“The importance of engineering to society is without doubt when one considers how technology has shaped our living environment, work and lifestyles since the industrial revolution. Engineering will continue to grow in importance given the pervasiveness of technology in our lives today,” opened Professor Chua Kee Chaing, Dean of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Engineering at the NUS Greater Good Series event titled “Engineering for the future”.
Speaking about his experience as an entrepreneurial engineer, NUS Engineering alumnus and Provost Chair Professor Lim Chwee Teck shared with the audience the research work and the startups he has been involved in, including a new diagnostic liquid biopsy tool for cancer.
“Engineers have always been responsible for developing medical technology. If you look in a hospital, there are fingerprints of engineering all over the place. At NUS, we are constantly working on research that can shape the future of medicine, in areas ranging from ageing to cancer. It is important that we bring these solutions from bench to market to benefit society,” said Prof Lim, who is teaching at the NUS Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Another NUS Engineering alumnus blazing the trail in niche areas is Mr Peter Ho, CEO of HOPE Technik Pte Ltd. One of many successful HOPE innovations is the car-sized firefighting vehicle Red Rhino, which is perfect for navigating busy cities. HOPE has also won a tender by Airbus, beating top engineering firms in the world to build a scale model of a spaceplane.
Both Prof Lim and Mr Ho shared the view that engineering would play a key role in addressing the world’s complex problems, such as the rapidly ageing population and the increasing cancer rates. Moreover, thanks to our globally interconnected world, Singapore is well-placed to play a key role in tomorrow’s innovations.
“What’s different now is that with the Internet, there is abundant knowledge available, and there are opportunities to move and sell something fast without having to go through a long learning process” shared Mr Ho, who felt that the passion to own solutions will play a big part in the success of the next generation of engineers.
“Being a top university in Asia, NUS is poised to develop engineers who will not say ‘it cannot be done in Singapore’”, Mr Ho added.
Prof Chua closed the event by highlighting that while NUS Engineering has evolved to meet the needs of a fast-changing world, private funding is instrumental in attracting top students and faculty and ensuring that the Faculty stays relevant in the future.
The NUS Greater Good Series features talks by leading minds on topics related to philanthropy. These include generosity, giving and service to the community, as well as leadership, personal well-being and mental resilience. The Series aims to raise awareness of philanthropy and its impact on society. The Series was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Newsman Realty Pte Ltd.
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