Skip to main content


Last page update:


The APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (“ASPIRE”) is an annual award co-sponsored by Wiley and Elsevier that recognizes young scientists who have demonstrated a commitment to both excellence in scientific research and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies.

This year ASPIRE received 12 young scientists as nominees, a record number of nominees since the prize was launched in 2011. The young scientists nominated by the 12 economies have impressive backgrounds and research in a wide range of disciplines that contribute to the 2015 theme “Disaster Risk Reduction: Understanding the Role of Climate Change and Variability.” Here is an overview of this year’s 12 nominees.


Dr Katharine Haynes

Field of Research: Community and child-centered disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation

Dr Haynes is a Senior Social Scientist of Risk Frontiers at Macquarie University. She earned her master’s in Environmental Geoscience from University College London (2001) and her PhD in Environmental Science from University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom (2005).


Dr Qiuhong Tang

Field of Research: Hydrometeorology disasters and climate change

Dr Tang is the Director of the “Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes” and a professor at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his bachelor’s degree in hydraulic engineering (2001) and his master’s in hydrology and water resources (2003) from Tsinghua University. He received his PhD in civil engineering from the University of Tokyo (2006).


Dr Anuraga Jayanegara

Field of Research: Animal science and environmental studies

Dr Jayanegara is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Animal Science at the Bogor Agricultural University. He received his bachelor’s in animal nutrition and feed science from Bogor Agricultural University (2003), his master’s in agricultural sciences in the tropics and subtropics from the University of Hohenheim in Germany (2008), and PhD in animal nutrition from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (2011).


Dr Takeshi Tsuji

Field of Research: Carbon capture and storage, disaster management, land subsidence

Dr Tsuji is an Associate Professor and lead principal investigator of CO2 storage research division at Kyushu University’s International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research. He received his bachelor’s in resources and environmental engineering from Waseda University (2002) and both his master’s and PhD from the Ocean Research Institute at the University of Tokyo (2004 & 2007).


Dr Jong-Seong Kug

Field of Research: Climate change, seasonal prediction systems

Dr Kug is an Associate Professor at the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Pohang University of Science and Technology. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s in atmospheric sciences from Seoul Nation University (1998 & 2000) and his PhD in earth and environmental studies from Seoul Nation University (2003).


Dr Mohd Zainal Abidin Ab Kadir

Field of Research: Lightning, high voltage, electromagnetic interference, electromagnetic compatibility, disaster management 

Dr Zainal is the Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Engineering and the co-founder and Director of the Centre for Electromagnetic and Lightning Protection Research at the Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the Universiti Putra Malaysia (2001), and his PhD in high voltage engineering from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom (2006).


Dr Jhan Carlo Espinoza

Field of Research: Climate variability and change, hydrology, extreme events, Amazon/Andes climate

Dr Espinoza is a Doctor in Environmental Sciences at the Peruvian Geophysical Institute (IGP); prior to this position he was the principal researcher at IGP specializing in climate and hydrology of the Amazon River basin and tropical South America. He received his bachelor’s in agricultural engineering (2002) and his master’s in water resources engineering (2005) from the National Agrarian University of Peru. He received his PhD in environmental sciences from Pierre and Marie Curie University (University of Paris VI) in 2009.


Dr Gay Jane Perez

Field of Research: Physics instrumentation, environmental science, meteorology, space technology applications

Dr Perez is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She received her bachelor’s in applied physics (2003), master’s in physics (2005) and PhD in physics (2009) from the University of the Philippines, Diliman.


Dr Tsun-hua Yang

Field of Research: Flood modeling, disaster risk analysis, flood damage evaluation

Dr Yang is a Research Fellow at the Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute. He received both his bachelor’s (1999) and master’s (2001) in civil engineering from National Taiwan University, and his PhD in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis (2008).


Dr Chinnawat Surussavadee

Field of Research: Satellite passive millimeter-wave retrieval of global precipitation, weather and wind power forecasting and simulation, climate change and impact assessment, natural disaster monitoring and forecasting

Dr Surussavadee is an Assistant Professor at the Prince of Songkla University (PSU), as well as a Director for the PSU Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Earth System Science and Andaman Natural Disaster Management and the PSU Andaman Environment and Natural Disaster Research Center. He received his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology (1999), his master’s in electrical power engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2001), and his PhD in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007).


Dr Radina Soebiyanto

Field of Research: Environmental and climate data model, infectious disease transmission

Dr Soebiyanto is a Scientist at the Universities Space Research Association. She received her bachelor’s in systems and control engineering (2002), her master’s in engineering and management (2003), and her PhD in systems and control engineering (2007) from Case Western Reserve University.


Dr Duong Du Bui

Field of Research: Water-related risk reduction, hydrological climate change impacts and adaptation

Dr Bui is the Deputy Director of the Department of Water Monitoring at the National Center for Water Resources Planning and Investigation, which is under Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Dr Bui received his bachelor’s degree from the Water Resources University in Vietnam (2005) and his PhD in engineering from Tokyo Metropolitan University (2011).