Dr. Ong Wee Jun Chosen Among Top 25 Global Green Talents


The Office of Research and Innovation would like to congratulate Assist. Prof. Dr. Ong Wee Jun from School of Energy and Chemical Engineering for receiving the 2018 Green Talents Award, an accolade under the patronage of German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to honour young researchers and scientists for their outstanding achievements and contributions to making their communities, countries and societies more sustainable. The award honours only 25 young researchers every year to encourage the global exchange of innovative green ideas from various fields of research. 

Dr. Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), presenting the award to Dr. ONG Wee Jun in Berlin, capital of Germany on 22 October 2018. (Source: BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel)

The jury of the competition, made up of renowned German experts, values Dr. Ong’s approach of CO2 reduction and conversion of solar energy to fuels and sees its potential to become a definitive solution for future energy supply in many countries. Apart from experimental works, Dr. Ong demonstrates interdisciplinary research competency by collaborating with overseas researchers in combining computational results and experimental techniques in a computer-aided catalysts design to reach commercialisation. Through simulation modelling, the group of scientists now understand the fundamental principles and elementary reactions involved in CO2 conversion, H2O splitting and N2 fixation. The success of this research will gear Malaysia’s movement toward clean and renewable energy.

Dr. Ong and the other Green Talents from 21 different countries, upon winning the award, attended a two-week Science Forum leading them to different hotspots of sustainability science in Germany. They visited renowned research institutions and companies to learn about ground-breaking projects on-site, and shared their views on green concepts to make the world a better place.

The green talents visited Tropenhaus at HEINZ-GLAS, Tettau (left) and Ocean Plastics Lab at Berlin (right).

During the forum, Dr. Ong had exclusive appointments with German experts to personally discuss their research inclinations and lay foundations for future collaborations between Malaysia and Germany. Among the iconic experts Dr. Ong had met are Prof. Markus Antonietti, the Director of Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Department of Colloid Chemistry); Prof. Xinliang Feng, Chair of Molecular Functional Materials at Technische Universität Dresden; and Prof. Bettina Lotsch, the Director of Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research.

Dr. Ong discussed his research inclinations with Prof. Xinliang Feng (left) and Prof. Bettina Lotsch.

“It is really an extremely awesome experience – to visit the universities, research centres and companies in Germany. This has definitely widened my research landscape. To work at top-class research facilities and to build relationships with people from different cultures have expanded my research network. I discussed with the German scientists for potential collaboration with Xiamen University Malaysia to work on fundamental science. The research experience in Germany is fruitful. I hope it will be of help in developing a catalysis energy hub at Xiamen University Malaysia,” says Dr. Ong.

Dr. Ong posed with President of Technische Universität Dresden, Prof. Hans Müller-Steinhagen (left) and Green Talents at Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).

The Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Malaysia in Berlin, Ms. Rus Shazila Osman, was invited to attend the award ceremony to congratulate Dr. Ong’s achievement personally. Apart from the Science Forum, Dr. Ong will have his 3-month research stay in 2019 at his chosen institute, to work with international acclaimed scientists for advanced research in the field of artificial photosynthesis for energy conversion and storage. For more details, please visit Dr. Ong’s Green Talent profile: https://www.greentalents.de/wee-jun-ong.php


Ms. Rus Shazila Osman from the Embassy of Malaysia in Berlin congratulated Dr. Ong for receiving the Green Talent Award 2018.

Group photo at Dresden, the first stop of the Science Forum in Germany. (Source: DLR-PT/Konvex Fotografie)

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