Young innovators from Australia honoured in MIT awards

December 07, 2016

Ten tech visionaries from Australasia have been honoured by MIT Tech Review, which unveiled its 2017 Regional List of ‘Innovators Under 35’.

young innovators

Featured image above: young innovators from Australasia. Top (L-R): Angela Wu, Dawn Tan, Wang Gang, John Ho and Prateek Saxena. Bottom (L-R): Simon Gross, Sumeet Walia, Yong Lin Kong, Zhi Weh Seh and Dhesi Raja. Credit: MIT Technology Review

EmTech Asia, in association with MIT Technology Review, today announced the top 10 young innovators under the age of 35 in the region. The 10 ‘Innovators Under 35’ are given tribute annually at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Asia conference.

The list recognises the development of new technology and the creative application of existing technologies to solve global problems in industries such as biomedicine, computing, communications, energy, materials, web, and transportation.

EmTech Asia’s Disruptive Innovation Partner, SGInnovate, will host the ‘Innovators Under 35’ segment, where its Founding Chief Executive Officer, Steve Leonard, will present the young innovators with their award. 

“We want to encourage and support innovators who have the courage to embrace risk, and the vision to do important work on difficult challenges,” says Leonard.

“Our hope is these amazing young innovators will want to see their science and technology-based work increase its positive impact through active commercialisation efforts with teams such as SGInnovate.”

Now in its fourth edition, Asia received nominations from researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs across nine countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand) to be considered for the 2017 list. This year, the list of 10 brilliant researchers and entrepreneurs come from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. 

Young innovators from Australasia

  1. Dawn Tan, 33, Assistant Professor, Engineering Product Development, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), SINGAPORE. Dawn receives the award for developing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) nonlinear optical devices for unprecedented nonlinear photon efficiencies in multi-wavelength sources. Her research brings cheaper light sources to the chip, enabling 100X better bandwidth capacity in the transmission of data.
  1. Gang Wang, 34, Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering & Associate Director of the ROSE Lab at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), SINGAPORE. Gang is recognised for his work in artificial intelligence and deep learning that will benefit industries such as mobile, virtual/augmented reality and self-driving cars. He founded Ultramind, which provides core artificial intelligence technologies including object detection, optical character recognition (OCR), and action recognition.
  1. John Ho, 27, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS), SINGAPORE. John is awarded for his pioneering research on developing wireless technologies for bioelectronic systems that can be used to help treat intractable diseases like cancer and diabetes. By enabling smaller and deeper bioelectronic devices, these technologies could one day enable doctors to prescribe a tiny, wireless device instead of a pill.
  1. Prateek Saxena, 33, Dean’s Chair Assistant Professor, School of Computing, National University of Singapore (NUS), SINGAPORE. Prateek’s expertise is in cybersecurity. His work on symbolic tracing has being used to discover security flaws in Microsoft’s largest web product and his work on auto-sanitization of web programs to make them robust against attacks has already been adopted in Google Chrome’s extension platform and Google’s web compilation infrastructure.
  1. Zhi Wei Seh, 30, Research Scientist, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), SINGAPORE. Zhi Wei receives the award for designing advanced materials for clean energy storage and conversion. His pioneering design of sulfur-titanium dioxide yolk-shell structures for lithium-sulfur batteries, have five times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries today.
  1. Yong Lin Kong, 29, Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MALAYSIA. Yong Lin was nominated for his work on developing next-generation ingestible electronic devices that could improve the quality of life for patients with diseases that require long-term on-demand drug administration.
  1. Dhesi Raja, 32, Cofounder, Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology (AIME), MALAYSIA. Dhesi receives the award for his work in artificial intelligence in medicine. His AIME platform has the capability of identifying dengue and Zika outbreaks up to three months in advance.
  1. Angela Wu, 31, Founding Member and Scientific Advisor, Agenovir Corporation, AUSTRALIA. Angela was instrumental in launching Agenovir, which uses genome editing technologies to cure chronic viral infections. Using genome editing technologies to target destruction of viral DNA instead of human DNA, Agenovir’s future products will be able to remove these viruses from the cell, resulting in a permanent cure.
  1. Simon Gross, 33, ARC DECRA Research Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, AUSTRALIA. Simon is recognised for his work in integrated optics. He developed a fabrication process that enables integrated optics access to the third dimension, using a laser to sculpt optical circuits embedded in a block of glass, a process similar to 3D printing, which is being used to develop the next generation of ultra-high bandwidth optical communication networks.
  1. Sumeet Walia, 28, Lecturer, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), AUSTRALIA. Sumeet is noted for his work in nanoelectronics. He specialises in the use of metal oxides for the next-generation of high performance electronic devices and systems.

The 10 honourees will give elevator pitches about their work at EmTech Asia, which will be held from 14–15 February 2017 in Singapore.

The 10 also automatically qualify for consideration on the global MIT Technology Review magazine ’35 Innovators Under 35 List’. MIT Technology Review will showcase these 35 innovators in the September/October 2017 issue. 

This information was first shared by MIT Technology Review on 7th December 2016. View previous years’ Innovators under 35 here.

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