Tony Fook Hiu Tung
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Materials Science & Engineering

About a year after I started my PhD in 2016 in field that I had limited experience in, I had the opportunity to present at the International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies (ICMAT) in 2017 at Suntec Convention Centre Singapore. It was a truly exciting moment for me in my postgraduate journey as it marked the first conference I participated in since embarking on my PhD. I’ve regarded it as a small milestone in my postgraduate journey and worked harder since then. This photo reminds me to work diligently and take things in my stride after encountering obstacles in our journey in life. I know many postgraduates had a tough time with their work when the COVID-19 pandemic hit us hard in 2020. I’m glad to know that many of my postgraduate friends have successfully been conferred their degrees and will be attending the upcoming convocation ceremony for the class of 2021. I am also grateful that we have the chance to attend the class of 2021 convocation since the ceremony for the class of 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19. Looking forward to the convocation of the class of 2021!

Pae Jian Yi
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

This photo was taken in 2018 with members of the research team under A/P Murukeshan V.M. We have made many bittersweet memories together. We celebrated the success of the team when new papers/patents are published, but we also celebrated whenever anyone left the team to pursue their careers. The journey was not easy and at times dull, but their support from the team members was one of the primary factors that I am able to complete my postgraduate journey. It is now time for me to leave and pursue my own career.

Jeremy Goh
Master of Arts (Global and Interdisciplinary History)
School of Humanities

My postgraduate study in NTU is both enriching and challenging. The graduate modules and programmes offered by the School of Humanities have deepened and broadened my interest and expertise in the study of global and interdisciplinary history. Presentations and participation at local and overseas academic conferences enabled me to expand my network and seek out possible avenues of cross-disciplinary research. Alongside research and conference presentations, I managed to engage my juniors and improve my public speaking skills as a teaching assistant for a history undergraduate module.

Like many others around here and globally, my research was severely affected by lockdowns and uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and safe management measures curtailed access to physical archives which are essential to history research. Oral history interviews had to be postponed to minimise physical contact between individuals. The uncertainty over research, finances and the duration of lockdown has caused immense mental strain to me and my peers alike. Fortunately, lockdowns have accelerated digitization efforts enabling researchers to access a wealth of primary and secondary literature online, which eases somewhat the disruption on research. Taken together, postgraduate study in NTU not only allowed me to deepen my knowledge in my field of expertise and areas of research interest, but also instilled in me the importance of being agile in the rapidly changing world today.

Dinesh Nair
Master of Media & Communication
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

My name is Dinesh Nair. My time here at Nanyang Technological University has been one of continuing education and an enriching journey. I have been both a journeyman learning the kaleidoscopic colours of human behavior and conduct; and a student learning the finer points of technical principles – Media Ethics, Law, Communications.

What I truly enjoyed about the course was forging friendships from all walks of life. Each student had a unique story, and it was great listening to their stories, their experiences/ journeys etc. If we all shared one thing in common; it was complaining about our submission of multiple assignments on the same day. However, that only made us stronger as it helped sharpen our written skills/abilities. We were highly encouraged to participate in class and that helped us learn a lot more effectively.

Lecturers also made classes enjoyable. Special mention to Dr Andrew Duffy, Professor Ang Peng Hwa, Mdm Wong Pei Wen, Brenda Koh for their ability to make classes interesting. I have learnt a great deal from them. But outside the classroom, the teachers become your best friends/mates cracking a joke or two or perhaps enjoying a nice meal. They always encouraged us to do our best.

Desmond Loy Jia Jun
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

‘A’ Levels failed; University applications rejected for 3 years. Give up or Rise up?

Fast forward a decade, I got my Ph.D. from NTU. I could not be prouder of my efforts and humbler at the opportunities that have been given to me.

While my undergraduate journey has been adventurous, my post-graduate journey was even more challenging and rewarding. During my graduate studies in NTU, not only did I work and learn from like-minded academics, I also had the chance to widen my Ph.D. work as part of an industrial collaboration. This culminated in the proudest moment of my Ph.D. journey when I received praise from DPM Heng Swee Keat to continue to catalyse other new R&D during the opening ceremony of my Industrial-University project, which I am still working on till this day.

I would like to thank NTU for giving me the chance to pursue both my undergraduate and graduate studies with them. This journey has certainly helped me grow in many aspects and become more resilient, and I hope that my story can be an inspiration to others.

“Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise” – Les Misérables.

Ang Jin Kai Alvin
Master of Mass Communication
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

I would have never dreamt of finishing my Masters (in Mass Communication) before turning 29, or even at NTU, after completing my Undergraduate Education (in Business) at SIM-University of London. Mass Communication has been something that I have grown to have an interest in, and something I am passionate about, since my first job. As such, I'm glad to have been an NTU Student (now Alumni). WKWSCI has been able to provide me with a world class education and definitely deepened my insights into a world of communications and media. This is ever more so, in a COVID world, where the training and skills I’ve learnt and received, become more relevant and useful today.

Tang Lu
Master of Business Administration
Nanyang Business School

To the best time - Nanyang MBA Class of 2020

Arun Prasanth
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

PhD (Permanent Head Damage) or a One-time Life Experience?

I started my PhD with big dreams like anyone else to achieve great heights in the field of advanced manufacturing technologies for gas turbine engines. Everything went well in my year-1 (its just literature review and watching Air Crash Investigation shows). I proposed a novel concept to perform feasibility studies on a unique work stream. My proposal was on Cavitation: A phenomenon that was strongly stated uncontrollable and destructive in the 1900s, to something that can be controlled and used for constructive purpose. Some supported, some laughed at the idea. Year-2: I fabricated the first machine to test my ideas. 8 hours into first experiment and it failed (the first day I cried after crossing my teen age. PS: Don’t let this secret out). My supervisor motivated me to such an extent that I felt I was reborn (thanks to him). Year-3: I kept tuning the machine until it gave me good results (all day and night – 20 hrs/day). The results were impressive and attracted several funding and awards for the project. Year-4: Developed a second-generation machine for technology commercialization and published several patents, top journals, conferences, and secured several awards including the NTU’s Graduate College Awards for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“Never give up, never feel low. Life is a roller coaster. When you fall, you will raise with greater speed. Practise perseverance”

Arun Prasanth Nagalingam
2016-2020, PhD, MAE, NTU

Phay Han
Master of Arts
School of Art, Design And Media

Beginning my postgrad studies at the School of Art, Design & Media (ADM), I had just come off from working 2 years in the digital advertising industry. I pursued my research masters with the intention to delve deeper into some hypothesis of the industry I had formed during my working experiences.

It was an amazing experience being able to learn from renowned academics in the arts and design space, not only about the technical aspects of the work, but also topics touching on philosophy and aesthetics. The well-rounded modules on offer gave me a glimpse into the wider academic world, and I even took a course in Primate Psychology from the Psychology department.

As I began to expand my learning, I had also started to formulate my research topic with greater clarity, resulting in a research topic centered around Artificial Intelligence can be used effectively for digital advertising. These interdisciplinary courses on offer at NTU informed my perspectives largely when it came to my research, which combined knowledge from psychology, computing and the arts.

What had begun as my research topic slowly evolved into a technology startup (Luminaire AI) which I had established in the middle of my research term in 2018. By bringing academic research out into practice in the competitive business world, I had hoped to show that research can be exciting and valuable in the enterprise markets and not just something we reference in research papers.

Through the entrepreneurial journey, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the Singapore University of Science & Technology (SUTD) and the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore. Working with scientists on the cutting-edge of technological innovation was a thrilling and fruitful experience. Our efforts were recognized when we were named an Honouree at the Brands for Good 2019 awards, under the Empowering Local Markets category. We were even featured in the Business Times. Additionally, I had also the opportunity to bring the startup into the Lean Laucnhpad programme held at NTUitive, the entrepreneurship arm of the university, where we learned from experts about how to bring academic research into the global commercial markets. In late 2019 before COVID hit, I embarked on a global fundraising tour for the startup in Barcelona, Shanghai and Doha. Seeing the world this way reminded me of the importance of a global education; opening our eyes to new opportunities and perspectives in a rapidly changing world.

What started as an academic postgrad journey in NTU has brought me on a whirlwind journey through the startup world, gave me the chance to meet fellow changemakers, and reminded me that the world is full of more opportunities than we think. I would say that is worth more than the price of education alone.

Writer: Han Phay is currently the Founder of Phay & Partners, an educational startup providing consultancy and workshops on topics relating to Digital 4.0 and technological disruptions. They also provide mentorship to youth startup founders, working with institutions such as the Nanyang Technological University’s Career and Advancement Office (CAO) and the ACS International. He is an alumni of the NTU, with a Master of Arts (Research) at the School of Art, Design & Media (ADM).

Mohana Tan
Master of Arts (Counselling & Guidance)
National Institute of Education

The postgrad learning journey at NIE has been an enriching one - both in my professional and personal life. The theories and skills learnt coupled with my practicum enhanced my counselling experience and has been a huge stepping stone in my career. On a more personal ground, I was humbled by my lectureres who taught us not just academic work but also delivered lessons with their hearts. The good work they do is evident in the experiences they shared and has been an inspiration for me. I hope to play a small positive role in the evolving mental health landscape.

Wong Siew Ying
Master of Education (Developmental Psychology)
National Institute of Education

Super grateful to this Master course which brought all us together. We started off as strangers from different walks of life. I am the only MOE teacher in the group of 6! Now, we are 7 since baby Seraphine arrived in June 2021. The friendship was slowly formed as we attended the night classes, discussed the group projects and presentations both online and offline. Other than work, we had fun outings to Marina Square and Orchard Central for meals and shared our dreams and aspirations like any undergraduates. Though I am 47 this year, they seriously make me feel young again!

The learning was so rich and meaningful that I would recommend all to take up Developmental in Psychology if you have the time and urge to impart knowledge to the young ones. It helps me understand myself and others better which is crucial in my job. The teaching and learning frameworks and pedagogies are essential tools to deepen my understanding in teaching more effectively and efficiently. I felt blessed to be able to learn again as educating the young is ever changing and I have to keep up with them in this technology-driven era through higher education.

Stay safe and stay healthy!

Sua Kah Yong James
Master of Science (Information Systems)
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

Despite the pandemic, my postgraduate journey at NTU was a fruitful one. Even though many classes were held online, they had been as enjoyable and effective as well. It is much convenient for students to voice out comments via typing than verbally since everyone can express themselves at the same time, not to mention easier for introverts or those whose English ain’t their first language. Our professors even find innovative ways to promote interactive learning via online participation games such as Kahoot! and also discussion forums for us to express our thoughts during and after lectures with relevant topics or reflections over the weeks. For group works, presentations were done either via live-stream or pre-recorded video, which had driven us to learn additional soft skills like video editing and voice recording to effectively aid in the communication of our assignments. As for student life, we still managed to meet up with our coursemates during the pre-pandemic period when we have breaks between classes or for lunch. All in all, having to interact with coursemates from all sorts of backgrounds and professions, be it face-to-face or online, had expanded our network beyond our social circle, alongside academia, in a huge and favorable way.

Peng Bo
Master of Social Sciences (China and Global Governance)
Nanyang Center for Public Administration

My graduate journey at NTU was a special one as the world paused due to the COVID-19 pandemics. For the first time the academic teaching, discussions and competition moved online for the interruption of physical travelling. During the summer break of the year 2020, I participated in the Tsinghua International Public Policy Case Analysis Competition and made it to the final round with my teammates. Tsinghua SPPM International Case Analysis Competition of Public Policy on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held for the third time this year and it was the first time to host such a virtual final presentation amid COVID-19 pandemic. The competition strengthened the research and writing skills in the field public policy for. It was also a good opportunity for me to share the ideas with my peers from top universities across the world. After the graduation from NTU, I would continue to put in our efforts in bridging the knowledge between the China and Singapore. As a NTU student, it is also important for us to reflect what we can do to fulfil our social responsibilities in times of crisis such as COVID-19 pandemic.

Chia Yi Min, Cheryl
Master of Education (English)
National Institute of Education

Throughout my postgraduate journey at NTU, I’ve learnt so much! I’ve had the honour of meeting inspiring professors who have taught me lessons I don’t think I’ll ever forget, and the privilege of getting to know such intelligent, tenacious, and helpful classmates! While there were definitely times I found myself trudging along in (metaphorical) pain as I attempted to give my best in the completion of assignments, everything is worth it in hindsight. I am immensely glad that I made the choice to apply for this program, and am even more thankful that I can now graduate from it! Cheers to the class of 2021!

Junianah Bte Shamsudin
Master of Education (Early Childhood)
National Institute of Education

I did most of my tertiary education at NTU. I graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Human Resource Management. I was from the pioneer batch. Then, I came back to NIE/NTU in 2009 after doing a mid-career switch. I came back in Aug 2019 to NIE/NTU to do my Masters of Education, specializing in Early Childhood. I have learnt much within the 2 short years, receiving much from knowledgeable lecturers who provided thought-provoking questions. I met many wonderful colleagues who shared their experiences and joy of growing with the young minds. NTU holds special memories for me dearly and I hope that my children would one day join me to be alumni of NTU. Thank you to my dearest husband for his everlasting support in me.

Yeo Hwee Teck Christopher
Master of Science (Analytics)
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Indeed a unforgettable postgraduate journey!

If I were to say it was a roller-coaster ride, it would definitely be an understatement.

After more than 10 years absence from school and being a father of two in July 2019, I had to juggle between family needs & work exigencies before I proceed for my evening classes at NTU.

After doing well for 1st trimester and struggling with 2nd trimester’s modules, I was pleasantly surprised by the news that I would be a new father again. However in Jan-Feb 2020, the entire world was struck by an unknown flu bug (known as COVID19 now) and many were dying from it. With so many uncertainties and unknowns then, I tried to withdraw from my MSc programme so that I can concentrate on my work and family. Fortunately, I had the good advice from NTU to submit an leave of absence for Trimester 3 instead.

With the short break and much support & encouragement from my family, superior, colleagues and friends, I resumed my studies in July 2020! The rest is history now since I have graduated with newfound knowledge and am a proud father of three happy and healthy children now!

Cai Mengyuan
Master of Science (Applied Economics)
School of Social Sciences

I love NTU, love Singapore, where I found my best friends and best instructors. After master’s study, I decided to continue my PhD study in NTU and finally I made it! THANK YOU, NTU!

Meng Xiankun
Master of Arts (Instructional Design & Technology)
National Institute of Education

It was not an easy feat to start postgraduate school 10 years after graduated from a Bachelor degree! The memories of the midnight oil burnt in cramping facts into ever-shrinking spaces on “grey matter” and the horrendous finals which had questions one had never seen before, still firmly etched in my mind. Not helping either was a new family with two preschool toddlers who were constantly competing for one’s attention.

While accepting the unchangeable, little did I expect the style of teaching in NIE was so vastly different from my Bachelor degree! Gone were the days when the finals were reduced to the competition of one’s grey matter. So firmly held was the conviction that knowledge is socially constructed and one learns best by doing. Discussion and group collaboration replaced information downloading during the class. One aspect I liked the most was there were no exams! Instead, there were projects and essays for every module. Projects were closely related to what I did at work, which made me critically examine how I had done my work and how I should improve it with new methodologies and technologies learnt. Essays sharpened my reflection- how I should integrate and evaluate knowledge learnt in class, and how to adapt it to my work setting.

It still was not an easy postgraduate journey. However, it was definitely a fulfilling one. Not only this journey satisfied one’s intellectual curiosity, but also it made one more resourceful at work. In addition, and more importantly this journey de-cluttered one’s thoughts, and made one analyze the problems systematically and arrive at a logical conclusion convincingly.

Foong Wai Yan Amanda
Master of Science (Financial Engineering)
Nanyang Business School

“After years of waking up early for class, studying late into the night, shedding a few tears and then picking myself up all over again, I’m done with my University education. And as I take a step towards the next chapter of my life, behind me stands all the beautiful memories I’ve made in a place I hold close to my heart. It’s time to say goodbye, NTU.” – Amanda Foong

Rahman Md Habibur
Master of Science (Civil Engineering)
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Still remember the day when I first entered this lovely campus… first day, new environment, new people…. But now I just can’t believe within 2 years this campus would have taken so much space in my heart. The academics are excellent, the campus is charming, and the friends that I made… probably the best mix of amazing people ever…. I would say 2 years journey wasn’t so smooth… Assignments, Quizzes, Exams… sometimes I felt a little stressed… but end of the day it’s worth it, as I can see the rewards so overwhelming & great. Love NTU, Love you all lovely people over there <3 <3 <3

Rahman Md Habibur
MSc, Civil Engineering

Chen Shurui, Cheryl
Doctor of Philosophy
National Institute of Education

My postgraduate journey in NTU started on a note of disbelief, that I had actually been accepted into the doctoral programme in the Visual Performing Arts Department in NIE. As an educator with no formal training in theatre, I had been interested to learn creative ways of teaching and had stumbled upon drama as a promising pedagogy. I soon discovered through my research and interaction with other educators on campus that applying drama pedagogically in the classroom was not new. Yet, many teachers felt pressured by examinable outcomes and unskilled in drama to attempt an unfamiliar approach during their lessons. The tension between teachers’ desire and ability, and what they actually do in their drama-based approaches thus became the focus of my research study.

However, arriving at this point of clarity took many years of unpacking existing research and meetings with teachers. Without the encouragement and guidance of my supervisors and mentors in the TAC (Thesis Advisory Committee) to search beneath the assumptions and norms of the education system, I would not have been able to ask critical questions of myself and my research participants.

From my time in NTU, I have grown in my capacity to think and write academically, to develop a voice that represents others while analysing and theoretising the experience of an individual to examine the context and systems which we live within. I am also thankful for the different groups of people I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with, especially the teacher educators who exemplify what it means to nurture and invest in the next generation.

Submitted by:
Dr Cheryl Chen

Timothy Weerasekera
Master of Science (International Relations)
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

In 2018, having returned from 2 years in Africa, I was looking for a new challenge: One which would stretch me academically and professionally to equip me to better serve the causes I believe in.

The International Relations Coursework offered by RSIS was particularly appealing because it actively brought in subject-matter experts from other schools to teach several times a year.

My classroom discussions were anything but dull. With classmates from both foreign diplomatic missions as well as local government agencies, the perspectives shared were enriching, and the friendships formed at RSIS will not soon be forgotten. The professors I studied under were personable and reasonable with their assignments and demeanour. I have been fortunate to have made many friends of my lecturers!

The course administrators at RSIS are truly the unsung heroes who were ever-available to help make my experience as a part-time student as smooth as possible. They flexibly worked out special arrangements to assist novel requests I made pursuing my coursework & dissertation track as well as helped me transition in an out of my gap year seamlessly.

RSIS is a school with heart that goes well beyond pondering the improbable.

Saeedeh Zia
Master of Science (Information Systems)
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

Studying at NTU was always a dream for me which eventually came true. I could well remember all moments, from nice and shiny days such as the orientation day and the day I submitted my thesis, all the way to dark and rainy days like exam days. Those days were exciting and made me a new person with better vision for the rest of my life.

Kurnianto Trilaksono Sutjipto
Master of Science (Technopreneurship and Innovation)
Nanyang Technopreneurship Center

How Far Will You Go?
Last year was one of the toughest times in my life, I had to make life changing decisions within the COVID situation. I put in a split path of continuing or quit my job after 2.5 years. I chose the latter to take a better offer and save for my post graduate study, not long after my ex-company went sunset because of the pandemic and laid off people who stayed. 4 months after, I got notified that I was accepted at MSc TIP program of NTU, Singapore and the best part is I also got a scholarship from the program, felt so blessed beyond imagination. I tried to bargain with the staff since it's a pandemic, but to no avail. I'm at split path again, bet my life on a barely enough cash and go to Singapore or stay and let the scholarship go. As a very careful person I wanted to choose the latter. But my heart said that "this is it; this is the opportunity that will not happen again." And so, I brace myself, paid half of the tuition and went for Singapore with less than 10,000 SGD for living, thinking I will figure out how to pay the rest of my tuition with working part-time or loan. But time is tough, and nobody wants to hire a foreigner with student pass. Months came by all plans and projections I made months earlier fell apart. I tried to bargain to postpone the payment until graduation and had my degree cert held for that, again the staff won't allow and suggest me to search for finance source in 1 week time extending the tuition payment deadline. I tried to apply part-time works, contract works, freelances, to no success. Until my birthday came around. I got a phone call from my sister to congratulate me, I thanked her and apologized to her because I can't speak for long and I need to find a financial source for my tuition. Hearing that, my sister asked me how much I need. In the end, she paid my tuition by lending me some money so I can continue my study. Spiritually, I am forever indebted to her and God who led all possibilities to take place leading up to this point. Moving on, I tried my best on my study. And in the same year I got graduated from MSc TIP with no less than a Merit Award and a place in the Director's List. Looking back, I was super struggled with all the problems surrounding me, but in the end, we always find the way. No matter how well planned our lives are, it still can fall apart in a blink of an eye, but if we know where we are heading and what our goal is, there will always a way to find may it behind the rocks or among the trees. Sacrifices are a possibility, be prepared when they come, take a deep breath, think rationally, remember that if someone is riding on a catapult to propel further one's need to take some steps back.

Gaanesh Loganathan
Master of Business Administration (Executive MBA Programme)
Nanyang Business School

I had a wonderful time during these 2 years with NTU filled with both happy and tough moments during a challenging time faced by all globally. However, I have to thank the university for being accommodative in ensuring our EMBA journey was not affected and ensured that all candidates studies were looked after, and they fulfilled all our request. This is my beginning of my transformation journey, and I am happy that I chose NTU Nanyang Business School as my choice to fulfil my transformation. Thank you NTU.

Chen Yingji
(Master of Social Science, China & Global Governance)
NCPA

I would like to thank my parents, teachers and classmates for their support and help during my postgraduate period. I have spent a happy and fruitful postgraduate time in Nanyang Technological University, and every moment here is worth remembering in my heart forever. The period of 2020-2021 is different from usual. The arrival of COVID-19 has disrupted the original order and brought obstacles and uncertainties to my path of studying abroad. I had anxiety and hesitation. However, I appreciate the efforts made by the school for international students, which gave me sufficient courage. At the same time, I also thank myself for firmly choosing here, choosing to improve and enrich myself here, and continuing to pursue my dream here. In the future, with this precious memory of Nanyang Technological University, I will keep my original heart, keep moving forward and become a better person.

Tan Jun Wei
Master of Science (Financial Engineering)
Nanyang Business School

Me and my lovely wife Jia Pei who supported me during my Master's Programme.

Chan Kok Ken
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

May we continue to do amazing things in life!

Ng Meng Ghee, Kervin
Master of Arts (Educational Management)
National Institute of Education

My wife and I have reached another milestone in our life as a couple! After 16 years, we graduated together again in NTU! I started my part-time Master in Aug 17, while she began hers in Jan 18. Back then, we only had Renee and Reanne but Rhys came along in Feb 19, adding on to our stressful studies and work. Thank God for His blessings. Although the journey was arduous, He had watched over us and walked with us through the difficult times. We have made it! "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." ~ Hebrews 12:1

Stephanie Yap Hui Kit
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

May we continue to do our best and work hard to reach success!

Alana Mauluidy Soehartono
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

I'm grateful for my NTU PhD journey, and the learning and support from my supervisor, colleagues, family, and friends.