Nation-building through science and technology

10 April 2015 | General News
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Mr Wong (left) and Prof Tan shaking hands after launching the exhibition

An exhibition showcasing NUS' contribution to nation-building through groundbreaking research was launched at the University Cultural Centre on 9 April. Themed "Building Our Nation through Science & Technology, the exhibition demonstrates the University's emphasis on transformative education and high-impact research and features more than 20 projects which address key challenges faced by the community. Mr Wong Ngit Liong, Chairman of NUS Board of Trustees, graced the event as Guest-of-Honour.

Speaking at the launch, NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan highlighted the relevance of the exhibition because "right from the start, science, and the importance of its application, was identified as an important competitive advantage for Singapore. The exhibition, he said, epitomises the varied ways in which the University's research has been applied to contribute to national development. "This exhibition also reflects our strong desire to bring the ground-breaking research out of our labs and to showcase the thrills and value of their commercialisation to the public, he added.

During his Welcome Address, Professor Victor Shim, Vice Dean, Faculty of Engineering (FoE) and Chairman of the Exhibition Organising Committee, said: "The exhibition highlights the link between research in science and technology in NUS and Singapore's development. Referring to how the exhibits were grouped in five categories'Digital Nation, Healthy Nation, Multimedia Nation, Smart Nation and Sustainable Nation, he said that it is NUS' hope that everyone would be Smart, Healthy and Sustainable, so that all can enjoy the benefits of Digital and Multimedia developments.

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Mr Wong gaining an insight into Human-Robot Object Transfer; in the future, robots may assist humans with eldercare and even emergency situations

The exhibition marks the inaugural collaboration between three schools'Engineering, Science and Computing. Some highlights include:
Intelligent Tubular Robotic System by FoE
In-Vivo Molecular Diagnostic System by FoE and the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
E-Bike by the University Scholars Programme and Design-Centric Programme
Plant Genetics by Faculty of Science
3-D Architectural Modelling with Single Image by FoE
Draco by School of Computing (SoC)

The semi-automatic flexible Intelligent Tubular Robotic System can potentially assist with tele-operated and minimally invasive procedures such as brain tumour removal; it is also endowed with intelligent navigation capabilities, a first for the region. Assistant Professor Ren Hongliang from the Department of Biomedical Engineering shared about some of the device's unique features, saying: "The flexible endoscopic tubular robot allows sufficient force transmission and flexibility which can bypass obstacles and reach the hidden targets inside the human body.

The In-Vivo Molecular Diagnostic System offers anxious patients almost instant diagnosis. The first and only such system in the world, it offers an analysis of genetic information in tissues during endoscopic examination in less than a second.

Team FrogWorks' e-Bike is an innovative motorbike converted from petrol to electric drive. The low-cost conversion process is swift and convenient, paving the way for a quieter and cleaner mode of transportation.

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Prof Tan giving the e-Bike a go, with Mr Paul Ma (right), former member of NUS Board of Trustees and Professor Chua Kee Chaing (second from right), Dean, FoE looking on

Plant Genetics focuses on developing higher-yield and more resistant crops such as rice and palm oil. Professor Prakash P Kumar from the Department of Biological Sciences said that through genetic biomarker technologies, the team hopes to address the declining yield which some rice crops have been experiencing, as well as produce higher-quality and resilient rice crops.

A team from FoE has developedimg 3-D Architectural Modelling with Single Image, a technique which creates textured and mapped three-dimensional architectural models from a single visual. Draco, an iPad software created by SoC, allows illustrators to seamlessly include rich animation effects into their works, with effects such as streams of soap bubbles, waves, schools of fish, and more.

The NUS Science and Technology Exhibition will be held at the University Cultural Centre until 18 April. Selected exhibits will then form a roving exhibition which will debut at two shopping malls: VivoCity from 27 April to 3 May, followed by Great World City from 27 May to 2 June. Admission is free. By bringing the exhibition to the masses, NUS hopes to share how some of its research will impact the wider community.