JAKARTA, 10 September 2019 – The ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI), and the U.S. Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories (UL), are proud to announce the national finalists for the fifth annual ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women. The 2019 prize, which promotes research on “Circular Economy,” will be awarded to two female scientists from the ASEAN region.

Each national finalist is eligible to move to the next selection phase and represents her country in the competition for the 2019 Prize. The national finalists are (in alphabetical order by country):

Dr. Sri Suhartini from Indonesia

Dr. Phetnakhone Xaixongdeth from Lao PDR

Prof. Dr. Suriani Abu Bakar from Malaysia

Dr. Moe Thanda Kyi from Myanmar

Dr. Mary Donnabelle Balela from the Philippines

Dr. Yan Zhou from Singapore

Dr. Ngoc Lieu Le from Viet Nam

These finalists are university lecturers, associate professors, and research professionals who have worked on a variety of issues related to circular economy. These areas of focused research cover a range of disciplines within the scope of circular economy such as: biological engineering; water and sludge management; electronic, chemical, and plastic waste treatment; and management-related fields.  More information on the national finalists can be found at http://scienceprize4women.asean.org.

ASEAN COSTI Chairperson Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said, “Congratulations to all the national finalists! They represent the importance of women’s work in Southeast Asia to promote and research in expanding the circular economy. It is not only inspiring for the future generation, but their participation in this Science Prize is also a noteworthy opportunity for them to build upon their work and contribute further to the region’s society.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Tan, Vice President and Managing Director of UL ASEAN and Australia highlighted, “We continue to proudly support the ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women and would like to congratulate the national finalists. Their contribution to the region through their work in the circular economy will help everyone to responsibly use resources creating value, profits and jobs.”

On her part, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN Melissa A. Brown said, “The U.S. government congratulates all the national finalists on their outstanding work and commitment to addressing circular economy challenges. The United States is proud to join with citizens of ASEAN and the world to promote the work of female scientists in expanding linkages between the economy and the environment.”

In the next stage of the selection process, COSTI, USAID, UL, and the ASEAN Secretariat will judge the quality of the work of the national finalists and select two regional finalists who will present their research in October to determine the winner and honorable mention.