The plenary speakers, Nobel Laureates Professor Ben Feringa and Professor Ryoji Noyori were appointed as Lee Kong Chian Distinguished Professors in relation to the event. The conference, covering all aspects of synthetic chemistry and catalysis, brought together industrial and academic chemists from all over the world to discuss the state-of-the-arts development in synthetic chemistry and catalysis. PhD students, postdocs and young researchers enjoyed the opportunity for in-depth discussion with global leaders in the fields. Their Nobel Public Lectures were also attended by the Japan Embassy and Netherlands Embassy in Singapore.
Professor Ben Feringa gave an excellent public lecture titled "The Art of Building Small". He was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Sir Fraser Stoddart and Jean-Pierre Sauvage, for the design and synthesis of molecular machines. He is the Jacobus van 't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Science at the University of Groningen, where he is also experimenting with molecular motors that are powered by different fuels.
Professor Ryoji Noyori delivered a thought-provoking public lecture on "Where am I from? Where are You going?" He is most famous for asymmetric hydrogenation using as catalysts complexes of rhodium and ruthenium, particularly those based on the BINAP ligand. He won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the study of chirally catalyzed hydrogenations, along with William Knowles and Barry Sharpless.