Singapore honours top scientists and young achievers

Above: Dr Anjan Soumyanarayanan of A*Star's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering receiving the Young Scientist Award from Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. He was one of three winners of the prize. Left: Professor Lam Khin Yong receiving th
Professor Lam Khin Yong receiving the President's Science and Technology Medal from President Halimah Yacob. The NTU vice-president of research has pushed for collaboration between industry, academia and public agencies.ST PHOTOS: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Above: Dr Anjan Soumyanarayanan of A*Star's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering receiving the Young Scientist Award from Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. He was one of three winners of the prize. Left: Professor Lam Khin Yong receiving th
Dr Anjan Soumyanarayanan of A*Star's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering receiving the Young Scientist Award from Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. He was one of three winners of the prize.ST PHOTOS: BENJAMIN SEETOR

For more than three decades, Professor Lam Khin Yong has pushed for scientific research that impacts society, and has played a key role in shaping Singapore's pool of scientific talent.

The vice-president of research at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) pushed strongly for collaboration between industry, academia and public agencies, and led multiple mergers and organisations, such as the Institute of High Performance Computing.

For his lifetime of work, he was one of the recipients yesterday evening of the President's Science and Technology Awards, the country's highest honours for scientific achievement. The awards comprise three categories: the President's Science and Technology Medal, the President's Science Award and the President's Technology Award.

Four individuals and one team received the awards from President Halimah Yacob at Capella Singapore.

Said Prof Lam, 62, who received the President's Science and Technology Medal: "I feel very honoured. Our efforts over the years are truly the result of dedicated teamwork. I am grateful to many, many colleagues who have supported my journey and who have made equally great contributions towards building Singapore into a global research hub.

"With this award, I am driven to continue pushing for basic and translational research, as well as partnerships."

Also given out at the same ceremony were three Young Scientist Awards, which recognise the accomplishments of researchers under 35 years old who have shown potential to achieve even more in their field.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who presented the awards to the young scientists, said: "In the 10 years of the President's Science and Technology Awards, we have given out 34 awards to outstanding research scientists and engineers. They have worked on research ranging from water membrane technology, cancer therapeutics and silicon photonics, to creating Singapore's first commercial earth observation satellite."

He added: "Research, innovation and enterprise remain very important to Singapore's development. And we must continue to attract bright minds to be engaged in science, and to be excited in a future built on science and technology."

One of the recipients was Dr Anjan Soumyanarayanan from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*Star) Institute of Materials Research and Engineering.

Dr Anjan, 34, worked on incorporating quantum materials to develop advanced nanoelectronics, and his work has been published in multiple scientific journals such as Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Physical Review.

Dr Anjan said: "This award recognises the unique capabilities built by our interdisciplinary A*Star team in the last five years. It is a great honour, and living up to the illustrious history of its alumni is quite a challenge."

He added: "I hope that with this recognition, we can translate our achievements to impactful outcomes for the country."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore honours top scientists and young achievers'. Print Edition | Subscribe