Joint Award Ceremony for WFF PhD Prize 2012 Held at NUS

_Awarding Guests together with NUS PhD Prize Winners_

At a celebratory ceremony at The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium, University Town, NUS on 11 July 2012, five outstanding doctoral students each from NTU and NUS received the World Future Foundation's PhD Awards in Environmental and Sustainability Research for their work in environment-related fields.

Dr Feng Lun, Chairman of WFF, Prof Tan Thiam Soon, Vice Provost of NUS, representing Associate Provost in charge of Graduate Education Professor Peter Preiser is Prof Lye Sun Woh, Associate Dean from NTU Graduate Studies Office, attended the ceremony.

Joining them as guest of honour are His Excellency Wei Wei, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from China Embassy, Mrs Vanaja K. Thekkat, First Secretary and Head of Chancery from The High Commission of India, Mr Sun ZhiPing, Third Secretary from Education Office at the China Embassy, and WFF Board Directors Dr Liang Shangyong, Mr Chan Siew Wei, and Mr Lu Bo.

Dr Feng Lun said, "This year marks World Future Foundation's 3rd year in giving out this prestigious annual award, I am delighted to see another group of NUS and NTU high calibre scholars emerged, excelling in their own fields of research. With their knowledge and passion, they have displayed dynamic capabilities to explore sustainable development for the environment constantly .I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to all the winners, and hope more promising students would join us in fulfilling the mission of contributing to the well-being of humankind."

Mr Lu Bo, Managing Director of WFF said, ”The purpose of setting WFF PhD Prize in Environmental and Sustainability Research is to encourage winners to continue their research on environment and sustainability, and to better contribute to the welfare of mankind. To achieve this, we are building a database for prize winners, so we can keep in touch with the winners closly, kept abreast on their latest achievements, and also provide various support towards their future academic research. Through a 5-year effort, we hope to develop it to a world class academic prize with international influence."

Professor Tan Thiam Soon said, “The PhD Prize is an important platform to inspire young researchers to develop innovative sustainable solutions to address global challenges such as climate change, energy, public health, environment and water. This year, our winners had once again distinguished themselves with their high quality projects where they have demonstrated passion, creativity and innovativeness in developing multi-disciplinary solutions towards solving environmental problems.”

Prof Lye Sun Woh said, “The selection of the winners has become increasingly challenging, as our graduates have performed extremely well in their research. So it is indeed a feather in the cap for the winning PhD graduates to receive this prestigious award, and it also speaks to the quality of NTU's sustainability research and excellence of its graduate training. I am sure that all of these young researchers will have a very bright future ahead of them.”

All current prize winners were then invited to present a short summary of their research focus. Former prize winners from the past two years were also invited on stage, they shared with the guests how did winning the PhD prize helped and motivated them in their research progress.

An informal exchange meeting between WFF directors and all prize recipients was held after the award ceremony and buffet lunch.

During the meeting, Mr Lu Bo first extended his congratulations to the current winners. He mentioned it is not easy to maintain a career that can contribute good to society at the same time, he hoped by awarding the PhD prize, the winners can be motivated and see their work as not only rewarding, but meaningful too. And depending on the suitability and sustainability, WFF will also consider supporting projects or ideas raised by winners, all these is to bring the impact of the PhD prize to a higher extent.

All participants expressed their individual appreciation for WFF’s support. They actively engaged themselves in discussions, raising issues they were concerned about, in which WFF directors listened and responded earnestly. The meeting ended with a lively exchange between winners and the directors.

Aims at spurring and innovating young scholars, the prestigious World Future Foundation PhD Prize is awarded to outstanding PhD graduate with research work related to or which translated into environmental and sustainability issues and solutions. Each winner receives a cash prize of US$10,000, a certificate and a special designed trophy. This is also the highest cash award among student prizes given out at Singapore universities. It was the third time the foundation's annual PhD awards have been given out.

The 2012 WFF Prize recipients and their research are as follows:

National University of Singapore:
• Dr Chen Jie, Faculty of Science, "Theoretical investigation on thermal properties of silicon based nanostructures"
• Dr Panu Sukitpaneenit, Faculty of Engineering, "Fundamentals of PVDF hollow fiber membrane formation and pervaporation for ethanol-water separation"
• Dr Saravanan Kuppan, Faculty of Science, "Synthesis of nano-structured materials and their application in lithium ion batteries"
• Dr Wei Yuting, Faculty of Engineering, "Removal of anionic contaminants by environmental-friendly engineered materials"
• Dr Zhang Wei, Faculty of Engineering, "Fabrication of dye sensitized solar cells with enhanced conversion efficiency"

Nanyang Technological University:
• Dr Aung Ko Ko Kyaw, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, College of Engineering, "Design and fabrication of excitonic solar cells"
• Dr Li Aidan, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, "Experimental and theoretical study of cathode catalyst layer in PEM fuel cells"
• Dr Liu Jiehua, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, College of Science, "Two-dimension nano-architecture for novel catalysts and electrode materials"
• Dr Wee Tsyh Ying Grace, School College of Engineering, "Charge storage and transport mechanism in printable supercapacitors"
• Dr Zhang Wei, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, "Photocatalytic systems for visible light driven H2 production from water"

(Notes: The news was partly from www.nus.edu.sg)

_Awarding Guests together with NTU PhD Prize Winners_

_WFF Directors Discuss with All PhD Prize Recipients_