HKIAS Senior Fellows honoured with the State Pre-eminent Science and Technology Award and Kyoto Prize

Jessica Leung


Professor Xue (left) and Professor Sir Pendry (right)
Professor Xue (left) and Professor Sir Pendry

Two Senior Fellows of the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS) at City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK), and renowned physicists, namely Professor Xue Qikun and Professor Sir John B. Pendry, received the State Pre-eminent Science and Technology Award for 2023 and the 2024 Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology, respectively, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to technological innovation.

Professor Freddy Boey, CityUHK President, congratulated Professor Xue and Professor Sir Pendry, saying that their remarkable achievements illustrate Hong Kong’s important role in international scientific research collaboration. CityUHK will continue to provide a research platform for scientists and promote technological innovation, and research and development to contribute to Hong Kong society and the world.

Established by the State Council, the State Science and Technology Awards includes five categories. The State Pre-eminent Science and Technology Award is among the highest honours and is awarded to no more than two people each year.

“This award fully reflects the great importance the country attaches to science and technology researchers,” said Professor Xue. “I feel greatly encouraged and immensely honoured to receive this award. This honour also belongs to the broad community of science and technology researchers.”

Professor Xue has made significant scientific breakthroughs in condensed matter physics over the years. His team was the first to experimentally observe the quantum anomalous Hall effect and later discovered interface-enhanced high-temperature superconductivity in heterostructure systems, making a substantial contribution to international scientific research and development.

Professor Xue is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and has been a professor in the Department of Physics at Tsinghua University since 2005. In 2020, he was appointed President of Southern University of Science and Technology, where he also serves as Chair Professor in the Department of Physics. Professor Xue has received numerous prestigious international awards, including the TWAS Prize in Physics, the Future Science Prize for Physical Science, the First Prize of the State Natural Science Award, the Fritz London Memorial Prize, and the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize.

Another HKIAS Senior Fellow, Professor Sir Pendry, who is also Chair Professor in Theoretical Solid State Physics at Imperial College London, was awarded the 2024 Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Theoretical Construction of Metamaterials in Materials Science.

“I am deeply honoured to be awarded the Kyoto Prize, one of the most prestigious in science. Few achievements are made in isolation, and I take this opportunity to thank my students, collaborators, and colleagues who contributed to the work for which this award is made,” said Professor Sir Pendry.

Professor Sir Pendry is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. He proposed a groundbreaking theory of transformation optics, in which specially designed optical materials are used to bend light around objects, thus providing a cloak of invisibility. This has paved the way for the development of novel materials.


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