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Prof Goh Thong Ngee awarded the prestigious Harrington-Ishikawa Medal

27 September 2010

AT THE AWARD CEREMONY: Dr James Harrington (left), one of the world leaders in applying performance improvement methodologies to business processes, with award recipient Prof Goh Thong Ngee from NUS' Faculty of Engineering (wearing the medal)

Prof Goh Thong Ngee from NUS' Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering was presented with the 2010 Harrington-Ishikawa Medal at the Asia-Pacific Quality Organisation's (APQO) 16th International Conference in Nepal from 18 to 20 September 2010.

This prestigious award was named after two renowned Quality experts - former American Society for Quality (ASQ) President Dr H James Harrington, and driver of post-war Japanese Quality Dr Kaoru Ishikawa. It is given by APQO annually to a Quality professional selected from candidates worldwide, who has made exceptional contributions to the advancement of Quality in the Asia-Pacific region.

Previous recipients include Armand V Feigenbaum and Charles Aubrey from the USA, Lennart Sandholm from Sweden, Kondo Yoshio and Noriaki Kano from Japan.

Prof Goh said of this latest award: "This award is not just for an individual; it is a recognition of the outstanding academic and professional contributions from NUS. I am but one member of the NUS community - always striving for excellence."

Prof Goh is very passionate about Quality. In his view, "Quality is what distinguishes an organisation from the mundane ones. It does not matter if the subject is a product or a service; competitiveness is lost once quality is lacking. Just think of the damages that came with the massive Toyota car recalls and the failure of the DBS on-line banking system. You cannot be world-class in anything if your products and services are not of world-class quality".

Significantly, Prof Goh is also the recipient of the William G Hunter Award of American Society for Quality in 2007. The award was presented annually "to encourage the creative development and application of statistical techniques to problem-solving in the Quality field". Prof Goh is the only recipient from Asia to-date since the Award's inception in 1988.

Prof Goh had also received the "Educator of the Year" Award (2005, IEEE Engineering Management Society) and the Dr Masing Medal (2007, International Academy for Quality or IAQ, for the book Six Sigma: Advanced Tools for Black Belts and Master Black Belts, Wiley, 2006, co-authored with Prof Tang Loon Ching, also of the NUS Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, and industrial practitioners). He has authored or coauthored more than 300 papers and five advanced books in the field of Quality.

His many years of international activities in the field of Quality Management and Quality Engineering have led to the various awards. Among his activities, he has been on the prestigious Advisory Board of the ASQ's Quality Engineering journal for a decade, and has participated in the judging of ASQ's International Team Excellence Award for two years.

He has also been on the Jury of the Middle-East Feigenbaum Leadership Excellence Award for three years, and has served twice as a resource expert in meetings of the Asia Productivity Organisation, in addition to delivering numerous keynote addresses at professional and academic conferences in Asia-Pacific countries.

Most recently, he has been invited as an NUS faculty member to be Keynote Speaker at the 2011 World Quality Congress to be held in Budapest, Hungary. This triennial congress is of the highest level in the field of Quality Management, a joint event of the most prestigious international Quality organisations throughout the world.

Formerly Dean of NUS' Faculty of Engineering, Prof Goh is now not only still a faculty member, but also Academician of the IAQ, Fellow of the ASQ, and Honorary Member of the Singapore Quality Institute (SQI).