Doctor Honoris Causa of ENS de Lyon - May 12, 2016
Professor Mingyuan HE was born in Suhzou in the province of Jiangsu (China) in 1940.
Nicknamed The Capital of Silk, Suhzou is also known as The town of gardens and rivers. Under such auspices, as a young boy, Mingyuan had a clear mission to work on green chemistry, an area that did not exist at that time. After his high school studies, he left for Shanghai where he studied synthetic fibers, including chemistry, at the University of Textile Industries (China Textile University).
Mingyuan HE was just 21 when he was recruited as a young graduate, in 1961, by the Institute for Research in Petroleum Refining, which later became SINOPEC (Chinese Petroleum and Chemical Corporation). He spent his industrial career there and during this time he focused on developing sustainable chemistry otherwise known as “green chemistry”. Today, 60% of the Chinese petrol refineries are equipped with a process that he developed with his research teams.
Having a brilliant career in the oil industry was not an end in itself for Mingyuan HE who also wanted to transmit his knowledge and encourage younger generations; while pursuing his career at SINOPEC, which finished in 2004 as Head Engineer of the corporate research institute of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation. In 2000, he became a professor at East China Normal University (ECNU). He was responsible for establishing a research laboratory dedicated to green chemistry and, in doing so, attract the best students and researchers.
As Director of the Shanghai Key Laboratory for Green Chemistry and Chemical Processing at ECNU, Mingyuan HE became a regular to French-Chinese research and teaching groups, building up strong links, over the years, between the ECNU and ENS de Lyon.
This active collaboration with the Chemistry laboratory of ENS de Lyon took the form of the co-tutoring of theses and numerous collaborative scientific publications. Not forgetting the biennial symposia that have been organized, since 2010, between Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Lyon.
Awards and distinctions
1995: member of the Academy of Sciences of China
1996: Second prize for technological innovation from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China
1997-2010: Vice-president of the catalyst division of the Chinese Academy of Science
2001: “Ho Leung Ho Li Foundation” award, Hong Kong
2005: Director of Green chemistry for the Academy of Sciences
2012: “China Catalysis Achievement” award from the Chinese Chemical Society
2012: Officer in the «Ordre des Palmes académiques», France
2012: Member of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences in China.