How to live beyond 100 years - science and engineering-enabled ageless living

On Tuesday 10 March 2015 Professor Seeram Ramakrishna, Director of Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology at the National University of Singapore, delivered the third EPS Distinguished Lecture.

The event featured a roundtable discussion hosted by Professor Liam Grover, Deputy Head of the School of Chemical Engineering, where 11 students from across the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences had the opportunity to ask questions to Professor Ramakrishma on topics relating to his research and his career. The lecture itself shared the promise of engineering devises and what they hold for humans to live beyond 100 years. The evening closed with an intimate dinner with senior academics, students and alumni continuing the discussion. 

The lecture was recorded in full for your enjoyment:


Longer life has always been a dream of human beings. Except for the recent one hundred years, the average life span was below forty for the past 10,000 years. Noticeable aging effects kick in as early as mid-twenties! For example, loss of elasticity of skin and slowing down of the brain. By forties eye sight is affected due to the loss of lens elasticity, teeth and gum diseases as a result of less saliva, and hormonal imbalance. Thereafter weakening of the heart, joints, and muscles begins to occur. Further into life the issues of gut, bladder, kidneys, taste, smell, voice, cancer and brain start to show up. More than a million medical devices have been invented to improve the quality of human life. In recent years much progress has been made with regenerative medicine, stem cells, nanomedicine, machine-human interfaces, tele-medicine, nanotechnology enabled imaging and diagnostics, etc. What promise do they hold for humans to live beyond 100 years healthily and perhaps happily?

Professor Seeram Ramakrishna Biography

Professor Ramakrishna is Director of the Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, and a professor of Materials Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore.  He is a Highly Cited Researcher in Materials Science and in 2014 Thomson Reuters recognised him among the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds. 

Seeram has authored 6 books, including Changing Face of Innovation, and over 700 ISI listed journal papers which attracted approximately 39,000 citations and a H-index of 92.  He is also an editorial board member of 10 international journals and his technologies have been translated into products which are available across the globe.

Seeram received a PhD from the University of Cambridge and general management training from Harvard.  He is known globally for his pioneering work on engineering nanofibers for the regeneration of tissues, harvesting of sunlight, and treatment of water. 

His academic leadership includes Vice-President for Research Strategy, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Director of Enterprise at the National University of Singapore; and Founding Chairman of Solar Energy Institute of Singapore.  His passion has led to large-scale research and innovation partnerships with world leading universities in the USA, Europe and Asia in regenerative medicine, energy, water, materials, urbanisation, security and sustainability.  

His global leadership includes Founding Chair of the Global Engineering Dean’s Council; Vice-President of the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies; and board member of the Asia Society for Innovation and Policy.  Seeram is also an elected international fellow of several professional engineering societies in Singapore, the UK and USA.  He is an Op-Ed columnist and regular speaker at meetings facilitated by UNESCO, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, governments, and universities around the world.

Seeram takes great pride in science and engineering and is involved in a large number of activities related to strengthening the engineering profession around the world.

Professor Seeram Ramakrishna – EPS Distinguished Lecture Interview