Dr. Ong Wee Jun Receives Prestigious Merdeka Award Grant


The Office of Research and Innovation congratulates Assistant Professor Dr. Ong Wee Jun from School of Energy and Chemical Engineering on receiving the prestigious Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment, which allows him to pursue a short term collaborative programme at a globally renowned host institution for three (3) months. Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust, His Majesty Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, presented the Grant certificate to Dr. Ong and two other recipients on 3 December 2018 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).


Dr. Ong Wee Jun received Merdeka Award Grant certificate from Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.

Dr. Ong will conduct his research at a top-ranked institution of his choice in USA, on solar energy conversion and storage to address energy security and environmental issues.

“My research focuses on using nanomaterials to develop renewable energy for large-scale application. This will set the stage for a shift from a chemical industry powered by fossil fuels to one powered by the sun as an inexhaustible energy resource,” Dr. Ong said.

“By employing next-generation nanomaterials to attain sustainable development, the success of this research will lead to Malaysia’s movement toward the use of green and renewable technology. This is in line with Malaysia’s plan to increase the use of renewable energy resources from the present 2% to 20% by 2030, as announced by the Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister, Yeo Bee Yin.”

Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Petronas President and Group CEO as well as a founding member of Merdeka Award Trust, urged the recipients to make the most of this opportunity by engaging with the world’s finest experts to gain valuable insights in their fields of research.

The Merdeka Award was established by PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell on 27 August 2007, to recognise and reward excellent individuals and organisations whose works and achievements have not only contributed to the nation’s growth, but also inspired greatness in the people of Malaysia in the following categories: Education and Community, Environment, Health, Science and Technology, Outstanding Scholastic Achievement and Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia.

Dr. Ong’s certificate of Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment.

The Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment was launched in 2012 as a signature programme of the Merdeka Award. The grant allows qualified and deserving Malaysians, between the ages of 22-35, to engage in short-term collaborative projects/programmes of up to three months, at an internationally recognised host institution in selected disciplines (education, arts, sports, community/social work, environment, health, science and technology). The ultimate goals of the grant are to promote leadership and innovation, foster a culture of excellence. To date, a total of 14 young Malaysians have received the Grant, with 11 of them having completed their international attachments.

Dr. Ong Wee Jun obtained his B. Eng. in 2012 and PhD (Chemical Engineering) in 2016 from Monash University. He joined the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in 2016 as a staff scientist. Dr. Ong has been working as Assistant Professor in School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University Malaysia, since 2018. His research interests encompass the development of hybrid nanostructures for various energy and environmental applications via heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis (i.e. photocatalysis, photoelectrocatalysis, electrocatalysis, and photothermal catalysis). For more information about Dr. Ong’s research interests and updates, please visit the following link: https://sites.google.com/site/wjongresearch/.

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