One of my favorite parts of my job as CEO of SOLIDWORKS is visiting with users across the SOLIDWORKS global community. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Singapore where I met students and educators at The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
Singapore is a country highly focused on investing in both technology innovation and education, so I was quite pleased to see that SOLIDWORKS is used extensively in industry as well as academia. The government also invests heavily in start-ups; they are unafraid of making mistakes and truly believe that innovation is one of their key resources.
SUTD is a publically-funded university established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The school has the distinction of being one of the first universities in the world to incorporate the art and science of design and technology into a multi-disciplinary curriculum. Its goal is to nurture technically grounded leaders and innovators in engineering product development, engineering systems and design, information systems technology and design, and architecture and sustainable design. The hope is SUTD’s next generation of design and technology leaders will rise to solve the global problems challenging our future.
During my visit, I was able to meet with Professor Pey Kin-Leong, Program Director Kenneth Lo, Dr Ong Eng Hong, and several students who are using SOLIDWORKS in their studies. The University has a long history of partnering with SOLIDWORKS. In fact, SOLIDWORKS has been present at SUTD since day one and continues to be integral to the University’s design and engineering projects and curriculum. Further demonstrating this partnership is the work SUTD has done to encourage its students to achieve SOLIDWORKS Certification status. Earlier this year, the school hosted its first Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate academic exam session. Amazingly, on that single day, 18 students earned their CSWA certification.
One of the more remarkable things about SUTD’s program is that 40 percent of their engineering students are women, a much higher percentage than in most of the world. I spent a lot of time talking to the students. They were eager to show me all the cool products they were designing with SOLIDWORKS—intelligent blades on turbines, bug-spraying robots that can sense when conditions are right for insects to come out and then activate the spray. It was quite impressive to see what these young minds can dream up and create with the help of SOLIDWORKS.
Another interesting aspect about SUTD is its partnerships on the management and entrepreneurial fronts. The university, in collaboration with Zhejiang University (ZJU) and Singapore Management University (SMU), enables students to mix elements of technology, entrepreneurship, management and design thinking for a truly integrated approach.
This reflects how SOLIDWORKS aims to create ecosystems in which design, engineering, business, and marketing work in lockstep with a strong focus on innovation. When these very different pieces begin working as one, everyone benefits – especially customers who benefit from great product design, communication, and support.
Singapore’s future is dependent on technology and innovation. SUTD’s students will play an integral part in the country’s growth and viability for years to come. Singapore’s future is dependent on technology and innovation. I look forward to seeing how these students apply SOLIDWORKS and their engineering skills to design a bright future for Singapore.