On its foundation in July 1991, NTU adopted the Coat of Arms granted to NTI (by the College of Arms of the United Kingdom in November 1982) as its own Coat of Arms.
The Coat of Arms comprises of a heraldic shield divided into two sections: the lower portion shows a stalking lion facing the spectator on a white background and the upper portion two atomic symbols, one on either side of a cog-wheel above a battlement on a red background - the same colour as used in the national flag of Singapore.
The lion, identical to the one which appears in the Coat of Arms of the National University of Singapore, signifies the close link between NTI and NUS.
The battlement symbolises the School of Civil and Structural Engineering while the atomic symbols refer to the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The cog-wheel represents the School of Mechanical and Production Engineering and is also a traditional reference to engineering and technology in general. These three were the original Schools set up with the founding of the Nanyang Technological Institute, the predecessor institution of NTU.
The formal description of the heraldic shield which appears in the Letters Patent is as follows:
Argent a lion passant guardant proper on a chief embattled gules a cog-wheel between two conventional representations of an atom argent.