This article is brought to you by the SUTD – Women x Tech & Design series.

When you get a package delivery, do you just see a package or an opportunity to optimise a shopping experience that goes beyond traditional shopping malls?

As a woman who aspires to help solve the challenges our rapidly changing world is facing, this is one of the areas you could make an impact in. From making transportation more environmentally friendly to optimising businesses, some of tomorrow’s most exciting breakthroughs will come in systems and operations management.

We have to solve these problems in an impactful and sustainable manner, using skills and tools to design, analyse and optimise any open-ended challenge holistically.

Enhancing E-Commerce One Delivery at a Time

The career path that Isabel Chng chose allows her to do just that. An alumnus of SUTD’s Engineering Systems and Design (ESD) programme, she joined groceries delivery company RedMart as an Industrial Engineer.

For Isabel, her multi-disciplinary education at SUTD allowed her to thrive in her role, where she works with developers, UX designers, transport operations and drivers to design and test new features and improvements. “In building a more efficient last mile solution, I play a part in optimising the online retail experience of our customers”. Using her training in designing better, more efficient systems, she’s helping the booming e-commerce industry to work better, faster and smarter. Learn more about Isabel’s role as an Industrial Engineer here.

Collaboration is the Key to Innovation

To design a more efficient world while you specialise in ESD, you will need to collaborate with other experts in many fields, as well as other cultures, systems and technologies. That’s why at SUTD, our students join forces across disciplines to solve problems and find solutions with a genuine impact.

One example of this collaborative approach is the 2D project, which requires students to combine technical content from two (or more) courses. In a 2D project, students were given the task of integrating their learnings from two courses: Manufacturing and Service Operations and Statistics.

This led to interesting real-world applications, such as better inventory management of aircraft components, and even finding optimum locations for avocado redistribution in the US based on regional demand. See what other solutions our students came up with here.

In our drive for better-run, better-functioning systems, one of the most important initiatives developed is the Smart Cities Lab – it is part of the Chen Tianqiao Programme on Urban Innovation at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities.

Their philosophy revolves around three tenets: smart people, smart tools and smart scaling. The team focuses on the development of a smarter population through work and education with the creation of tools that will empower government, industry and communities, and the expansion of new technologies and innovations to larger regions and networks. Learn more about the Smart Cities Lab here.

A better world is also a world that runs smoothly and sustainably. Efficient systems benefit everyone – from large organisations responsible for the functioning of a state’s economy and society, to the everyday people who are reliant on their products and services.

Going beyond identifying opportunities for improvement and designing new, creative ways and systems to enhance how the world operates, the ESD programme allows you to harness these skills and apply them to industries and businesses’ operations to better our lives in the face of unprecedented change.

If the thought of being an innovator in this field and building a better world excites you, find out more about ESD here.

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