PolyU to Honour Five Distinguished Personalities at 15th Congregation

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University will confer Honorary Doctorates upon Dr Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, Dr Stefano Marzano, Professor Robert A. Mundell, Professor Poon Chung-kwong and Dr Samuel Yin Yen-liang in recognition of their outstanding achievements and contributions at its 15th Congregation...

Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) will confer Honorary Doctorates upon five prominent figures in recognition of their outstanding achievements and contributions at its 15th Congregation to be held on 17 October (Saturday).

This year's honorees include Dr Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, former President of the Legislative Council; Dr Stefano Marzano, CEO and Chief Creative Director of Philips Design; Professor Robert A. Mundell, Nobel Laureate in Economics; Professor Poon Chung-kwong, President Emeritus of PolyU; and Dr Samuel Yin Yen-liang, CEO of Ruentex Group, Taiwan.

Dr Rita Fan Tsu lai-tai

A notable and highly-respected figure in the Hong Kong community, Dr Rita Fan Tsu Lai-tai is currently Standing Committee Member of the Eleventh National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China. She is active in serving Hong Kong in many aspects, with education and politics being particularly close to her heart. After receiving her first and second degrees from the University of Hong Kong, Dr Fan joined the Student Affairs Office of the Hong Kong Polytechnic (predecessor of PolyU) in 1974. She was promoted to the Director of Student Affairs in 1979 and became an Associate Director of the Institution in 1987. She left the Institution in 1990 devoting herself to public service. Dr Fan's political career started in 1983 when she was appointed as a Member of the Legislative Council and later in 1989 as an appointed member of the Executive Council. During the transitional period (1993-1997), she made a significant contribution to the smooth transition of Hong Kong by serving on the Preliminary Working Committee and the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong SAR. In 1997, she was elected as the President of the Provisional Legislative Council, becoming the first woman to win this key post. She held the Presidency of the Legislative Council for three terms until 2008. In recognition of her long and distinguished public service, she was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal by the SAR Government in 2007. She will be conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Social Science.

Dr Stefano Marzano

Dr Stefano Marzano has been Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Director of Philips Design since 1991. Graduated from the Milan Polytechnic Institute with a doctorate in Architecture, he joined Philips in 1973 and later moving in 1978 to the Netherlands, where he worked as design leader for data systems and telecommunication products. Apart from his capacity at Philips, he takes an active role in advancing design education through speaking at international conferences and publishing extensively on design topics. His commitment to the design industry is reflected in the many professional positions he has held in institutions in the field. He was Professor at the Domus Academy in Milan (Italy) and a member of the Academy's Strategic Board; and was Visiting Professor at the Milan Polytechnic Institute. He currently chairs the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Industrial Design at the Technical University in Eindhoven (the Netherlands); and is on the Advisory Councils of the Design Management Institute (Boston, USA) and Design London (which unifies the Royal College of Art, the Imperial College London and the Imperial's Tanaka Business School). Most recently, he received an Honorary Doctorate from La Sapienza University of Rome. Over the years, Dr Marzano has been at the forefront of the design profession. In 2001, he was awarded the World Technology Award for Design by the World Technology Network; and in 2005, he was named by Business Week as one of the four global "Best Leaders of 2005" for Innovation. He will be conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Design.

Professor Robert Mundell

Robert Mundell has been Professor of Economics at Columbia University since 1974 and was honoured with the title of University Professor in 2001. The author of numerous works and articles on economic theory of international economics, he prepared one of the first plans for common currency in Europe and is known as the "Father of euro". He has formulated a standard international macroeconomics model and has pioneered the theory of the monetary and fiscal policy mix, of inflations and interest, and the monetary approach to the balance of payments. Prof. Mundell has lectured widely in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. His public lectures at PolyU in 2007 and 2009 received overwhelming response. In addition to teaching, Prof. Mundell has been an adviser to a number of international agencies and organizations including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Commission, and several governments in Latin America, Europe and Canada. Prof. Mundell's tremendous contributions to scholarship in economics have earned him many awards and honours, most notably, the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1999. He was awarded for his works on optimum currency areas and the development of the international macroeconomic model. He will be conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration.

Professor Poon Chung-kwong

Professor Poon Chung-kwong, currently President Emeritus of PolyU, was retired from the Presidency of the Institution after 18 years of distinguished service. Former Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the Faculty of Science at The University of Hong Kong, Prof. Poon became Director of the Hong Kong Polytechnic in January 1991 and was instrumental in steering it to become a full-fledged university in November 1994. He has laid a solid foundation for the sustainable development of the University by raising funds for various development projects, and fostering collaboration with the society and the Chinese mainland. Under his able leadership, PolyU has developed into a leading university in terms of professional education and application-oriented research. Over the years, he has served on numerous committees of the Government and of the industrial, business and educational sectors: to name a few, he was an appointed member of the Legislative Council (1985-1991); the Founding Chairman of the Government's Committee on Science and Technology (1988-1991); served on the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong SAR (1995-1997); and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference since 1998. In recognition of his sterling contribution to Hong Kong, particularly in the higher education sector, Prof. Poon was honoured as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Hong Kong" in 1979; was appointed a Non-official Justice of the Peace in 1989; received the OBE award in 1991, the Gold Bauhinia Star award in 2002 and the "Leader of the Year Award (Education)" in 2008. To recognize his tremendous contributions to the advancement of education and promotion of Chinese culture, Prof. Poon will be conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities.

Dr Samuel Yin Yen-liang

Dr Samuel Yin Yen-liang is a successful entrepreneur and an active philanthropist. Holding a PhD in Business Management from Taiwan Chengchi University, he is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Taiwan-based conglomerate Ruentex Group. With his deep knowledge and expertise in construction and engineering, he is widely hailed by the industry. In 2008, he was elected Member of the International Academy of Engineering (Russia). He is the President of Taiwan Concrete Institute and Member of American Society of Civil engineers and a research fellow of Chinese Institute of Civil & Hydraulic Engineering. He also holds a number of academic positions, including Professorships at Guanghua School of Management of the Peking University and the Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University. Dr Yin is widely known as an enthusiastic supporter to education, particularly to universities on the Chinese mainland. His philanthropic contributions began in 1989, when he founded the Guanghua Education Foundation to grant scholarships to graduate students in top mainland universities. Over 110,000 students have received the scholarship in the past 20 years. Dr Yin is also the author of more than 300 patents and numerous articles and has been recognized internationally for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions. In 2008 alone, he received the Engineering Glory Award by Russian Academy of Engineering; Outstanding Alumnus of National Taiwan University; Public Construction Professional Medal; Honorary Doctorate by Peking University. He will be conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering.


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