Scientists work hard and aim big; for some, it’s about dedication.

“The path in science is not easy and smooth. Researchers need to read and try many times before they discover something significant.” – Shing Chung Lam.

I asked some of his acquaintances at Trajan to describe him to me; they said he is the youngest among the ASTech candidates, one of the smartest, most dedicated and diligent of science researchers and developers.

As I learn more about the ASTech program’s candidates, ARC Training Centre for Portable Analytical Separation Technologies, I heard of Shing Chung Lam, 25-years-old, originally from China. He is now conducting his Ph.D. research at the University Of Tasmania (UTAS). In his study, he is focusing on the ‘Development of portable, high-performance liquid chromatography for use in pharmaceutical production monitoring and control.’

The young researcher believes ‘You reap what you sow,’ a proverbial saying which exists in various forms, but for him, it translates like this: “the more effort we put on learning, the more gains we receive.”

ASTech Candidates: Mohamed Hemida, Shing Chung Lam with Dr Andrew Gooley

Up to date, he has co-authored and published three papers and written three manuscripts to be released soon. Also, Mr. Lam presented his work on  ‘development of a compact and miniature liquid chromatography based on deep UV LED detection’ at the ‘32nd International Symposium on Chromatography’ 2018.

He is passionate about analytical chemistry and separation sciences because of the benefits it offers to improve human beings quality of life.

“For example, quality control by different analytical techniques for food and pharmaceuticals controls the quality of products in the market.” In Mr. Lam’s point of view, analytical chemistry is a measuring tool that is useful in, for example, the assurance of product quality, but it’s limited to precise and bulky lab-based instruments operated by well-trained scientists and specialists.

However, he is working on changing that.

“The field I am researching in now is focusing on transforming the previous bulky instrumentation to a hand-portable analytical instrument that can be used for field purposes and be closer to the life of human beings.”

The inspiration behind his passion in the field is acquired by growing up among several physicians in the family. He watched the dedication that his seniors offered to help their patients. Therefore, he devoted his path, at a young age, to research and science, to further support people’s health.

“I have been working hard in my studies aiming to become someone like them, to contribute to the health of human beings,” he said.

Shing Chung in the middle speaking to his ASTech program colleagues

After finishing his Master’s degree, he had a goal of extending his research interests in advanced analytical techniques, he searched for all possible opportunities, and had an eye on one; The Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS) at UTAS, which he considered “a reputable body in the field of analytical chemistry.”

“I enjoyed the process of research work, and I was getting more eager to take new and challenging projects. From then on, it was my growing curiosity and increasing exposure in science that drove me to work in this field,” he added.

Professor Brett Paull, Director of ASTech and ACROSS, offered Mr. Lam the final highly prized ASTech scholarship in 2016. Mr. Lam is focusing on developing miniature high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) instrumentation, on further achieving the complete portability for HPLC instrument.

“After that, I can apply the portable HPLC on real-time monitoring and quality control in pharmaceutical production,” said Mr. Lam.

Mr. Lam says that the ASTech program served as an essential connection between the industry and academia to accelerate research progress, and novel techniques deployment to the market.

After finishing his Ph.D., he would like to pursue a research-based job in either academia or industry.

“Doing research is something that I want to put myself in at the moment, and probably in the coming years. ASTech provided a very positive research atmosphere for me to grow up as a young researcher.” Mr. Lam said.

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