Outstanding Science Alumni Awards 2005
SIM Keng Yeow
BSc 1959, BSc(Hons) 1960, MSc 1961
Head, Department of Chemistry (1988--97)
President, Singapore National Institute of Chemistry (1975--78, 1992--96)
 
SIM Keng Yeow obtained his BSc(Hons) degree in 1960 and MSc degree in 1961 from University of Malaya. Dr SIM obtained his PhD in 1964 at the University of London.
 
Thereafter, Dr SIM returned to join the Department of Chemistry of the University of Singapore as a lecturer in 1964, before being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1971 and to Associate Professor in 1977. He was appointed as Acting Head in 1988 and assumed formal headship from 1995 to 1996. He retired in 1997 and had been working part-time as an Associate Professorial Fellow until 2003. During his immense contribution as head, the Department achieved a status as a top and highly respected research entity not only in comparison with departments of chemistry in Asian universities but also in the world. He has contributed 2 US Patents and over 150 publications/conference papers, 108 of which are published in international refereed journals.
 
Dr SIM also took an active interest in the professional activities of chemistry throughout his academic career. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (RIC) (precursor of the present Royal Society of Chemistry, London) in 1972 and served in various capacities in the Singapore Section of the RIC. He was the president of this society and worked towards its voluntary dissolution in March 1973 so that the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry (SNIC), founded in 1970, could be the sole professional chemical body representing chemists in Singapore. He was elected as a Fellow of SNIC in 1973 and has served in various SNIC councils including the presidency during the periods 1975-1978 and 1992-1996. He was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee that organized the Asian and Pacific Chemistry Congress in 1981 hosted by SNIC. He also served as the Vice-President of the Singapore National Academy of Science in 1977. He represented SNIC at the Inaugural Meeting in Bangkok which led to the formation of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS) in 1979 of which SNIC is a founder member. He was the FACS Treasurer (1983--1989) and Secretary General (1985--87) and was conferred the FACS Citation Award in 1995 for his contributions to the development of chemistry in Asia.
 
SNIC conferred an Honorary Fellowship on Professor SIM in 2000 for his scholarship in natural products chemistry research, his leadership of the Department of Chemistry during a critical period of its history, and his immeasurable contributions to the Institute and other chemistry activities in Singapore and beyond.
 
"Knowledge speaks; Wisdom listens."