interactive simulations and hands-on activities.

Name of PI: Dr Shubhakar Kalya
Pillar/Research Centre: Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) cluster
Location: Remote, and required to be present at SUTD for hands-on activities
Prerequisties: GCE O Level/Year 10 Physics background
Start Date of Project: Apr/May 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2 to 4
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
12 Name of Project: Reinforcement Learning and Embodied AI for Spatial Design Assemblies

Synopsis: In this project, we will train a deep reinforcement learning model to optimise the assembly of  building components. The research will involve intelligent agents learning while exploring a virtual 3D simulator environment. The aim of the project is to investigate new ways of constructing and assembling buildings using a distributed and behaviourial AI approach.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Immanuel Koh
Pillar/Research Centre: Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD) & Design and Artificial Intelligence (DAI)
Location: Remote, to be at SUTD when needed
Prerequisties: Skills in programming (e.g., python) is a must, ideally with experience in deep learning libraries (e.g., TensorFlow / PyTorch)
Start Date of Project: Flexible. Up to 9 months
End Date of Project: Flexible. Up to 9 months
No. of students required: 1 to 2
Interviews required: No
13 Name of Project: Not Just Baby Shark: What are preschoolers watching on YouTube and are they age-appropriate?

Synopsis: There is concern that the increasing use of digital media can have an impact on young children's development. Currently, there are no studies which comprehensively documents the content being consumed by young children in Singapore. This project aims to content analyze YouTube videos consumed by young children in Singapore, and involves: (1) a survey to solicit the information from parents; and (2) a content analysis procedure to classify and systematically examine the type of content young children are exposed to on YouTube.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Andrew Yee
Pillar/Research Centre: Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)
Location: Remote
Prerequisties: Interest in media-related research and children education
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
14 Name of Project: Environmental Interactions in Social VR Spaces

Synopsis: This project looks into the different forms of interactions that can take place within a social VR environment, and how they might affect a user's sense of pressence and engagement within the space. Particularly, a prototypical VR environment will be developed as part of an experimental study to see the influence of different degrees of interaction on the user's experience within the space.

Name of PI: Mr Daryl Ho (Adviser: Assistant Prof Wang Yi Xiao)
Pillar/Research Centre: Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD)
Location: Remote (for research meeting) and SUTD (for user-testing)
Prerequisties: Nil (but experience with Unreal Engine will be good)
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 1
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
15 Name of Project: A Restorative, Bio-Robot Surface

Synopsis: In this project, we explore how bio-robot surfaces (a robot surface with biomimicry interaction design) can possibly contribute to people’s perceived restorativeness in an interior environment. This bio-robot surface is designed to be playful, fascinating, and elegant not only through the form factors, but the human-surface social interactions that manifest personalities (e.g., being shy, curious, etc.) and emotions (e.g., being happy, sympathetic, etc.). This bio-surface could serve as the prototype for an interior wall, a ceiling, a partition, or other architectural surfaces in a space where mental restorativeness or stress relief is desired. The aim of this project is to explore what socially interactive, architectural components can do for our everyday lives.

Name of PI: Assistant Prof Wang Yi Xiao
Pillar/Research Centre: Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD) & Design and Artificial Intelligence (DAI)
Location: Remote (for research meeting) and SUTD (for user-testing)
Prerequisties: Nil (but familiarity with VR/AR will be good)
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 1
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
16 Name of Project: Future of Asian Cities

Synopsis: This is a two-phase study of selected ASEAN cities (Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Manila, and Ho Chi Minh City). In the first phase, the main urban challenges faced by the cities and the efforts to overcome these challenges will be mapped. In the second phase, specific challenges in each of the city will be studied more in depth, framed in a “citizen urban science” approach. The project will examine issues of housing, flood prevention, mobility, as well as demography. As we are in the transition period between the two phases, students will assist with both the data analysis for the first phase and participate in the discussion of potential topics to be pursued in the second phase. Students will have the chance to interact with real data from around the region and communicate with research partners from other ASEAN cities.

Name of PI: Dr Harvey Neo, Senior Fellow
Pillar/Research Centre: Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities
Location: Remotely
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
17 Name of Project: Human-Wildlife Interactions In A ‘City In Nature’

Synopsis: Human-wildlife encounters appear to be on the rise in Singapore due to increasing urbanization nearer to reserves and parks as well as Singapore’s desire to become the “City in Nature”. Human-wildlife encounters can easily escalate into conflicts, if public apathy towards animals is high while knowledge of animals is low. Yet, the rise in human-wildlife encounters present a golden opportunity for turning such encounters into interactions that are meaningful and sustainable. Our study seeks to understand how positive human-wildlife interactions can be fostered in a ‘City in Nature’. We wish to understand the kinds of attitudes towards animals that lend themselves to positive interactions; and how these attitudes are shaped by people’s life experiences and knowledge about nature and wildlife. Students will help us with fine-tuning our survey instrument to be deployed in Q2 2022, manage it deployment, and eventually assist in interpreting the collected data into publishable material and practical policy implications.

Name of PI: Dr Harvey Neo, Senior Fellow
Pillar/Research Centre: Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities
Location: Remotely, potential field work in Singapore
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews
18 Name of Project: Urban Health Infrastructures and Urban Resilience in a Post-COVID19 World

Synopsis: In a post-COVID world, the making of a “healthy city” is likely to become a policy priority, this research aims to map out viable pathways towards healthy cities in Southeast Asia through, amongst other things, a consideration of urban health infrastructures and urban resilience. The aim of the project is to leverage data collected from ASEAN cities in order to define important areas of urban health which require practical policy and design interventions. In close collaboration with diverse stakeholders, from academic to policy-makers to medical professionals, we will study and devise solutions for the most urgent health challenges in Singapore and other Southeast Asian cities. As the project moves into a new and exciting phase, students will be able to join in on the ground floor of defining the scope and aim of this research, including the topic, geography, and potential methodology to be employed. Additionally, students will assist with secondary research in order to pre-empt primary research work in later phases of the project.

Name of PI: Dr Harvey Neo, Senior Fellow
Pillar/Research Centre: Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities
Location: Remotely
Prerequisties: Nil
Start Date of Project: Apr 2022
End Date of Project: Dec 2022
No. of students required: 2
Interviews required: Yes, virtual interviews


Registration closed.

For more information on this programme, please contact the Office of Admissions here.