The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) hosted the 25th Anniversary Distinguished Speakers Series today, featuring Prof Alan J Heeger, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2000. The event was well received by students, faculty members and guests from HKUST.
In his talk titled “Creativity, Discovery and Risk - Nobel Prizes Past and Future”, Prof Heeger shared his insights on creativity and discovery in science, and the close association of creativity with risk-taking in scientific research. He said, “In science, creativity and discovery are related, but they are not the same. Scientific breakthroughs typically result from a combination of creativity and discovery.” He cited some Nobel Prize-winning scientific findings as examples to illustrate creativity, including his early discoveries in the field of semiconducting and metallic polymers.
Prof Heeger also shared his current research interests and entrepreneurial activities on low cost “plastic” solar cells and two bio-technology start-up companies on antibody therapeutics and cancer assessment blood test respectively.
Prof Heeger has been a professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 1982. Widely known for his pioneering research in semiconducting and metallic polymers, Prof Heeger is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000. He has more than 1,000 publications in scientific journals and more than 100 patents. He founded UNIAX Corporation in 1990; UNIAX was acquired by DuPont in 2000. He is co-founder and Chairman of CBrite Inc. in Santa Barbara (backplane technology for next generation OLED and LCD displays) and the co-founder and Vice-Chairman of Cynvenio (micro fluidics for cell sorting and related areas) and Cytomx Therapeutics (novel technology for targeted drug delivery).
His research group at the University of California, Santa Barbara continues to study aspects of the science and technology of semiconducting and metallic polymers with focus on the gate-induced insulator-to-metal transition in polymer Field Effect Transistors, low cost “plastic” solar cells and ultra-high mobility Field Effect Transistors fabricated using directed self assembly. His current interests also include broad band photodetectors with high detectivity.
Distinguished speakers including Nobel Prize winners, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and key financial policy shapers were invited to speak at the HKUST 25th Anniversary Distinguished Speakers Series. Prof Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate in Physics in 1997 and former US Secretary of Energy, was invited as the inaugural speaker of the series. Other speakers include Mr Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Electric; Mr Wang Shi, Founder and Chairman of China Vanke; Prof Dan Shechtman, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 2011; Prof Zhong Lin Wang, Hightower Chair in Materials Science and Engineering and Regents’ Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology; Dr Raghuram G Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Mr Pinky Lai, Founder and Design Director of Brainchild Design Group and Brainchild Design Consultants; Dr Qi Lu, Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Applications and Services Group; and Prof Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Turing Prize winner. More talks are also being lined up.
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