Message from NTU President-Designate Prof Subra Suresh on the new leadership team from 1 January 2018

Dear alumni

As a new academic year begins at NTU, I wish everyone the rewards of intellectual curiosity, fresh explorations and thrilling discoveries.

Many of you reached out to me and my wife, Mary, with warm welcoming wishes. I am truly delighted to become a formal part of the NTU and Singapore communities after nearly a quarter century of close interactions and strong collaborations across the spectrum of academia, industry and government in Singapore.

In order to prepare for this exciting journey and to hit the ground running, I have visited the beautiful NTU campus and have had a number of conversations with the trustees, deans, vice-presidents and senior administrative leaders within the last month. I also look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the weeks and months ahead.

I am grateful to President Professor Bertil Andersson for his strong support, friendship and assistance during this transition period.

Following Professor Andersson’s earlier message this morning about transition arrangements, my conversations with various leaders from the academic and administrative ranks, and strong endorsement from the Chairman and members of the NTU Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce the NTU senior leadership team whose appointments will be effective from 1 January 2018.

I will work closely with a strong leadership team of three Vice-Presidents. I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Ling San, who has agreed to serve as the Provost and Vice-President for Academics. Professor Lam Khin Yong will continue in his current role as the Vice-President for Research, and Ms Tan Aik Na will continue to head NTU’s administration as the Vice-President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer.

Other senior appointments will be announced in due course.

Prof Ling San: Provost and Vice-President for Academics

Ling San has been the Dean of NTU’s College of Science since 2011. Under his leadership, the college has made significant advances with its three young schools – the School of Biological Sciences (SBS), the School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences (SPMS) and the new Asian School of the Environment (ASE).

As an expert in cryptography and coding, Ling San has focused his research on applications of algebra and number theory to combinatorial designs, coding theory, cryptography and sequences.

Active in public and government service, as well as in local and international professional bodies, he is currently President of the South East Asian Mathematical Society and Second Vice President of the Singapore National Academy of Science, and the immediate past President of the Singapore Mathematical Society. He is a Fellow of both the Singapore National Academy of Science and Cambridge Commonwealth Society. He also serves on several talent search and grant award selection committees locally and internationally. 

An educator at heart, he has received a string of teaching awards throughout his career, and written several textbooks for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

He earned first class honours and a master’s in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and his PhD in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Prof Lam Khin Yong: Vice-President for Research

Khin Yong has been NTU’s Vice-President for Research since 2014 and Chief of Staff since 2011. In the new leadership structure to be effective January 2018, he will continue his role as the Vice-President for Research to guide NTU’s university-wide research agenda and its implementation. His responsibilities will include research planning and policy development, research funding strategies and research infrastructure development. 

Khin Yong has an established track record in research and industry collaborations, and in supporting the translation of research into innovation. Previously the CEO of NTU Innovation from 2012 to 2013, he was the Associate Provost for Graduate Education & Special Projects from 2008 to 2011. He joined NTU in 2006 as the Dean/Chair of the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) where he was the Executive Director of A*STAR Graduate Academy. 

Working closely with his NTU colleagues, he has been a driver of NTU’s collaborations with some of the biggest industry and academic partners. These include NTU’s joint lab with Rolls-Royce, the first Corporate Lab funded by the National Research Foundation and, most recently, the NTU-ST Engineering Robotics ADVANCe Corporate Lab, SMRT-NTU Smart Urban Rail Corporate Lab, and Delta-NTU Corporate Lab for Cyber-Physical Systems. 

He steered the development of TUM CREATE, NTU’s collaboration with Germany’s Technische Universität München (TUM), and the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (CARES), in partnership with University of Cambridge.

He received first class honours from Imperial College London and his master’s and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. In 2016, he received an Honorary Professorship from the Lomonosov Moscow State University. 

Ms Tan Aik Na: Vice-President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer

Aik Na joined NTU in August 2016 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)-Designate, and assumed the role of CFO on 1 January 2017. 

In April 2017, she was concurrently appointed Chief Administrative Officer, overseeing Finance, Human Resources, Legal, NTU Shared Services, Information and Technology Services, and Housing and Auxiliary Services. She is also currently overseeing Alumni and Development.

As head of NTU's administration, she leads the University in modernising and strengthening its administrative capabilities through a variety of initiatives. They include streamlining and driving consistency of administrative policies and practices to reduce the administrative burden on our faculty, staff and students, upgrading the University’s technological capabilities and upgrading our workforce and leadership capabilities.

Prior to joining NTU, Aik Na served as Finance Transformation Leader of The Chemours Company, a spin-off from DuPont. In that capacity, she oversaw the establishment of a global finance function across more than 40 countries to support the needs of the new publicly traded company.

Aik Na was previously CFO for DuPont's S$5 billion Titanium Technologies business globally. She has successfully led teams in designing strategies to maximise financial effectiveness and organisational performance. Her expertise includes managing a global treasury centre, setting up regional business headquarters, board relations and governance, regional supply chain and planning, Six Sigma methodology, global liquidity and financing, investments, and risk management.  

A Nanyang Business School alumna, Aik Na is a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants.

Please join me in thanking Ling San, Khin Yong and Aik Na for their many contributions to NTU and for their willingness to serve the NTU community in these important roles as part of the new leadership team. I very much look forward to working with them and with all of you.

With warm regards,

Professor Subra Suresh
President-Designate
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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