Home-grown scientist and Endowed Professorship incumbent honoured for her research work in sustainable energy

Oct 2010

“Chemistry is fundamental to our lives. Advances in chemistry have revolutionised the way we live and how long we live. The study of the intricate relationship between chemistry and energy will enable more efficient use of energy and transform the ways we can achieve environmental and social sustainability.” Dr Wilson Wong and Dr Philip Wong

Professor Vivian Yam

Every year, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO recognise five exceptional women scientists, one from each continent, and honour them for the contributions of their research, the strength of their commitments and their impact on society. Candidates are selected by the International Awards Jury, presided by Professor Ahmed Zewail, recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Professor Vivian Wing-wah Yam, Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor in Chemistry and Energy, was chosen as the 20011 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards Laureate for the Asia/Pacific region for her work on light-emitting materials and innovative ways of capturing solar energy.

Born in Hong Kong and a graduate of The University of Hong Kong, Professor Yam joined the academic staff of HKU in 1990 and became a professor in 1997. She was been widely recognised for her excellence in research and teaching. At the age of 38, she was elected a Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as the youngest member of the Academy. She was also the first Chinese scientist to be honoured with the RSC Centenary Lectureship and Medal for 2005-06.


At a press conference to announce the award, Professor Yam thanked Dr Philip Wong and Dr Wilson Wong, who established an Endowed Professorship in 2009 of which Professor Yam is the incumbent, for their support of scientific research. Named the Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor in Chemistry and Energy, the Professorship provides perpetual support to these two areas of academic excellence.

Each Endowed Professorship is established with a generous donation of HK$10 million or more which will be matched by the University with an equal amount. The interests generated by the $20 million endowment will be used to support the respective area of academic excellence.

A total of 41 Endowed Professorships have been established at HKU since 2005.

For the biography of Professor Yam, please visit: http://www.hku.hk/cpaoesite/press/101110yam-eng

For information on the Endowed Professorship Scheme, please visit the Endowed Professorships website.

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