NTU teams up with Israeli university in satellite and space research

THE Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) have teamed up to collaborate in satellite and space research.

A joint press statement issued on Monday stated that this cooperation would allow NTU to expand its satellite research programme with one of the world's top science and technology research universities that is often dubbed "Israel's MIT", a reference to the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on Sunday by the president of NTU, Professor Bertil Andersson, and Technion's president, Professor Peretz Lavie, in Haifa in Israel.

"The agreement will strengthen NTU's satellite programme, cementing its position as Singapore's number one university in satellite research," said Professor Andersson.

Professor Lavie added: "Combining the knowledge and talents of our institutes will ensure the high quality and excellence of the scientific and technological leaders in Singapore and Israel."

Both universities have existing space research programmes. NTU launched the first locally-built microsatellite in 2011 and Technion's microsatellite went up in 1998. NTU also has a 10-year road map to build four nano-satellites, while Technion's three nano-satellites are slated for launch by 2015.

NTU is the only university here with an undergraduate satellite programme and potential areas of joint research include the study of thruster designs, satellite formation flying and remote sensing cameras. A faculty and student exchange programme is also being planned.

Both universities are already collaborating in several areas including offering a joint PhD degree in materials science and bioengineering and in a programme for cardiac restoration therapy using a tissue-engineering based approach.