Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin Inspires UTP Students to Pursue Stem Careers
(18 January 2018)
Professor Robert B. Laughlin, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics, inspired more than 2,000 students and professors at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in Perak today as part of the Honeywell Initiative for Science & Engineering (HISE). It is the first time Honeywell's global programme was conducted at UTP.
Sponsored by Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company's corporate citizenship initiative, HISE aims to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). For more than a decade, it has benefited thousands of students and teachers at top universities in China, India, the United States, the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Mexico and Romania. The initiative includes a series of laureate lectures and career discussions with Honeywell's top engineers.
Laughlin, who received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations, is among 27 Nobel laureates sponsored by Honeywell at universities worldwide since 2006. Laughlin, along with two other researchers, had discovered that electrons acting together in strong magnetic fields can form new types of "particles,", with charges that are fractions of electron charges.
It is the second time the program has been presented to a university in Malaysia. In 2010, the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur hosted the HISE event.
"At UTP, we are committed to ensuring we are a centre for creating and sharing new knowledge that promotes a lifelong desire among our students to learn, discover, and innovate," said Acting Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib. "We are delighted to collaborate with Honeywell and welcome Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin to our campus. Our hope is that today's HISE event helps students see their career possibilities."
Laughlin is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University. He earned a B.A. in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as the president of KAIST in Daejeon, South Korea. His many awards include the National Academy of Sciences, the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Physics, and the Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.
During his lecture, Laughlin inspired students to pursue their dreams, regardless of the challenges they may have to overcome. "Great people come from all walks in life," He told the students. "Stay true to yourself, stay focused, and you will succeed."
"The complexities of today's world require young people to be equipped with a new set of core knowledge and skills to solve difficult problems," said Briand Greer, President of Honeywell ASEAN. "By offering UTP students the opportunity to learn from a Nobel laureate and interact with Honeywell engineers, we hope to inspire and prepare students for a workforce where success comes not just from their knowledge of STEM subjects, but what they are able to do with that knowledge."
Honeywell closely cooperates with the Malaysia's technical universities on programs such as engineering lectures, collaborative projects, student events, academic thesis opportunities and internships.
Honeywell Hometown Solutions supports STEM education in Malaysia by inviting local middle school science and math teachers and high school students to attend the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in the United States each year. Additionally, Honeywell's Safe Kids at Home in Malaysia helps educate parents and children on how to avoid fire, burn and scalds in the home.