R&D veteran Prof Low Teck Seng to helm new role as Senior Vice President for Sustainability & Resilience

NUS welcomes Professor Low Teck Seng as he returns to assume the position of Senior Vice President (Sustainability & Resilience) on 8 August 2022, joining the ranks of the senior leadership team. As former dean of the engineering faculty at NUS, he is a face familiar to many and will lead the University’s strategies and policies in sustainability and resilience.

Prof Low will take on the role of a catalyst in bringing together colleagues, external agencies and collaborators to augment the climate resilience and sustainability of Singapore through NUS’ system-level mitigation and adaptation solutions. Industry relations will also be one of his responsibilities in building closer ties with sector leaders and business start-ups to create a vibrant ecosystem.

As part of this effort, Prof Low will work closely with Senior Vice Provost (Faculty & Institutional Development) Prof Liu Bin in sustainability research, as well as Vice President for Campus Infrastructure, Mr Koh Yan Leng, on the University’s Campus Sustainability Roadmap 2030.

“In NUS, we have many of the pieces in place to support the University’s commitment to advancing sustainable development and contributing to the global fight against climate change. I look forward to working closely with our colleagues to present to Singapore a coherent picture of the expertise that we have developed over many years of investments in education and research; and the strategic perspective that we hold in terms of how we want to advance our efforts in sustainability in support of the national agenda,” said Prof Low.

“We will look towards achieving thought leadership in sustainability by NUS with these key work streams – research, education, carbon net-zero campus, and building a culture of consciousness of sustainability and resilience.  Looking into the future with the outcomes from our efforts, and with the right technological solutions in place, we will be able to build up resilience against the impact of climate change. I hope to bring together colleagues from many different faculties to address the concept of resilience. This could be research which straddles different disciplines, for example, the nexus of energy, water, waste, environment and food security. There are many areas we need to examine as these are existential issues for Singapore.”

Prof Low will bring to NUS his extensive leadership capability and experience, deep understanding of the nation’s R&D agenda, as well as his valuable networks in both government and industry.

From research and tertiary institutions to government agencies, Prof Low has built and run some of the largest organisations in Singapore. He returns to NUS from a distinguished career as Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF), where he oversaw the coordination of R&D efforts across Singapore and funding of initiatives in basic sciences and areas of strategic interest to the nation, driven by the four NRF domains, which include Urban Solutions and Sustainability. Prof Low has played an integral role in charting the nation’s R&D roadmap, bringing together educators, scientists and engineers, industry and international partnerships, to realise the R&D plans of Singapore.

Ms Chan Lai Fung, Permanent Secretary (National Research and Development), said, “Teck Seng has made many impactful contributions in his time at NRF, amongst them, driving the development and implementation of three national Research, Innovation and Enterprise plans…As CEO, he has strengthened the agency’s scientific oversight and programme management, policy coordination, as well as funding and grant governance capabilities. I would like to express our appreciation to Teck Seng for his leadership and look forward to working with him in his new role.” (Read the NRF press release here)  

Prior to NRF, Prof Low was Managing Director at the Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR) from 2010 to 2012; founding Principal of Republic Polytechnic from 2002 to 2008; Dean of the NUS Faculty of Engineering from 1998 to 2000, as well as founding Executive Director of A*STAR’s Data Storage Institute from 1992 to 1998.

“We warmly welcome Teck Seng back to NUS, and look forward to working with him to shape the future of sustainability and climate action in NUS in an impactful and meaningful way. With his wealth of experience, insights and industry connections, Teck Seng will be a valuable addition to the NUS leadership team,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.

Prof Low was awarded the National Science and Technology Medal in 2004 for distinguished, sustained, and exceptional contributions in the strategic development of Singapore through the promotion and management of R&D.

In 2007, he was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the President of Singapore for his outstanding contributions to the development of technical education and the management of science and technology for the nation.

In 2016, he was conferred the Order of the Legion of Honour with the grade of Knight (Chevalier) by the French Government in Paris.

Prof Low is a Fellow of the Singapore Academy of Engineers, Fellow of the IEEE, and an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineers, UK.