Seven NUS researchers conferred prestigious SNAS Fellowships

Scientists from NUS Computing, NUS College of Design and Engineering and NUS Science have been conferred seven of the 14 fellowships awarded by the Singapore National Academy of Science (SNAS) this year. The newly elected SNAS Fellows from NUS are: Professor Bao Weizhu, Professor Mohan Kankanhalli, Professor Liu Xiaogang, Professor Lu Yixin, Professor Toh Kim Chuan, Professor John Wang and Professor Zhou Weibiao.

Beginning in 2011, the prestigious SNAS Fellowships have been conferred on outstanding researchers in Singapore to recognise those who have distinguished themselves in the field of science. NUS researchers have featured prominently in every conferment exercise.

The SNAS, which was established in 1976, is widely respected for its key role in promoting the advancement of science and technology – and recognising excellence in science – in Singapore, as well as representing the scientific opinions of its members.

SNAS President Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng noted that the Fellows play “significant roles” in their respective fields of research.

“SNAS elects Fellows who are outstanding scientists working or have worked in Singapore, recognising their good and impactful work for Singapore. They serve as role models, and are expected to advise and/or contribute to the government and other national organisations on various aspects of science including research, teaching, science policy, promotion and public communication of science,” Assoc Prof Lim shared.


Professor Bao Weizhu


Prof Bao Weizhu is Professor in Mathematics, and Vice Dean for Graduate Studies and Academic Affairs at NUS Science.

Prof Bao’s research focuses on modelling, analysis and computation via partial differential equations for problems from physics, chemistry, fluid dynamics and materials science. He has made significant contributions in computational methods and mathematical analysis of Bose-Einstein condensation, path-breaking work on highly oscillatory PDEs by designing uniformly accurate computational methods and carrying out multiscale analysis, and structure-reserving parametric finite element methods for geometric flows.

In recognition of his scientific contributions, Prof Bao has received numerous honours and awards, including the 2013 Feng Kang Prize in Scientific Computing, 2014 ICM Invited Speaker, 2022 American Mathematical Society (AMS) Fellow and 2022 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Fellow.

For his significant contributions to scientific computing and numerical analysis with applications in physics and materials science, Prof Bao has been elected as Fellow of the Singapore National Academy of Science.


Professor Mohan Kankanhalli


Prof Mohan Kankanhalli is Provost's Chair Professor of Computer Science and the Dean of NUS Computing. He also directs N-CRiPT (NUS Centre for Research in Privacy Technologies) which conducts research on privacy on structured as well as unstructured (multimedia, sensors, IoT) data.

Prof Kankanhalli's research interests are in multimedia computing, computer vision and multimedia security and privacy. He has made fundamental contributions in the areas of multimedia and vision & content authentication and privacy, such as image and video understanding, multimodal fusion, visual saliency as well as in multimedia security.

Prof Kankanhalli, who is a Fellow of IEEE, has won several teaching awards and best paper awards. He has also been awarded two Public Administration Medals – Bronze in 2015 and Silver in 2021.

For his outstanding contributions to multimedia content processing and security, and impactful contributions to computing education and research in Singapore, Prof Kankanhalli has been elected as Fellow of the Singapore National Academy of Science.


Professor Liu Xiaogang


Prof Liu Xiaogang is Provost’s Chair Professor at the Department of Chemistry at NUS Science. He also holds a joint appointment with the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Prof Liu's expertise lies in supramolecular chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology. In particular, he specialises in the development of nanoparticle-based ultrasensitive sensor systems for metal ions and biological molecules, designing novel nanomaterials with high catalytic activity and recyclability, synthesising low-dimensional nanomaterials, and developing lanthanide-doped fluorescent nanoparticle probes.

For his significant research contributions, Prof Liu was awarded the NUS Young Investigator Award in 2006, the BASF-SNIC Award in Materials Chemistry in 2011, as well as the Chemical Society Reviews Emerging Investigator Lectureship Award in 2012. He was conferred the President’s Science Award in 2016 and the Outstanding Researcher Award under the NUS University Awards in 2017.

For his outstanding research in developing luminescent nanocrystals for biolabeling and advanced X-ray imaging applications, Prof Liu has been elected as Fellow of the Singapore National Academy of Science.


Professor Lu Yixin


Prof Lu Yixin is the Head of NUS Department of Chemistry, and also the Vice-President of Singapore National Institute of Chemistry (SNIC).

He is well-known for his development of amino acid-based organic catalysts and related applications in asymmetric synthesis. He has developed a wide range of organocatalysts that can be readily derived from natural amino acids, which have been commercialised by Tokyo Chemical Industry (TCI) Co Ltd. and Daicel Chiral Technologies Co Ltd.

Currently, he is leading an effort in finding innovative catalytic chemical solutions to key energy and environmental problems that are highly relevant to Singapore.

For his contribution to asymmetric catalysis, especially amino acid-based catalysts and related applications in organic synthesis, Prof Lu has been elected as Fellow of the Singapore National Academy of Science.


Professor Toh Kim Chuan


Prof Toh Kim Chuan is a Professor at the Department of Mathematics, NUS Science. He held the Provost’s Chair Professorship from 2016 to 2019 and currently holds the Leo Tan Professorship in Science. 

His current research focuses on designing large-scale optimisation algorithms and developing software for convex programming and its applications, particularly large-scale optimisation problems arising from machine learning, and matrix optimisation problems such as linear semidefinite programming (SDP) and convex quadratic semidefinite programming (QSDP).

Prof Toh received the Farkas Prize awarded by the INFORMS Optimization Society in 2017 and the triennial Beale-Orchard Hays Prize awarded by the Mathematical Optimization Society in 2018. He was elected as a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2018. Prof Toh was conferred the University Research Recognition Award under the NUS University Awards in 2018 and in 2019, he received the President’s Science Award.

For his fundamental contributions to the theory, practice and application of convex optimisation, especially semidefinite programming and conic programming, Prof Toh has been elected as Fellow of the Singapore National Academy of Science.


Professor John Wang

John Wang_Photo

Prof John Wang is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the NUS College of Design and Engineering and Principal Scientist II at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering under A*STAR.

One of the best-known ceramists, Prof Wang has pioneered cutting-edge research and development of advanced materials for energy and environment applications. He is globally recognised for his leading research on nanostructured materials for energy storage and conversion. Prof Wang is also Clarivate’s Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher for two consecutive years (2020 and 2021).

Currently, Prof Wang is Associate Editor of the InfoMat journal, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Asian Ceramic Societies, and serves on editorial/advisory boards of six other international journals. He was also elected Academician of the Asia Pacific Academy of Materials in 2019.

For his pioneering work in developing new advanced materials for energy applications, Prof Wang has been elected as Fellow of the Singapore National Academy of Science.


Professor Zhou Weibiao


Prof Zhou Weibiao is the founding Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology under NUS Science, and the inaugural Cheng Tsang Man Chair Professor in Food Science and Technology.

He is an internationally renowned food scientist in the field of food processing and food engineering, especially next-generation functional foods and emerging food processing technology. In recent years, he co-founded AuroraFood Pte Ltd and SafeLight Pte Ltd, both NUS spin-off companies based on the technologies developed by his research group.

For his significant contributions in the science of next-generation functional foods and emerging processing technology, and service rendered in education, Prof Zhou has been elected as Fellow of the Singapore National Academy of Science.