Academic Profile : Faculty

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Prof Chen Wei Ning, William
Professor, School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
Michael Fam Chair Professorship in Food Science and Technology
Director, Food Science Technology (FST) Programme, School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CCEB)
Director, Future Ready Food Safety Hub @ NTU, Future Ready Food Safety Hub @ NTU (FRESH@NTU)
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Professor Chen received his university education (both B.Sc. and D.Sc.) from Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

Professor Chen joined NTU as an Associate Professor in 2002. He was promoted to tenured Full Professor in 2011. At the University level, Professor Chen is the Director of the Food Science & Technology Programme (NTU FST) in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) from the Netherlands since 2014. He is concurrently Director of Singapore Agri-food Innovation Lab (SAIL) funded by Enterprise Singapore as well as Director (designate) of Singapore Future Ready Food Safety Hub (FRESH), a tripartite partnership among NTU, Singapore Food Agency and A*STAR.

Professor Chen has shown outstanding dedication towards training university students at all levels. Thirty-five PhD, 18 MSc, and numerous undergraduate students have graduated from his NTU lab . Professor Chen was honoured at the 2010 NTU convocation with the “Inspirational Mentorship”, in recognition of his effort in guiding UG student to receive both Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal and Koh Boon Hwee Scholar’s Awards. In 2013, his Science Research Programme student from Raffles Institution won an individual Gold Medal at the prestigious Singapore Science & Engineering Fair (SEEF). In 2019, Prof. Chen was awarded the Outstanding Mentor Award by Ministry of Education, for guiding four teams from Raffles Institution in Science Mentorship Programme under MOE's Gifted Education Programme.

Professor Chen’s research is highly inter-disciplinary with a strong focus on platform development for food tech innovations, which have resulted in his active joint R&D with food industry, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. In 2019, Singapore Minister of Education Mr. Ong Ye Kung opened the F&N-NTU F&B Innovation Lab, the first external lab in the company's 135 years of history.

Prof. Chen's research in zero food waste processing and Circular Food Economy was covered by Channel News Asia, reported in The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao on several occasions. His tech innovations and his views on Food Security have been featured in international media including Asahi Shimbun, AFP, BBC, Bloomberg News, CGTN, CNBC, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Mainishi Shimbun, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. The ‘Going Green’ programme by CNN (Dec 2019) described Prof. Chen as a Game-Changing Leader in the green revolution of the food system.

Professor Chen is active in leading competitive external research grants from major government funding agencies as well as leading international food industries, totaling more than S$55 million. He has published extensively (with more than 200 papers) in peer-reviewed international journals. Findings from his food research have been published and featured in Nature, EMBO Reports, Trends in Food Science & Technology, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science & Food Safety, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Current Opinion in Food Science, Food Chemistry, Food and Humanity, Journal of Functional Foods, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, among others. Prof. Chen has organized the inaugural Food Science & Technology Global 2021 conference and concurrently the launch of FRESH at NTU by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Ms. Grace Fu. As Director of SAIL, he has played a key role in its successful launch at NTU by Minister for Trade and Industry Mr. Gan Kim Yong in 2021.

Prof. Chen has been appointed by NTU as the Michael Fam Chair Professor in Food Science & Technology in 2019. He is also on the Advisory Committee of the Singapore Food Agency, Singapore Food Standards Committee, Expert Advisory Panel of FoodInnovate Asia. He is also Consultant to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Good Food Institute APAC, The International Joint Research Center on Food Security, World Health Organization and Asian Development Bank.

In addition to teaching and research, Professor Chen has made dedicated service contributions to School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, NTU and Singapore society at large.
1. Food Waste Management;
2. Food Processing Tech Innovations;
3. Metabolic and Microbial Engineering for Valuable Chemicals;
4. Sustainable Production of Food Ingredients;
5. Fermentation Technology;
6. Biomarkers Identification for Nutrition and Food Safety
  • Developing High Nutritional and Sensorial Quality Proteins from Fishery and Aquaculture By-products
  • Evaluation of variations of dietary fiber contents of Pleurotus ostreatus mycelium and mushroom fruiting bodies derived via solid-state fermentation of okara, and fermented okara by mycelium
  • F&N-NTU F&B Innovations Lab
  • FoodTech@NTU Programme
  • FRESH Core Funds, Singapore Food Story R&D Programme (SFS) - Theme 3
  • FRESH Core Funds, Singapore Food Story R&D Programme (SFS) - Theme 3 (Overhead Recovery Account)
  • Michael Fam Chair Professorship in Food Science and Technology (William Chen)
  • Microalgae as Alternative Protein Source
  • Project Fish Waste Conversion (William Chen/SCBE)
  • Project Nutrient and Sensory Characterisation (Michael Rychlik/ TUMCREATE)
  • Proteins4Singapore
  • Service agreement with Ichimasa Kamaboko Co Ltd
  • Understanding the interactions between plant-based protein and cellular agriculture