AsianScientist (Sep. 18, 2015) – Five of Singapore’s top scientists and engineers were awarded the 2015 President’s Science and Technology Awards (PSTA) at a ceremony held at Resorts World Convention Center on September 16, 2015.
First launched as the National Science and Technology Awards in 1987, the PSTA recognizes people who have contributed to Singapore’s development through science and technology. Each year’s winners are selected by representatives from the government, industry, academia, defence and public research institutes.
The President’s Science and Technology Medal 2015 was presented to Mr. Tan Gee Paw, currently the Chairman of the Public Utilities Board (PUB), National Water Agency, for his pivotal role in harnessing science and technology to enable Singapore to achieve a sustainable water supply, and in building Singapore’s water and environmental R&D ecosystem.
Tan has helped to ensure the sustainability of Singapore’s water supply through the creation of two unconventional water sources that leverage on technology: desalination and a reverse osmosis process called NEWater. NEWater can now meet up to one third of the nation’s water demand, and is expected to meet 55 percent of Singapore’s water demand by the year 2060.
“While the R&D work done in the water industry is often carried out away from the limelight, it is essential for Singapore’s long-term sustainability and competitiveness,” Tan said.
Sharing this year’s limelight on water research with Tan is National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Professor Neal Chung, who was awarded the President’s Technology Award 2015. Chung’s novel membrane designs—including an ultrafiltration membrane which he co-invented with water management company Hyflux—have been commercialized by various companies and adopted worldwide.
The President’s Science Award was presented to a team comprising Professor Patrick Tan from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), Professor Teh Bin Tean from the National Cancer Center Singapore, and Professor Steven Rozen from Duke-NUS, for their integrative and translational research in Asian cancer genomics.
Using basic R&D coupled with translational and clinical studies, the team’s research has led to strategies for the improved diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Asian cancers, and has also directly illuminated similar pathways in Western cancers as well.
In addition to the PSTA which were given out by Singapore’s President Tony Tan Keng Yam, four promising research scientists received the Young Scientist Awards from Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry. They are: Dr. Goki Eda from NUS, Dr. Nripan Mathews from Nanyang Technological University, Dr. Yvonne Tay from NUS, and Dr. Wan Yue from A*STAR’s GIS.
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