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Singapore University of Technology and Design


Singapore University of Technology and Design

Singapore University of Technology and Design
Motto A better world by design
Established 2009
Type National University, Public, Autonomous
President Professor Thomas L. Magnanti
Provost Professor Chong Tow Chong
Location Dover and Changi, Singapore
Campus Urban
Colors White, Black and Red               

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (Abbreviation: SUTD) is Singapore's fourth autonomous university, developed in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. SUTD's mission is to advance knowledge and nurture technically grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs. At SUTD, design as a discipline cuts across the curriculum and provides a novel framework for the research and educational programmes.

The University, also in collaboration with Zhejiang University (ZJU) is distinguished by its unique East and West academic programme which incorporates elements of technology, entrepreneurship, management and design thinking. MIT faculty has played a significant role in developing a blueprint for the curriculum, including its structure and the degrees to be offered. SUTD undergraduate students are granted either a Bachelor of Engineering or a Bachelor of Science degrees with a major in either Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD), Engineering Product Development (EPD), Engineering Systems Design (ESD) or Informations Systems and Technology Design (ISTD). It also offers an MIT-SUTD Dual Masters' Degree Programme; a full-time programme leading to a degree from both MIT and SUTD. SUTD also offers Ph.D in each of its four areas of focus (pillars).

Unlike traditional schools where students focus on very specialized disciplines, SUTD students are taught to think in a broader scope combining multiple domains. It teaches it's students to be creative, not just in the technology and design part, but also to be creative in bringing ideas out of the academic environment into the real world, into the business arena, into the economy and make a difference to the world. SUTD is the only other institution in Singapore apart from Yale-NUS College to follow a holistic admissions process.


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
    • Undergraduate 2.1
    • Graduate Programmes 2.2
    • Academic Pillars 2.3
    • Research Initiatives 2.4
      • SUTD-MIT International Design Centre 2.4.1
      • Lee Kwan Yew Center for Innovative Cities 2.4.2
      • SUTD-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre 2.4.3
      • iTrust Research Centre 2.4.4
      • O-Lab 2.4.5
      • Tamasek Labs at SUTD 2.4.6
  • Campuses 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The university opened its doors at its Dover Road interim campus in April 2012. It will be the only university to be located in the eastern part of Singapore, at Changi when its permanent campus is completed by 2015. The new campus will be located next to Upper Changi which will be operational in 2015. The founding president is Thomas L. Magnanti, who is a Professor with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[1]

SUTD’s collaboration with MIT represents MIT’s most significant collaboration on education in the world. It is multi-faceted and covers:

  • Development of the undergraduate curriculum
  • Co-teaching of subjects by MIT faculty
  • Student exchanges
  • Recruitment and development of SUTD faculty
  • Establishment of a major co-located research centre, SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC)

Exchanges between MIT and SUTD students encourage the same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that has made MIT a top-ranking university. MIT also brings its rich global experience and entrepreneurial ecosystem to SUTD, a spirit that has led to tremendous entrepreneurial success among its alumni, and is replicated in SUTD through a novel pedagogy and a vibrant engagement with the industry. Besides building up SUTD’s educational capabilities, MIT contributes to SUTD’s research capability by developing relevant research programmes through their top-class faculty.

SUTD and ZJU will also jointly partake in research collaborations to address exciting challenges associated with the world today, in areas such as Healthcare, Transportation, Clean Energy and Environment.



The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been developing an undergraduate curriculum suited to the local context since the two universities signed the collaboration agreement in January 2010. The curriculum offers a modern engineering and architecture education that crosses traditional departments enabling students to finish 8 terms in 3.5 years thus graduating 9 months earlier than NUS, NTU and SMU. SUTD provides a common curriculum for all students in the first 3 terms (also referred to as "freshmore" terms). This foundation curriculum promotes a cohort based learning and requires students to take mandatory classes in the Sciences, Mathematics, Design Thinking, Programming and Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS). The Science Requirement in the common curriculum comprises two semesters of physics, two semesters of calculus, one semester of chemistry, and one semester of biology. The Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement consists of eight semesters of classes in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, including 3 semesters of common HASS classes. From term 4 onwards, students specialise in one of the four pillars of study: Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD), Engineering Product Development (EPD), Engineering Systems Design (ESD) or Informations Systems and Technology Design (ISTD). Beyond the core subjects, all students have to undertake two 16 week internships which could include exchange trips to MIT or ZJU.

In their final two semesters, students will also have to complete a capstone project that is a confluence of multiple SUTD pillars. In an actual design situation, crucial projects span multiple disciplines and are too large to be completed by one person. It is with this in mind that students are required to participate in an integrative capstone project in the senior year. The capstone project typically involves several or all pillars. Students from each pillar come together in focused design teams to contribute their respective expertise and skills to solving real-world challenges that culminate in a grand design project. The capstone project is a substantial activity that involves the full range of design skills, from the identification of needs and markets to concept selection to development and prototyping and finally manufacturing and operations.

Graduate Programmes

A two-year full-time MIT-SUTD Dual Masters’ Degree Programme will be offered in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to talented graduates with a keen interest in research in one of the following areas: Civil and Environmental Engineering; Supply Chain Management Programme; Master of Engineering in Manufacturing. Graduate opportunities also include the SUTD PhD Programme. Candidates will spend up to one year in USA, and the other year in Singapore, receiving masters degrees from both MIT and SUTD.[2]

SUTD with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has launched joint postgraduate programmes to jump-start research at SUTD.The PhD programme has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and is enhanced by opportunities for industry internships, overseas research attachments and teaching experience. The initial intake in 2012 included 10 post-doctoral researchers. Postdoctorate fellows spend one year at MIT and then another year at SUTD where they conduct research and teach.[3]

Academic Pillars

Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD): ASD prepares students for the immediate present and future needs of architecture and sustainable design through an innovative approach that concentrates on technology and design, design creativity and cultural sensitivity. Students will be trained to deal with the important issues of future cities, such as the rapid urbanisation in Asia, the digitalisation of practice, and the transformation of fabrication by algorithms and robots. ASD prepares students for positions in architectural design, construction, and real estate management and development, as well as for various graduate programmes.

Engineering Product Development (EPD): EPD covers the conception, design, analysis, implementation and operation of technology- intensive systems and products in the fields of electronics, chemical systems, defence, energy, machinery, robotics, aerospace, transportation, and bio-engineering. It prepares students for leadership, entrepreneurship, and industrial positions in engineering and product development, as well as for various graduate programmes.

Engineering Systems Design (ESD): ESD focuses on the modelling, design, optimisation and management of large scale complex systems whose performance and function depend both on their technology and on the socio-economic context within which they operate. Examples include supply chains and logistics, financial services, health care delivery systems, transportation systems, security and defence systems as well as energy production and distribution systems. It prepares students for positions as system analysts or project leaders in a wide range of private and public sectors, for careers in consulting, and for various graduate programmes.

Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD): ISTD focuses on “Information Systems” that includes all areas of computer science and computer engineering, particularly the design and interaction of information systems for the physical world that includes humans and machines. It prepares students for positions as software engineers adept at designing, building, and testing complex software and software/hardware systems in all areas of human endeavours including social media, banking and finance, transportation, health care, and games. ISTD prepares students for challenging jobs that advance technology for human benefit, graduate programmes and subsequent careers in education and research.

Research Initiatives

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre

The IDC is engaged to become the world’s premier scholarly hub for technologically- intensive design. It is a multi-million dollar centre based both in Singapore at SUTD, and in Cambridge, MA, USA at MIT, with academic and industrial partners from around the world. IDC faculty, researchers and students work together to design devices, products, systems, services and the built environment that address strategic needs of Singapore, the greater Asian region, the US, and the global community. At the same time, the IDC studies and advances the design process and design science, seeking to develop new tools and methods for design practice and education. The IDC has more than 100 projects that involve approximately 270 faculty, researchers, and students.

IDC is part of a collaboration agreement between SUTD and MIT.[4]

Lee Kwan Yew Center for Innovative Cities

LKY CIC is one of the first university centres to focus on the integrated use of technology and design to derive solutions for urban planning, design, development and management. The Centre will study the confluence of governance, social management frameworks and technology and design innovations. It is one of five research centres in the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The pioneering model of SUTD, a university without boundaries extends to how it is organised to cross disciplines, and the research strength of LKY CIC is drawn from the multi-disciplinary faculty working closely with a core team of research fellows at the Centre.

SUTD-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre

the SUTD-JTC I3 Centre is set up to spearhead research efforts in design, architecture, engineering, and social science that will create value for industry, investors and Singapore. This new partnership platform aims to forge closer collaboration to scale up the industry’s innovation, facilitate the development of the next big idea, and build new local capabilities in the field of industrial infrastructure development.

iTrust Research Centre

iTrust is a multidisciplinary research centre located at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), established collaboratively by SUTD and the Ministry of Defence, Singapore (MINDEF).

The focus of iTrust is on cyber security. Systems of interest include large infrastructure of national importance (such as power grid, water treatment, oil refineries) as well as cyber-devices used in health care, examples the pacemakers, defibrillators, insulin pumps, and VNS implants.

iTrust researchers focus on the development of advanced tools and methodologies to ensure security and safety of current and future cyber physical systems. They are drawn from across SUTD and with a strong collaboration with MIT, enriches the depth, breadth, and quality of research.


Through academic research O-Lab is developing and validating effective approaches to collaborative design across Asia. O-lab comprises academics and practitioners interested in understanding and enhancing design practices. They work with diverse local and international partners including NGOs, Government Agencies, Academic Institutes and Community Bodies to develop and run participatory design projects. These participatory projects are conducted as action research where O-Lab members, project partners and other stakeholders come together to study their problems scientifically in order to guide, correct, and evaluate their decisions and actions.

Tamasek Labs at SUTD

TL@SUTD undertakes cutting-edge research and development while building up both technical and human talent capabilities in vital fields. The current focus is on areas of defence system design and development, such as Unmanned Systems, Information Systems, Soldier Systems and Engineering Systems.

TL@SUTD harnesses the potential of science, technology and design for Singapore’s defence, and complement the work that is currently undertaken at the DSO National Laboratories, NUS, NTU and other research establishments.


The previous Headquarters of the Institute of Technical Education at Dover, Singapore is the site of the interim campus for SUTD.

The interim campus for Singapore University of Technology and Design is at Dover, Singapore. SUTD's permanent campus, is under construction in Changi near Changi Business Park and will be ready in 2015.[5] SUTD has appointed, through an open selection process, DP Architects Pte Ltd, in collaboration with UNStudio from Amsterdam, to design the academic cluster of its permanent campus in Upper Changi. Building on the vision set out in the Master Plan, the East Coast Campus will foster collaboration, invention and creativity by integrating student facilities, housing and recreational buildings with mixed-use precincts connected through open spaces and plazas.DP Architects’ concept supports SUTD’s innovative inter-disciplinary curriculum, pedagogy of learning communities that promotes bonding, and vision of an open and interactive campus. It aims to provide a totally new and unique educational experience for students both in education and self-expression.

See also


  1. ^ "4th university named as Singapore University of Technology and Design".  
  2. ^ MIT-SUTD Transportation and Supply Chain Management Programmes
  3. ^ "Joint postgrad programme".  
  4. ^ "New International Design Centre to be established at SUTD".  
  5. ^ "Campus information". SUTD official website. 

External links

  • Singapore University of Technology and Design official site

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