From Penang to the Outer Reaches of Science


Talent is one thing Penang is not short on, and unbeknownst to many, a handful of Penangites are making waves abroad in the field of science.

Dr Khoo Teng Jian, 32, works at the University of Geneva and spends his days studying proton collisions from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – the world’s largest machine that slams protons together at 40 million times per second.

Starting out in Penang, then moving to Williamstown, Massachusetts before crossing to University of Cambridge, the journey to Switzerland has been far from dull for the Old Free.

After finishing school, Khoo obtained a scholarship from the International School of Penang (Uplands). “I started my undergraduate degree at Williams College, which is located in a super ulu (rural) snowy mountain town,” he says. He majored in Physics, but also did a good number of music courses, learned a bit of Mandarin and took classes in history, philosophy and German.

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