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Winners of inaugural defense fellowships to further research at NTU

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 7:22am
EurekAlert

Two recipients of the inaugural defence fellowships granted by Singapore's Ministry of Defence have chosen to further their research at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The inaugural Temasek Research Fellowship will be awarded to Dr Oleg Vasylkiv, 42, a Ukrainian scientist who is regarded as a rising star in the cutting-edge field of materials science. Singaporean scientist, Dr Edwin Teo Hang Tong, 31, will be the first to receive the Nanyang-DSO Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Designed to attract young and promising post-doctoral fellows to spearhead research in defence science and technology, the Temasek Research Fellowship and the Nanyang-DSO Post-Doctoral Fellowship are being awarded for the first time since the schemes were introduced in October last year.

Fellows are selected based on a record of distinction. Out of more than 50 applications from Singapore and across the globe, only two researchers have been awarded the Fellowships, and both have chosen to pursue it at NTU. The outcome of research led by the two fellows could translate into state-of-the-art capabilities which are relevant to defence.

Speaking on the significance of the recipients coming to NTU, Professor Bertil Andersson, Provost of NTU said, "We are thrilled to have Oleg and Edwin, the first recipients of the Temasek Research Fellowship and the Nanyang-DSO Post-Doctoral Fellowship respectively, joining us at NTU. NTU and MINDEF have been strategic partners in defence science and technology R&D for many years. The embarkation of these recipients' cutting edge research at NTU will further strengthen the research collaboration between NTU and MINDEF. It will also enrich the research activity at the university, while advancing our efforts at becoming more research-intensive. The recipients will have the freedom to pursue innovative research ideas that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to explore elsewhere. In addition to producing publishable scientific research results, their work has the real potential to benefit Singapore's defence through good science and potential advanced applications for the future."

As a recipient of the TRF, Dr Vasylkiv will receive a three-year research grant with an option to extend up to three years. He may also be eligible for a tenure-track faculty appointment at NTU at the end of the Fellowship. To be based at the Temasek Laboratories@NTU, Dr Vasylkiv will pursue research on advanced nanocomposite materials.

Dr Vasylkiv is very active in the materials and ceramic technology community internationally, and has numerous scientific publications to his name. His research into nano-powders with enhanced characteristics has won him many awards and honours. He was awarded the President of Ukraine scholarship for prospective young scientists in 1996 and 1998 for his significant achievements in synthesis and morphology manipulation of barium titanate nano-powder, an important raw material for the microelectronics industry.

Elated with his fellowship, Dr Vasylkiv said, "I am genuinely excited with this opportunity, as I have been longing to devote myself to deepening my research in advanced ceramics. I have heard so much about Singapore being a great place to live and to work in, and Temasek Labs@NTU has a nice culture that facilitates research. Being based here will enable me to fully dedicate my energies to my work while benefiting from the rich synthesis of multi-disciplinary research at NTU."

The NDPD Fellowship would enable Dr Teo to pursue his passion for nanotechnology in carbon materials. His work and insights on Textured Carbon could pave the development of a new material with superior mechanical and electrical properties. Dr Teo, who will also be based at the Temasek Laboratories@NTU, has previously won two national awards for innovation in research. For his work on carbon materials, he was awarded the Institute of Engineers, Singapore's Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award in 2007 and a silver medal in the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventor's Award in 2008.

Sharing his thoughts on receiving the fellowship, Teo said, "I am very honoured and privileged to be the first Nanyang-DSO Post-Doctoral Fellow. To be given the opportunity to do cutting-edge research relevant to Singapore's defence is nothing short of exhilarating. As an engineer and scientist, it is my hope that together with colleagues at NTU, Defence Research and Technology Office and DSO National Laboratories, we will translate our current work in the laboratory for useful applications."

Unique to NTU, the NDPD scheme comes with a two-year grant to pursue defence related research at the University in collaboration with DSO National Laboratories. As an NDPD Fellow, Dr Teo could be considered for a tenure-track faculty position with NTU at the end of his Fellowship.

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