Dr. Jerry QUEK Siu Sin|
Engineering Mechanics (EM)
Dr Jerry Quek likes to have his head up in the sky, but before you jump to any conclusions, Dr Quek is quick to point up that it was in the skies that he discovered the joys of research. It was while in my undergraduate years during my industrial attachment at DSO National Laboratories that I fell in love with research while helping the researchers there with their R&D work. I was helping them build a finite element model of a F16 fighter plane - you can imagine how exciting that was!" For Dr Quek, his industry attachment days at DSO Laboratories became a life-changing experience for him. "From the day I modelled a F16 fighter plane in DSO National Laboratories, I know numerical simulation is what I really wanted to do..."
Although military applications marked the start of his research career, Dr Quek is very much into chemicals these days. As a team member of the Multiscale Modelling group in the Computational Material Science and Engineering (CMS) programme, Dr Quek"s research interests include Computational mechanics, Dislocation dynamics, Level-set method and Quantum dot / thin film evolution.
"(In research) I would say there is no absolute success because if everything is solved or can be explained, then I will be out of a job. More so with numerical simulations as every simulation of the real physical world comes with a lot of assumptions. Perhaps success can be measured in terms of the experience one gathers during the course of research."
Indeed, Dr Quek is heartened by the many opportunities to work with various world-renowned researchers, such as Prof. David J. Srolovitz, whom he is currently in collaboration with. He cites that it is not so much the knowledge gained, but the work processes, approaches and research attitude that one can learn from people like Prof. Srolovitz that makes all the difference. "A*STAR has built a very impressive R&D infrastructure and I feel that Singapore will very soon become the meeting point for top researchers around the globe. IHPC, being part of A*STAR, therefore presents a very distinct advantage when it comes to computational research."
On a lighter note, Dr Quek has other passions in his life. He is an avid photographer who still believes in the traditional methods of developing photographic prints. "... It is to me, an outlet for my feelings and emotions... the dim, reddish light (in the darkroom); the music from the radio; the smell of the developing chemicals; and the best part, watching the image slowly appearing on the photographic paper. Nothing beats hands-on photography!"
"The other hobby which I have been hooked on to for the past 2 years is that of maintaining a marine reef aquarium at home. It is very much an exploration of the mysterious and beautiful world beneath the ocean and perhaps not known to many, there is also some very advanced technology behind maintaining an aquarium. For enthusiasts it is almost a study into these fascinating equipments that we use to keep our marine livestock healthy and thriving."
From the skies to the wonders of the ocean, Dr Quek is hoping that, one day, he will be able to go scuba diving and be swimming "in the world"s aquarium" himself. He is also planning to visit New Zealand or go sightseeing around the National Parks in the US in a caravan. But for now, Dr Quek has his hands full with taking care of his five-month old baby boy. "...And last but definitely not least, I would consider playing with my five-month old baby boy as my latest "passion"!"