MSE PhD candidate, Ms Luo Yifei, has bested 7 other PhD students from universities in the region to win the 2020 Asia Pacific Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on Thursday, 1 October 2020. We have made history as the first Singapore University to win the Asia Pacific 3MT Finals since its inception in 2016. The virtual competition hosted by the University of Queensland challenges participants to explain their research thesis in a clear and engaging threeminute talk aimed at non-specialists. As the Asia Pacific 3MT winner, Yifei will receive a $5000 research grant, sponsored by Springer Nature. During the Q&A segment, Yifei was asked, “How many plants that she has at her place” as well as “What got her interested in her topic for 3MT”. To which Yifei replied, “I love nature and personally would normally care for 4 to 5 plants at one time. For this project, I have used hundreds of plants!” “The transformation of the thermogel in response to changing temperature and being able to read signals from plants are both intriguing and fun,” Yifei continued. The other Asia Pacific 3MT Finals participants were: Anna Frouws – Edith Cowan University (Runner Up - $2000 research grant, sponsored by Springer Nature) Stefania Peracchi – University of Wollongong (People’s Choice Award - $1000 research grant, sponsored by UniBank) Kylie Sturgess – Murdoch University Rocco Cavaleri – Western Sydney University Theresa Pankhurst – Victoria University of Wellington Jessica Bolin – University of the Sunshine Coast Megan Burfoot – Auckland University of Technology In her talk entitled ‘Listening in on Plants through a Conductive Liquid Glue’, Yifei shared that plants can feel pain and heat just like us. They give out certain types of electrical signals that tells us how healthy a plant is. This affects the price and quality of the plant to goes on our plate. When asked how she felt after winning the Asia Pacific 3MT Finals, Yifei replied with thrilled, “I'm so proud of myself and NTU. I couldn't believe I am the winner !!” Her advise for fellow students who may hesitate to participate in 3MT in future? “Just go for it. You will not lose anything even if you don’t win. Plus, you will definitely learn something”, quips Yifei. Yifei took the opportunity to thank Dr. Ai Lin Chun for her guidance in crafting Yifei’s script. She is grateful to the Teaching, Learning and Pedagogy Division (TLPD) trainers and her peers during the 3MT workshop for their feedback and suggestions. She also thanked her supervisor, Prof Chen Xiaodong, for his full support during the competition, and of course the NTU’s 3MT organizers, NTU GSA, in collaboration with SAO and Graduate College, for a fantastic job in organizing this year’s event. Congratulations, Yifei, on making NTU proud!
A Message From Prof Lee Pooi See
Congratulations to the graduates of 2020, and to your parents and families who are celebrating with you, and for reaching an important milestone in your life journey, and opening a new life chapter.
We are cognisant that COVID-19 has led to disruptions since the first quarter of 2020. It is heartwarming that you have completed your academic journey despite these extraordinary challenges. I am sure that many of you have encountered different difficulties along the way. I am confident that we as the NTU community and now with you, as part of our alumni, will continue to be resilient, courageous and that each of you will find not just perseverance but also unusual opportunities to contribute and thrive during these unprecedented times.
The knowledge, skills and competencies gained during your training and education, the professional and social relationships you have forged, and the experiences you have garnered during your time spent in NTU, will serve you well during your coming life journey.
Once again, congratulations! I wish you great success and happiness.
Please remain in contact with us, with your advisors, classmates and friends. You are not alone in the coming journey.
Prof Lee Pooi See
Dean, Graduate College
About the Speaker:
Robert S. Langer is one of 10 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member. Dr. Langer has written more than 1,500 articles. He also has over 1,400 issued and pending patents worldwide. Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 400 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 285 with over 334,000 citations according to Google Scholar). Dr. Langer has received over 220 major awards. He is one of 3 living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011).
Advanced drug delivery systems are having an enormous impact on human health. We start by discussing our early research on developing the first controlled release systems for macromolecules and how we used them to isolate the first angiogenesis inhibitors and how both of these delivery systems and these inhibitors have led to numerous new therapies. This early research then led to new drug delivery technologies including nanoparticles that are now being studied for use treating cancer, creating the Covid-19 vaccine and other applications. We then discuss approaches for synthesizing new biomaterials, such as biodegradable polyanhydrides, and how such materials are used in treating brain cancer and other diseases. Finally, by combining mammalian cells, including stem cells, with synthetic polymers, new approaches for engineering tissues are being developed that may someday help in various diseases. Examples in the areas of cartilage, skin, blood vessels and diabetes are discussed.Click here to register: https://bit.ly/3tApO82
31 October 2020 – NTU Alumni Homecoming
The Graduate College participated in the NTU Alumni Homecoming 2020 event on Saturday, 31 October 2020. Organised by NTU’s Alumni Affairs Office, the virtual event welcomed NTU alumni from around the globe to join in the celebrations.
Activities included a merchant e-bazaar, virtual tours, career and lifestyle workshops, welcome speech by NTU’s President, Prof Subra Suresh, as well as a keynote speech by GIC CEO, Mr Lim Chow Kiat.
The Graduate College hosted its own Virtual Exhibition with information brochures on its Community Engagement Program, Postgraduate Internship Program, details of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme as well as GC’s bi-monthly newsletter, ‘GradConverge’. Visitors also had the opportunity to virtual chat and video call with GC representatives throughout the exhibition.
Later that day, alumni members joined the Graduate College – Interdisciplinary Graduate Alumni and Postgraduate Studies networking session hosted by the Dean of Graduate College, Prof Lee Pooi See. Prof Lee provided updates on the newly launched MiniMasters programmes, postgraduate internship programme, and discussion on Interdisciplinary Graduate Alumni Association, as well as various opportunities for an alumnus to give back to NTU.
Click here to register
About the workshop:
This workshop aims to provide an opportunity for participants to discuss good practice in research supervision. Through a range of case-studies, role-plays and drawing on the experience of the group, it creates the opportunity to discuss and acquire a range of strategies and techniques for effective supervision. Participants will be required to complete a pre-course questionnaire and view a series of presentation videos prior to the workshop.
About the speaker:
With a background as a Chartered Engineer in aerospace engineering, Elaine is a freelance soft skills development consultant and an expert in doctoral education and career management. For more than ten years, Elaine led the team responsible for postgraduate professional development at Imperial College London, supporting more than 6000 graduate students in realising both academic and career goals. Elaine continues to research on doctoral education issues including the evaluation of skills development courses, the wellbeing of researchers and the role of creativity in scientific research.