News Details | 23-Jun-2009

NTU wins lion’s share of prestigious PhD scholarships in environmental and water technologies

Five out of six recipients of this year’s National Research Foundation (NRF) PhD Scholarships in environmental and water technologies have selected the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as their choice university. The students’ decision to pursue their PhD candidature at NTU is a testimony to the university’s leadership role in environmental and water technologies research.

The prestigious scholarships are provided through the Environment & Water Industry Development Council (EWI) that serves to promote the environment and water research and development (R&D) and industry in Singapore; and envisions increasing opportunities for career, R&D and nurture experts in environmental and water technologies (EWT) to support this fast-rising industry.

The NRF (EWT) PhD Scholarship will allow the successful candidates to be groomed as specialist manpower to meet the industry and research institutions’ growing needs for trained research personnel and engineers. The winners were announced at the NRF PhD Scholarship Award Ceremony today, held in conjunction with the ongoing Singapore International Water Week at Suntec Convention Centre.

The five NTU environmental and water technologies PhD candidates are Ms Lily Ganda, 23, Ms Liu Lei, 25, Mr Kelvin Lee Kai Wei, 25, Mr Martin Tay Qi Xiang, 26 and Mr Tan Chuan Hao, 26.
Ms Ganda, who graduated with a NTU Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) in July 2008 and subsequently pursued a Master degree under the Singapore Stanford Partnership (SSP) programme, is thrilled to be one of the recipients of the NRF (EWT) PhD Scholarships.

“The environmental and water-related issues have received tremendous attention globally. An expert in this field of environmental science and engineering (ESE) will see plenty of opportunities to offer environment and water solutions. I’m happy to pursue my PhD at NTU, which is a famed world-leading university in the field of ESE. Its Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) Ecosystem offers a fabulous research environment for great exchange of ideas and experience,” said Ms Ganda, who will also be receiving her MSc (Environmental Sci & Eng) from NTU in July 2009.

For Mr Kelvin Lee, who will be graduating this July with a First Class Honours in Biological Sciences from NTU, the scholarship provides him with the opportunity to be part of the thriving environment and water technologies industry as well as to serve humanity.

“I will be pursuing a PhD in Biotechnology where my research will focus on cell to cell signaling in a multi-species biofilm system. Biofilms are communities of multi-species microorganisms that can be beneficial as well as hazardous to humanity. For example, inhibition of biofilm formation in water pipelines reduces cost of replacing clogged water pipelines and biofilms can also remove biological contents such as human waste during secondary sewage treatment. I am grateful for the scholarship and the chance to work alongside with renowned researchers in this field at NTU,” said Mr Kelvin Lee.

Mr Tan Chuan Hao, a researcher at the Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) of A*Star, elaborated why NTU is the best place for him to pursue his PhD candidature. “I decided to embark on my PhD candidature in the environmental science and engineering at NTU, where I believe I will be able to explore to the fullest in-depth biological strategies of microbial granulation in the wastewater treatment industry. Being awarded the prestigious NRF (EWT) PhD Scholarship is not simply an honour to me and my family but also a great encouragement that drives me towards the right track in realising my research dream and contribute to mankind,” said Mr Tan, a first class honours Bachelor of Science graduate from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia.

The NRF (EWT) PhD Scholarships covers the full tuition fees and provides for a monthly subsistence allowance. Upon completion of their studies, local PhD candidates are expected to work in Singapore in the environmental and water technologies area for a period of two years.

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Media contact:
Hisham Hambari
Assistant Director, Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6447; Email:

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