Eight individuals honoured for outstanding contributions to education, research and service at NUS University Awards

Even in the middle of a pandemic, or perhaps because of it, it is important to celebrate the contributions of the NUS community – this was the refrain at the University Awards 2021 ceremony held on 17 March. Eight outstanding educators, researchers and professionals were honoured for their contributions to the University, Singapore and the global community.

The University Awards represent NUS’ highest tribute to excellence in educating and nurturing talent, advancing knowledge and fostering innovation, and contributing to country and society.

Speaking at the ceremony, which was held at the Regent Singapore this year and webcast live, NUS Senior Deputy President and Provost Professor Ho Teck Hua said, “To all our award recipients, I convey my heartiest congratulations. Today’s celebration is a reminder that even in a pandemic, your work has continued at the highest levels.”

“Your dedication to pursuing your passions, honing your craft, and reaching for excellence serves as an inspiration to us all.”

In his speech, Professor Ho also touched on the bold initiatives that NUS is leading in the areas of education, research, and innovation and enterprise, as well as its sustained investment in talent.

The honour roll

Six educators and researchers from the NUS Business School, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, College of Design and Engineering, College of Humanities and Sciences, and School of Computing were honoured with these awards:

University Research Recognition Award

  • Professor Ooi Beng Chin                                                                                                                                     Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professor                                                                                                                 Department of Computer Science, NUS School of Computing                                                                                                                                                                       

Young Researcher Award

  • Assistant Professor Shao Huilin                                                                                                                           Department of Biomedical Engineering, NUS College of Design and Engineering                                                 Institute for Health Innovation & Technology                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Associate Professor Benjamin C.K. Tee                                                                                                                   Department of Materials Science and Engineering, NUS College of Design and Engineering                               N.1 Institute for Health, NUS College of Design and Engineering                                                                   Institute for Health Innovation & Technology                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • Associate Professor Wu Jie                                                                                                                           Department of Chemistry, NUS College of Humanities and Sciences                                                                                                                                                      

Outstanding Educator Award

  • Associate Professor Marleen Dieleman                                                                                                       Department of Strategy and Policy, NUS Business School                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Associate Professor Alfred Kow Wei Chieh                                                                                                             Department of Surgery, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

Outstanding Service Award

Ms Janet Ang and Mdm Kay Kuok Oon Kwong were awarded the Outstanding Service Award for their inspiring leadership and tireless service to the University and society.

Ms Janet Ang

NUS-ISS Chairman Ms Janet Ang graduated from NUS with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) in 1982 and went on to achieve a long and illustrious career in the Information and Communications Technology industry, notably with IBM in Singapore, China and Japan. During her years at IBM as Managing Director and Vice President, Industry Solutions, IBM Asia Pacific, she orchestrated several noteworthy collaborations in education and research between IBM and NUS.

Helming the NUS-ISS Management Board since 2016, Ms Ang has overseen NUS-ISS’ transformation into a leading institution for the development of industry digital talents. Among her many contributions, she spearheaded ground-breaking strategies, such as the appointment of NUS-ISS as the operations partner of The Digital Academy, serving the whole of government in Singapore.

On her vision for NUS-ISS, Ms Ang said: “In the interconnected, complex and digitised future, I hope for NUS-ISS to be at the heart of the always-learning digital economy, delivering multiple learning pathways and industry-relevant learning experiences that enable Singaporeans to build resilient careers and social mobility.”

“I am deeply humbled by this award, and I share this honour with all NUS-ISS colleagues and board members, past and present,” she added.

Ms Ang is also a passionate advocate for gender equality and women’s career advancement, serving on the Council of Board Diversity since 2019. She is also a Past President of the International Women’s Forum (Singapore Chapter).     

Mdm Kay Kuok Oon Kwong

Mdm Kuok has dedicated much of her time to serving Singapore, wearing many different hats and making an impact in healthcare, sustainability, diversity, education and the arts.

A hospitality and tourism stalwart, Mdm Kuok was a member of the Singapore Tourism Board’s Tourism Consultative Council and Board of Directors, as well as co-chair of the COOL Taskforce during the SARS crisis in 2003. She played a key role in implementing various initiatives to mitigate the impact of the SARS crisis on businesses, helping the tourism industry recover rapidly.

In her 12 years as a member of the NUS Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2020, Mdm Kuok served the University with tireless dedication. She provided astute leadership and vision in charting the University’s strategic goals in education and research, in addition to ably discharging the Board’s fiduciary duties.

As the Founding Chair of the Yale-NUS College Governing Board, Mdm Kuok provided strategic direction, guidance and support to the College in various aspects, from curriculum development and faculty hiring, to finances and infrastructure. She has also chaired and served on several community service and statutory boards, including the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund, National Arts Council, Singapore Environment Council and National Environment Agency.

Envisioning the future directions of the University, Mdm Kuok said: “NUS is working towards creating change drivers through new and exciting innovative programmes and learning opportunities for students to self-actualise and develop their own strengths. This transformation will build capability and cohesiveness in our society”.

“Thank you for this award and for the opportunity to have served on the Board.”


Read more about the NUS University Awards recipients here