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Feature

NTU courses designed with big global brands

Get an edge in employability and real-life experience with these NTU courses designed together with leading companies – such as Dyson, Google, AMD and DBS – as well as Singapore’s National Environment Agency
by Derek Rodriguez

Devise with Dyson

  • PHOTOS: DYSON
  • PHOTOS: DYSON
  • PHOTOS: DYSON
  • PHOTOS: DYSON
  • PHOTOS: DYSON

Have fresh ideas to create exciting new products? Get the know-how in the Product Development Challenge module, an initiative of NTU and Dyson, the British technology company that’s known for marrying engineering with sharp design.

Inside the Dyson-NTU Studio, Dyson’s first on a campus in Asia, engineering students are asked to summon their spirit of design-based thinking.

Since the studio simulates Dyson’s working environment, students get a feel of what it’s like to be a design engineer at the company that’s known for cool products ranging from bladeless fans and cordless vacuum cleaners to Airwrap hair stylers. Using advanced 3D printers and modelling software, students can develop 3D prototypes of their own and test them on the NTU Smart Campus.

Renaissance Engineering Programme student Cyndi Teh, 23, who enrolled in the semester-long module taught by Dyson engineers and NTU professors, says: “The course has been an eye-opener. I’ve learnt a lot from the NTU and Dyson mentors, and the importance of collaborating with others from different engineering backgrounds. It has helped me discover why I need to question convention and experiment without the fear of failure.”

In the works are internship and career opportunities for students taking this module. The studio could also be open to undergrads from other disciplines such as business and humanities.

Google Digitize

Looking for a unique course with a guaranteed internship? You might find your answer with Google.

A new course that debuts next semester will see NTU and the technology leader train 25 undergraduates from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information. The course will be adapted from Digitize, a programme launched in 2016 by Google and the Infocomm Media Development Authority to train Singaporeans to become programmatic buying and technology experts for the digital marketing industry.

After completing the 13-week course, students will have the option of spending six months as an intern at one of Google’s partner companies and media agencies, including leading brands in the travel, technology, consumer packaged goods, telecommunications and ecommerce sectors. All graduates of the programme will also join the 200-person-strong Digitize network that provides them with professional support.

“The digital advertising market is estimated to be worth S$404 million by next year. Companies are spending more in digital execution and core capabilities linked to the utilisation of data. The only thing holding it back is talent shortage. This initiative aims to tackle this shortage in Singapore,” says NTU lecturer Wong Pei Wen, who will be co-teaching this class with guest lecturers from Google and leaders from the digital marketing industry.

Banking on DBS

  • PHOTOS: DBS BANK
  • PHOTOS: DBS BANK

The financial sector needs more talent in wealth management and Nanyang Business School’s Applied Wealth Management track is right on the money.

Designed by NTU and DBS Bank, the course is the first of its kind in Singapore and trains up to 50 students every semester to serve the well-heeled in the Asia-Pacific, where the number of ultra-rich is growing.

Students don’t just get a solid education in wealth management. Even before they graduate, they serve clients and work in a digital banking environment through two internships with DBS, named the Global Bank of the Year in 2018. Students do a 10-week and 20-week stint at the end of their second and third year of study, respectively.

Armed with the required regulatory certifications and experience, graduates of the programme will be able to hit the ground running, instead of undergoing a six-month training and certification period, as is the current practice.

The programme provides a ticket to coveted positions too, as top students are offered full-time jobs at DBS as wealth management associates in the bank’s consumer banking and wealth management group. And if they continue to impress, they will be offered a place in DBS Treasures, the bank’s wealth management segment.

Says Ms Tan Su Shan, Managing Director, DBS Bank: “We need to build a workforce of job-ready wealth managers today. From ensuring that these students have the best-in-class curriculum to hands-on training, through this course, we want to develop innovative and committed bankers who are ready to succeed in the future economy.”

Future-ready with AMD

Do you dream of being the next Elon Musk or Bill Gates? Dive into the deep end of computing in NTU’s new Data Science and Artificial Intelligence course, which has been boosted with modules in high performance computing, parallel processing and deep-learning technologies.

Next-generation tech leaders on this bachelor’s programme, which starts in the new academic year, will be exposed to real-world applications through American firm AMD’s industrial network. Students can try their hand at developing software used in security fields like identification and motion detection. They will also work on big data and analytics that more companies are using to their advantage.

Kitted out with AMD’s state-of-the-art equipment, the upcoming Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in the School of Computer Science & Engineering will be the classroom for students taking these modules.

AMD will provide internship opportunities at its Singapore office as well as its research laboratory in Shanghai, China. The tech giant will also support a work-study programme, where students go through multiple internships and do an industrial final-year project. Those who shine could be hired by the company when they graduate.

“NTU is the premier institution for artificial intelligence, and we’re very excited to bring our technologies to empower the participating students to freely explore the diversity of deep-learning applications,” says Allen Lee, Corporate Vice President for Asia Datacentre Group and General Manager for China R&D Centre, AMD.

NEAr and present dangers

Our lives are inextricably connected with the environment and the other animals that live on our planet. The One Health course, developed by NTU and the National Environment Agency (NEA), takes this to new levels of understanding.

Available to students of the School of Biological Sciences, it prepares them for future careers in areas such as public health, medical research and bio-businesses by laying the foundation of how food safety, animal health and the mitigation of climate change are linked to human health in Singapore and in the world.

Students gain knowledge which will aid them in their careers in various government agencies involved in the One Health movement, such as the NEA, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore and Health Sciences Authority.

Says Dr Hong Yan, the professor in charge: “Since it was conceived two years ago, the module has generated strong interest among students. Every semester, about 100 students take this module, and there are plans to increase the intake due to its popularity. Many students can relate personally to the subject since it concerns their lives and some see a close relation to their future careers.”