HKUST President Prof. Wei SHYY Honored by French Government

Prof. Wei SHYY, President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), was bestowed with the distinction of Officer in the National Order of the Legion of Honour by Mr. Alexandre GIORGINI, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, at a ceremony held at the HKUST campus today. This award was conferred on behalf of the President of the French Republic in recognition of Prof. Shyy’s visionary leadership in the field of education and prominent scientific contributions to the advancement of aerospace engineering, as well as his role in fostering academic cooperation between France and Hong Kong. 

The Legion of Honour is the highest distinction bestowed by the French Republic. Since its creation in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, it has been awarded in the name of the Head of State to reward the most deserving citizens in all fields of activity. The National Order of the Legion of Honour is divided into five degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer), and Grand Croix (Grand Cross).

In his capacities as President of HKUST and Chair Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Prof. Shyy played a central role in establishing exchange programs and collaboration between HKUST and leading French higher education and research institutions. Deeply convinced that sustainability is one of today’s major challenges, he encouraged the strengthening of cooperation with France on a wide range of issues spanning sustainable finance, green technologies and ocean preservation.

Speaking at the ceremony, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, Mr. Alexandre Giorgini said, “The Légion d’Honneur was bestowed upon Prof. Shyy because of his “Enlightenment”.  One of France’s leading philosophers, Denis DIDEROT said that there were three ways to be enlightened: nature observation, reflection and experimentation. And Prof. Shyy have explored all of them with success. He has taken inspiration from nature – and especially from dragonfly’s flight – to work on aerodynamics, and have a strong ability to move beyond his specialty to reflect and embrace larger views on the world.  He pioneered sustainability challenges in Hong Kong and HKUST accommodates the largest solar panels installation in the territory.  I am proud to see that France is a key partner in this field and I am looking forward to signing soon a memorandum of understanding to launch the France-HKUST Sustainability Hub.”

HKUST President Prof. Wei Shyy said he is honoured to have received such a prestigious award, “Over the years, HKUST has forged a close partnership with the French consulate and numerous French institutions.  Back in 2017, we jointly established the France-HKUST Innovation Hub, fostering research collaboration and exchange between our academics and the French partners.  Thanks to many partners’ enthusiastic efforts, I am very pleased to see our relations continually strengthened with renewed agreement to address sustainability, innovations, as well as promotion of art events and joint academic pursuit. Today, I am accepting this recognition really on behalf of my HKUST colleagues.”

Throughout his tenure at HKUST, Prof. Shyy enhanced his humanistic vision of education through numerous initiatives promoting excellence and multi-disciplinarity. In line with his spirit of dialogue between cultures and mutual understanding, Prof. Shyy also offered his full support to the relocation of the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) to the HKUST’s School of Humanities and Social Science. China Perspectives, the academic journal issued quarterly by CEFC, is internationally recognized and reflected in the Social Sciences Citation Index in 2019. 

Prior to joining HKUST as Provost in August 2010, Prof. Shyy was Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson Collegiate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. He is the author or a co-author of six books and numerous research articles dealing with aerial and space flight vehicles, thermal sciences, and biomechanical topics. He is General Editor of the Cambridge Aerospace Book Series published by the Cambridge University Press, and Co-Editor-in Chief of Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering published by Wiley-Blackwell.