USM PENANG, 21 May 2022 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has recently recognised a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) student, Wong Yee Jie, as the first student graduating under the USM-Osaka Double Degree Programme.

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At USM, Wong is a PhD graduate in Chemical Engineering, while his PhD title at Osaka University (OU) is PhD in Engineering.


Wong, who followed the International Dual Doctorate Programme, had the chance to stay in Osaka for 2 years and USM for 2 years before completing his PhD studies.

His PhD study was about ‘Theoretical and Experimental Study on Dry Reforming of Methane Over Cobalt-Based Catalysts: Insights Into Carbon Dioxide Activation and Carbon Deposition’.

According to Wong, he was responsible for project planning, research execution, identifying and problem solving, reviewing results, data interpretation and validation, monitoring research progress and academic writing.

“I did my experimental study in USM, supervised by Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation), where I get to experience hands-on laboratory research on synthesizing catalyst, building up lab scale reactor, in addition to testing and characterising the catalyst”.

“While in Osaka University, I get to experience theoretical computational work in mathematical programming and density functional theory calculations using super computers, focusing on surface catalysis supervised by Professor Yoshitada Morikawa. Besides, I also had the chance to collaborate with Professor Jun Yoshinobu in his laboratory at the Institute for Solid State Physics at University of Tokyo,” said Wong.

He also added that the double degree programme provided him the chance for in-depth study with computational materials design on surface catalysis, as the knowledge and skills are not available in Malaysia.

“The additional value I gained from this programme is that the chance to work in different working environment, different people and to get to learn the working culture of foreigners,” he added.

Wong continued further by saying that the most important thing about studying abroad is not about the knowledge but the cultural understanding gained, which was told by one of the Japanese professors.

“The most valuable thing you can learn from being abroad is by experiencing how foreign people work, which it is important in knowing how to communicate and blend in with them,” said Wong who is currently working at S&P Global.

Wong was among the 399 PhD graduands who received their scroll from the USM Pro-Chancellor, Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Zulkefli A. Hassan in the second session of the USM 59th Convocation ceremony held here at the Dewan Tuanku Syed Putra (DTSP) this morning.  

     Facts on Wong Yee Jie:

  • USM-Osaka Double Degree Programme
  • USM side supervisor:  Professor Dato' Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed
  • Osaka University side supervisor:  Professor Yoshitada Morikawa
  • Title of PhD:  Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering (USM), Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (Osaka University)
  • Commencement date: 13 September 2017 (USM), 1 October 2018 (Osaka University)
  • Completion date: 25 November 2021 (USM), 31 December 2021 (Osaka University)
  • Main output/outcomes from PhD: 2 theses (for OU and USM), 4 publications as main author, 2 publications as co-author, 7 conferences

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa



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