Dr. Ong Wee Jun named as 2018 Emerging Investigator


Figure 1.         Relationship between the crystal structure of transition metal and its N2 adsorption ability.

The Office of Research and Innovation congratulates Assistant Professor Dr. Ong Wee Jun on his recent achievement of being highlighted and featured in the 2018 Emerging Investigators Issue of Journal of Materials Chemistry A, a high impact and prestigious journal by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) with the latest impact factor of 9.931. This Emerging Investigator themed issue, now in its fourth year, showcases high quality researches being carried out by international rising stars and materials chemists in the early stages of their independent careers. Dr. Ong, from Department of Chemical Engineering, was recommended by the Editors and experts in the field for carrying out work with the potential to influence future directions in materials energy and sustainability.

This invited work has also been selected as the outside front cover of the upcoming special issue. In the paper “Unravelling the electrochemical mechanisms for nitrogen fixation on single transition metal atoms embedded in defective graphitic carbon nitride,” Dr. Ong (the corresponding author) and his team reported their efforts to investigate the electrochemical nitrogen reduction mechanism on single transition metal atoms anchored on graphitic carbon nitride with nitrogen vacancies (TM@NVs-g-C3N4).

This research, which is done in close collaboration with scientists from Wuhan University of Technology (China), is inspired by the natural photosynthesis in plants. Various isolated metal atoms (Ti, V, Co, Ni, Zr, Mo, Ru and Pt) have been investigated. Among all studied TM single atoms, the single Ti atom is found to be the most promising catalyst for its excellent N2 reduction performance with a potential-limiting step of 0.51 eV and a rate-determining barrier of 0.57 eV. The rational coordination number of the Ti-C-N active center is responsible for the superior N2 reduction activity with robust stability.

Successful development of the research would bring environmental and economic benefits, made possible by reducing the environmental impacts while increasing chemical resources,” Wee-Jun Ong states on the significance of the research.

Dr. Ong was selected as the JMCA Emerging Investigator 2018 in view of his long-term research commitment and achievements in the field of energy conversion and storage. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters with total citation of >3500 and h-index of 25 (based on google scholar). He has given a number of national and international invited lectures. To date, he has received numerous reputable international/local awards, including:

  • “Top Paper Award 2018” by the Editorial Board of Nano Research and the Tsinghua University Press

  • Finalist for “Young Chemical Engineer in Research Award 2018” (IChemE Malaysia)

  • Publons Peer Review Awards 2018 – Top 1% of reviewers in Materials Science and Chemistry disciplines

  • Postdoctoral Researchers’ Networking Fellowship (Postdoc-NeT 2017) in Germany

  • Highly Commended (3rd place) for “Young Chemical Engineer in Research Award 2017” (IChemE Global)

  • “Young Chemical Engineer in Research Award 2017” (IChemE Singapore)

  • “Outstanding Reviewer Award 2017-2018” for Nanotechnology (IOP journal)

  • “Top Paper Award 2016” by the Editorial Board of Nano Research and the Tsinghua University Press

  • “Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal Award 2016” from Monash University, Australia

  • “Outstanding Reviewing Awards 2016” for Elsevier journals (e.g. Carbon, Chemical Engineering Journal, Nano Energy, Journal of Power Sources)

  • “Endeavour Research Fellowship Award 2015” from the Australian Government Department of Education

  • “David Trimm Catalysis Award 2015” from the University of New South Wales, Australia

For more information about Dr. Ong’s research interests and updates, do visit the following link: https://sites.google.com/site/wjongresearch/ 

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