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ChM Dr Wong See Kiat: My Journey into the Realm of Chemistry

09 Aug 2022

The same chemical reaction can be classified in different ways, yielding different products depending on the conditions present. These are the wonders of chemistry, which formed the foundation of literally everything we know. As a double major chemistry and biology bachelor’s degree graduate, I am glad that I have chosen the MSc in Medical & Health Sciences (by Research) offered by IMU in 2015 to kick start my postgraduate journey.”

“It all started when I was an intern in the IMU’s research lab under the supervision of A/Prof Ooi Ing Hong. This was when I learnt about the basis for scientific research. He walked me through identifying the research question, setting up the objectives, writing a methodology, analysing results, etc., which are all essential in conducting scientific research. I am intrigued by his passion for research, particularly in polymer science and drug delivery, which resulted in me enrolling as his MSc student cum research assistant.”


“Then, I officially became an MSc graduate and continued living happily ever after! Something smells fishy, right? So, what happened before earning your much anticipated MSc award? MANY THINGS.”


Experience at IMU:  “It is not easy at all doing postgraduate research; you will have to start everything from scratch, referring to hundreds or even thousands of works of literature to pave your way towards your objectives. The research project should be novel and able to contribute to global knowledge and, of course, ideally can be completed within the allocated time frame.”


“Whenever I encounter problems during research, “barrier is staircase” is a quote that I always try to remind myself of during hard times. I was fortunate to have a highly supportive and well-experienced supervisory team (A/Prof Dr Ooi Ing Hong and A/Prof Dr Ng Chew Hee) throughout my MSc journey. We often discussed my research progress, and they always gave me suggestions and motivation to push me further and higher.”

“Besides the regular lab work and paperwork during my MSc programme, I have attended several international conferences to share my research findings. I received “The Best Oral Presenter” from one of the conferences. This has boosted my self-confidence and further motivated me in my research. One of the proudest moments was when my research work was accepted for publication in a reputable polymer journal (ISI-Indexed) as the first author. I can’t thank my supervisors enough for making it happen!”

Conducive environment: “A successful (and happy) MSc journey could not possibly happen without a bunch of research “kaki” (colloquial Malay meaning “friends”). The delicious food we ate during lunch hour, the beautiful places we visited during holidays, and the time we spent together doing research will forever be missed.

A postgraduate journey can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be! You will find joy in research if you are passionate about it, and with an excellent supervisory team with good supportive friends, it will become the best memories of your life that are always captured by your heart.


Current career: After graduating from IMU in 2017, I continued with my PhD study, and I am now working as a polymer chemist researcher in a well-known manufacturing company – Hartalega.


My story with IMU doesn’t end here because I will always be a part of the IMU community.


Author of this article is ChM Dr Wong See Kiat who graduated with a Master degree from IMU in 2017.

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