Top geologist at NTU’s Earth Observatory of Singapore elected as a Fellow of the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society

Top geologist at NTU’s Earth Observatory of Singapore elected as a Fellow of the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society

  • Press Release
01 Dec 2017
Professor Kerry Sieh is investigating the sediments deposited at the northern tip of the Ramree Island, to look for evidence related to giant earthquakes that occurred several hundred years ago (Source: Wang Yu)
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore’s (NTU Singapore) geologist Professor Kerry Sieh, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) – the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge scientific research.
The honour of being elected as an AAAS fellow is awarded in recognition of members’ efforts in advancing science or its applications in service to society.
The Director of NTU’s Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), Prof Sieh is NTU’s first AAAS Fellow and fifth from Singapore since 2008.
Prof Sieh is a dedicated and passionate earthquake geologist whose illustrious academic career spans over 30 years of research excellence from the United States to Asia.
A member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union, Prof Sieh is a recognised pioneer in earthquake geology.
He developed scientific methods that enabled earth scientists to peer thousands of years into the past to better understand ancient earthquakes and to forecast the location, size and timing of future ones.
Besides studying faults in California, Prof Sieh’s passion also took him to Sumatra, Indonesia. There, his findings forecasted another 8.8-magnitude earthquake that could occur within the next few decades – similar to the Indonesian quakes of 2004 to 2007.
“I am proud to be honoured by an organisation that has done so much to promote the advancement of scientific knowledge for over 150 years. The AAAS is one of many American institutions that recognises the importance of being global in pursuing its mission,” said Prof Sieh on his election as an AAAS fellow.
Founded in 1848, AAAS is one of the world’s oldest non-profit organisations dedicated to advancing science. It assists some 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.
In addition to organising membership activities, AAAS publishes the prominent journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programmes that promote the understanding of science worldwide.
Dr Rush D. Holt, Chief Executive Officer of AAAS & executive publisher of Science, stated: “Each year the Council elects members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically, or socially distinguished. Professor Kerry Sieh is being honoured for his distinguished contribution in teaching, research, and as the founding director of NTU’s Earth Observatory Singapore, and in the fields of paleoseismology and natural hazards research. We congratulate Professor Kerry Sieh on this well-deserved recognition of his accomplishments.”
Rock-solid geologist
Prof Sieh initiated the field of paleoseismology three decades ago. It involves using geological layers and landforms to understand the geometries of active faults, the earthquakes they generate and the crustal structure their movements produce.
His pioneering work also led to the discovery of how often the San Andreas fault has generated earthquakes in southern California.
In Asia, Prof Sieh’s research along the great undersea fault line – the Sunda megathrust – revealed patterns of ancient ruptures and sea current straining that led to forecasts of recent and impending large Sumatran earthquakes and tsunamis.
His discoveries in this area also suggested that the megathrust is poised to produce yet another giant earthquake in western Sumatra within the next 20 years.
Prof Sieh currently heads NTU’s Earth Observatory of Singapore, which conducts research related to earthquake, tsunami, volcanic, and climate hazards, addressing environmental challenges facing Asia in the 21st century.
For more information on the AAAS Fellows nomination process, visit
Media contact:
Mr Nur Amin Shah
Assistant Manager (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University
Mrs Shireen Federico
Communications Manager
Earth Observatory of Singapore
Nanyang Technological University
About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world’s top young university for the last four years running. The University’s main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit
About Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS)
The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) is Singapore’s main hub for conducting research on geohazards, focusing on tectonics, volcanoes, and climate change in and around Southeast Asia. The Observatory is committed to acquiring knowledge of these natural hazards, passing this information on to affected communities by contributing to forecasts of such natural phenomena and helping them adapt to these environmental challenges.
The Earth Observatory of Singapore, an autonomous institute of Nanyang Technological University, is a Research Centre of Excellence located on the campus of the University.
For more information, visit

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