As Chief Executive of the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), Singapore, Mr Tan Peng Yam guides the government agency with the mission of providing technological and engineering support to meet the defence and national security needs of Singapore.
Mr Tan graduated in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tasmania in Australia under a Colombo Plan Scholarship. He started his career as a research engineer in the then Defence Science Organisation in 1983 before going on to assume various appointments in the Ministry of Defence including Deputy Director of Directorate of R&D and Head of Defence Technology Office in the United States.
Before taking helm of the 3,200-strong engineering organisation in Jan 2011, Mr Tan served as the Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) and Deputy Chief Executive (Technology) in DSTA. He managed numerous large-scale strategic projects, worked with many renowned organisations including DARPA and Sandia National Laboratories, and helped Singapore strengthen a strong global network for technology cooperation and sharing of best practices in systems engineering.
Mr Tan personally drove many complex programmes that contributed to DSTA’s reputation as a world-class defence acquisition agency. He pushed and extended the engineering support to other Ministries and government agencies beyond defence. Under his leadership, DSTA has leveraged knowledge and expertise to contribute to the broader Public Service, particularly in supporting the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Security Coordination Secretariat in counter-terrorism and national security. DSTA, as a member of the Smart Nation Joint Technology Committee, is also helping to ensure the underlying technology, including capabilities, infrastructure and standards are in place to enable a Smart Nation.
Besides serving as a board member of DSTA, Mr Tan also contributes as a member on the Board and the Human Resource Committee of the National Environment Agency as well as the Temasek Polytechnic Board of Governors. In addition, he chairs the Business School’s Advisory Committee at Temasek Polytechnic. Mr Tan is also a member of the Land Transport Authority Board and of Temasek Laboratories at the Nanyang Technological University as well as of the Temasek Defence Systems Institute Management Boards.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to ASEAN’s engineering fraternity, he was conferred the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations (AFEO) Honorary Fellowship in November 2013. He has also received the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) in 1997, the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2005, the Commendation Medal (Military) in 2007 and the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2012.