Prof. Zhiyong FAN Awarded Xplorer Prize 2022

Prof. Zhiyong FAN, Professor of Electronic & Computer Engineering and Chemical & Biological Engineering, was named an awardee of the Xplorer Prize 2022 (科學探索獎) in the field of advanced interdisciplinary studies. Supported by Tencent Foundation, the award encourages young scientists (aged 45 or below) in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau to research unexplored areas of basic sciences and frontier technologies. Prof. Fan is one of only two recipients from Hong Kong, among 50 awardees in 10 fields this year. Each awardee will receive RMB 3 million over a period of five years, which is among the highest in talent funding programs for young scientists in China.


The Xplorer Prize was initiated in 2018 by Pony MA, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent and Founder of the Tencent Foundation, alongside renowned scientists. Over the past four years, 200 promising young scientists have been funded by this scheme. Assessment criteria include candidates’ academic achievements and research proposals, with a focus on evaluating independence, exploration, creativity, innovation, and feasibility.


Prof. Fan joined HKUST in 2010 after his PhD studies in University of California, Irvine and postdoctoral research in University of California, Berkeley. Over the past years, he has quickly established himself as a renowned scientist with international reputation in the areas of nanomaterials, nanoelectronics and optoelectronics. He has made exceptional achievements in academic research in terms of journal publications, research grants, and postgraduate student supervision. His research focuses on rational design and fabrication of nanostructures, basic understanding of their physical and chemical properties and the utilization of these materials for electronic/optoelectronic device applications. These devices include solar cells, photodetectors, light-emitting diodes and various type of sensors. Highly interdisciplinary in nature, his research involves electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, chemistry, and physics.


In his high-powered academic career, Prof. Fan has published over 220 research papers in top journals, including Nature, Nature Photonics, Nature Communications, Science Advances, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, Nano Letters, with over 24,000 citations and an h-index of 81. His multiple recognitions to date range from Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics, School of Engineering’s Young Investigator Award and Research Excellence Award, to HKUST-Sino One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition’s President Award and Innovation Award. He is also a founding member of the Hong Kong Young Academy of Sciences.


Prof. Fan has been active in seeking external funding support. With the funding from this latest accolade, he has secured more than $23 million in research grants from Hong Kong and Mainland China since 2010.


Related links on WeChat announcement (Sept 15, 2022):


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