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Announcing the Laureates of the 2023 Underwriters Laboratories-ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women
October 21, 2023

BOHOL, October 20, 2023 – The ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI) in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UL Research Institutes (ULRI) proudly announce Dr. Pimpa Limthongkul of Thailand and Dr. Charlle Sy of the Philippines as winners of the 2023 Underwriters Laboratories-ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women.

Fifty-one applicants competed under this year’s theme on electrification, which showcases the notable work of women in ASEAN member states working in sciences to create electricity using renewable or clean sources of energy in a way that results in economic benefits and protects the environment. Their innovation has the potential to directly impact the more than 679 million people living in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Pimpa Limthongkul, a Principal Researcher from National Energy Center, National Science and Technology Development Agency in Thailand, emerged on top as the senior scientist winner lauded for her pioneering research in energy storage for electric vehicles and the power grid. Her innovative work also led to the development of a battery-swapping electronic platform for electric motorcycles. Competing in the mid-career scientist category, Dr. Charlle Sy, a professor with De La Salle University Manila from the Philippines, is also an award winner for her innovative research on increasing the efficiency and sustainability of micro hydro systems in generating electricity. Her work utilizes advanced mathematical modeling techniques that account for uncertainty, leading to more effective and resilient energy solutions for local communities. Both winners earned the top cash award of $12,500 each.

This year’s honorable mention award recipients each received a $5,000 award, recognizing their outstanding contributions. Among them is senior scientist Dr. Madhavi Srinivasan from Singapore, lauded for her research on improving the performance of batteries in electric vehicles by leveraging energy efficient design principles. She successfully improved electric vehicle battery capabilities to store more energy, enable faster charging, and enhance overall safety compared to existing market offerings. Competing in the mid-career scientist category, Dr. Nofri Yenita Dahlan, from Malaysia, is recognized for her remarkable work on the development of a virtual power plant utilizing artificial intelligence. This innovative project is managed through a cloud-based energy system and is dedicated to generating environmentally friendly and cost-efficient renewable energy.

“Congratulations to all the winners,” said ASEAN COSTI Chair, Ir. Mohammad Nazri Mohammad Yusof. “We are very proud that the Science Prize for Women, now in its ninth year, continues to showcase these remarkable ASEAN women scientists, who play a key role in the safe adoption and use of electrification to transform not only their own communities but the larger ASEAN societies while reducing the impacts of climate change.”

“At ULRI, we are proud that this year’s prize marks nine years of recognizing the contributions of women scientists in the ASEAN region and funding grants that help them continue enriching their areas of research,” said Dr. Judy Jeevarajan, Vice President and Executive Director for ULRI’s Electrochemical Safety Research Institute (ESRI). “For 2023, the prize focuses on electrification, which can be used to advance renewable energy, leading to a sustainable and circular economy. We commend these amazing women for their work that benefits their region and the global community.”

“The United States, alongside ASEAN COSTI and UL Research Institutes, proudly applauds this year’s winners. They are all exceptional scientists whose groundbreaking innovations create efficient electric-powered technologies that advance ASEAN’s energy goals, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and support economic resilience,” Yohannes A. Abraham, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN said. “Through support from USAID, the United States is proud to empower women in the ASEAN region working in science.”

Organized as an annual initiative driven by the collaborative efforts of ASEAN COSTI, USAID, and UL Research Institutes – a U.S.-based nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing public safety through scientific discovery, the Science Prize for Women recognizes the professional achievements by women in science to leverage success and expand research endeavors, as well as inspire future women scientists across the ASEAN region. Close to 400 participants from all 10 ASEAN member states have taken part in the competition since 2014.


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For additional information, contact USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) ASEAN Office Communications Specialist, Samara Sanders at  jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov.  Detailed information on the competition can be found at: http://scienceprize4women.asean.org.



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) brings together Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in a community united by a common desire and collective will to live in a region of lasting peace, security, stability, sustained economic growth, shared prosperity, and social progress that promotes member states’ vital interests, ideals, and aspirations.



As part of the U.S. strategic approach to the Indo-Pacific, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) works to promote and demonstrate democratic values and advance a free, open, resilient, connected, prosperous, and secure world through international development programs and humanitarian assistance. USAID partners with ASEAN to mitigate regional challenges, improve economic growth and integration, and strengthen rule of law to shape policies that influence national sectoral approaches. Learn more at USAID ASEAN https://asean.usmission.gov/usaidasean/


About UL Research Institutes

UL Research Institutes is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing public safety through scientific discovery. Since 1894, our research has advanced our mission toward a safer, more secure, and sustainable future. Focused on global risks from fire mitigation and air quality to safe energy storage and digital privacy, we conduct rigorous independent research, analyze safety data and partner with experts to uncover and act on existing and emerging risks to human safety. Discover more at UL.org.