SUTD and NUS offering new joint PhD degree programme in engineering

SINGAPORE - Two local universities have come together for the first time to offer a joint PhD programme, in an effort to build up more multi-disciplinary research.

The four-year PhD degree programme in engineering, offered by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), is open to students with a bachelor's degree in engineering or related fields such as information technology or science.

The new full-time programme will take in up to 10 students annually for the next five years, with two intakes each year.

Professor Yeo Kiat Seng, SUTD's associate provost for graduate studies and international relations, said the programme "brings talents closer together".

"Often the best breakthroughs are achieved when the best brains from different disciplines, from different places, work together."

Professor Mohan Kankanhalli, NUS vice-provost (graduate education), said the course will tap on both universities' expertise - NUS' established strengths in engineering and research, as well as SUTD's focus on innovative design.

He said that the institutions hope to groom "engineers and scientists who can create innovations".

"We definitely hope that they can address problems of the future which are complex and contribute to the Singapore economy," said Prof Yeo.

Mr Song Wen Jian M. Ridhuan, 25, the first student to be accepted into the programme, said he wanted to "get the best of both worlds".

"NUS has depth in its engineering research and SUTD has a different direction not fixed in the traditional disciplines," said the mechanical engineering NUS graduate.

ateng@sph.com.sg