AsianScientist (Oct. 30, 2012) – Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, executive director of the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), has received Singapore’s highest science honors for his contributions to the country’s R&D landscape.
He accepted the President’s Science and Technology Medal – the most prestigious of the four awards – from Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam earlier today at the 2012 President’s Science and Technology Awards ceremony.
Among his achievements, Prof. Kwong was instrumental in attracting Applied Materials Inc. to set up a joint US$100 million Center of Excellence in Advanced Packaging in Singapore this year.
Under his watch, IME has fostered partnerships with more than 50 multinational companies through a three-party R&D foundry business model that links semiconductor companies with local foundries. One such example is the partnership between Lightwire, Inc., a U.S.-based provider of high-bandwidth interconnects, Globalfoundries, and IME to produce Lightwire’s ultra-high speed silicon photonic devices.
Prof. Kwong has also helped to establish key consortium programs, namely the 3-D Through-Silicon Via (3D TSV), Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS), and the Electronic Packaging Research Consortium, which generate critical mass for Singapore to be a launch pad for emerging technologies.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award. This would not have been possible without the commitment and untiring efforts of my team at IME and our partners in industry,” said Prof. Kwong in his acceptance speech. “I am very gratified to see that the work we do has reaped success and has contributed to the progress of Singapore’s industry, particularly the semi-conductor sector.”
Other award winners were Prof. Wang Yue of A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), who won the President’s Science Award for his discoveries of the key factors that contribute to the virulence of the human fungal pathogen, Candida albicans.
The President’s Technology Award was jointly presented to Associate Professor Louis Phee of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Professor Lawrence Ho of National University Hospital (NUH).
The duo developed the world’s first robotic flexible endoscopy system – the Master and Slave Transluminal Endoscopic Robot (MASTER) – for minimally invasive surgeries. The system has been tested in first-in-man trials conducted in India and Hong Kong, and the team has since incorporated Endomaster Pte Ltd to commercialize their innovation.
“The award winners today demonstrated that the R&D community is able to make breakthroughs that impact the economy and society through meaningful complementary and translational partnerships within the community and strategic
collaborations with industry,” said Mr. Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR.
Three promising researchers aged 35 and below were also awarded the Young Scientist Awards (YSA). Assistant Professor Chen Wei of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Chemistry & Department of Physics; Assistant Professor David Lou Xiong Wen of the NTU School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (SCBE); and Dr. Joel Yang Kwang Wei of the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) were the recipients of the YSA this year.
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