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Illustrious academics honoured with top accolades

26 April 2013

(From left) Mr Ng, Prof Ling and Prof Wong with their awards

The University Awards recipients with Mr Wong Ngit Liong (5th from left), Chairman of NUS Board of Trustees and Prof Tan (6th from left)

The celebratory mood was palpable at the NUS University Cultural Centre on 26 April, where members of the NUS community and guests gathered to honour eight outstanding individuals for their contributions to education, research and service at this year's University Awards.

Congratulating the winners, NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said: "The achievements and contributions of our Award recipients this evening speak not only of their abilities, but more importantly, of their character and attitude."

Prof Tan noted that the University community should aspire to have the same drive for the pursuit of excellence as the winners. "Excellence based on habits of mind that embrace rigour, collaboration, perseverance and imagination," he highlighted.

The award categories and winners were:

Outstanding Service Award
Recognises individuals who have distinguished themselves by their sustained contributions in serving the University and society
  • Mr Ng Yat Chung, Group President and CEO of Neptune Orient Lines Limited
  • Professor John Wong Eu Li, Vice Provost (Academic Medicine) and Isabel Chan Professor in Medical Sciences

Emeritus Professor
Recognises individuals with distinguished scholarship and outstanding service to the University
  • Professor Ling Eng Ang, Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

Outstanding Educator Award
Recognises faculty members who have excelled in engaging and inspiring students in their quest for knowledge
  • Associate Professor Johan Geertsema, University Scholars Programme
  • Associate Professor Willie Tan Chee Keong, Department of Building, School of Design and Environment

Outstanding Researcher Award
Recognises established researchers whose works have impacted and advanced the frontiers of knowledge and positioned the University at the forefront of their areas of expertise
  • Professor Ooi Beng Chin, Department of Computer Science, School of Computing

Young Researcher Award
Recognises researchers whose works show promise in extending the frontiers of knowledge in their respective fields
  • Associate Professor Liu Bin, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
  • Dr Barbaros Özyilmaz, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science

"I have been blessed with the privilege to work alongside, learn from and influence many talented and interesting people," shared Mr Ng who built a distinguished career in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) for almost 30 years. His achievements include laying the transformational blueprint for the third-generation SAF and overseeing its execution as Chief of Defence Force. He commanded the deployment of SAF in peace support operation in East Timor, as well as in humanitarian and disaster relief operations in Aceh and Phuket after the 2004 earthquake and tsunami. Mr Ng also served on the NUS Board of Trustees; as the Chairman of the NUS Board of Trustees Campus Planning and Development Committee, he was instrumental in the University's complex infrastructure enhancement programme, including the development of University Town.

As for Prof Wong, he noted that "life is fragile and it would be nice to do something meaningful." Among his many meaningful deeds are contributions to conceiving, promoting and launching Singapore's Biomedical Sciences Initiative as a pillar of Singapore's overall development. In his capacity as Dean of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, he was involved in restructuring the admission process, curriculum infrastructure, faculty development and composition, strategic collaborations, as well as launch of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies. The renowned oncologist-haematologist also developed an academic cancer programme at the National University Hospital (NUH) and NUS as Founding Head of the NUH Department of Haematology and Oncology, and the Founding Director of the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore.

This year, five new Fellows joined the Teaching Academy which aims to establish NUS at the forefront of education through the pursuit of teaching and learning innovation as well as a balanced culture of educational and research excellence.

The new Fellows were:
  • Dr Heng Cheng Suan, Department of Information Systems, School of Computing
  • Dr Stephen Lim Wee Hun, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Dr Damith Chatura Rajapakse, Department of Computer Science, School of Computing
  • Associate Professor Willie Tan, Department of Building, School of Design and Environment
  • Associate Professor Ravi Chandran s/o Thiagaraj, Department of Strategy and Policy, Business School

For highlights and webcast of NUS' University Awards 2013, please click here.