University Awards
American scientist Carl Sagan said that science is a way of thinking, much more than it is a body of knowledge. Perhaps the role of a physics don is to lead the students in a Socratic way to discern what questions are important;to listen to and patiently evaluate the answers that Nature offers. Assoc Prof Phil CHAN Aik Hui
PhD (NUS); BSc (Distinction) (University of Winnipeg)
Department of Physics
  • Astronomy and astrophysics
  • Quantum physics and relativity
  • Particle physics
  • Serves as an invited member on a national-level task force seeking to increase Singapore's pre-university student enrolment in physics
  • Chairs a committee overseeing polytechnic student admissions as well as publicity for the physics department
  • Invited by Singapore's Ministry of Education to be a reviewer of physics syllabi and textbooks
  • Chaired the Astronomy event of the 37th International Physics Olympiad in 2006 that drew 1500 students from 90 countries
  • Led two teams in building astro-observatories at NUS High School and Nanyang Polytechnic for teaching
  • Sought after by schools and tertiary institutions across Singapore to deliver talks and judge physics and astronomy competitions
  • Nurtures students to think critically and explore new ideas by posing unique and intriguing questions
  • Encourages learning beyond the classroom by organising enrichment activities such as astronomy field trips and celestial observation sessions to help students bridge theory and practice
  • Presents abstract topics in an accessible and coherent way
  • Makes physics concepts come to life through the use of multimedia and 'live' demonstrations as well as examples from everyday life
  • Published over 30 research and conference papers in leading journals such as Physics Letters B, Physical Review D and European Physical Journal C
  • Co-edited two conference proceedings – 75 years since Solvay: Conference on Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Quantum Field Theory (2008) and Conference in Honour of Murray Gell-Mann (2010)
  • Contributed articles to publications by the Institute of Physics Singapore and articles on teaching in university publications
  • Fellow, Institute of Physics, London, UK
  • Council Member and Awards Chair, Institute of Physics Singapore
  • Member, Sigma Pi Sigma, American Institute of Physics
  • Visiting Scholar, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
  • Visiting Scientist, Beijing Institute of High Energy Physics, China
  • Visiting Scientist, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy
  • NUS Annual Teaching Excellence Award (2009/8)
  • Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (2008/7, 2007/6, 2006/5); Honours Roll (2009/8)
  • Public Awareness of Physics Award, Institute of Physics, London, UK (2001)
"To teach is to learn; it is a two-way channel between teacher and student. Aristotle said it best when he referred to teaching as 'the highest form of understanding'. From the ingenuity of my students' questions and projects, I have learnt so much and am encouraged to continue piquing their interest in physics and imparting wisdom through what Nature offers."
 Honour Roll Recipients