A*Star scientist Jackie Ying elected to prestigious US engineering academy based on work in Singapore

Professor Ying, an American, is one of only two among the 106 new American members elected who are based outside the US. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) senior fellow and head of NanoBio Lab Jackie Y. Ying has become the first scientist to be elected as a member to the prestigious United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) based on her research in Singapore.

Recognised for her contributions in nanotechnology, Professor Ying, an American, is one of only two - among the 106 new American members elected - who are based outside the US, A*Star said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 11).

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. It was no easy feat for Prof Ying to be elected, given that she has been residing outside the US for the past 18 years.

Academy membership honours those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering, such as areas of engineering research and education, as well as the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology and making major advancements in traditional engineering fields.

The election of new NAE members, which involves many steps, is a year-long process. The final vote for membership, which is done by existing members, takes place in January. NAE was founded in 1964.

With the new members, the total US membership is now 2,355.

As an NAE member, Prof Ying will be invited to participate in National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine workshops and reports on engineering issues of importance to US policies.

The newly elected class will be formally inducted during the NAE's annual meeting on Oct 3 this year.

The latest award tops the list of accolades for Prof Ying, who holds over 190 primary patents, 41 of which have been licensed to multinational companies and start-ups for applications in areas such as nanomedicine and drug delivery.

She has published 370 articles with over 30,300 citations, and has won numerous awards.

In 2005, Prof Ying was inducted to the German National Academy of Sciences as its youngest member. She was also elected to the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) in 2019, winning the TÜBA Academy Prize in Science and Engineering Sciences in 2018.

She was appointed by the NAE in 2006 to serve on a blue-ribbon committee that identified the grand challenges and opportunities for engineering in the 21st century.

"I am deeply honoured to be elected to the US NAE. I am grateful to the American colleagues for nominating and electing me. This is a recognition of our multidisciplinary research conducted at the NanoBio Lab and Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore and MIT," said Prof Ying.

Thursday also marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, recognising the critical role they play in science and technology.

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