Centre for Aerospace Engineering takes off at ME

21 March 2013

Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo (centre) at the unveiling of the Centre's plaque. With her on the stage are (from left) Prof Tay Tong Earn (Head, ME Department and CAE Director), Ms Glory Wee (Head, Aerospace, EDB), Prof Chan Eng Soon (Dean of Engineering), Ms Milly Tay (VP Engineering & Development Centre, ST Aerospace), Mr Cheong Chee Hoo (Director, Networks, DSO); and Mr Chew Siong Hee (VP Engineering, SIA Engineering).

THE Centre for Aerospace Engineering (CAE) has been established at the NUS Department of Mechanical Engineering to the tune of about $1 million. A collaboration with DSO National Laboratories, SIA Engineering and ST Aerospace, the Centre will conduct aerospace-focused research, education and outreach activities.

Experts from the three industry partners will be delivering guest lectures at the NUS Engineering Faculty. They will also be offering internships, design projects as well as final-year projects for NUS Engineering students. Such projects include Wing-in-Ground (WIG) craft, aerial flapping wing craft as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Department's aeronautical engineering specialisation will be doubling its current intake of undergraduate students, admitting about 50 students per year either through direct entry from Year 1 or from Year 3. Some 20 NUS researchers will be leading and participating in various studies, for example, on drag reduction with investigations spanning both low and high subsonic speed regimes, strength of composite materials and structures, as well as the evaluation, prediction and detection of damage and repairs relevant to the aircraft industry.

The scientific and technical knowledge arising from these studies will have benefits beyond the aerospace industry to other major sectors such as energy, transportation and marine, said Professor Tay Tong Earn, the Centre’s Director as well as Head, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

"We have experienced a considerable surge in aerospace activities in Asia, and at NUS, we have been in the forefront of such innovative research. We hope to make strong contributions to the industry and the Singapore economy," said Prof Tay.

Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo who was guest of honour at the launch, noted that the local aerospace sector is a key pillar of Singapore's economy, providing close to 20,000 jobs. The new Centre will help to nurture young talent and to make sure that they join the aerospace workforce upon graduation.

Third-year Mechanical Engineering students having fun with their Micro Air Vehicle prototype. From left: Steve Quek, Mason See, Lu Weiyao (team leader), Muhammad Azli bin Jaffar and Gerald Tan. They share a common passion in designing and making things that fly.