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  Meng Ying receiving the MRS Graduate   Student Award in Boston
On 3 December 2003, one of SMA’s students, Meng Ying was awarded the MRS (Materials Research Society) Graduate Student Award in Boston. This award honours students whose academic achievements and research display a high level of excellence and distinction. This award is truly encouraging as it not only recognises the student’s efforts and abilities in materials research but also epitomises SMA’s unrelenting support for significant future achievement in research. Graduate students from top universities in the world such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton and MIT were also among the recipients of this prestigious award.

“ Winning this award also means that I have to work harder in my research. I always believe that getting an ‘A’ is easy, but keeping it is difficult. Although I am grateful for this award, winning awards is not my ultimate goal. As a research scientist, I look forward to making breakthroughs and creating an impact in my research field - energy storage and conversion.”

Meng Ying would like to thank her thesis advisors Professors Gerbrand Ceder (MIT) and Li Yi (NUS) for their invaluable support
and encouragement. She felt that winning this award would have been impossible without their guidance and advice. She would also like to thank her colleagues in the Scientific Computational Research and Analysis of Materials group at MIT who have helped and inspired her in many ways. “I am truly thankful to SMA for their financial and administrative support as well as providing me with the opportunity for participating in an award-winning project.”

The X-factor here is the international collaborations which SMA has successfully established over the years. With global collaboration, we are able to synergise resources and expertise to achieve our research goals.

“SMA’s excellent learning and research environment was one of my main reasons for joining its research programme in July

2000 in my pursuit of a career in academia. Conducting research in SMA is dynamic, efficient and fast-paced. New ideas are formed through discussions and meetings with advisors and colleagues around the world. The advanced classes and training courses at MIT provide fresh insights and relevant expertise for my research. I am confident and ready for greater challenges in life after my four-year training in SMA. I strongly recommend the SMA research programme to students who seek challenges in higher learning, opportunities in cutting-edge research and a stimulating experience in MIT.”

Meng Ying is now working on designing new materials for energy storage and conversion, such as rechargeable lithium batteries. Due to the ever-increasing energy demand, her research area is active and fast-changing. From portable electronics to hybrid electric vehicles, energy IS the driving force. Major technology breakthroughs are needed to store and convert energy more efficiently and in environmentally-friendly ways. Her thesis topic, “Combining ab initio computation with experiments to design new materials for advanced lithium ion batteries” is the third project she has embarked on since joining SMA. As a materials scientist, Meng Ying strongly believes that such direct integration of computation methods with experimental research holds promise for significantly shortening the development cycle of materials of various applications.

Meng Ying performing an X-ray Absorption
Spectroscopy experiment on the battery material that was synthesised
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