Jul 25, 2015 | Atlanta, GA
Mere words cannot describe the marvel of Singapore. Every time I come here I am simply in awe at the level of development. The city/state never stops growing. The architecture and the buildings are simply a sight to behold. Nowhere in the world is there anything comparable to the Marina Bay complex, in particular the Botanical Gardens. They are a world wonder.
Georgia Tech has been in Singapore for more than 15 years as the co-founders of The Logistic Institute – Asia Pacific with the National University of Singapore (NUS). This week, our visit began by strengthening that partnership, joining NUS Provost Tan Eng Chye in inaugurating a new joint Center for Next Generation Logistics. Professor Chip White of ISyE has spearheaded Georgia Tech’s participation in this initiative. Comprising, over eight percent of the U.S. GDP, logistics is a major player of the U.S. economy, and Georgia, in particular, is a U.S. logistics hub.
In parallel, Singapore and its container port thrive on expert logistics know-how. The new generation of logistics must integrate supply chains, movement of goods, manufacturing innovation, data analysis for predictive logistics, and growth of urban regions and megacities. It represents the future, and we are thrilled to define that future together with our Singaporean partners.
Next on our agenda was a meeting with current and incoming students and their parents. As in the other counties we have visited, this is always an invigorating meeting. Singapore was no different. The best ambassadors of Georgia Tech were by far the existing students and their parents that “bleed white and gold.” This year we admitted 16 students from Singapore; about half of them are expected to attend. Like the population of Singapore they represent the variety of ethnic backgrounds, Chinese, Indian, Russian, American – that is the Singaporean melting pot and possibly the secret ingredient of its success.
The day ended with an alumni dinner. Again this was an eclectic and energetic group representing many ethnicities and home countries. The group is young and vigorous. It was organized by Mark Randolph EE ’81, Hawsan “San” Auyong IE ’03, and Santiago Jiaxi Zhang SCE ‘12 . They’re doing a fantastic job! The group is not large but it is bonded like no other – they are loyal and proud Georgia Tech alumni. They stayed late and enjoyed every minute of the evening!
This whirlwind trip is coming to an end; we fly back tomorrow. As we depart, I am left with several impressions: Georgia Tech is very valued by our Southeast Asia alumni. They are successful and in increasingly influential positions. And they are hungry for engagement with their alma mater. In that dimension, we have many opportunities and I look forward to making even greater connections with these alumni in the years to come.
- Rafael L. Bras
(1) As the co-founders of The Logistic Institute – Asia Pacific, representatives from the National University of Singapore (NUS), and Georgia Tech were present to inaugurate the new joint Center for Next Generation Logistics.
(2) Alumni Dinner - Singapore