Malaysian student wins 2007 Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition

13 Aug 2007

A materials engineering student from Malaysia has won the international Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition (YPWLC), held in Singapore on Wednesday 8 August. The competition saw seven contestants from as far a field as the USA, UK and Brunei compete in the annual contest organised by IOM3 and its affiliate, the Institute of Materials, East Asia.

Nanyang Technological University was the venue for the materials scientists and engineers, all under 35, to deliver a short presentation and answer questions from judges. With the continued support of Rolls-Royce plc the event had a truly global feel - the 2007 contest is the first that has been hosted abroad.

Mary Donnabelle I Balela, currently studying for a Master’s at the Universiti Sains Malaysia, took first place for her insightful presentation on cobalt nanoparticles. Looking at their synthesis, properties and applications, she explored superparamagnetism and discussed the biomedical and magnetic recording applications of these fascinating materials.

Runners up

Second place went to Ricky Chua Kee Sze, representing Singapore, for his presentation on polymer electronic materials, examining charge-trapping and a novel nano-templating approach to controllable nano-column electrodes. A well-delivered presentation on electrochemical implantable sensors by Martin McMullan secured Ireland third place.

The YPWLC also involved winners of national competitions in the USA and UK, Brunei and Hong Kong. The competition promotes the field of materials science and actively engages with young researchers to provide an opportunity for them to enhance their communication and presentation skills.

Notes for editors

The Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition is an initiative of the Institute’s Younger Members’ Committee, and is a development of the Institute’s UK Young Persons’ Lecture Competition. A quarter of the Institute’s 22,000 members reside outside the UK, and the global competition is a means of involving non-UK younger members in such an event.

Full details of the WLC competitors and abstracts of their presentations are available at

Rolls-Royce plc is a world-provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air. It operates in four global markets – civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine, and energy, and has established strong positions within programmes that will shape the power-systems market for many years to come.