Moulding SIT Students into Work-Ready Professionals at Punggol Digital District

The Punggol Digital District (PDD), home to renowned and upcoming technology players, serves as a seedbed of daring ideas and ground-breaking R&D. SIT’s upcoming centralised campus in PDD will feature a vibrant learning environment where academia and indus

As the country’s first university of applied learning, Singapore Institute of Technology’s (SIT) pedagogy is not just the conventional blend of lectures and laboratory-based research. Its industry-relevant degree programmes are anchored on authentic learning and experimentation in real-world environments. In the programmes, students work on problems and create solutions that address pressing industry needs. 


JTC’s Punggol Digital District (PDD) thus makes an ideal campus location for SIT to fully implement its applied learning pedagogy. Home to renowned and upcoming technology players, the district serves as a seedbed of daring ideas and ground-breaking research and development (R&D). Being nestled in this community of established tech companies and start-ups means that SIT’s students and faculty can keep pace with the latest industry happenings, and even be fresh pairs of eyes, providing inputs that could overcome bottlenecks and birth breakthroughs. 


The benefits of this co-location go both ways. Whenever company personnel need innovative ideas or wish to reskill or upskill their workers, they can stroll across the walkway and tap into the university’s resources through research collaborations or pick the brains of academic staff with deep expertise and experience across various industries and disciplines. Their staff can also participate in many upskilling programmes to support industry workforce transformation. 

Furthermore, PDD is backed by a smart estate management system called the Open Digital Platform (ODP), a key component of which is a digital twin. Streams of district-level data are fed to the cyber-physical replica of PDD, making it a living lab where companies can test-bed their solutions with zero risks. SIT students can partner with these companies to co-engineer applications in emerging sectors such as artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, cybersecurity, and smart living. 


“Living Labs are a strategic imperative to SIT. It is a way to embody our education and research focus — moving away from lectures and lab-based research and towards authentic learning and experimentation in a real-life environment. Whether within SIT’s facilities or in partnership with PDD, living labs provide an opportunity for SIT and industry partners to develop and showcase new business models, jobs, investments, and partnerships,” says SIT President Professor Chua Kee Chaing. “At the same time, projects rolled out via the PDD living lab programme will provide new insights for government agencies to develop technical and policy frameworks to support the adoption of innovations.” 



Learning Beyond the Book 

Well ahead of PDD’s official opening in 2024, the university is already knee-deep in collaborating with industry players. One of it is dConstruct, a local start-up that prides itself on creating autonomous solutions that make robots smarter and at the same time easier to use. The two entities are looking to create self-driving robotic solutions that improve campus experiences such as last-mile delivery and smart campus management. Technologies being developed include autonomous scanning — where robots scan and construct digital twins of facilities like a campus with minimal intervention. 

By working with dConstruct’s proprietary software programming tool and and agile mobile robots, SIT students will get to go beyond putting pen to paper, and craft solutions that have real-world impact. 



For the full story, please visit SIT’s Digital Newsroom


This article was first published by JTC.  JTC is a government agency under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry that champions sustainable industrial development. Paving the way forward for Singapore’s industrial landscape, it is developing infrastructure, systems and initiatives that bridge cutting-edge technology and human skill. Keep updated on the latest industry trends here. Images provided courtesy of JTC, unless otherwise stated.