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Tan Sri Dr Augustine Soon Hock Ong is the Chairman of the International Society for Fat Research (ISF) since 1997 and the President of the Malaysian Oil Scientists' and Technologists' Association, Senior Fellow of the Academy of Sciences, Malaysia, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry London and Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences.
He is a student of St. Francis Institution, in Malacca. He is a graduate of the University of Malaya (BSc Hons, MSc) and King's College London (PhD in Organic Chemistry). He is internationally recognized in the field of lipid chemistry.
Ong has had extensive experience in teaching, research and administration at the university level. He was serving as Dean, School of Chemical Sciences, and University Science Malaysia before joining the private sector where he was the former Director-General of the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (PORIM) from 1987 to 1989 and former Director in Science and Technology, Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC) from 1990 to 1996.
He has acquired extensive networking in the oils and fats industry as well as in the academic world both locally and overseas. He was the Fulbright-Hays Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1966 to 1967. He spent a sabbatical year in the University of Oxford as the Visiting Professor at the Dyson Perrins Laboratory, 1976 to 1977.
He has been active in research and development for more than 45 years since 1959 and this experience includes the chemistry and technology of palm oil in which he had more than 25 years' involvement since 1974. He has 14 patents in the technology of palm oil to his credit and published more than 380 articles.
He was the founding editor-in-chief of Elaeis: International Journal of Oil Palm Research and Development and is still a member of the Editorial Board.
He played a significant role in the programme to counter the Anti-Palm Oil Campaign from 1987 to 1989 which came to a favourable conclusion in 1989. He has been invited to serve as a member of Research Advisory Panels on Cocoa, Forestry, Rubber and Petroleum as well as a member, International Advisory Council, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman. He is Founder President of the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) since 1986. He is also President of the Confederation of Scientific and Technology Associations in Malaysia (COSTAM) and Malaysian Oil Scientists and Technologists' Association (MOSTA). He serves on the Board of several corporate organizations including University of Malaya, Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE), Country Heights Holdings Berhad. He had served as Director, HSBC (Malaysia) since its incorporation till 2004.