AsianScientist (Oct. 19, 2019) – Two President’s Science Awards and one President’s Technology Award were presented to researchers in Singapore at the 2019 President’s Science and Technology Awards (PSTA) ceremony. The awards represent the highest honors bestowed upon research scientists and engineers in Singapore whose work have resulted in significant scientific, technological or economic benefits for the country.
One of the recipients of the President’s Science Award is Professor Toh Kim Chuan of the department of mathematics and the Institute of Operations Research and Analytics, National University of Singapore (NUS). Toh has made contributions to the field of computational optimization and is known internationally for his work in algorithms for semi-definite programming. His research findings have resulted in advances in a range of applications, including sensor network localization, 3D chromosome organization, machine-learning and data science.
The second President’s Science Award went to a team from the Singapore Eye Research Institute, consisting of Associate Professor Audrey Chia, Professor Saw Seang Mei, Professor Roger Beuerman and Adjunct Professor Donald Tan. The team is recognized for being the first to identify low-dose atropine eyedrops as a viable treatment option that is both safe and effective for long-term use in children. This led SERI to develop its own eye drops to reduce the development and progression of myopia and this is now available in many countries.
The team also developed the FitSight watch that encourages children to spend more time outdoors, as studies have shown that this is effective in reducing the occurrence of myopia. The team’s work has impacted education, clinical care, optometry guidelines, clinical interventions and preventive measures.
Meanwhile, the President’s Technology Award was won by a research group comprising Mr. Tan Sze Tiong of Singapore’s Housing Development Board and Dr. Poh Hee Joo, Dr. Koh Wee Shing and Mr. Fachmin Folianto of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore.
The researchers were recognized for developing an Integrated Environmental Modeler (IEM) which uses high-resolution 3D city models to simulate the interaction of environmental factors such as solar irradiance, wind flow, air temperatures and noise levels, as well as their combined effects on an urban setting. Other modelers currently available in the market typically only assess one to two environmental factors. With the IEM, urban planners can visualize environmental factors ‘virtually’ to optimize the design of urban spaces.
Finally, two early-career scientists were acknowledged with the Young Scientist Award at the PSTA. They are Dr. Charles Lim Ci Wen of the NUS who works on quantum cryptography, and Dr. Shao Huilin, also from NUS, who develops innovative diagnostic technologies to empower patient care.
Source: A*STAR. Photo: A*STAR.
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