Professor Low Teck Seng

Chief Executive Officer

National Research Foundation


Prof. Krishna Saraswat


R&D in Science and Technology in Singapore – Staying Relevant.


Prof Low Teck Seng is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister's Office. The NRF sets the national direction for research and development (R&D) by developing policies, plans and strategies for research, innovation and enterprise.

Prof Low has been actively involved in the Research and Development (R&D) landscape in Singapore. Prior to joining NRF in July 2012, Prof Low served as the Managing Director of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research. As A*STAR’s Managing Director, Prof Low oversaw A*STAR’s strategic priorities of driving innovative research and developing scientific talent to support Singapore’s economic and industry development goals.

Prof Low was instrumental in setting up the Magnetics Technology Centre in NUS in 1992 where he helped to spearhead world class R&D in data storage technologies. It became the Data Storage Institute (DSI) of today, the foremost research centre in data storage technologies in the world focusing on technologies for data storage and data management.

After leadership roles in the education sector as Dean of Engineering at the National University of Singapore (1998 to 2001) and as the founding Principal of Republic Polytechnic (2002-2008), Prof Low joined A*STAR as the Deputy Managing Director (Research) in April 2009 to synergise the work of A*STAR’s Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) and the Biomedical Research Council. He took on the additional role of Executive Director of SERC in February 2010 to lead SERC into the next decade and shape the future of science and engineering research in Singapore.

Prof Low is a Senior Advisor to President, Nanyang Technological University and a tenured Professor with National University of Singapore.


Prof Low was awarded the National Science and Technology Medal in 2004, the highest honour bestowed on an individual who has made distinguished, sustained and exceptional contributions, and played a strategic role in the development of Singapore through the promotion and management of R&D.

In 2007 he was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the President of Singapore for his outstanding contributions to the development of technical education and the management of science and technology for the nation.

On 22 Jul 2009, Prof Low was conferred the Honorary Doctor of Science by Southampton University in recognition for his contributions to Singapore and his profession internationally, in the IEEE.


Prof Low graduated with First Class Honours in Electrical & Electronic Engineering in 1978 from Southampton University and subsequently received his PhD from the same university in 1982, specializing in computational electromagnetics. He was a Research Fellow at Southampton University from 1981 to 1983. He joined the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1983 as an academic staff of the Department of Electrical Engineering. His research interests were in magnetics and their applications to data storage and in recent years his interests included aspects of nanomagnetics. He has published over 100 research papers in internationally refereed academic journals and conferences. He is a recognised expert in the design and control of permanent magnet machines.