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Intel ISEF 2015

Pittsburgh, Pennysylvania, United States
10-15 May 2015


Intel ISEF is one of the most prestigious science research competitions and fairs internationally. This year, close to 2000 finalists from more than 75 countries, regions and territories took part. In all, Intel ISEF saw more than 1700 projects submitted. There are 20 scientific categories in Intel ISEF 2015 and within each category, the Best of Category, First, Second, Third and Fourth awards are given out. Further to that, two finalists from amongst the 20 winners of the Best of Category will be awarded the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards. These finalists are selected for their commitment to innovation in tackling challenging scientific questions, using authentic research practices, and creating solutions to the problems of tomorrow. Special Awards sponsored by various organizations are also given out in recognition for the science and engineering innovations in projects.

The Singapore team submitted four individual projects and two team projects this year.

Details of projects

Student(s)

Project Description

Lee Shi Ya Claudia
(Individual)
IP Year 6
Raffles Institution
Project title – Metal-free “click” chemistry for the development of peptide-based biomaterials
Category – Chemistry: Organic Chemistry

Metal-free “click” chemistry was used as a novel way to develop the hydrogels that were sensitive to the human body temperature. These hydrogels could be used for drug delivery that will greatly enhance the patient experience and reduce discomfort. Claudia did her project under the supervision of Dr Michael Reithofer and Dr Charlotte Hauser from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), A*STAR.

Tommy Ong Zhi Xian
(Individual)
IP Year 6
Raffles Institution
Project title – Development and Optimization of Novel Amine-based Antimicrobial Cationic Polymers
Category – Microbiology: Antimicrobials and Antibiotics

The project seeks to develop low-cost cationic polymers that have antimicrobial properties. These polymers can be used as coatings on surfaces in hospitals and have the potential in applications that combat drug-resistant bacteria. Tommy conducted his research under the mentorship of Dr Majad Khan from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), A*STAR.

Joel Tan Shi Quan
(Individual)
Year 6
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
Project title – Physical analysis of the rotating saddle trap – the mechanical analogue of the quadrupole ion trap
Category – Physics and Astronomy: Mechanics,

The project investigated the predictive power and limitations of the rotating saddle trap as an analogy of the quadruple ion trap that had applications in mass spectrometry. Joel did his research under the supervision of Dr Yeo Ye from the Department of Physics, National University of Singapore (NUS).

Ching Yi Jie Preston
(individual)
IP Year 6
National Junior College
Project title – Ultrafast and Green Design of Luminescent Nanoclusters for Photodynamic Therapy
Category – Biomedical and Health Sciences: Disease Treatment

Preston found an environmentally friendly and efficient way of developing metal nanoclusters that could be used in a more targeted and less invasive approach in the treatment of cancer. The discovery of this approach has the potential to revolutionise cancer treatment. Preston submitted his project in the category, and was supervised by Dr Yu Yong from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), A*STAR. 

Benjamin Tan Kye Jyn, Lim Zheng Theng, Tan Yi Zhao
(Team)
IP Year 5
Hwa Chong Institution
Project title – Synthesis of Electrospun Nanosilver-Functionalized Nylon 6 Nanofibres for Membrane Water Purification
Category – Environmental Engineering: Water Resources Management

The team found a novel way of embedding silver nanoparticles that had anti-bacterial properties in membranes that were used in desalination and water reclamation plants. Their membranes make the water purification process more affordable and efficient, potentially leading to immense cost savings for the water industry. The team conducted their research under the supervision of their school teacher, Mrs Sow Yoke Keow from Hwa Chong Institution.

Madhumitha Shridharan, Ren Yuhua
(Team)
Year 6
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
Project title – Wearable LED Illumination for Skin Sensitivity Calibration
Category – Computational Biology and Bioinformatics: Biomedical Engineering

The team developed a method that significantly reduced energy consumption and improved patient comfort to administer a patch test for patients with skin problems. This could potentially lead to substantial cost savings in hospitals by freeing up treatment rooms for other purposes. They were mentored by Professor Chua Soo Jin from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS).

Benjamin Tan Kye Jyn, Lim Zheng Theng and Tan Yi Zhao from Hwa Chong Institution found a novel way of embedding silver nanoparticles into membranes used in water purification processes and won the 2nd Award with a cash prize of USD1500 in the category of Environmental Engineering. Additionally, for their innovation in membrane technology, they were also awarded the Second Life Science Award that came with a cash prize of USD1000 from Sigma Xi in the Special Awards Segment.

Lee Shi Ya Claudia from Raffles Institution studied how the use of peptide-derived hydrogels could be injected into the body for the consistent release of drugs over a specific period of time. For her new method of producing hydrogels, she was awarded the 4th Award that came with a cash prize of USD500 in the category of Chemistry. Claudia reflected that she valued “the experience of having discussion and exchanging ideas with the judges”. She feels that science and engineering research is very much dependent on the effective exchange of ideas and meaningful collaborations for new insights to be achieved.

In their team project, Madhumitha Shridharan and Ren Yuhua from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science developed a method that significantly reduced energy consumption and improved patient comfort to administer a patch test for patients with skin problems. For their innovation, they were awarded the Special Award given by the China Association for Science and Technology that came with a cash prize of USD1200.  


From left:

  1. Lim Zheng Theng (Hwa Chong Institution)
  2. Benjamin Tan Kye Jyn (Hwa Chong Institution)
  3. Tan Yi Zhao (Hwa Chong Institution)
  4. Joel Tan Shi Quan (NUS High School of Mathematics and Science)
  5. Ren Yuhua (NUS High School of Mathematics and Science)
  6. Ching Yi Jie Preston (National Junior College)
  7. Tommy Ong Zhi Xian (Raffles Institution)
  8. Lee Shi Ya Claudia (Raffles Institution)
  9. Madhumitha Shridharan (NUS High School of Mathematics and Science)


Team from Hwa Chong Insitution explaining their project to a visitor (2nd Award in category and Second Life Science Award by Sigma Xi)


Lee Shi Ya Claudia sharing her project with a visitor (4th Award in category)


Team from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science with their prototype (Special Award given by China Association for Science and Technology)

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