Prof Ong joined the Department of Physics in 1981 and retired as Professorial Fellow on 30 June 2015.
Prior to his appointment at NUS, he worked at the University of Manitoba, the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) at Harwell, UK, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), in Winnipeg, Canada.
Prof. Ong’s areas of expertise include computational and experimental condensed matter physics and materials physics. Highlights of his research work include his approach in the measurement of permittivity and permeability that has been well received in the scientific community. A device based on his work has now become an international standard for characterizing the dynamic properties of ferromagnetic thin films. His work has also extended into the sensitive detection and quantification of the Spin Rectification Effect (SRE ) used for spin current measurement and spin wave characterization. His achievements in the field of meta-materials include the fabrication and implementation of an omnidirectional retro-reflector, a device once deemed impossible to construct, that can reflect microwaves perfectly back to their source from all angles. This has many potential practical applications, especially in radar tracking and stealth technology.
Prof. Ong has supervised many students throughout his career. To date, 33 PhD, 34 MSc and 57 Final Year BSc students have completed theses based on research under his supervision at NUS.
Prof. Ong is a recipient of the prestigious NUS Outstanding Researcher Award, 2010. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP) UK and the Institute of Physics, Singapore. He served as Vice-president of the Singapore Academy of Science (1998-2000), President of the Institute of Physics, Singapore (1996-2000) and is the Founding Director of the Centre for Superconducting and Magnetic Materials(CSMM). He was Deputy Head of the Department of Physics, NUS (2006–2008). He has also served on the editorial board of three international journals.
He has co-authored more than 570 peer reviewed papers and has a H-index of 41. He also co-authored a textbook on Microwave Electronics (Wiley) and holds a patent in America.
After officially retiring from NUS Prof. Ong will take up the position of Senior Principal Research Scientist at Temasek Laboratories with a continued joint appointment at the Department of Physics to continue his work on microwave nonlinear physics and devices.
Prof Ong was featured in the July 2010 issue of Physics Matters, the departmental biannual newsletter.