Scholars of A*STAR: Dr Dan Daniel, IMRE
The A*STAR Graduate Academy provides scholarships and fellowships to enable young aspiring scientific talent to pursue their passion in science, and prepare them for a rewarding career in R&D.
Meet our scholars and find out how an A*STAR scholarship has helped them along their research and development journey.
Dr Dan Daniel, Staff Scientist, A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
Q: What inspired you to pursue this field of research?
A: My field of research is in the physics of droplets - how the droplets are formed, and their interaction with light and surfaces. I was initially attracted to the visual attractiveness and aesthetic qualities of this subject. Think of how a rainbow
is formed when the raindrops split sunlight into its colours. As I dived deeper into this subject, I started to appreciate the richness of science and its relevance to our everyday lives.
This photo, titled “Nature's Raincoat in Monochrome”, depicts the water droplets rolling on the vibrant blue wings of a Morpho butterfly. Dr Dan Daniel was one of the finalists in the Beautiful Science Competition, with this photo highlighting his strong interest in the physics of droplets.
For example, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important to understand the process of droplet formation during sneezing and talking. I am also currently working with medical doctors to design better personal protective equipment, such as masks
and face shields, in which the effectiveness depends on the interaction with the droplets.
This image, captured using a high-intensity laser beam and a high-speed camera, shows the trajectory of these fast-moving droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. Watch the experiment designed to show the importance of wearing a mask to prevent the spread of viruses using these technologies.
Q: What does the A*STAR scholarship mean to you?
A: I am very grateful for the opportunities that the A*STAR scholarship has afforded me. Because of this scholarship, I can attend the best universities and work with many gifted scientists. It has been very fulfilling to be able to pursue my research
interests and contribute to the Singapore economy at the same time.
Q: If you could invent something for the betterment of the world, what would it be?
A: A universal non-stick surface that has many uses. Some of these applications may be trivial but useful, such as having a fabric that is resistant to wine or ketchup stains. Such surfaces can also save lives. Blood is known to become sticky when
in contact with medical devices and implants, such as a heart stent, resulting in clots. We could avoid many medical complications if we can prevent blood from sticking to surfaces.
The Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) aims to improve lives and capture economic value for Singapore through an innovative approach to materials research. They have built strong capabilities in materials analysis, characterisation, design and growth, patterning, fabrication, synthesis and integration, enabling discoveries and developing advanced materials that lead to new commercial products.
Keen to pursue a career in STEM? Start your journey with an A*STAR scholarship today!