The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is set to launch a Distinguished Speakers Series to mark its 25th anniversary. With a mission to advance learning and knowledge, the University has invited leaders and experts from around the globe to share their insights with our faculty, students, staff and local audience.
The series’ inaugural speaker Prof Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate in Physics in 1997 and former US Secretary of Energy, will deliver a speech entitled “Energy, Climate Change and the Transition to a Sustainable World” on September 15, 2015. Another five Nobel Laureates have also accepted invitations to speak in this series, other distinguished speakers include policy shapers, corporate leaders and entrepreneurs who have made changes in their own innovative ways.
An established physicist and a champion in clean energy, Prof Chu co-won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for a method to cool and trap atoms along with his colleagues Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Philips. He joined US President Barack Obama’s administration as the nation’s Secretary of Energy in 2009, during his tenure he oversaw a tenfold increase in solar energy use and an overall doubling in the use of renewable energy, leading to a cut in fossil fuel consumption.
Prof Chu had recruited outstanding scientists and engineers into the Department of Energy, he also began several initiatives including ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy), the Energy Innovation Hubs and the U.S. – China Clean Energy Research Centers (CERC). After leaving the public office in 2013, Prof Chu returned to Stanford University and lead researchers in developing accurate, informative and broadly applicable tools for biophysics and biomedicine.
Exemplifying HKUST’s 25th anniversary slogan “Innovating Today, Imagining Tomorrow”, Prof Chu will talk about how science and technology such as the industrial and agricultural revolutions have transformed the world, he will also share his observations on climate change, the rapidly-changing energy landscape, and how energy efficiency and clean energy sources are becoming the low cost option to our energy needs. Amid the talk, Prof Chu will spend a whole day in the campus meeting students and faculty.
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Electric, will be the next speaker for the Series, he will talk about the new energy world on September 23, 2015. Other confirmed speakers include Wang Shi, Founder and Chairman of leading property developer China Vanke, Prof Dan Shechtman, winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011 and Dr Raghuram Govind Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.