Two university deputy presidents bag prestigious science and tech medal

Professor Barry Halliwell (left) of the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University's Professor Freddy Boey both received the President's Science and Technology Medal from President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Wednesday, Sept 25, 2
Professor Barry Halliwell (left) of the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University's Professor Freddy Boey both received the President's Science and Technology Medal from President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Wednesday, Sept 25, 2013. This is the first time that more than one person has won the medal since it was elevated to presidential status in 2009. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Deputy presidents of two universities here each took home a prestigious medal at the President's Science and Technology Awards on Wednesday evening.

Professor Barry Halliwell of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Professor Freddy Boey both received the President's Science and Technology Medal from President Tony Tan Keng Yam. This is the first time that more than one person has won the medal since it was elevated to presidential status in 2009.

The panel described Prof Halliwell as a "world-leading expert" on his work on free radicals, and Prof Boey was recognised for his bioengineering patents, such as a biodegradable stent for heart bypass operations.

Six scientists and engineers also received accolades including the President's Science Award and the President's Technology Award.

The science award went to Prof Yu Hao from NUS for his research on plant genomics, and Prof Boris Luk'yanchuk from the Agency for Science Technology and Research's (A*Star) Data Storage Institute for his contributions to the theory of light scattering by nanoparticles.

The technoloy award was given to Dr Li Haizhou and his team from A*Star's Institute for Infocomm Research. Dr Li's team created several speech recognition and translation technologies for Asian languages such as Thai, Bahasa Melayu and a variety of Chinese dialects.

Three scientists under the age of 35 took home the Young Scientist Award. They were NTU's assistant professor Robin Chi, NUS' assistant professor Prof Qiu Cheng Wei and A*Star's Dr Khor Chiea Chuen.