DeTao Masters Hoffmann and Hu Elected Foreign Members of CAE
On 27 November 2017, the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) published the List of Elected Members of CAE 2017 and the List of Elected Foreign Members of CAE 2017. The inclusion of Bill Gates, widely known as the world’s wealthiest person, co-founder of Microsoft and one of the most respected philanthropists of his time, has triggered a lively discussion. However, due attention is also paid to DeTao Master of Environmental Science and New Materials Professor Michael R. Hoffmann and DeTao Master of Advanced Mechanical Manufacture Professor S. Jack Hu, who were both elected foreign members of the CAE along with 16 other newcomers.
Professor Michael R. Hoffmann, DeTao Master of Environmental Science and New Catalytic Materials
Hoffmann, a professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), became acquainted with Bill Gates many years ago, long before they were elected foreign members of the CAE. Back in 2013, Professor Hoffman and his team partook in the first edition of Reinvent the Toilet Challenge China as co-organised by the Gates Foundation, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB). The model “solar toilet”, which his team designed, took first prize at the event and subsequently received funding from the Gates Foundation for production. The first batch of production samples has already been put into use in the Indian capital New Delhi.
Professor Hoffmann giving a talk at Peking University as part of the “Dialogue with World Innovation Masters • DeTao Master Forums” series
A prominent environmental scientist in the U.S. and longstanding member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Professor Hoffmann previously served as dean of Graduate Studies at Caltech. Due to his outstanding contributions in environmental science, the professor has also been honoured with the Humboldt Prize of Germany and the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology. Professor Hoffmann joined DeTao the same year to become its Master of Environmental Science and New Catalytic Materials. He is known for his commitment to the group’s exploration in multidimensional education in China and assists the group in building an innovative educational system known as the DeTao Masters Heritage. Professor Hoffmann gave a talk at an optional course “Dialogue with World Innovation Masters • DeTao Master Forums” series at Peking University in March 2013, which attracted 300 students as he analysed the critical air-pollution issues facing China and explored the available options to tackle the growing problem of smog.
Professor Hu in the laboratory of the Mechanical Engineering Faculty at the University of Michigan
Equally a force to be reckoned with is Professor Hu, vice president for Research at the University of Michigan, who was also elected foreign member of the CAE. Professor Hu is a distinguished professor of the Yangtze River Scholar award at the School of Mechanical Engineering of Tianjin University, the “Thousand Talents Plan” scholar and vice chairman of Tianjin University Alumni Association in North America. His main field of research includes advanced manufacturing and assembly-system design, while his years of exploration and achievements have won him the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and numerous accolades for his groundbreaking theses. Furthermore, he was crowned the outstanding young foreign scientist by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
DeTao Master Hu delivering a speech at the congratulatory party of the NAE
Professor Hu joined DeTao Masters Academy in May 2011 to become DeTao Master of Advanced Mechanical Manufacturing. The professor strives to introduce the advanced scientific-research management model from tertiary institutes in the U.S. to China as well as apply his personal research experience onto Chinese scientific-research projects. His election to the NAE in 2015 as an American Chinese once again proves the increasing influence of Chinese people in the global fields of engineering and science and technology. Thanks to his tireless efforts, the Tianjin University-University of Michigan (Nantong) Joint Research Institute was formally founded in May 2017. The institute aims to become a top international collaborative institute of both teaching and scientific research that combines industries, researchers and schools. Professor Hu serves as a member of the Standing Committee of the institute.
The list of foreign members of the CAE elected in 2017
Zhou Ji, president of the CAE, remarked that being an elected member of the CAE was the highest academic honour in the engineering and technology fields of China. The election of professors Hoffmann and Hu as foreign members of the CAE in 2017 is well deserved owing to their outstanding contributions in their respective fields over the decades. DeTao will, of course, be supporting their strategic consultation and research at the CAE in a bid to serve the building of a high-end national think tank.