Eight individuals lauded for exemplary contributions to education, research and service at NUS University Awards

The National University of Singapore (NUS) celebrated the accomplishments of eight outstanding members of the NUS community who have scaled new peaks of excellence and set new benchmarks in education, research and service. The annual NUS University Awards 2022 recognises educators, researchers and professionals for their exceptional contributions to the University, Singapore and the global community.

The prestigious Outstanding Service Award was conferred on Mr Peter Ho, Senior Advisor, Centre for Strategic Futures; Chairman, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore; and member of the NUS Board of Trustees, in recognition of his sustained contributions in selflessly serving the University and society.

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “Excellence is an enduring core value and a hallmark of NUS. I am very proud of the award winners who have exemplified excellence in spite of the changes and challenges brought about by the pandemic. Undeterred, they pressed on towards the high mark of excellence in their respective spheres. They are trailblazers and have flown the NUS flag high. My heartiest congratulations to all the award winners!”

Besides the Outstanding Service Award, the other award categories are University Research Recognition Award, Young Researcher Award and Outstanding Educator Award.

Outstanding Service Award

As former Head of Civil Service, Mr Peter Ho carved a distinguished 34-year career in the Singapore public service, including permanent secretary appointments at the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, and the Prime Minister’s Office. He was also inaugural Chairman of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. A strong believer in a networked government, he played an instrumental role in galvanising various agencies to work together on key national challenges.

Serving as a member of the NUS Board of Trustees since 2011, Mr Ho has provided invaluable guidance and perspectives in charting the University’s growth and direction in education and research. He is concurrently Chair of the Campus Planning and Development Committee, and Nominating Committee; and is a member of the Executive Committee and Remuneration Committee.

A member of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee, and Chair of the Finance Committee of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), Mr Ho provides strategic guidance and counsel to the School in various aspects, from strategic planning and school development, to finances and programme development. Among his many contributions, he imparted knowledge on how LKYSPP could draw on Singapore’s experience in policy, governance and strong international reputation to distil thought leadership and position itself as a leading school of public policy globally.

As Founding Chairman of the NUS Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board from 2017 to 2021, Mr Ho pioneered a faculty framework termed the 3Rs—Rapid Change, the Real World and Relevance (to Industry)—to steer top-level discussions by faculty management and Board members on areas spanning curriculum revisions, student outreach and industry engagement.

Seven exemplary educators and researchers honoured

The University also recognised and honoured the accomplishments of seven outstanding educators and researchers at the event:

University Research Recognition Award

1) Professor Chua Tat Seng, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Chair Professor from Department of Computer Science, School of Computing

Well-known for his work in multimedia information retrieval and social media analytics, he is a pioneer for neural and explainable recommendation as well as causal reasoning framework towards robust Artificial Intelligence.

2) Professor Liu Bin, Senior Vice Provost (Faculty and Institutional Development) and Distinguished Professor

A world-renowned researcher in the field of organic functional materials, she is particularly known for her prolific work on polymer chemistry and applications of organic nanomaterials in medicine, environmental monitoring, and energy systems.

Young Researcher Award

1) Associate Professor John Ho from the Institute for Health Innovation & Technology; and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Design and Engineering

A rising star in the field of bioelectronics, he is internationally known for his work on wireless technologies for remotely monitoring and treating disease.

2) Associate Professor Lu Jiong from the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, College of Humanities and Sciences; and Institute for Functional Intelligent Materials

Known for his creative works involving large-scale synthesis of atomically precise single-atom catalysts, he is at the forefront of technologies which are important for many industrial applications related to sustainable chemical and energy transformations.

3) Associate Professor Jessica Pan from the Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, College of Humanities and Sciences

An empirical labour economist whose recent work focuses on gender differences in labour market and educational outcomes, the labour market effects of immigration, and the economics of higher education, she has won an award for a paper on gender segregation in occupations and published many highly-cited research articles.

Outstanding Educator Award

1) Associate Professor Heng Cheng Suang from the Department of Information Systems and Analytics, School of Computing

Successfully integrating theory and practice in the design of modules with real life applications, he leverages diverse instructional methodologies and pedagogies as well as new materials and engaging class activities that effectively overcome the challenges of online teaching.

2) Mr Donn Koh, Senior Lecturer from the Division of Industrial Design, College of Design and Engineering

An exemplary leader in teaching innovation who has delivered authentic learning with the highest level of real-world results the faculty has ever seen, he has achieved distinction in developing transformative mentoring relationships with students – often through technology in humanistic ways.