• Press Release

May 26, 2020

Finalists Chosen for 2020 ASEAN‑U.S. Science Prize for Women

Finalists for ASEAN Women in Science

Underwriters Laboratories has long championed women in STEM. It is proud to support the ASEAN Women in Science Prize—now in its sixth year—which recognizes female scientists who deliver significant scientific contributions to the ASEAN region while also inspiring other young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

The award is a collaborative effort among Underwriters Laboratories, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Ministers and Deputy Ministers from all 10 ASEAN member states are directly involved in the review and ultimate selection of the winners of the prize.

The topic chosen for 2020 was Preventive Healthcare. Distinguished members of the William Henry Merrill Society, along with senior leadership from Underwriters Laboratories participated in the judging. For additional details on the top 10 finalists and the award itself, please click here.

Press Release

JAKARTA, 4 May 2020 – Selected from 50 eligible applicants, the following national finalists from each of the ASEAN Member States are competing for the 2020 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women, under the theme of Preventive Healthcare.

Detailed information on each national finalist can be found at: http://scienceprize4women.asean.org.

The competition emphasizes the role of women scientists whose research improves society in sustainable ways. They serve as role models for other women working in and pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The competitors must demonstrate strong academic expertise, identify specifically how the presented research and technology has a profound, positive impact in the community, and promote greater female engagement in STEM activities.

This competition showcases a successful partnership among ASEAN Committee of Science, Technology & Innovation, the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Underwriters Laboratories Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous, independent research and safety science education through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. The prize money of USD25,000 is sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories.

“On behalf of COSTI, we congratulate all the national finalists for their exceptional contributions in advancing scientific research for preventive healthcare. This year’s theme is a timely recognition of their dedication to tackling healthcare challenges in their communities, and inspiring excellence among female scientists in the ASEAN region,” Prof. Andy Hor, ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) Chair.  

“We are very proud to support the ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women. Preventive healthcare saves lives, increases life expectancy and fundamentally changes society for the better,” said Terry Brady, President and CEO of Underwriters Laboratories. “We cannot underestimate the importance of this work—especially now—and we congratulate the national finalists for their groundbreaking research. These innovations contribute not only to the prosperity and safety of communities throughout the ASEAN region—they also have the potential to bring about lasting improvements in global health and welfare.”  

“Since 2014, the United States continues to showcase the critical role of female scientists conducting innovative research highlighted in the ASEAN-USAID Science Prize for Women competition” said Melissa A. Brown, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. “On behalf of the United States Government, and together with ASEAN and Underwriters Laboratories, we congratulate the 2020 ASEAN national finalists for their outstanding work to address the timely issue of preventive healthcare”, she added.  “In such pivotal times centered on global public health, the United States reaffirms its commitment to promote the remarkable accomplishments of these female scientists to combat and deter health challenges in their communities.  Through preventive healthcare research and initiatives, these women demonstrate outstanding dedication to advance public health preparedness and the well-being of citizens in the ASEAN region,” Chargé d’Affaires Brown concluded.

During the next stage of the competition, COSTI, USAID, Underwriters Laboratories, and the ASEAN Secretariat will judge the quality of the work of the ten national finalists to narrow the selection to two national finalists. The selected two finalists will present their research in June 2020 during the ASEAN – U.S. Consultation Meeting to determine the winner and honorable mention.

For additional information, contact USAID/ASEAN Communications Specialist, Samara Sanders at: jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) brings together Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam in a community united by a common desire and collective will to live in a region of lasting peace, security and stability, sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and social progress, and to promote ASEAN vital interests, ideals and aspirations.


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to promote and demonstrate democratic values and advance a free, peaceful and prosperous world. Through international development programs and disaster assistance, USAID partners to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises, progress beyond assistance and attain self-reliance.

About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide the safe, sustainable commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods, to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being. To learn more, visit UL.org.

  • Dr. Wida Susanty Suhaili from Brunei Darussalam
  • Dr. Chantol Peng from Cambodia
  • Dr. Nova Riyanti Yusuf from Indonesia
  • Dr. Phonethipsavanh Nouanthong from Lao PDR
  • Dr. Chan Yoke Fun from Malaysia
  • Dr. Ther Wint Aung from Myanmar
  • Dr. Maria Ruth B Pineda-Cortel from the Philippines
  • Dr. Shefaly Shorey from Singapore
  • Dr. Thanyanan Reungwetwattana from Thailand
  • Dr. Tran Thi Thanh Huyen from Viet Nam