Exceptional contributions honoured

28 April 2017 | General News
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The award recipients were (from left): Asst Prof Yeo, Assoc Prof Linga, Dr Lee, Prof Leo Tan, Prof Choo, Prof Liu, Dr McMorran and Asst Prof Saxena

NUS paid tribute to eight outstanding individuals for their noteworthy achievements and substantial contributions to education, research and service at NUS University Awards 2017 on 28 April.

Professor Choo Chiau Beng, Provost’s Chair and Professor (Practice) with Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in NUS Engineering as well as Department of Management and Organisation in NUS Business School; and Professor Leo Tan Wee Hin, Professorial Fellow with NUS Biological Sciences and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, were presented with the Outstanding Service Award. The prestigious award is conferred on individuals who have contributed significantly to the development of the University, Singapore and internationally.

Passionate educators and expert researchers were also feted for their work, with Dr Adrian Lee from NUS Chemistry and Dr Christopher McMorran from NUS Japanese Studies being presented with the Outstanding Educator Award.

Associate Professor Praveen Linga from NUS Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Assistant Professor Prateek Saxena from NUS Computer Science; and Assistant Professor Thomas Yeo Boon Thye from NUS Electrical & Computer Engineering, whose works show promise in extending the frontiers of knowledge in their respective fields, were honoured with the Young Researcher Award. Professor Liu Xiaogang, who received the President’s Science Award in 2016, was presented with the Outstanding Researcher Award.

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The eight award recipients were lauded for their significant contributions to education, research and service

Speaking of the award recipients, NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “In many ways, the Award winners we celebrate tonight have excelled by going beyond the conventional, by not being entrapped by current assumptions, by blazing new pathways; by being different to make a distinctive impact.” He added that the recipients’ work as well as their spirit of excellence and service have added much to the culture and vibrancy of the University, and helped improve the work and lives of many in the NUS and wider community.

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Prof Tan Chorh Chuan delivering a speech at NUS University Awards

Outstanding Service Award recipient Prof Choo has contributed immensely to Singapore, most notably during his 42-year career with Keppel Corporation as its CEO, as well as Chairman and CEO at Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. Under his capable and visionary leadership, he placed the company at the forefront of the marine and offshore sector. Prof Choo was also instrumental in the establishment of the Keppel Professorship in Ocean, Offshore and Marine Technology, which led to the creation of the Centre for Offshore Research and Engineering in NUS. He also spearheaded the formation of the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory, in collaboration with the National Research Foundation.

In many ways, the Award winners we celebrate tonight have excelled by going beyond the conventional, by not being entrapped by current assumptions, by blazing new pathways; by being different to make a distinctive impact.

Prof Leo Tan is a well-respected educator and scientist who has contributed significantly to NUS, Singapore as well as internationally. He was pivotal in developing the National Institute of Education into a globally acclaimed centre for teachers. He also revolutionised the Science Centre during his term as Director and CEO, transforming it into a vibrant institution for disseminating knowledge in science and technology.

Prof Leo Tan had also served as Chairman of the National Museum Development Committee that saw the inauguration of the National Heritage Board, and chaired National Parks Board, which during his term introduced Gardens by the Bay. At NUS, Prof Tan was instrumental in the establishment of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. He was actively involved in all aspects of the project, from fundraising and architecture to finance and research, including the purchase of three dinosaur fossils.

Prof Leo Tan was grateful to the University and the selection panel for the honour. “To be recognised for doing what I consider are my normal responsibilities, is indeed humbling. I really owe it to the many others who journeyed with me and thus share in the University Outstanding Service Award,” he said.

At the event, four Fellows were inducted into the Teaching Academy — Associate Professor Kelvin Foong Weng Chiong, Orthodontics and Paediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry; Dr Suzaina Kadir, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; Assistant Professor Yanika Kowitlawakul, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine; and Dr Tan Wee Kek, Department of Information Systems, School of Computing.

See press release.