In April 2014, NUS Senate approved the setting up of the Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety Initiative (SNRSI) as a research unit among the University-Level Research Institutes/Centres. Prof Lim Hock was appointed its founding director to oversee the development of this research facility. In the first two years, the effort will focus on the recruitment of researchers, and the development of the research programmes and laboratories. Scholarships are offered annually for Singaporean graduates to pursue postgraduate programmes in nuclear safety, radiochemistry, radiobiology, and related areas of nuclear science and engineering.
Professor Lim concurrently serves as Director of Research Governance and Enablement in the Office of Deputy President (Research and Technology). In that capacity, he oversees the management of the University-Level Research Institutes, and assists in the start-up and oversight of large research programmes and initiatives at NUS. In addition, the management of core research facilities, including communal research space, and issues on research compliance also falls under his portfolio. Professor Lim is an academic staff of the Department of Physics. Besides developing and teaching courses, he also assists in the Search Committees and Departmental Evaluation Committees of the Department of Physics.
Professor Lim received his Ph.D. from the Department of Geophysics, University of Reading, United Kingdom, in 1975. He developed original theories that provided a basic understanding of the dynamics of the interactions between atmospheric motions of the mid-latitudes and the tropics. He was the winner of the World Meteorological Organization Research Award for Young Scientist in 1980. In 1989, he was appointed to the George Haltiner Research Chair of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, USA.
In late 1980s, he was inducted into defence-related research. The first research project on image restoration won his PhD student the Defence Technology Prize in 1993.
In 1992, he was provided with funding from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (then known as the National Science and Technology Board) to establish in NUS a Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP). CRISP won the Excellence for Singapore Award in 1999.
He was also the founding Director of Temasek Laboratories at NUS, a research institute established in 2000 to conduct research in selected areas of science and technology critical to Singapore's defence and security. He recently stepped down from the position on 30 June 2012.
In recognition of his contributions to defence science R&D, he was awarded the Defence Technology Prize (Individual, R&D Category) by the Ministry of Defence in 2003.
For his other contributions, Prof Lim has received two national-day awards: Public Service Medal (Community Service) in 1992 and Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 1999. He has also received the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques from the French Ministry of Education in 2002, the Institute of Physics Singapore President’s Award in 2007, and was named an Outstanding Alumni of the Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, in 2009.