Education may just be a stepping stone for an individual to enter the job market to find their calling, but for Dr Mark Lim, it was a life-changing experience that opened a doorway of opportunities for him.
With a fervent passion for physics, Dr Lim started out with an aim to be an exemplary educator, and he perceived National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NIE NTU, Singapore) as an institute of distinction for educators. It was not long before he discovered how much more a learning experience in NIE NTU, Singapore, entailed. "It took me just a walk down the campus hallways to realize that NIE Singapore is not just an institute for cultivating future educators. There are students from all walks of life, from undergraduates to working professionals from various industries. During my lectures, the faculty at NIE demonstrated their engagement in cutting-edge research in their laboratories, for which I am grateful to be given opportunities to explore in various research themes, before being inspired to pursue a lifelong career in Plasma Science."
Having worked on a multi-dimensional material fabrication process using various plasma sources during his undergraduate days in NIE, Dr Lim was intrigued by the huge potential of plasma engineering in industrial applications, such as biomedical sciences, materials processing, and even space propulsion. Inclined to advance in this research topic, Dr Lim went on to enroll in the Master's programme on a part-time basis, before being offered the opportunity to convert his candidature to the PhD programme.
"It took me just a walk down the campus hallways to realize that NIE is not just an institute for cultivating future educators. There are students from all walks of life, from undergraduates to working professionals from various industries"
When asked why he chose to further his research in NIE, Dr Lim explained that NIE was a natural choice. "The large collection of expertise in the field of plasma science is simply not available in other institutes in Singapore. In addition, the access to futuristic labs and equipment provides a more conducive environment for productive research. We were also granted the flexibility to design and engineer facilities and diagnostic equipment to cater to our research directions."
Relishing the research experience in NIE, Dr Lim highlighted the opportunities to be involved in the entire spectrum of scope, from deciphering fundamental concepts, to engineering viable solutions in tackling the emerging challenges of the future, made the research work even more rewarding to him. This has benefited him in his research and development, as well as honed his acumens for entrepreneurship.
Currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aliena, a Singapore space tech company that develops novel engines for satellites, Dr Lim envisions the company to become a global leader in satellite constellation management for Earth observation, and to enable new horizons in applications for urban sustainability.
To prospective students who may be considering to pursue a postgraduate degree at NIE, Dr Lim suggested, "Go for it! I believe in lifelong learning as it is a virtue we should possess to prepare ourselves for the evolving world. The educational landscape has been gradually evolving to better equip our working professionals to help them remain competitive, relevant and employable in a globalised job market, catalyzed by disruptive digital transformation. Besides the infrastructure and facilities to accommodate learning and innovative research, NIE is also the home to many knowledgeable and reputable faculty. With learners coming together from diverse backgrounds, this creates a broad inter-disciplinary learning culture and environment to facilitate meaningful discussions."
The PhD programme in NIE can be completed in up to a maximum of five years on both full-time and part-time basis. Other than Sciences, students also have the option of pursuing research work in diverse areas of study, such as Arts and Humanities, Education, Mathematics and Physical Education.
The National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore, is an autonomous institute under the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It has been consistently ranked amongst the top 20 education institutions in the world and top 3 in Asia by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking. For more information on the range of higher degree programmes offered by NIE, please visit http://www.nie.edu.sg/gpl/hd.