NUS women technologists recognised for their contributions to Asia’s tech sector

A total of 17 trailblazing women tech leaders, comprising NUS faculty members and NUS alumnae, have been conferred the Asia Women Tech Leaders Award (AWTLA) 2024, an inaugural award that recognises and celebrates the achievements of women technologists in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

The Award, which was presented to 50 winners from 13 countries, seeks to inspire and empower the next generation of female tech leaders while underscoring gender diversity in fostering human capital development in the rapidly growing tech industry. The NUS winners were selected from a total of 126 nominees who have excelled in diverse tech careers, such as software engineers, hardware experts and cybersecurity specialists.

These outstanding women were honoured at a ceremony held on 8 March 2024, to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Pioneering new machine learning techniques for real-world applications

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Prof Wynne Hsu
Director, NUS Institute of Data Science; Provost’s Chair Professor, Department of Computer Science, NUS School of Computing

Professor Wynne Hsu who helms the NUS Institute of Data Science and serves as a Provost’s Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NUS School of Computing was lauded for her contributions in developing new machine learning techniques for real-world applications.

Her notable work includes SELENA+, a deep learning-based solution for the screening of eye disease from retinal images. She is also the lead principal investigator in the AI Singapore Health Grand Challenge, an outcome-driven challenge funded by AI Singapore to address health-related issues with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and innovations. Collaborating with public healthcare provider SingHealth, Prof Hsu and her team will be creating AI algorithms and models to transform chronic care for diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia.

Prof Hsu’s approach focuses on improving the management of chronic disease through technologies like risk stratification and personalised medication algorithms, aimed for practical use in clinical settings. She fosters collaborations with healthcare institutions and brings together clinicians and data scientists for innovative healthcare solutions.

Contributing to information systems in Singapore and across the world

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Prof Atreyi Kankanhalli
Provost’s Chair Professor, Department of Information Systems and Analytics, NUS School of Computing


Provost’s Chair Professor Atreyi Kankanhalli from the Department of Information Systems and Analytics at the NUS School of Computing was recognised for her accomplishments in the areas of online communities, digital collaboration, human-AI collaboration, digital transformation in healthcare, and open innovation.

A world-renowned researcher and innovator, Prof Kankanhalli has several innovations under her belt. She co-developed a patented container number recognition system which has been licensed to ports such as PSA Singapore, and co-designed the first video-shot detection algorithm which is used by major technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft.

Having worked with small and medium-sized enterprises on digital transformation, Prof Kankanhalli is planning to leverage her expertise in AI to accelerate progress in preventive healthcare by partnering healthcare providers to develop mobile apps that help to encourage people to adopt healthier behaviours. She hopes to be remembered not only for her scientific research and contributions but also as a supportive mentor to her colleagues, students and women professionals in the information technology industry.

Leveraging technology to fight myopia

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Prof Saw Seang Mei
NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health; Wallace Foulds Professor, Eye Academic Clinical Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School; Singapore Eye Research Institute

Professor Saw Seang Mei, who is from the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, Duke-NUS Medical School and Singapore Eye Research Institute, was honoured for her contributions in using digital platforms and AI to predict high myopia in children.

She invented the FitSight tracker, a patented myopia lifestyle tracker designed to slow down myopia progression in children, and led in the development of a novel AI technique for early detection of myopia patterns in fundus image photos - a tool potentially useful worldwide, particularly in rural areas.

Prof Saw, a renowned physician epidemiologist and innovator, aspires to be remembered as a compassionate technology pioneer who continuously challenges the norm and develops advanced solutions for high myopia in the community.

Advancing patient care by harnessing science and engineering

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Assoc Prof Shao Huilin
Department of Biomedical Engineering, NUS College of Design and Engineering

Associate Professor Shao Huilin from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the NUS College of Design and Engineering was commended for her achievements in biotechnology.

Her work, which integrates advanced science and engineering, has significantly advanced personalised patient care. Key technologies that she has developed include molecular switches for detecting COVID-19 and a rapid blood test for early-stage Alzheimer's detection. These innovations have transformed clinical practices and methodologies. She holds a portfolio of over 15 patents, with six licensed, and has founded a venture-backed technology spinoff, Sunbird Bio.

Assoc Prof Shao aspires to be remembered for enhancing patient care through technological innovation, fostering an inclusive culture, and nurturing young talents in her field.

Fostering positive advancements in the financial sector 

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Adj Assoc Prof Geraldine Wong
Department of Statistics and Data Science, NUS Faculty of Science; Chief Data Officer, GXS Bank


Adjunct Associate Professor Geraldine Wong from the Department of Statistics and Data Science at the NUS Faculty of Science and Chief Data Officer (CDO) at GXS Bank, was recognised for her role in shaping the future of fintech.

As the CDO at GXS, Adj Assoc Prof Wong adeptly bridges the gap between academia and industry, spearheading transformative AI Initiatives. She co-developed an auto-adaptive reinforcement learning model that optimised GXS’ operations, showcasing her prowess in innovation and harnessing technology and data.

In her role at NUS, she actively fosters diversity, encouraging women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Leveraging her position to promote gender diversity in STEM, she aspires to serve as an inspiration, challenging others to explore and break the glass ceiling in their professional pursuits.

Grooming women tech leaders

NUS provides diverse and inclusive learning opportunities for women to pursue fulfilling careers and leadership roles in STEM. The University’s contributions to nurturing this talent pool is evident from the achievements of 12 NUS alumnae who are also among the 50 winners of the inaugural Asia Women Tech Leaders Award.