AsianScientist (Feb. 26, 2018) – Two scientists from Asia have been awarded the 2018 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for their research in the physical sciences. Launched in 2010 by the Elsevier Foundation, the awardees must have made a demonstrable impact on the research environment both at a regional and international level and have often overcome great challenges to achieve research excellence.
“These scientists are living proof that, if given the opportunities and support, women all over the developing world can become leaders in their field. I salute them all and commend them for their commitment to their fields of study and to the improvement of the lives of men, women and children in their communities. They serve as role models for all young girls and women aspiring to achieve success in their fields,” said Professor Jennifer Thomson, President of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD).
Dr. Hasibun Naher, of BRAC University, Bangladesh, received the award for her work in nonlinear partial differential equations. Naher’s significant academic contributions to this field include her most recent work on tsunami simulation and her research on travelling waves.
“This prestigious award makes me more confident that I will reach my goals, by doing research in various fields in collaboration with international scientists and researchers from developed countries,” said Naher. “Since my childhood I have always thought about how to motivate female students in STEM to help them have prosperous lives in developing countries. I hope this award helps me to fulfill my dream.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Witri Wahyu Lestari of Sebelas Maret University, Indonesia, was recognized for her research on organometallic and co-ordination chemistry. Her contributions have important implications on the synthesis of metal-organic frameworks, whose structures have widespread potential applications in areas such as molecular magnets, gas separation and storage, selective drug synthesis and delivery and environmental protection.
“As a chemist, the award from OWSD and the Elsevier Foundation is like an additional catalyst for me to be more productive in work, conducting research, educating and inspiring my students,” said Lestari. “Providing benefits to society and humanity are also main goals for me.”
The other three recipients of the award include Dr. Germaine Djuidje Kenmoe of the University of Yaounde in Cameroon; Dr. Silvia González Pérez of Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja in Ecuador (Latin America and the Caribbean Region); and Dr. Dawn Iona Fox of the University of Guyana.
“From tsunami simulation to improving energy efficiency and the quality of drinking water, these scientists are actively tackling some of the biggest challenges facing their communities,” added Dr. Ylann Schemm, Director of the Elsevier Foundation. “The Elsevier Foundation is proud to partner with OWSD and AAAS in celebrating the successes of these women, persevering in the face of often acute resource and gender-related challenges.”
The awards are part of a seven-year partnership between OWSD and the Elsevier Foundation. OWSD chairs a panel of distinguished scientists to select the winners, and the Elsevier Foundation supports a cash prize for each winner of US$5,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, in Austin, Texas, on 15-19 February 2018. The five winners will be honored on 17 February at a special breakfast ceremony during the AAAS meeting.
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