NUS honours seven outstanding individuals for exceptional contributions to education, research and service

Renowned mathematician Professor Chong Chi Tat and A*STAR Chairman Mr Lim Chuan Poh conferred prestigious award for serving NUS, Singapore and society with distinction

The National University of Singapore (NUS) today celebrated the achievements of seven exceptional educators, researchers and professionals at the NUS University Awards 2018. The annual awards, which were presented at a ceremony held at the University Cultural Centre, recognise individuals who have contributed to the University's mission through their remarkable achievements in education, research, and service to Singapore and the wider community.


Seven outstanding individuals were recognised at the NUS University Awards 2018
for their significant contributions to education, research and service. 

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “NUS is a large and diverse milieu of talented individuals, and we are very proud of the achievements of our 2018 University Award recipients. They have pursued their passions at NUS with an indefatigable spirit, bold imagination for betterment, and an assiduous quest for excellence. Their courage, perseverance and spirit of innovation will inspire the NUS community to continue to work together to pursue excellence in education, research and enterprise, in service of our country and society.”

This year, the accolades were given out in four categories, namely: Outstanding Service Award, Outstanding Educator Award, University Research Recognition Award and Young Researcher Award.

Outstanding Service Award

NUS presented the prestigious Outstanding Service Award to two highly regarded individuals who have made exceptional contributions towards the development of the University, Singapore and the international community. The award recipients are: Professor Chong Chi Tat, University Professor at the Department of Mathematics in the NUS Faculty of Science, and Director of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at NUS, and Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Professor Chong Chi Tat

Prof Chong has garnered an international reputation in the field of mathematical logic specialising in the theory of computation. He has written two books and has published in the most prestigious mathematical journals such as the Journal of the American Mathematical Society. His two landmark papers published in 2014 and 2017 respectively, addressed two prominent problems in the reverse mathematics of Ramsey theory open for 20 years.

He contributed significantly in several key areas of university administration when NUS underwent a major transformation in education and research, from 1996 to 2002. He chaired the University Curriculum Committee which implemented a broad-based, education curriculum. In 2001, Prof Chong also played a pivotal role in the implementation of a system which adopts the best practices in the appointment, promotion and tenure of academic personnel. The system serves as the cornerstone in the recruitment and retention of talented NUS faculty. 

Prof Chong’s contribution in the field of education goes beyond NUS. In 2002, he chaired a steering committee in the Ministry of Education (MOE) on the establishment of the NUS High School for Mathematics and Science, and in 2003, he chaired an MOE Committee on the revamp of the GCE A-Level curriculum.

Mr Lim Chuan Poh

Mr Lim has made outstanding contributions to peacekeeping and defence diplomacy; education; science and innovation. He carved an illustrious 23-year career in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). During his term as the Chief of Army followed by Chief of Defence Force from 1998 to 2003, he oversaw the operational deployment of SAF Peacekeeping Troops to Timor Leste. He further contributed to defence diplomacy by hosting the inaugural Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference and the first Chiefs of Defence Conference to be held outside the United States.

As former Permanent Secretary (Education), Mr Lim oversaw the transformation of publicly funded universities into Autonomous Universities to enable them to reach new peaks of excellence. He reviewed the university research framework that led to the creation of the Academic Research Council and a new Academic Research Funding Framework. He also guided the establishment of the Duke-NUS Medical School.

As Chairman of A*STAR, Mr Lim pioneered an open innovation framework and steered the launch of various initiatives between NUS and A*STAR, including the establishment of several research partnerships and joint research units such as the Clinical Imaging Research Centre, Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology, Translational Laboratory in Genetic Medicine, and five joint laboratories between NUS Faculty of Engineering and A*STAR’s SIMTech.

Five exemplary educators and researchers honoured

This year, the NUS University Awards also recognised and honoured the accomplishments of five outstanding educators and researchers.

Outstanding Educator Award

  • Associate Professor Kelvin Foong Weng Chiong
    NUS Faculty of Dentistry
  • Dr Soo Yuen Jien
    Department of Computer Science, NUS School of Computing

University Research Recognition Award

  • Professor Toh Kim Chuan
    Department of Mathematics, NUS Faculty of Science, Department of Analytics and Operations, NUS Business School, and NUS Institute of Operations Research and Analytics
  • Professor Henry Yeung
    Department of Geography, NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Young Researcher Award

  • Assistant Professor Zhao Dan
    Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NUS Faculty of Engineering