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NUS students win global awards

25 April 2012

(From left) Kshitij, Anh Phuong and Duy Anh beat 14,205 contestants to win the fourth Ace Manager contest

Yen Shan (left) and Kin Kit are winners of this year's Berkeley Prize Essay Competition

NUS undergraduates are standing tall on the world stage with impressive wins in international contests.

Three students - Kshitij Jhunjhunwala, a second-year undergraduate from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, together with third-year students Vu Duy Anh and Ky Anh Phuong from the NUS Business School - beat 14,205 contestants (including master and post-doctorate students from leading business schools) from 145 countries in the fourth Ace Manager contest. The online international competition created by BNP Paribas put students worldwide in the role of bankers who had to solve 14 complex financial cases related to diverse banking fields such as investment banking, investment solutions and retail banking.

After four weeks of the online contest, the top five teams were selected to present to the jury in Paris two case studies on "Merger and Acquisition" and "Bank of tomorrow". The NUS finalists impressed the judges with their business model - a "green" bank which would subsidise the interest rates for loans for a green cause by rewarding the clients with a sustainability score - and emerged champions.

Kshitij regarded the competition as a great learning opportunity of technical know-how about the finance industry. The experience also made him realise how NUS has taught him to prioritise his time between academic and other activities to keep his life well balanced.

On the living environment front, two NUS second-year architecture students were the first Singapore participants to win the 2012 Berkeley Prize Essay Competition which attracted 174 students from 31 countries. The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence set up by the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design seeks to promote the investigation of architecture as a social art with a topic important to the understanding of the interaction of people and the built world.

Loh Kin Kit and Phoaw Yen Shan submitted "The greatest public good is public space" for this year's theme of "Architecture for the Public Good". They featured the Singapore Marina Barrage, which besides functioning as a dam, also serves as a space in which individuals from all parts of society may gather and interact.

Yen Shan was pleasantly surprised that the entry won the award. "It proves that our pointers made about Singapore's public spaces are valid," he noted. He and Kin Kit are grateful to their Department of Architecture adviser Asst Prof Chang Jiat Hwee for guiding them in the proposal.