Engineering Systems and Design (ESD) is one of four academic pillars at SUTD. The focus of ESD is the study of large scale complex systems whose performance and function depend both on their technology and on the socio-economic context within which they operate. Examples include supply chains and logistics, financial services, health care delivery systems, transportation systems, security and defense systems, energy production and distribution systems, and many more.

Our Academic Programs

The ESD pillar offers highly innovative undergraduate and graduate programs, with a unique emphasis on design and active learning. In addition to providing for a strong foundation in the fundamentals of mathematics, science, and engineering, the ESD undergraduate curriculum provides students with a significant exposure to the social sciences, including management, economics, and public policy, and an emphasis on the soft skills, including communication, team work, entrepreneurship, and ethics. The ESD curriculum is modular and flexible, with a mix of half and full term courses and a wide range of technical electives, allowing students to gain more depth in one of several application focus tracks.

The ESD pillar is involved in several MS degrees, jointly with MIT, including the MIT-SUTD MS degrees in Supply Chain Management, in System and Management, and in Engineering in Manufacturing. Students spend one year at MIT and one year at SUTD and earn two masters degrees: one from MIT and another from SUTD.

Our flagship PhD program is a selective program that aims to produce the next generation of leading engineering systems researchers and thinkers. The PhD program provides students with a strong technical foundation and emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative research, enhanced by an industry internship experience, an international exchange experience, and a teaching experience. The PhD program is mentoring intensive and with a unique fluid advising structure that allows students to work with multiple faculty members and faculty members to engage with multiple students. As with the undergraduate students, PhD students also benefit from a rich and tailored professional development program with a focus on soft skills, including communication, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Our Faculty

The ESD pillar offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work with faculty who are at the very forefront of their fields and who are from the very best universities in the world, including MIT, Stanford, Cambridge, and Cornell, and with diverse nationalities, including countries from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

The ESD pillar is rapidly growing and will continue to do so for the next several years, reaching a steady state of over 70 faculty members, making it one of the largest such programs in the world.

ESD faculty are engaged in leading edge research in a wide range of disciplines including optimization, applied probability and stochastic modeling, game theory and economics, control science, system dynamics, public policy, and organizational and behavioral sciences. They are also engaged in important applications including supply chains, transportation and logistics, healthcare, energy and the environment, service systems, financial engineering, critical infrastructure, and security, social networks, telecommunication systems, renewable energy, and electricity markets. ESD faculty are tackling these problems using a variety of approaches and methodologies, including analytical, computational, empirical and experimental.

ESD faculty members are leading a number of teaching and research initiatives at SUTD. This includes two flagship laboratories: the Innovative Digital Arts Lab (IDiA Lab) and the Financial Trading Lab. IDiA Lab is devoted to teaching and research in the digital arts, including software prototyping, 3D modeling and animation, simulation, mobile and desktop application programming, game development, and data visualisation. The Trading Lab recreates a trading floor practitioner’s experience, using terminals, real time data feeds, and news sources. The lab is instrumental in students’ training and is tightly incorporated into the curriculum. The lab is also be used by faculty to pursue behavior-based research in the area of financial decision making.

ESD faculty members are also leading research initiatives in various university research centers and institutes, including the International Design Center, the Lee Kuan Yew Center for Innovative Cities, the I-Trust Center on Information Security, and the Ministry of Defense Temasek Laboratory in Engineering Systems.

Interview with Professor Saif Benjaafar

Designing for Tomorrow

SUTD East Coast Campus