Appointment of New Executive Director of the Singapore Maritime Institute

Appointment of New Executive Director of the Singapore Maritime Institute

Mr Toh Ah Cheong, who is the current Executive Director of the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), will be completing his term on 30 September 2018. Dr Sanjay Chittarajan Kuttan will be taking over the helm from Mr Toh as Executive Director of SMI with effect from 1 October 2018.

Outgoing Executive Director, Mr Toh Ah Cheong

Mr Toh Ah Cheong has been appointed Executive Director of SMI since 1 April 2017. Under Mr Toh’s able executive leadership, SMI spearheaded various programmes and initiatives to drive maritime research and development (R&D) activities in public research institutes and institutes of higher learning. Some of his key achievements during his term as Executive Director include the formation of the three maritime research Centres of Excellence (CoEs) and the joint organisation of the inaugural Finland-Singapore Maritime Innovation Camp with the University of Turku.

Mr Toh previously headed the Technology Division of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) since MPA’s formation in 1996 until Sep 2016, when he took on a new role as Advisor (Technology). As Director (Technology) of MPA, he has been involved in the development and implementation of state-of-the-art technologies for the port, port planning and development, such as the Pasir Panjang Phases 3 and 4 container project and Tuas Port project, and research and development in the port and maritime areas.

Mr Toh was with the then-Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) since 1975, starting as a Civil/Structural Engineer and was the Head of the Geotechnical and Hydraulic Department in 1986. His experiences in PSA are in the study, design and development of port facilities, such as warehousing complexes and terminals, reclamation and dredging, port engineering software development, and research and development in the port areas. He joined the MPA when it was set up in 1996.

He was a Director of SPECS Consultants Pte Ltd from May 1993 to July 1998, a member of the NTU-PWD Geotechnical Research Centre’s Advisory Committee and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) from March 2004 to 2011, and a member of the Industry Advisory Committee for the Engineering Science Programme of the National University of Singapore from 2005 to 2011. He was also a member of the Advisory Panel of the Centre of Innovation of the Marine and Offshore Transportation, Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

The Board and Governing Council of SMI thank Mr Toh for his dedicated service and invaluable contributions to SMI and Maritime Singapore.

Incoming Executive Director, Dr Sanjay Chittarajan Kuttan

Dr Sanjay Chittarajan Kuttan was previously a Programme Director at the Energy Research Institute at the Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N), managing the Smart Multi Energy System project since June 2016. Prior to that, Sanjay held various positions across his career both in private and public sector.

His roles in the private sector range from line management (AP Technical Response Manager at ExxonMobil Asia Pacific, 10 years), business development (Business Development Manager at Mobil Oil Australia, 2 years); policy and program management (Energy Market Authority, 2 years) to management consulting (Petroleum Practice Expert/Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, 4 years) and business leadership (Managing Director, Clean Technology Center and Country manager, DNVGL – Energy, 5 years). In management consulting, he was primarily involved in the oil and gas sector covering refining operational improvements, fuels and lubes retail strategy and corporate performance culture transformation. At DNVGL, which was prior to joining ERI@N, he was engaged in Smart grids and power systems, renewables and grid integration, energy efficiency, electricity markets and energy policy. Before that, he was the Director of Industry Development at the Energy Market Authority a Statutory Board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, where he was in charge of three key clean technology projects embarked by the Authority i.e. Intelligent Energy System Pilot (aka Smart Grid), the Electric Vehicle Test bed and the Pulau Ubin Renewable energy project; and represented EMA at the Energy Efficiency Program Office and the Clean Energy Program Office.

He also supported the Ministry of National Development on two working groups: Punggol Eco Town and Sustainable Urban Living. He is currently a council member of the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (6 years) and advisory committee member to the School of Electrical Engineering at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic (7 years) and Stamford Primary School (11 years). He served 3 years as council member on the Singapore Chapter for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development until 2015.

Sanjay graduated from the National University of Singapore with doctorate in Pharmacology in 1993 after receiving this honours degree in Biochemistry from the same university in 1988. He was a research fellow at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology before joining the private sector at ExxonMobil in 1994.

In 2011, during his time with the Energy Market Authority, he was part of two different teams that received the MTI Award (Borderless) for the Implementation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in Singapore Phase 1: Design and Development and MTI Award (Innovation) for the Development of TR25 EV Charging System Standard. He also received in 2012 and 2017 the Ministry of Education’s Service to Education Award for his service to Stamford Primary School, where he continues to serve. During his career, he was also selected by ExxonMobil in 2001 and DNVGL in 2013 to join the leadership programs conducted by INSEAD. In 2009, he was also selected to join the 9th Government Leadership Program by the Energy Market Authority.

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About the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI)

The Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) is a joint effort by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). 

Established in April 2011, the SMI develops strategies and programmes to achieve its mission with key focus areas in sectors such as port, shipping and maritime services. The SMI charts the maritime research strategy and promotes greater industry-academia R&D collaborations to be undertaken in Singapore.

As a whole-of-Government approach, the agencies work together in initiatives driven through the SMI. The formation of the SMI will strengthen Singapore’s research manpower and capabilities as a global maritime knowledge hub to enhance the overall positioning and competitiveness of the maritime industry.

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Singapore Maritime Institute
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