TDSI's key milestones and achievements in the past 10 years


TDSI 10th Anniversary

TDSI celebrates its 10th anniversary in July 2011 with a Commemoration Ceremony, Security Workshop and Research Seminars. The theme is 10 years of nurturing boundary breakers, systems builders.


Collaboration between TDSI & US Air Force Institute of Technology

Following mutual visits to each other's institution in 2010, TDSI and AFIT agreed to collaborate under the MDTS programme. MDTS students would now have a choice to go to either NPS or AFIT for their specialization degree.

The tie-up with AFIT would open up several new specializations for the MDTS students. The AFIT programmes provide more air force related applications and case studies in similar specialization fields. In the near future, MDTS students can also look forward to new specialization programmes at AFIT in cyber-operations and cyber-security, advanced navigation technology, directed energy technology, space system designs and nuclear detection. In addition to the gain in domain knowledge, the tie-up would allow military officers and civilians from Singapore, US Navy and US Air Force to study together and forge lasting bonds.


Hosted the 19th International Symposium & the 3rd Asia-Pacific Conference

The successful delivery of the first Asia-Pacific Systems Engineering Conference convinced International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) International to appoint Singapore host of INCOSE's 19th International Symposium in Singapore in 2009 - its first International Symposium in Asia. This is an honour for Singapore

TDSI together with INCOSE Chapters from East Asia and Australia organised the 19th International Symposium of the INCOSE from 19-23 July 2009 at Suntec Convention Centre. It was held in conjunction with the 3rd Asia-Pacific Conference on Systems Engineering. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Mr. Teo Chee Hean opened this Symposium which attracted over 600 participants including those from East Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, Europe, Australia and Africa despite the depressed economic situation and SARS concern. This successful Symposium placed TDSI and Singapore on the world map of systems engineering community.


Organised the first regional Asia Pacific Systems Engineering Conference

Stretching outwards to the international systems engineering community, TDSI spearheaded the formation of the INCOSE Singapore Chapter in 2006 and then organised the inaugural Asia-Pacific regional meeting of INCOSE in March 2007. It attracted over 100 participants from across the globe, including those for East Asia.

The theme of the event held on 23-24 March 2007 was Systems Engineering – East meets West. The conference had both academic and industrial focus.

Delegates from different regions convened to discuss how systems engineering was performed in different cultures, as well as the challenges and experiences of educating the next generation of systems engineers


TDSI held the first security workshop in Singapore

The theme for the first conference held in Singapore was "Maritime Security: from harbours through straits and open seas". Seventy-four participants from 15 organisations participated in this conference from 6-8 December 2006 at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. They also visited the Port of Singapore, the Centre of Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing and the SAF Centre for Modelling and Experimentation.


Initiation of Security Workshop

Goals of the security workshop:

  • To explore and develop ideas for research collaboration and;
  • To generate and identify new areas and ideas for the MDTS Integration Projects.
The first Security Workshop between NPS and TDSI started in November 2004 at NPS. Subsequently workshops were held annually with venues alternating between the USA and Singapore. Of particular significance was the 6th Security Workshop held at Washington DC, USA that attracted high-level participation by officials from the Pentagon.

Event Dates
2004 4 - 5 Nov 2004 at NPS
2005 12 - 14 Dec 2005 at Hawaii
2006 6 – 8 Dec 2006 at Singapore
2007 21 - 22 June 2007 at NPS
2007 4 – 7 Dec 2007 at NUS
2008 29 – 31 July 2008 at Washington DC
2009 15 – 17 July 2009 at NUS
2010 27 – 29 April 2010 at NPS
2011 13 – 14 July 2011 at NUS

These workshops focus on various areas of significance, among them are Maritime Security, Cyber Security, Improvised Explosive Devices, Unmanned Technology, Sense-making, Energy Security, Simulation in Learning, and Persistent Surveillance. Apart from those from NPS and NUS, the Workshop participants also come from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NTU, MINDEF, DSTA, DSO, PACOM, and ONRG.


Graduation of Pioneer batch of MDTS Programme students

The pioneer batch of 30 Master of Defence Technology and Systems Programme students received two degrees – a Master of Science (Defence Technology and Systems) awarded by the NUS and a Master of Science, in a relevant discipline, awarded by the NPS.


Collaborative Research

Research collaboration with NPS took off in 2003 under the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). Signed on 30 July 2003 between the President NUS and Superintendent NPS, it launched five collaborative projects. The number of projects with NPS grew to 15 by end 2010. At the same time, TDSI undertook local research with NUS and other local organisations, which culminated in 44 projects by end 2010 with funding from local stakeholders. As of 31 Dec 2010, TDSI is managing 59 projects.

As at Dec 2010 Completed Projects On-going Projects Total Projects
CRADA projects with NPS 5 10 15
Local projects 13 31 44
Total 18 41 59


Launch of MDTS Programme

On 10 July 2002, DPM and Minister for Defence Dr Tony Tan launched the Masters in Defence Technology & Systems Programme (MDTS) at the Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore. This significant milestone occurred one year after TDSI was established. The invaluable contributions and support from NUS, NPS, MINDEF, DSTA, DSO and ST Engineering Ltd enabled the curricula of the MDTS Programme to be drawn up and teaching staff secured. The first cohort of 30 students from Singapore, USA and Israel started lessons on 8 July 2001. After 6 months in NUS, they embarked on the second phase at NPS for 12 months, and graduated in December 2003.


Establishment of TDSI

Temasek Defence Systems Institute was set up between the US Naval Postgraduate School and the National University of Singapore.

“"The capability of an armed force depends not only on the number of soldiers in its ranks or the number of fighting ships, aircraft and tanks in its arsenal. Instead, defence capabilities will increasingly depend on how technology and operations are integrated at the system level to evolve new warfighting concepts and operational capabilities for the battlefield.”

- Dr Tony Tan, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence.

In the mid 1990s, a global search for a partner to collaborate with on setting up an institute to conduct postgraduate education in defence technology and systems was held. NPS was selected from a list of reputable universities and military colleges. On 11 July 2001, NUS and NPS signed a Statement of Intent to set up the Temasek Defence Systems Institute in Singapore.

TDSI missions are:

  • To provide the best postgraduate education in Defence Technology and Systems in the world for sponsored Singaporean and international students, and
  • To conduct research in areas of high military value with staff from NUS, NPS and the Singapore Defence Community and postgraduate students of TDSI.