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Karthik Natarajan, a Ph.D. graduate under the HPCES rogramme was given an Honourable Mention in the George Nicholson Student Paper competition at the INFORMS Annual Meeting held in Atlanta, USA in October 2003. This annual award honours up to six outstanding papers written by students in the fields of operations research and management science. The winners of this prestigious competition are generally students from top graduate schools such as MIT, Stanford, Columbia and Georgia Tech. What made winning this award particularly pleasing for Karthik was that it was the first time in thirty years that a student from an Asian school was among the prize winners. Putting SMA on this global map made it extremely satisfying for him. Details of the award are available at: http:// Prizes/ NicholsonPrize.html. An article on the award winners appeared in the OR/MS Today December 2003 issue:
informs/frinf1203nicholson .html

The paper was part of the work done for his doctorate thesis titled “ Probabilistic Combinatorial Optimisation: A Convex Programming
Approach”. The research work primarily focused on modelling the notion of uncertain and incomplete data in decision-making problems. Such problems arise in applications in finance, statistics and project management. In addition to having developed the theory and algorithms to solve such problems, it was hoped that a user-friendly software could be developed in future.

“ The key factor that contributed to my winning the award was the exposure and experience I gained from the SMA HPCES programme. Besides the extensive coursework, I had the chance to work with my supervisors, Professor Dimitris Bertsimas from MIT and Associate Professor Teo Chung Piaw from NUS. Their drive and zest for quality research greatly influenced my decision to pursue a doctorate with SMA. While they played a crucial role in honing my research interests, they also motivated me to participate in the competition. I am thankful to SMA for providing me with this opportunity to undergo a rigorous graduate programme with exposure to educational systems from two different time zones.”
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Karthik receiving a certificate at the Nicholson Student Paper Competition 2003
Zhao Jing was first admitted to the NUS as an engineering Masters student in 1999 and due to her good performance and strong academic background, she was recommended to join the SMA programme. Her Masters thesis research results on growing thin films with texture on the amorphous
substrate were a breakthrough in thin film growth area, which has vast potential applications in the MEMS (Microelectronic and Mechanical Systems) area. She has also published two papers in international journals and presented two papers at international conferences during the course of her study.

After graduating from SMA, Zhao Jing joined the Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Co. Pte. Ltd. (SSMC), a joint venture between Philips, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and the Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB), as a Senior Engineer. She participates in technology transfer and customisation projects, debugging and ramping up transferred processes in SSMC on technically challenging issues. Her work focuses mainly on less than 0.18 um technology.
Currently, she is in charge of CMOS18 Flash and EEPROM process qualification and development in SSMC, which is a promising new technology with a worldwide edge. Due to her outstanding contributions, she was presented with a recognition award in achieving the COM18 Flash PAM/RFP milestone in SSMC. This achievement has special meaning for her as currently, only SSMC can make the Flash memory chips in Singapore.

During a short span of three years, she has earned three awards from SSMC for her outstanding contributions and published two papers in authorised international journals like IRPS (IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium).
Zhao Jing’s recognition award in achieving the COM18 Flash PAM/ RFP milestone in SSMC