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NUS Engineering Science Programme

April 2, 2009

I decided to post this after replying to a prospective students (and after explaining repetitively on what is Engineering Science Programme about during NUS Open House)

From Kent

I have been offer engineering science for 09. May I know how is the course like?
I am currently in a dilemma as another university in hk hav juz offered me a place in Applied physics..
I would really wanna know more abt engineering science b4 deciding. Please help if you can. Thank you very much.

From mediocre

Nice to meet you Kent. Sorry for the delayed reply.

The curriculum of Engineering Science has a strong emphasis on research and design projects, notably in emerging fields such as Energy System, Nano technology, Bioimaging and Computational Engineering Science. Unlike conventional engineering filed, we have a stronger foundation in fundamental science.(Imagine learning Advanced Calculus in your first year rather than Calculus as other does)

At the same time, we have more design projects. We started our design project in year 2 (rather than year 3)

Some of the projects that our senior have done :
1) Devise your own experiment to measure Young modulus (year 2)
2) Solar Golf Car (year 3, energy system)
3) Industrial Drying Machine (year 2)
4) Wireless Antenna (year 2)
5) Electroplating (year 2)

Some final year projects (which the year 3 are working on)

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions. :)


From Kent

Thank you for replying.

I can see there are a lot physics content in the course.
I heard things about this course. Some people say that it may look like an elite course of engineering, but the truth is nobody wants get into this course as it is a risky choice to study such a new course.

How much do you think it is true?
What is the career prospects for this course?
How much is this course different from applied physics?

Sorry to bother you again. Thank you for your time spent answering my question. :)

From mediocre

I wouldn’t really say our course is an elite course, it is just more catered towards research

career than other engineering courses. (I think people have this misconception since we don’t study the same module as other engineering students do.) There are elites in our class of course (I am not one of them), but there are also many mediocre ones. (However the mediocre one do become more hardworking as time pass by…)

This course is introduced for two main reason: to integrate science and engineering as there are more research field which is mulltidisciplinary, and independent learning. (Very evident when you have to do much more design projects than the others—-but receive way less information from your professor except some brief background.) Hence if you don’t wish to venture into research field in the future, you may still apply your independent learning skills in other fields.

However, if you prefer conventional and established field such as civil engineering, electrical etc., and are passionate in them, by all means go for those course. Afterall it is your passion that is the most important factor. And their field of specialization is different from ours.

Career prospect wise…well, i can only said that it has better prospect in research field (in comparison to other engineering), and it is easier for us to get an internship (since we are such a small cohort and profesor can always help us personally. Our department deputy is quite concern about this). Other than research…you have to prove your skills to the employees, either via interview, CV or internship performance.

Nobody wants to go in? Well, I consider my self as a person. lol And my friends too. Our cohort is small (less than 50), but that is deliberately done to enable better interaction among the students and professors. (Not because all of us are elites. But the Bell Curve for a small cohort can be scary… We also tend to be more competitive due to this reason.)

How much is this course different from applied physics? I do not know enough about applied physics to answer you that. However, bear in mind that our specialization is in energy system, nanotechnology, bioimaging and computational engineering science. (Though Energy System is the most prominent one, second by nano, and a few in other specialization) Hence if you are not too interested in these fields, I would advise you to choose applied Physics instead.”

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Ng Xin Zhao permalink
    April 3, 2009 1:00 am

    To add on, Applied physics people does have much more exposure to the fundalmentals like Quantum mechanics, General Relativity, and able to fit into the R&D of any industry. But if your aim is to go to industry and dream of “high pay”, then go into Engin Science. However, if you’re more daring and really not afraid to chase your dream, then come to pure or applied sciences. Jobs are available anywhere, anytime. But the chance to learn and contribute to the fundalmental knowledge of the Universe is only in University!

  2. April 3, 2009 1:25 am

    I do agree with Xin Zhao on the exposure part. Engineering Science student do have more exposure towards fundamental science than other Engineering. But still not as much as applied physics. (We didn’t learn relativity, although we do learn applied quantum physics)

    By the way…Engineering Science Programme undergraduates can go for industry work…but it is still geared towards research field. (Currently just the four specialization though) And we don’t really enter ESP for high pay and industrial job. (I would have gone to Chemical Engineering if that is the case) Rather, I like to learn more fundamental science knowledge, and applied it in advanced engineering field. That is what motivates me to enter the course.

    Would I have done better if I enter pure physics or applied physics? Maybe, maybe not. But I do enjoy what I am learning now (although painful at times), and I don’t think about the road not taken 🙂

  3. Toh permalink
    April 3, 2009 11:52 pm

    Yeah essentially Engine Science is a hybrid of both. Being part of the engine fac it is a professional degree with all the associated benefits while providing for a more indepth scientific curriciulum. The goal of the course is to equip students for research and as such most of the syllabus is geared towards that aim.

  4. Kent permalink
    August 19, 2009 4:45 pm

    Hey there, my final choice is engineering science. The core modules are such a pain to learn. I can’t catch much in lectures and the prof are goin at a insane speed. Start to worry if I am good enough for the course.

  5. mediocre permalink
    August 25, 2009 4:51 pm

    Welcome to the cohort. Yes, semester one is very steep on learning curve, and our pace is faster if compare to other courses. Subsequent semester will be more manageble.

    I suppose the subject you are having trouble with is Advanced calculus and Mechanics. By the way, what’s your full name? I don’t see the name Kent in the list.

  6. Kent permalink
    August 30, 2009 5:24 pm

    hmm.i think advance calculus is just abt some a lvl maths.chem and mechanics is the problem the way, is maple important?are they gonna use in exam?Oh i am Liu Ho Yeung.

  7. April 28, 2010 5:54 pm

    hey there! 🙂 recently stumbled upon your blog regarding your course.

    I’ve been offered ESP on 2012. However, I’m still pretty unsure whether i wish to embark on that course yet as i am currently still deciding. I was also offered NTU Maths and econs degree for 2012.

    As such during my 2 years in NS, is it possible if you would recommend me some books for further reading in relation to that course so as to further my understanding regarding engineering science?

    I also have some queries regarding this course.

    Is the boy girl ratio unbalance? Like 10:1?
    And also what is the percentage of international students are there in a cohort. Is the majority mainly PRCs that dominate the course itself? Hopely don’t wish to study in “chee-na land”

    In regards to the 4 Specializations, is there a particular course whereby the professors favor more towards, because of having “more-experience and know-how” towards that course?

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