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Lip Lin Koh (1936-2015)

[Lip Lin Koh]

Lip Lin Koh, one of the most distinguished X-ray Crystallographers in Singapore, died of pneumonia on Feb 12 2015 at the age of 79. He was one of Singapore's pioneers in education, a former Dean of Science and an ex-MP of Singapore.

Koh contributed to the growth of crystallography in Singapore for more than 40 years. He organized the Inaugural Conference of the Asian Crystallographic Association in Singapore in November 1992. He was the first Singaporean to serve as a co-editor of Acta Crystallographica (1994-97). He championed for the Singapore National Crystal Growing Challenge as one of the judges. Koh was very active in solving and refining difficult structures for the X-ray Diffraction Laboratory and responsible for a number of related publications.

Koh graduated from Nanyang U. (Singapore) and received his PhD degree from Boston U. (USA). He taught at the Dept. of Chemistry at Nanyang U. (1964-1979) and at the National U. of Singapore (NUS, 1980-1996). He was the first Dean of Science at the NUS and served as the Head of Dept. of Chemistry and Dean of Science at Nanyang U., before the merger of the two.

After his retirement from the Dept. of Chemistry (NUS), he was engaged as a part-time research fellow at CE Resources Pte Ltd, an NUS spin-off company. He rejoined the department as an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in 1992, offering guidance to staff and students on solving crystal structures with his expertise. He was particularly good at solving problems of disorder.

He was a member of the University council, and served as president of the Singapore Association for the Advancement of Science. From 1979-1996, Koh was an elected Member of Parliament of Singapore. He received the Public Administration Silver Medal in 1978 and the University's outstanding Science Alumni Awards in 2005.

His integrity, passion, commitment and drive will be well remembered by all who knew him. Koh will be deeply missed by NUS and Singaporean researchers, as well as by the entire Asian crystallographic community.

J. J. Vittal