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IMRE Scientist Clinches the 5th ASEAN-ROK Award for Excellence in Science, Technology and Innovation

Next ASEAN Innovator - Dr Tony Ha
Dr Tony Ha Son Tung, a principal investigator and deputy head of the Advanced Optical Technologies department at A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), has been awarded the prestigious 5th ASEAN-ROK Award for Excellence in Science, Technology, and Innovation. This accolade, bestowed by the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology in the category of 'Next ASEAN Innovator', is a testament to his significant contributions to the field of science, technology, and innovation (STI), particularly in the realm of metamaterials and their myriad applications.

Originating from Vietnam, Dr Ha is an alumnus of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore where he completed his Ph.D in Applied Physics in 2018. His educational journey also includes a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the esteemed Korea Advanced Institute of Sciences and Technologies (KAIST). 

At A*STAR's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), Dr Ha leads the Novel Light Source (NLS) team, a group dedicated to studying metamaterials and their applications in functional light-emitting devices, optical sensors, and nanolasers. Their research interests also extend to strongly coupled light-matter interactions such as exciton-polariton systems and optical manipulations of single photon emitters for quantum optics.

Dr Ha's illustrious career in research is demonstrated by the publication of more than 40 scientific articles and international patents, with a total citation count exceeding 4,000 and an H-index of 21. His exceptional research has been featured and lauded in top-tier scientific publications, including Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Photonics, and Advanced Materials.

The ASEAN-ROK Award is an annual recognition given by the government of the Republic of Korea in collaboration with the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The award aims to encourage young scientists to actively contribute to research in STI, with a focus on promoting socio-economic development. Winners of this award are presented with a cash prize of USD12,000 by Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT during a ceremony in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and will also participate in a week-long training program.

Dr Ha's win in this rigorous competition is a testament to his dedication, innovative thinking and impactful contributions to the realm of science and technology. The future undoubtedly holds more exciting prospects for Dr Ha and his team. Congratulations, Dr Ha, on your well-deserved award!