The Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professorship in the field of engineering was established in August 2008 through the generous donation of $10m from the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation in celebration of the birth centennial of Tan Sri Dr Tan Chin Tuan.
The objectives of the Fund are: 1) to catalyse a high standard of research that will have a multiplier effect on the knowledge transfer chain and will reach industry and the community eventually and 2) to groom a core of local researchers who will help to provide a sustainable capability to NTU and attract a fresh research talent from overseas to NTU.
The professorship is open to candidates internally and worldwide, and is awarded to an academic who has made significant contributions to research and education in a specific branch of engineering, been a role model for younger professors or researchers in his/her institution and has made noteworthy contribution to the development of his/her institution.
Professor Ng Wun Jern, who was Executive Director of the NTU’s Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI) was appointed Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor on 30 July 2008. Professor Gehan Amaratunga was the second professor to be appointed and he assumed the position on 1 April 2012. During his term of appointment, Prof Amaratunga had set up the NTU-Cambridge Joint Program on Semiconductors for Energy Conversion and Control. Following that, Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar from the School of Materials Science & Engineering and who is also the Executive Director of the Energy Research Institute@NTU became the third professor to be appointed to the position on 1 August 2014.
All three Professors had played a pivotal role in fulfilling the objectives of the professorship through the establishment of strong contacts with reputed overseas research groups, and the conduct of seminars and lectures in their areas of expertise within NTU and in public forums.
The current Centennial Professor is Professor Louis Phee Soo Jay and he is also the Vice President (Innovation & Entrepreneurship) and Dean of College of Engineering.