➳ Answer to Global Challenges - Sustainability ➳

ASEAN Emerging Researchers Conference 2019 (UK)

Date : Saturday, 6th July 2019

Time : 8:30 am - 6.00 pm

Venue : Hilton Cambridge City Centre, United Kingdom

Conference Dinner

Date : Saturday, 6th July 2019

Time : 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue : Hilton Cambridge City Centre, United Kingdom

↮ ASEAN ERC 2019 (UK) Theme ↮

The theme for ASEAN ERC 2019 (UK) centres around the concept of sustainability which has garnered global discourse as a necessity in our fast developing world. Despite its all-encompassing meaning of ‘the quality in the ability to continue over a period of time’, sustainability however is often misconstrued as being limited to environmental elements and initiatives.

This conference posits that sustainability in its true form involves synergy in various aspects impacting one’s life and ultimately ecological continuity, including science, technology, economy, health, and social circumstances. This requires integrative efforts of not only researchers from multiple disciplines, but the capital and support from non-academic and stakeholders such as government, industry and the public.

We are challenging the status quo. We aim to re-educate, re-assess and/or re-align especially amongst the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on our understanding of, and our role towards sustainable global development and future.

↮ Missions & Goals ↮

The mission is to create multidisciplinary synergies and discourse amongst emerging research experts in the Southeast Asia region and the United Kingdom in their contribution towards ASEAN and the global development.

  • Act as a focal platform for the ASEAN research network, government, corporate organisations and academic and/or research institutions in both regions

  • Establish a platform for researchers to share their work and ideas with a diverse audience, including senior academics, government representatives, and business leaders

  • Foster an environment that encourages and facilitates transdisciplinary, multi-country collaborations and initiatives

↮ Why should you participate? ↮

The ASEAN ERC provides an opportunity for:

Researchers to:

  • Share their research work in a robust academic environment that appreciates context, resource constraints and local significance
  • Gain insights into the latest developments and directions in research
  • Enhance their national and international networks with greater relevance to ASEAN
  • Participate in the shaping of the future of ASEAN research

Government, policy-making, industry and public stakeholders to:

  • Capture a snapshot of research activity and progress by the ASEAN research community and the ASEAN diaspora
  • Develop strategic partnership with established and emerging researchers in the ASEAN region and the United Kingdom and from the diaspora for immediate and future collaborations
  • Promote greater quadruple helix collaboration (civil society-academic-industry-business) in creating new business and social development opportunities in the ASEAN region and the United Kingdom

↮ Who should participate? ↮

The ASEAN ERC is an inclusive conference which recognises that national, regional and global challenges can best be addressed through interdisciplinary collaboration. We welcome:

  • ASEAN researchers from the United Kingdom and around the world especially early- and mid-career researchers
  • All researchers from the ASEAN region
  • Researchers who have expertise and interest in the ASEAN region
  • Postgraduate (MSc, PhD, etc.) students,
  • Undergraduate students who are interested in research/academia
  • Industry partners
  • Government officials and policy stakeholders
  • Media practitioners
  • Non-governmental organisations

↮ Registration ↮

Important Deadlines

  • Early bird tickets for Registration : 30th April 2019


Registration Fees

Lunch is included for all the categories.

  • Ticket Attendance (Early bird) - £ 30.00

  • Ticket Attendance + Dinner (Early bird) - £ 45.00

  • Ticket Attendance (Standard) - £ 40.00

  • Ticket Attendance + Dinner (Standard) - £ 55.00

↮ Abstract Submission ↮

The organising committee is pleased to invite abstract proposals for oral presentations and 3-minute thesis competition that highlights the importance and contribution of basic science, applied and policy-related research towards sustainability. If you wish to present your work at the conference, please fill in this abstract submission template and email the completed form (Microsoft Word format, not PDF) to abstracts-uk@asean-erc.com using the email address you used to register for this conference. A brief set of guidance notes has also been included in the template.

The abstract should be intended to allow delegates from different backgrounds to gain an appreciation of your work. Abstracts have to be submitted by the 20th May 2019. Only abstracts that are submitted by this deadline will be considered for (i) oral OR (ii) oral and 3-minutes thesis competition. We encourage abstract submissions by 20th April 2019. Abstracts received by this date will receive confirmation of acceptance by 27th April 2019. The presenting author of an accepted abstract should register and complete full payment by 30th April 2019* to take advantage of early bird tickets for the conference. Abstracts received after 20th April 2019 will receive confirmation of acceptance on a rolling basis.

*Please note that registration is required in order to be included in the programme.


The format of the conference will be as such:

  • Keynote lecture

  • Panel discussions

  • Oral presentations

  • 3-min thesis competition

The tentative programme details will be announced in due course.


↮ Presentation Themes ↮

The ASEAN ERC is designed to be an interdisciplinary research conference that encourages the diversity of various domains of knowledge and research to converge through the lens of ASEAN perspective. We look forward to showcasing your research progress and achievements while bridging challenges and creating opportunities for enhancement and new ideas through synergistic collaborative strategies. We encourage the following research themes (but not limited to):


  • Food security and clean water
  • Affordable and clean energy, energy security, resource security
  • Circular economy, responsible production/consumption
  • Climate change
  • Conservation, biodiversity
  • Life on land/below water
  • Sanitation


  • Health information and systems
  • Health systems, services and policy
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Medical technology
  • Biomedical science and advancement


  • Social mobility, technology
  • Circular economy, responsible production/consumption
  • Sustainable cities, urbanisation


  • Language
  • Arts and culture
  • Education
  • Human talent
  • Gender
  • Law, human rights
  • Inequality, discrimination


  • Poverty, inclusion
  • Financial and monetary systems/policies
  • Investments, capital markets, crowdfunding
  • Governance and institutions, corruption, transparency and accountability
  • Trade and commerce
  • Peace, justice
  • Policy (outside of other categories)


  • Augmented reality, virtual reality
  • Industry 4.0, advanced materials, emerging technology
  • Digital, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics
  • Digital consumption
  • Advanced manufacturing, additive manufacturing
  • Industry, management, innovation, business models
  • Innovation in private or public sector, regulatory innovation/sandboxing
  • Future of work, workforce, gig economy and labour policies
  • Social media, data use, protection and privacy


↮ Invited Speakers ↮

Speakers will be annouced in due course.

↮ Venue ↮

Hilton Cambridge City Centre, 20 Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3DT


Schedule will be annouced in due course.





Ainul Nadhirah Hanafiah

Currently a postdoctoral researcher at Institute for Health and Human Development, Ainul is committed to making the world a better place. She has concluded a review on the Malaysian mental health policy as her PhD at University of Cambridge and is now involved in research related to ethics in humanitarian crisis as well as equitable antenatal care and health within the NHS. Ainul hopes to continue her mental health work in Malaysia.


Programme Coordinator

Khong Yin Jou

Yin Jou is a 3rd year Engineering PhD student studying semiconductor materials in Electronic Devices & Materials group. He is currently funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake research on utilising metal oxides to produce novel thin-film devices for applications in large-area electronics, sensors and ubiquitous electronics.


Sponsorship Co-Manager

Toh Qin Kane

Kane is a 2nd year Genetics PhD student in the Department of Genetics, and he is funded by the Cambridge International Scholarship. He is studying the mechanisms underpinning cell-state transitions in developmental biology by adopting a dynamical systems approach, which sees development as the dynamic unfolding of potentialities, and life as more than just its material constituents.


Sponsorship Co-Manager

Samsurin Welch

Samsurin is a PhD Candidate in Strategy at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. His research area is the emergence of disruptive digital innovations and the impact on industries and society, with a specific focus on blockchain or distributed ledger technologies. Prior to starting his doctorate, he spent over 13 years in PETRONAS, the national oil & gas company of Malaysia, previously heading their digital innovation and strategy practice.



Tan Suk Fun

Suk Fun is passionate about science and research that related to medicinal chemistry, especially in the field of drug discovery. She has earned her BSc in Chemistry from Imperial College London. She is currently working on a research project to discover novel inhibitors for Mycobacterium tuberculosis that causes tuberculosis in human as part of her MPhil in Chemistry at University of Cambridge.


Publicity Manager

Cheng Tuck Seng

Tuck Seng is a PhD student in the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge. His research interest is to identify potential modifiable factors during child growth to prevent the development of metabolic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in later life. He has been involved in birth cohort studies in Singapore and Hong Kong and is currently working on birth cohort studies in the UK. To date, he has accumulated 12 peer-reviewed publications as the lead author or co-first author in international journals.


Database Manager

Adriel Wong

PhD student in Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge, Adriel is passionate about advanced engineering alloys. Currently, his research involves providing a better understanding of phase stability in steels for bearings. He aspires to develop high performance alloys for structural applications, with a particular interest for aerospace and automotive industries. Inspired by his mentors, he wants to help raise the next generation of material engineers and scientists.



Lee Wen Yao

Wen Yao is a final year Engineering PhD student studying the aerodynamics of jet engines. Before pursuing his PhD, he worked as a system designer in the Future Programmes & Strategy team of Rolls-Royce plc. He is currently working on design methods for high pressure turbine blades and passionate about aviation, propulsion, energy and sustainability.

↮ Co-organiser ↮

Sunway Group

Co-organiser Profile



Established in 1974, Sunway Group is one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates with core interests in real estate, construction, education and healthcare. We are a 16,000-strong team operating in 50 locations worldwide, working together to improve the quality of life of our communities through 12 business divisions including property, construction, retail, hospitality, leisure, healthcare, education, trading and manufacturing, building materials, and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

Sunway believes that sustainability is the key to building enduring communities. Our unique Build-Own-Operate business model powers the growth of the sustainable communities, integrated developments and townships of Sunway City in Selangor, Sunway City Ipoh, Sunway Penang and Sunway Iskandar in Johor, which collectively span across more than 5,000 acres.

Our three public-listed companies – Sunway Berhad, Sunway Construction, and Sunway REIT, with a combined market capitalisation of approximately RM15 billion – form a real-estate value chain that exemplifies socially responsible business practices, evidenced by their inclusion in the FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Index.

At Sunway, we are committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and continue to align our business strategies to meet the needs of our communities in line with the SDG agenda. The Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, established at Sunway University in 2016, serves as a hub for the education and advancement of sustainability across Southeast Asia. The Center is the first of its kind in Asia. Through the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, we provide disadvantaged and deserving young adults access to quality education by disbursing scholarships exceeding RM402 million as of 2018.

For more than four decades now, sustainability and social responsibility (SR) form an integral part of our business framework as we expand our presence worldwide and work towards a sustainable future. We actively engage our stakeholders and the communities we serve through initiatives that create a positive and far-reaching impact on the nation and humankind. In all that we do, we are driven by our core values of Integrity, Humility, and Excellence.


↮ History ↮

The ASEAN ERC emerges from the synergy between two initiatives at the University of Cambridge; the Malaysia-Singapore Research Conference (MSRC) and the Cambridge University Southeast Asian Conference (CUSEAC). The MSRC is an annual conference that was founded in 2016 by a group of postgraduate students who envisioned a platform that celebrates the diversity of research that transcends fields of academic interest, nationalities and experience. Similarly, CUSEAC was an initiative in 2017 that brought Southeast Asian students at the University of Cambridge together for workshops that stimulated discussions that aimed at developing strategies to address issues faced by communities in ASEAN.

Early in 2018, discussions between the Senior Executive Director of Sunway University, Dr. Elizabeth Lee Fuh Yen (a Wolfson alumna), President of Wolfson College, Cambridge, Prof. Jane Clarke and MSRC founder and former Graduate Representative of Cambridge University Malaysia Society, Lee Wen Yao led to the agreement to create a platform to encourage greater sharing of research ideas. Subsequently, strategic partnership with the University of Cambridge alumni, various local and regional stakeholders led to the crystallisation of the ASEAN ERC. With our strong collaboration with the Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia, we hope to ensure that this conference will stimulate strategic interdisciplinary research that address the needs of the ASEAN region. In recognition of this, the ASEAN Young Scientist Network, the official platform for the young scientists of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) recognises ASEAN ERC as an official flagship programme for the region.