Newshub - NUS' News Portal

NUS PhD students receive WFF prize in environment and sustainability research

11 July 2011

(Starting fourth from left) WFF Board Member Mr Chan Siew Wei, Dr Feng Lun, Prof Tan Thiam Soon and Associate Provost (Graduate Education) Prof Mohan Kankanhalli (first from right) together with NUS prize recipients

A study on how vehicular exhaust affects the built environment close to major roads and the health of residents and another research on suspended sediment concentration, a critical parameter of water quality in the study of environmental changes in watersheds - these are two of the 10 projects which won this year's World Future Foundation (WFF) PhD Prize in Environment and Sustainability Research.

The ten winners from NUS and the Nanyang Technological University each won US$10,000 for being among their respective university's top five with completed PhD theses related to the environment, sustainability and metropolis of the future.

Addressing the winners, NUS Vice Provost (Education) Prof Tan Thiam Soon said that climate change, energy, water and food are important global challenges that will need some of the best young minds to devote their attention. "It is pivotal for the best young scientists and engineers to research and develop sustainable solutions that can turn potential disasters into opportunities," noted Prof Tan.

Incepted last year, the prize was supported by WFF, a philanthropic foundation incorporated in Singapore and dedicated to promoting research on environmental sustainability. It was established and led by eminent social entrepreneur and real estate tycoon Dr Feng Lun, who is also Founder and Chairman of Beijing Vantone Real Estate.

Dr Feng hopes that with this Prize, global research into environmental and sustainable practices will be enhanced and a greater contribution to humanity can be effected. Seeing the success of the Prize, WFF decided to extend the award for another five years, together with NTU and NUS.

The WFF Awards recipients from NUS are:
  • Dr Mano Kalaiarasan s/o Sellappa Ponnampalam, School of Design and Environment
    "Vertical Distribution of Traffic-Generating PM2.5 and NO2 in a Tropical Urban Environment"
  • Dr Liu Hongjun, Faculty of Science
    "Bicyclic Guanidine Catalysed Enantioselective Isomerisation Reactions"
  • Dr Augustine Quek Tai Yong, Faculty of Engineering
    "Preparation, characterisation and potential applications of pyrolytic char derived from waste tires"
  • Dr Babarao Ravichandar, Faculty of Engineering
    "Computational study of adsorption and diffusion in metal - organic frameworks"
  • Dr Wang Jianjun, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
    "Geography Satellite Remote Sensing of Suspended Sediment Concentrations in Turbid Rivers"