Pioneer batch of SUTD students graduate

Ms Nivedithaa Palaniappan, who studied engineering systems and design, and Mr Ken Chua, who studied engineering product development, were in SUTD's pioneer batch.
Ms Nivedithaa Palaniappan, who studied engineering systems and design, and Mr Ken Chua, who studied engineering product development, were in SUTD's pioneer batch.PHOTO: DANIEL NEO FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

Two-thirds of some 300 graduates have secured jobs or pursuing further studies

Two in three of the pioneer batch at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have either secured jobs or will be pursuing graduate studies.

This was revealed by Professor Ying Yibin, vice-president of China's Zhejiang University, at SUTD's first graduation ceremony yesterday.

Zhejiang University is a partner of SUTD.

SUTD, Singapore's fourth public university which took in its first students in 2012, also partners the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.

Yesterday, 10 graduates received master's degrees, while 298 were awarded bachelor qualifications.

The top three sectors in which its graduates have clinched jobs are engineering, banking and finance, and defence.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was the guest of honour at the event held at SUTD's Changi campus, gave the graduates three life lessons - to dream big, to dare to overcome challenges and to define themselves not solely by achievements but by their character and what is "on the inside".

SUTD president Thomas Magnanti announced that all its graduates will receive a $500 credit in an electronic account, which they can use from next January to enrol in the university's courses. This is in keeping with the spirit of the $500 the Government is giving Singaporeans under the SkillsFuture initiative to take up courses after school.

Professor Magnanti said: "We hope that... we can not only support your continuing professional development, but also firmly retain you as a member of the SUTD family."

SUTD's curriculum infuses design into all courses, with specialisations in four areas: architecture and sustainable design, engineering product development, engineering systems and design, and information systems technology and design.

Close to 90 per cent of its architecture graduates chose to pursue a master's of architecture at SUTD, which will allow them to register with the Board of Architects.

Mr Ken Chua, who studied engineering product development, said the 31/2 years spent at SUTD was "intense" and "worth it".

"There are a lot of projects yet no compromise on the academics," said the 24-year-old who in June set up a social enterprise to work with people with disabilities and other companies on assistive technology products. "I want to use engineering to make assistive technology cheaper and more functional."

Ms Nivedithaa Palaniappan, who studied engineering systems and design, chose the SUTD as it allowed students to try different engineering modules before deciding which areas to specialise in.

The 21-year-old, who will start work at a multinational IT company next month, said: "I'm intrigued by how supply chains span the whole world, from production to transport and networks and sales."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 30, 2015, with the headline 'Pioneer batch of SUTD students graduate'. Print Edition | Subscribe