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SUTD – Pursuing A Green Agenda

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Kelly Ong’s interest in environmental issues leads her to a scholarship from SUTD.

Why did you choose to study at SUTD?
From young I was very passionate about environmental issues. I see myself creating products or systems that are ­eco-friendly and lead the industry towards better management of the world’s limited resources.
I chose to study at SUTD because of its emphasis on integrating technology and design to make the world a better place. I like SUTD’s focus on environmental ­sustainability as I believe in using green and and sustainable products. Although this is a new university, its curriculum is being jointly developed with MIT, one of the world’s best in the field of Engineering. Furthermore, I believe that my education in SUTD would be enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching because of SUTD’s pedagogy.

Why did you take up the SUTD Scholarship?
I come from a family of four siblings.  All of us are currently pursuing a tertiary education.  Hence, finances are a challenge.  I am honoured to be awarded the SUTD Scholarship. I hope to do my best with this privilege and, in return, contribute back to the society.   There are responsibilities that come with the scholarship and I am not taking it lightly.  I believe that a scholar needs to uphold social responsibility, humility and integrity.

How did you know about the scholarship?
To be enrolled in SUTD, we were ­interviewed by the staff and ­professors.  It was then that they told me about the ­scholarship and of course I was very ­interested in not having to pay for the ­tuition fees.

Any other unique features about life in SUTD?
As I am in the first batch of undergraduates, we are free to start our own CCA, or over here we call it  ‘Fifth Row’. I founded the cheerleading club. I also joined the go-green club called Green Print, which was started by my friends. Being pioneers, our leadership skills are really tested and stretched.  But I can adapt fairly quickly to new challenges and situations.
The MIT-styled curriculum gives us the freedom to think out of the box and ­manage our study projects in our own way. There is a lot of emphasis on ­interaction between teachers and students, and among peers.

Another interesting thing is that for the first year, we are not designated the ­degree course we are doing yet. We go for a very broad-based learning. In the final year, then would we get to choose the ­degree we would be graduating in. At this point, it seems that I’m inclined towards ­Engineering System and Design.

Where do you see yourself doing in the near future?
I hope to set up my own firm or join a company that designs and ­invents ­eco-friendly and energy-efficient ­products.  I am particularly interested in the ­conversion of waste products to clean ­energy.  It is sad to see so many things ­ended up as waste.

KELLY ONG
SUTD Scholarship
Age: 19
Now: First year at Singapore University of Technology and Design
From: Pioneer Junior College