Speaker 2021

Keynote Speaker I


Prof. Shaowei Chen

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA

Talk Title: Carbon-Supported Single Atom Catalysts for Electrochemcial Energy Technologies

Abstract:Metal atoms atomically dispersed in a select supporting matrix have emerged as effective catalysts towards a range of important reactions in varied electrochemical energy technologies (e.g., fuel cells, metal air batteries, water splitting, etc), where the activity is largely ascribed to the coordination structure of the metal centers. In this presentation, we will highlight some recent progress in the development of such single atom catalysts (SACs) towards hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). For instance, Ru SACs can be readily prepared by controlled pyrolysis of a melamine-formaldehyde polymer mixed with RuCl3, and exhibit a remarkable HER activity in alkaline media that is even better than that of commercial Pt/C. This is accounted for by the formation of RuCxNy coordination moieties, with RuC2N2 being the optimal structure. Fe SACs can be prepared in a similar fashion and used for ORR electrocatalysis, due to the formation of FeNx coordination moieties. The performance can be further enhanced by the incorporation of a second metal center (e.g., Co), where the Fe-Co interaction is key to the manipulation of the adsorption of oxygen intermediates. SACs can also be prepared by wet impregnation of nitrogen-doped carbon in select metal salts, where the surface enrichment of the metal centers leads to a significant improvement of the mass activity. In these studies, unambiguous determination of the atomic configurations of the metal centers plays a critical role in unraveling the mechanistic origin, in conjunction with results from theoretical studies.

Bio.: Shaowei Chen finished his undergraduate study in China in 1991 with a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China, and then went to Cornell University receiving his MS and Ph.D. degrees in 1993 and 1996, respectively. Following a postdoctoral appointment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he started his independent career at Southern Illinois University in 1998. In summer 2004, he moved to the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is currently a Professor of Chemistry and the Faculty Director of the UCSC COSMOS program. He can be reached at shaowei@ucsc.edu.

Keynote Speaker II


Professor Seeram Ramakrishna

The National University of Singapore, Singapore

Talk Title: Future of Materials Science and Engineering?

Abstract: Materials advancements symbolize human civilizations as well as enable human progress.  COVID19 pandemic demonstrated a clear evidence that the current model of modern living and economic activities are polluting biosphere of Earth and affecting human health, and thus compromising the sustainability of future generations (https://sustainabilitycommunity.springernature.com/badges/266-contributor/posts/looking-through-the-covid-19-lens-for-a-sustainable-new-modern-society). Sustainable future is to be ensured by building a new-modern society wherein the economic growth is decarbonized (https://doi.org/10.1080/07373937.2020.1758492).  What this means to the future of materials science & engineering? Materials must be researched and innovated with end-of-life considerations and low-carbon or de-carbonization of raw materials, manufacturing processes and products use.  Another clear message that emerged from the COVID19 pandemic is the entrenchment of digital technologies in all aspects of human living and economy. Digitization of products and services or industry 4.0 (http://www.standardsi40.sg/) is the new normal. To support such advancements, the materials need to be further advanced to enable them to be intelligent.   In simple terms an intelligent material may be defined as a material which comprehends experiences, self-aware and responds purposefully. To be more specific, an intelligent material is capable of processing external signals as well as internally generated signals to make a choice and act accordingly. And the scale of intelligence of a material to be rated from a rudimentary level to the highest level comparable to the intelligence of human neural networks.  Henceforth, it is necessary to advance sub-atomic, atomic, nano-, micro- and macro-scale physics, chemistry and information scientific knowledge to develop intelligent materials. Innovations are necessary to harness, transfer, and scale observed new phenomenon from the smaller scales i.e. sub-atomic and atomic scales to higher scales i.e. micro- and macro- length scales. New mechanisms and approaches are necessary for materials to be low carbon as well as intelligent. This lecture projects the future of materials science and engineering in terms of two interrelated major directions namely a) sustainable, low carbon materials and b) intelligent materials.

Bio: Professor Seeram Ramakrishna, FREng is the Chair of Circular Economy Taskforce at the National University of Singapore (NUS).  Microsoft Academic ranked him among the top 36 salient authors out of three million materials researchers worldwide (https://academic.microsoft.com/authors/192562407).  He is a member of Enterprise Singapore’s and International Standards Organization’s Committees on ISO/TC323 Circular Economy and Circularity.  He is a committee member of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (http://www.smfederation.org.sg) and the Institution of Engineers Singapore.  He is an advisor to the National Environmental Agency’s CESS events (https://www.cleanenvirosummit.sg/programme/speakers/professor-seeram-ramakrishnahttps://bit.ly/catalyst2019videohttps://youtube.com/watch?v=ptSh_1Bgl1g). He is the Editor-in-Chief of Springer NATURE Journal Materials Circular Economy-Sustainability (https://www.springer.com/journal/42824).  He teaches ME6501 Materials and Sustainability module (https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/circular-economy-sustainability-and-business-opportunities/). He also mentors Integrated Sustainable Design ISD5102 course projects on reimagining and enhancing the circularity of Industrial Estates.  He is an opinion contributor to the Springer Nature Sustainability Community (https://sustainabilitycommunity.springernature.com/users/98825-seeram-ramakrishna/posts/looking-through-covid-19-lens-for-a-sustainable-new-modern-society). He is an Impact Speaker at the University of Toronto, Canada’s Low Carbon Renewable Materials Center (http://www.lcrmc.com/#). He is a judge for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Initiative for the Global Prosperity (https://www.facebook.com/Make4Prosperity/videos/innovation-inclusive-trade/479503539339143/).  He is an advisor to the Singapore company TRIA (www.triabio24.com) which specializes in zero-waste packaging via biodegradable plastics.  He is named among the World’s Most Influential Minds (Thomson Reuters), and the Top 1% Highly Cited Researchers (Clarivate Analytics) (https://scholar.google.com.sg/citations?hl=en&user=a49NVmkAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate). He is appointed as the Honorary Everest Chair of MBUST, Nepal.  His senior academic leadership roles include NUS University Vice-President (Research Strategy); Dean of NUS Faculty of Engineering; and Director of NUS Enterprise.  He is an elected Fellow of UK Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng); Singapore Academy of Engineering; Indian National Academy of Engineering; and ASEAN Academy of Engineering & Technology.  He received a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK; and The TGMP from Harvard University, USA.

Keynote Speaker III


Jang-Kyo KIM (FHKAES, FHKIE, FRSC, FRAeS, Chair Professor)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong

Talk Title: 


Bio: Prof. Kim graduated with B.Eng. in Aeronautical Engineering from Seoul National University; M.Eng.Sci. in Materials Engineering from Monash University; and Ph.D. in composite materials from Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sydney. He was an ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1992-1993), then started his faculty career at Australian National University (1993-1994) before joining the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 1994. Prof. Kim had visiting appointments with the University of Tokyo and Nanyang Technological University on a Tan Chin Tuan Exchange Fellowship (1998); and has been a Visiting Professor at the Center for Advanced Materials Technology, the University of Sydney since 2012. He is currently a Chair Professor at HKUST and directs the Finetex-HKUST R & D Center and the Advanced Engineering Materials Facilities. He served as Associate Dean of Engineering (2007-2011).

Prof. Kim’s research is focused on advanced materials, ranging from fiber-reinforced composites to nanocomposites with graphene, carbon nanotubes,  nano clay, and 2D materials, and to nanostructured materials for various energy storage applications. He has written well over 350 refereed journal papers, 12 book chapters, 15 books including three authored research monographs, and holds 12 international patents. His research team has been honored with 12 Best Paper Awards from international conferences and competitions. Currently, Prof. Kim holds editorial positions for a number of journals as Editor (Composites Part A), Associate Editor (Aerospace Science and Technology), and Editorial Board Members (Energy Storage Materials, Nanoscale Horizons, etc.). He served as the President of the Asian-Australasian Association of Composites Materials (AACM) (2008-2010); and is elected Fellows of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences (HKAES), the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE). He is a Highly Cited Researcher in Materials Science by Clarivate Analytics (Web of Science).

Keynote Speaker IV



Research Director CNRS, Director of Molecular Chemistry Department, Grenoble Alpes University, France

Talk Title: Bioelectrochemical Systems Based on Electrogenerated polymers, Carbon Nanotubes and/or Nano-objects


Bio: Dr. Serge Cosnier is head of the Department of Molecular Chemistry at the Grenoble University (France) and Member of the Academia Europaea and Member of the European Academy of Sciences His activity is focused on biosensors, conducting polymers, modified electrodes, and biofuel cells. Dr. Cosnier has authored over 370 publications (h-index 75), 3 books, and 18 book chapters and holds 25 patents.