Five Finalists Vie for $20,000 in the 3rd Annual ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women

JAKARTA (October 4, 2017) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the U.S. Mission to ASEAN and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories (UL), announced five finalists for the third annual ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women. The competition focuses on rapid urbanization with a lens towards health, transportation and workplace safety and retention.

ASEAN continues to look for ways to improve the safety, sustainability, and security of cities in the face of rapid urbanization and increase resilience in the face of stressors and shocks. This year’s Science Prize recognizes some extraordinary women behind those efforts.

The 2017 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women supports promising early-career women scientists in the ASEAN region and encourages collaboration between ASEAN Member States and the United States around sustainable solutions across Southeast Asia. The winner will be chosen on October 19, 2017 at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology in Burma and will receive $20,000, while the honorable mention will receive $5,000.

Following are the five finalists:


Dr. Fitriya N. Dewi of Indonesia

Dr. Dewi is the head of the Biomedical Research Program at the Primate Research Center at Bogor Agricultural University. Her research focuses on comparative medicine, women’s health and the connection between high-fat, urban diets and the risk of diseases like breast cancer.

Dr. Chong Mei Fong of Malaysia

Dr. Fong is a professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Nottingham working to improve workplace retention and safety in urban areas by increasing the efficiency of wastewater treatment sites at palm oil mills. Her research on bioreactors is being used to improve the environment surrounding palm oil sites across multiple ASEAN countries.

Dr. Lynette Cheah of Singapore

Dr. Cheah is an assistant professor of Engineering Systems and Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Dr. Cheah develops sustainable design models for mobility and transportation. She collects real world data to optimize how people and goods are moved around cities, reducing stress on congested urban areas.

Dr. Rina Patramanon of Thailand

Dr. Patramanon is an assistant professor of Biochemistry at Khon Kaen University. Dr. Patramanon develops innovative biosensors to put a stop to chronic noncommunicable diseases that are plaguing a growing urban population. Among her innovations is Youth Meter, a mobile-based platform that provides a digital health check-up with a single drop of urine.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Hiep of Vietnam

Dr. Hiep is a leading researcher and lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the International University-Vietnam, National University-Ho Chi Minh City. Her research focuses on reducing the pressure placed upon healthcare systems in increasingly urbanized centers with at-home-care health solutions.


To learn more about the finalists, follow @USMission2ASEAN and #SciencePrize on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll feature the finalists on social media leading up to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology where the winner will be announced in late October.

The ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women is one of the many U.S. initiatives in support of ASEAN and its 10 Member States. The United States partners with ASEAN to support economic integration, expand maritime cooperation, cultivate emerging leaders, promote opportunity for women, and address transnational challenges. Through USAID’s cooperation with ASEAN, the United States addresses the root causes of poverty and instability and strengthens the foundation for prosperity and security. The United States and ASEAN celebrate 40 years of partnership in 2017.