PROFESSOR CHONG TOW CHONG
President, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
Professor Chong Tow Chong, 67, has walked every step of SUTD's journey, from fledgling institution with no faculty to one embarking on its next phase of growth supported by artificial intelligence and data science.
He is especially proud of setting it up from scratch in 2009, with first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary education and research, and a strong focus on design. Today, it has over 1,000 partnerships with various agencies, and a host of internships and exchange programmes for students.
There are "good employment prospects and strong demand" for them, he says, noting that they have been snapped up by employers such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Dyson, Citi, IBM and the Ministry of Defence.
"I want to thank my team of SUTD colleagues who have worked hard with me to build the university from scratch. This award would never have been possible without their relentless effort and commitment," he said, adding that the board of trustees and Ministry of Education have provided support and guidance.
He previously led A*Star's Science and Engineering Research Council and Data Storage Institute. He has been SUTD president since April 2018, and was its founding Provost from 2010 to 2018.