Goh Yew Lin to lead Duke-NUS as Chairman; Advanced microelectronics expert Aaron Thean appointed as Dean of NUS Engineering

The National University of Singapore (NUS) today announced the appointment of Mr Goh Yew Lin as Chairman of Duke-NUS Medical School Governing Board with effect from 1 October 2019, and Professor Aaron Thean as Dean of the NUS Faculty of Engineering from 1 September 2019.

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Mr Goh (left) will be the new Chairman of the Duke-NUS Governing Board, and Prof Thean (right) has taken over as Dean of NUS Engineering

Mr Goh Yew Lin, Managing Director of G.K. Goh Holdings Limited, has been Chairman-Designate of the Governing Board at Duke-NUS Medical School since 1 April 2019. He will take over from Mr Kai Nargolwala as Chairman of Duke-NUS in October 2019. 

Professor Aaron Thean, who is a widely respected opinion leader in the advanced microelectronics community and a prolific inventor with more than 50 US patents, is a faculty member at the NUS Faculty of Engineering. He succeeds Professor Chua Kee Chaing as the 13th Dean of NUS’ largest faculty.  

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “The University is deeply appreciative of Mr Kai Nargolwala for his stellar stewardship of Duke-NUS for eight years – seven years as Chairman and one year as a member of the Governing Board. We are also grateful to Professor Chua Kee Chaing, who has served as Dean of Engineering with dedication over the last five years. NUS has benefitted greatly from their many important contributions.”

Duke-NUS Chairman-Designate: Mr Goh Yew Lin

NUS President Prof Tan Eng Chye, who has worked with Mr Goh Yew Lin for many years as NUS Provost, and later President, said “Mr Goh Yew Lin has been a strong advocate for NUS and our work. Over the years, he has helped to shape the development of NUS by playing different yet important roles, including as the founding Chairman of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. We are therefore very pleased that Yew Lin is now leading Duke-NUS to play a bigger role in Singapore’s education and healthcare sectors.”  

Mr Goh was the founding Chairman of Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music for 16 years from May 2002 to October 2018. His vision and advocacy to establish the Conservatory as an integral part of Singapore’s music and cultural landscape was instrumental in its dramatic growth and success. He also played an active role in securing key endowments that have been critical to Conservatory’s success and helped advance its role in nurturing musical talents. Mr Goh was a member of the NUS Board of the Trustees from April 2008 to March 2019, and chaired its Investment Committee during his tenure.

Mr Goh said, “In Mr Tony Chew and Mr Kai Nargolwala, Duke-NUS has had two truly outstanding Chairmen since its founding. They have set very high standards of dedication and leadership. Mr Nargolwala played a pivotal role in strengthening the School’s Academic Medicine partnership with SingHealth. In the years ahead, I will work with the Board and management to sustain Duke-NUS’ commitment to excellence and innovation in medical education and research.”

Said outgoing Duke-NUS Chairman Mr Nargolwala, “Through my role as Chairman of Duke-NUS’ Governing Board, I have learnt more about the complexity of medical education and research than I could have imagined. Medicine is truly a calling, and the dedication of the people in the medical and research fraternity is very impressive.”    

“As Chairman of the Duke-NUS Governing Board, Mr Nargolwala has provided a steady hand, guiding the maturation of the school from its origins as a start-up venture to an established, high quality medical school with an international reputation. His business and political acumen have greatly informed the school’s strategic development in areas ranging from recruitment to commercialisation of our research discoveries. We are very grateful for Kai’s wisdom and advice during his years as our Chairman,” said Professor Thomas Coffman, Dean of Duke-NUS Medical School.

Please refer to Annex 1 for the brief biography of Mr Goh Yew Lin. 

New Dean of Engineering: Professor Aaron Thean

“We were thrilled when Professor Aaron Thean chose to start his academic career at NUS when he returned to Singapore three years ago. His rich industry experience and strong international connections has accelerated NUS’ partnerships with industry leaders, especially in the area of advanced microelectronics. We are confident that under Aaron’s leadership, NUS Engineering can further strengthen its international reputation and distinctiveness as one of the top engineering faculties in the world,” said Prof Tan. 

Prof Aaron Thean, one of the National Research Foundation’s Returning Singaporean Scientists, joined the NUS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in May 2016. From 2016 to 2018, he was also the Director of Industry Engagement & Partnerships in the Office of the Deputy President (Research and Technology). Prof Thean currently holds several technical leadership responsibilities at NUS, including Director of the NUS-Hybrid Integrated Flexible Electronic Systems (HiFES) programme and A*STAR SIMTech-NUS Joint Laboratory for Large-Area Flexible Hybrid Electronics, Co-Director of Applied Materials–NUS Advanced Materials Corporate Lab, and Director of NUS Engineering’s micro-nanofabrication research centre, E6Nanofab.

Prof Thean developed his career in industry, where he had established his name in the highly competitive semiconductor domain, through advanced research on the latest technologies and the successful translation of ideas and research to products (lab-to-fab).

“I am really excited to be given the opportunity to bring NUS Engineering, one of the world’s top engineering schools, to the next level in education and research. We are heading into a new era of innovation, where traditional fields of science and technology dynamically blend into new opportunities. From AI, nanomaterials, smart structures, robotics to transforming Smart Nation infrastructure and enhancing health/medical care, we see exciting times and things to come. Our school will continue to build a stimulating and nurturing environment to grow our next-generation humanistic technologists who will shape these futures,” said Prof Thean.

Please refer to Annex 2 for the brief biography of Professor Aaron Thean.