Dr Raj Thampuran
Special Advisor

Dr Raj. Thampuran is currently Special Advisor to A*STAR. He joined A*STAR in 2000 as Head of the Technology Planning Unit. In that portfolio he was involved in the planning and establishment of the framework for Research Councils. From 2002, he held portfolios as Deputy Director of the Electronics, Engineering and Chemicals clusters at various periods. In these capacities, he helped plan, manage and support the capability development efforts of public sector performers in areas identified for technological growth. Concurrently, he managed extramural programmes; developing initiatives and various schemes to support R&D that involves the universities and other institutions of higher learning. Many these schemes continue to support the R&D efforts of the universities today.

He rose to the position of Director in 2004 and was involved in policy and planning matters for the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), and the formation of the graduate affairs department looking after the scholarship initiatives for the Council.

In 2006, he was concurrently appointed as Executive Director of the Institute of High Performance Computing, a research organisation of over 200 staff and one of 14 Research Institutes supported by A*STAR, where he spearheaded its R&D portfolio and industry development efforts until June 2010. He was also appointed as Director of Planning and Policy Department of A*STAR in 2008 to help spearhead the efforts to develop the science and technology research blueprint for the Science and Technology 2015 Plan. In this capacity, he was deeply involved in interactions with policy makers and Ministry officials to establish A*STAR’s contributions to the National R&D Framework. He was co-opted to be in the secretariat team of the Economic Strategies Committee, established in 2009, where he helped to develop the findings and recommendations of the panel on Knowledge Capital.

In April 2010, he was appointed as Deputy Executive Director of SERC which was followed, in October 2010, by appointment as Executive Director. He was concurrently appointed as Managing Director of A*STAR in July 2012 and held this position until 2019.

Dr Raj. Thampuran studied in Singapore, UK and the USA, and is a Mechanical Engineer by training with a PhD in Materials Science. He did his postdoctoral work in modelling and simulation and attended the Advanced Management Programme in INSEAD (Fontainebleau). He was a recipient of the National Academic Award in 1998, the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) in 2007 and the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2016. He has been appointed as an Adjunct Professor by the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) in April 2013, and an Adjunct Professor in the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore since December 2013. Dr. Thampuran is married with two children and is an inveterate reader of non-fiction.


Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

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