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University of Sydney and NTU Singapore engineers join forces

27 March 2018
Wide-ranging partnership to explore research, from AI to food tech
Engineers from the University of Sydney and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) are collaborating on research in diverse areas ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) and food technology to clean energy and waste management.
College of Engineering at NTU Singapore Interim Dean Professor Louis Phee and Faculty of Engineering and IT Interim Dean Professor Kim Rasmussen.

Professor Phee and Professor Rasmussen.

The faculty-to-faculty partnership will see the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies explore new research opportunities with NTU Singapore’s College of Engineering.

Faculty of Engineering and IT Interim Dean Professor Kim Rasmussen and engineering researchers from Sydney visited NTU last week to discuss collaborative research opportunities.

“This is the Faculty of Engineering and IT’s first strategic partnership with a Singaporean institution and we are delighted to be joining forces with one of the world’s largest and best-known engineering colleges,” Professor Rasmussen said.   

“We are very proud of the fact that a number of our academic staff have worked at or with NTU in the past, and we look forward to continuing to work together on initiatives that will be mutually beneficial to researchers at both institutions.”

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence also welcomed the new partnership.

“Higher education is inherently global, and universities contribute through networks and partnerships with collaborators and colleagues around the world. This new partnership will help our engineering researchers make a difference, locally and globally,” he said.

Staff from the Faculty of Engineering and IT visited NTU Singapore in late March.

Staff from the Faculty of Engineering and IT visited NTU Singapore in late March.

Established in 1850, the University of Sydney, Australia’s first university, is today one of the world’s leading comprehensive research and teaching institutions, ranked in the top 50 in the QS World University Rankings.

The University of Sydney is also ranked first in Australia for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering, according to the 2018 QS Subject Rankings.

Ranked 11th globally, NTU Singapore is well known for its strengths in engineering, and was placed fifth in the world for engineering and technology in the 2018 QS Subject Rankings and is the top university in the world for citations in AI, according to a 2017 list jointly compiled by Nikkei and Elsevier.

The NTU Smart Campus is a living testbed of cutting-edge technologies, which includes AI-based solutions jointly developed with top industry partners such as Singtel, Paypal, and Chinese technology giant, Alibaba Group.

Professor Louis Phee, Acting Dean, College of Engineering at NTU Singapore, said: “With two-thirds of the world’s population expected to be living in cities by 2045, this collaboration aims to develop sustainable technologies that will shape smart cities of the future.

“The University of Sydney is known for its research in areas such as civil and structural engineering. Together with NTU, which is globally recognised for its strengths in engineering and AI, this partnership will also open new doors in translational research and set sail into new frontiers of technological innovation.

“These and other cutting-edge technologies will be developed on NTU’s lush 200-hectare Smart Campus, a hotbed for tech-enabled solutions aimed at enriching and improving the way people live and work.”

A potential project for collaboration is the development of an autonomous wall-climbing robot that is capable of welding large engineering structures, and that can conduct inspections and clean the surfaces of large engineering structures.

The University of Sydney and NTU Singapore also aim to build on their existing research collaboration in food technologies, including fermentation technology and intelligent packaging.

In addition, the partners plan to explore collaboration opportunities in the areas of:  

  • Chemical engineering, with a focus on materials
  • Civil engineering, with a focus on materials, concrete and steel
  • Cloud computing, ‘Internet of Things’ and data science
  • Membrane technology
  • Photonics and telecommunications and networks
  • Transport engineering
  • Space engineering
  • Robotics.

Over the longer term, the partners also intend to explore other collaborative pursuits which may include inter-country visits, guest lectures and workshops for students, and opportunities for PhD students from both institutions to work on joint projects.

Jennifer Peterson-Ward

Media and PR Adviser (Engineering and IT)

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