20 July 2012
Record Number Receives Master’s Degree at TUM Asia’s 9th Graduation Ceremony
Three Singaporean students sponsored by Singapore Workforce Development Agency under the Professional Conversion Programme among top award winners
Singapore, 20 July 2012 – German Institute of Science and Technology-TUM Asia (TUM Asia) today held its ninth graduation ceremony at the NUS University Town Plaza Auditorium. The Guest of Honour officiating at the graduation ceremony was Mr Jens Janik, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy Singapore.
This year, a total of 73 graduates from five programmes received their Master’s degree. The five programmes are:
This is the largest graduating class since TUM Asia started offering its first Masters programme 10 years ago. In addition to Singaporeans and Singapore PRs, the graduating students hailed from six countries including India, China and Germany.
“Over the last decade, TUM Asia has established itself as the tertiary institution of choice for advanced engineering and science education in the tradition of excellence in education and research of Technische Universität München (TUM), our parent university,” said Dr Markus Wächter, Managing Director of TUM Asia. “From one Master’s Programme in 2002, we are now offering five Master’s Programmes. In addition, we are also offering two Bachelors programmes in collaboration with Singapore Institute of Technology.”
“The increase in the number of programmes offered reflects greater awareness and increase in demand for our kind of education, distinguished by the quality of our faculty and the synthesis of German scientific and technical excellence with practical-oriented curriculum developed closely with our industry partners,” added Dr Wächter. “Increasingly, more people in Singapore and the region realise that a German quality engineering education in a globalised city like Singapore, offers tremendous value for their personal and career development.”
The graduating class included 25 local students who were sponsored by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) under the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP). Around 70% of these graduates had already secured employment in their respective industries. The PCP helps to groom local talents for the manufacturing industry in Singapore by providing upgrading opportunities in the areas of advanced engineering and science. Upon completion of the PCP, the graduates can expect their job roles to be expanded, which will aid their career progression. Their specialised, industry-relevant competencies may also facilitate their entry into another industry or qualify them for managerial positions in their current industry.
This year, three of the PCP Singaporean trainees have won the best Master Thesis / Dissertation awards for their respective courses. They are:
Ms Julia Ng, Senior Director of the Manufacturing and Construction Division at WDA, said: “WDA congratulates Ms Chian, Mr Huang and Mr Gu for their outstanding achievements in winning the best Master Thesis / Dissertation awards. Their accolades reflect the value of WDA’s Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), as well as the success of our longstanding collaboration with TUM Asia to upgrade the skills and expertise of Singaporean Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) in the manufacturing sector. Looking ahead, WDA will continue to explore opportunities for additional government-academia-industry partnerships that will strengthen the capability and competitiveness of Singapore’s manufacturing workforce.”
The feedback from the graduates on the programmes that they pursued was positive and enlightening. The majority of them expressed their appreciation for the multi-dimensional and practice-oriented nature of their courses of study. They benefited from an excellent faculty with expertise gleaned from years of industry experience and a regime of intensive classroom learning complemented by hands-on experience gained during internship with leading companies whose businesses are aligned to their field of studies.
“I was previously working as an engineer with a printed circuit board manufacturing company. I took the PCP Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering at TUM Asia because I wanted to work in the aerospace industry. With theoretical knowledge gained from the course and practical experience gleaned from the internship, I was able to secure a position as an Aircraft Structure Engineer with ST Aerospace Services Co Pte Ltd,” said Mr Gu Junqing, who won the Best Master Thesis for the programme in Aerospace Engineering.
“I have gained knowledge on engineering modules taught by German lecturers,” said Ms Angela Chian, a research assistant from the National University of Singapore (NUS) who won the Best Master Thesis award for the programme in Industrial Chemistry. “Through the programme, I was exposed to the multinational faculty at TUM Asia who conveyed knowledge from various perspectives that enriched the whole learning environment. I have also gained knowledge not only in Chemistry but in finance and production planning, which slotmaschinen spielen expanded the scope of my knowledge.”
Angela was previously a chemistry teacher in a secondary school. Motivated by her interest in research and development (R&D), she decided to make a mid-career switch and joined NUS as a Research Assistant. “The WDA PCP in the Master of Science in Industrial Chemistry not only equipped me with the theoretical fundamentals of chemistry, but also smoothen my career transition from teaching to chemistry R&D,” she added.
“The programme leads students to the fantastic world of integrated circuits,” said Mr Huang Jiayan, who won the Best Master Thesis award for the programme in Integrated Circuit Design. “I am thankful to WDA and TUM for creating an upgrading pathway that offers graduates excellent career opportunities in the semiconductor industry.”
Mr Huang was an electrical engineer with a multinational corporation before taking up the Master of Science in Integrated Circuit Design programme at TUM Asia. “The intensive course work, coupled with a formal internship programme and Master thesis within the PCP, gave me invaluable hands-on experience and knowledge on the real-life industrial applications of integrated circuit design. I believe that the PCP has boosted my employability and job readiness, and am confident of obtaining a job advancement and higher remuneration after my graduation,” he added.
“The availability of talents with the relevant skills and expertise is a critical competitive factor in the aerospace industry,” said Koh Chin Seng, Vice President, Human Resources of ST Aerospace. “We are happy to work alongside TUM Asia to provide internship opportunity for their students, who represent a potential pool of talents we can tap on. After an eight-month internship programme with ST Aerospace, Gu Junqing has gained both practical knowledge on aerospace repair and maintenance, and first-hand understanding of the business landscape. When we eventually offered him a permanent position, he was able to assimilate easily into our organisation culture.”
“We have worked with TUM Asia for several years and we appreciate the value of its programmes in preparing scholars who aspire for a career in research,” said Prof Loh Kian Ping, Head of NUS Department of Chemistry. “We believe that Chian Siew Fung Angela has gained tremendous knowledge in the chemistry domain and practical experience in R&D, making her transition from a school teacher to a researcher a seamless one.”
Following the success of the PCP programme, WDA and TUM Asia conceptualised the Manufacturing Step Scholarship (MS2) for employers to groom suitable Singaporean employees for succession planning through the Master’s programmes. Beside the Master’s programmes, WDA and TUM Asia also collaborate to offer short seminars to upgrade and up skill the PMEs in the manufacturing industry.
About TUM Asia
TUM Asia first opened its doors in 2002, the Singapore campus being the first ever German academic venture abroad. The Technische Universität München (TUM) enjoys the prestige of being the top university in Germany, with a total of 13 Nobel Laureates graduates to date. TUM Asia serves as the Asian subsidiary to its parent university, and its long standing reputation has led to partnerships with two of Asia’s top universities, namely National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Since 2002, TUM Asia has been running joint Master’s Programmes conferred by TUM, with NTU and NUS. The Master of Science in Industrial Chemistry is the longest running programme, with 10 successful intakes and 9 graduate batches to date. Through the years, programmes such as Integrated Circuit Design, Microelectronics, Aerospace Engineering, Transport and Logistics have been added to the list of offered programmes. TUM Asia also collaborates with Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), offering 2 Bachelor programmes – Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology; and Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. This 2012 will mark TUM Asia’s 10th year in Singapore and there are plans in the works to launch more Master’s and Bachelor programmes that continue to be industry-focused and in tune with the needs of the global economy.
About Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today’s economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers – young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives – to upgrade and advance in their careers and lives.
For more information, please visit http://www.wda.gov.sg
For media enquiries, please contact:
Manager, Marketing Communications
German Institute of Science and Technology – TUM Asia Pte Ltd
DID: 65 6777-7407 ext 127
Principal Manager, Corporate & Marketing Communications
Singapore Workforce Development Agency
DID: 65 6512-1241