Asst Prof Koh Ming Joo receives Young Scientist Award 2022

Assistant Professor Koh Ming Joo from NUS Chemistry has been conferred the prestigious Young Scientist Award (YSA), which recognises the accomplishments of researchers under 35, who have shown strong potential to be world-class experts in their fields. The award is administered by the Singapore National Academy of Science and supported by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

Asst Prof Koh received the award from Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Mr Heng Swee Keat on 9 December 2022 at a presentation ceremony held at The Istana.

Transforming sustainable chemistry through more efficient catalysts and reagents 

Asst Prof Koh has been recognised for his research in sustainable catalysis and radical chemistry. His work has led to the discovery of cheaper, energy-efficient catalysts and reagents that significantly enhance chemical synthesis efficiency. Asst Prof Koh and his team have leveraged these innovative catalyst systems to transform cheap and abundant feedstock chemicals into value-added functional products with less energy consumption, less waste production and lower environmental footprint. This is expected to revolutionise the way important chemicals are prepared, and make a difference in many areas including agriculture, therapeutics and plastic waste upcycling.

Asst Prof Koh also co-owns a number of patents, some of which have been licensed by XiMo AG, a Swiss-based company that develops catalysts for use across various chemical sectors.

Beyond research, Asst Prof Koh has a keen interest to promote chemical science as a way of contributing back to society. He participates in local and international science forums as well as outreach programmes to share his research work and experiences with young science enthusiasts, inspiring them to pursue their interests in science.

“It is an incredible honour to be selected for the Young Scientist Award. I believe this recognition is a testament to the value of our work in sustainable catalysis. I wish to thank my research team and NUS for the tremendous support given throughout my career. More importantly, I hope this will raise public awareness on the importance of sustainable chemistry to solve challenges for the future development of Singapore,” said Asst Prof Koh.

Read the Citation here.