News Details | 30-Sep-2011

NTU gives aerospace professionals a lift with new Master’s Programme in Project Management

- Beneficiaries includes Rolls-Royce and its partners

Singapore’s aerospace industry is set to benefit from a new master’s programme launched today by Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Known as the Master of Science Project Management programme, it is established in partnership with The University of Manchester (UoM) from the UK.

The programme seeks to fill a gap in the professional training for Singapore’s high tech aerospace industry and is an extension of a similar programme offered by UOM since year 2000 for Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company and its partners.

To mark the significance of this collaboration, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities was graced by His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, KG.

The Prince, who is in Singapore for a five-day visit to promote UK’s trade and investment interests, was also updated on the new collaborations between NTU and UK universities, which include partnerships with Imperial College London and University of Exeter.

The last time Prince Andrew visited NTU, was in 2009, to witness the agreement for neuroscience research between NTU and Warwick University.

This is the first time that the new joint industry-centric programme is launched in Asia by NTU and UoM. UoM has a similar tie-up with Pennsylvania State University in the United States.

Encouraged by the success of the Project Management Programme in the UK and US, Rolls Royce and UoM had approached NTU to pioneer a similar MSc (Project Management) degree programme here in Singapore.

NTU’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering will be hosting the new Joint MSc (Project Management) Programme in collaboration with UoM’s School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

The format and the structure of the course, which is open to all engineering and management professionals, will be similar to the one conducted in UK, with both NTU and UoM faculty teaching the courses and jointly developing the course materials.

Being modular, the course consists of self-paced and web-enabled topics, and events comprising seminars, case studies and face-to-face consultations with faculty – an approach which has been well received by project management professionals looking to balance graduate studies with work commitments.

The first intake of students is expected to begin in 2012, with an estimated 20 students per intake.

NTU President Bertil Andersson said the new programme is timely given Singapore’s recent push in the aerospace industry, with the $60 million 300-ha Seletar Aerospace Park nearing completion.

“With more blue-chip companies looking to expand their operations in Singapore, such as multi-national giant Rolls-Royce, NTU is well positioned to offer advanced professional training to industry, with our strengths in engineering and innovation, and with our established programmes in project management, systems and aerospace engineering,” Prof Andersson said.

“NTU and Rolls-Royce are no strangers to each other; our first joint research project started back in 2005. Since then, many of our students have been doing their industrial attachment with Rolls-Royce while our faculty and staff have been engaging in various projects together as exemplified by our five-year engineering research agreement inked in 2009 in areas such as process technology, computational engineering and power electronics.

“It is only natural that our strong partnership is now taken to the next level, with this new master’s programme which will provide professional training to Singapore’s high tech aerospace industry and among the first to benefit will be the Rolls-Royce’s staff, partners and associates in South East Asia. With Rolls-Royce’s vote of confidence in NTU’s educational capabilities, I can foresee that this MoU will give birth to more cooperation, not just between NTU and UoM, but also with industry partners.”

NTU, positioned at the crossroads of East and West, is well placed to articulate the needs of Human Resource Management which is a vital skill set and knowledge needed for effective project management.

The Best of East and West, also known as the New Silk Road, is one of NTU’s Five Peaks of Excellence which the university aims to make its mark globally under NTU 2015 five year strategic plan. The other four peaks include sustainability, new media, future healthcare and innovation.

Prof Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, UoM, said NTU was the best match to partner them for this joint Master’s programme in Asia after they had looked at a number of potential partners.

“NTU had the expertise in Singapore that, we felt, could help us deliver the programme, so working in partnership, we could deliver a programme at a quality that we have in the University of Manchester,” Prof Bailey said.

“The programme in the UK and in the US is extremely successful; at the moment we have 200 students going through it, and the graduates that we turned out, Rolls-Royce are extremely pleased with them. We don’t expect too much difference for this programme in Asia, but we will look at the way things are done here in Singapore to make sure that we incorporate the skills that we have got in the UK and the US, to make sure that they do fit and we might tweak a bit to make sure it does fit within the local practices.

“The idea is to increase the skills within Rolls-Royces but also to increase the skills within the supply chain as well. We are hoping in the future that this course will be rolled out not just in Singapore to help the Singapore economy, but across the whole Asia.”

Jonathan Asherson, Rolls-Royce, Regional Director - Southeast Asia, said:  “Rolls-Royce is committed to Singapore. We have made a S$700 million investment in our new, advanced manufacturing facilities in the Seletar Aerospace Park, and this MSc will help ensure that we have the world class skills we need. It will also help Singapore to capitalise on its outstanding skills base and to remain at the cutting edge of aerospace engineering.”

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Media contact

Lester Kok
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804

Daniel Cochlin
Media Relations Officer
The University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 275 8387

About University of Manchester, UK

The University of Manchester, a member of the Russell Group, is the most popular university in the UK. It has 22 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance.
According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is now one of the country’s major research universities, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’. The University had an annual income of £788 million in 2009/10.

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