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 Programmes

The ESD pillar offers highly innovative undergraduate and graduate programmes, 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 core courses and a wide range of technical electives, allowing students to gain more depth in one of several application focus tracks.

Our flagship PhD programme is a selective programme that aims to produce the next generation of leading engineering systems researchers and thinkers. The PhD programme 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 programme 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, Berkeley, 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 programmes in the world.

ESD faculty are engaged in leading edge research in a wide range of disciplines including optimisation, applied probability and stochastic modeling, game theory and economics, control science, system dynamics, public policy, and organisational 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 Systems Design Studio and the The Data Analytics Lab. The Systems Design Studio is an idea-friendly home for teams and design classes to meet and explore concepts that could change the world. The space is re-configurable and has ample white-space, multi-touch display walls and display areas to spur and conceive the next big idea. The Data Analytics Lab is ESD home for simulation, optimisation, and analysis.  It is equipped with Bloomberg terminals, providing up-to-date financial information on publicly traded firms. It also features a display board with running updates of current stock prices. In addition, it provides the latest tools that cover all three aspects of data analytics – descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics. Interactive, computer-based games are hosted here where teams of students tackle realistic, fast-paced operational challenges to hone their computational and decision-making skills.

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