International honour for Prof Hywel Thomas

Professor Hywel Thomas has been made an honorary professor of Zhejiang University in China

Professor Hywel Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement, has been given a prestigious award by one of China’s oldest and highest ranking universities.

Professor Thomas was made an Honorary Professor of Zhejiang University at a special ceremony in the city of Hangzhou on the eastern coast China.

The award recognises Professor Thomas’ long-standing research career in the field of engineering and his commitment to Cardiff University’s international activities, partnerships and reputation, and engagement as Pro Vice-Chancellor.

A fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Engineering, Professor Thomas has published more than 400 technical papers and reports and has lectured extensively both at home and abroad.

His research interests cover a wide range of geoenvironmental issues, from coupled multiphysics/geochemistry flow problems in soils and rocks, through to sustainability issues in general.

He is Director of the award-winning Geoenvironmental Research Centre and a UNESCO Professor in the Development of a Sustainable Geoenvironment.

Professor Thomas is the current Director of the multi-million pound FLEXIS project – a pan-Wales initiative that is solving some of the biggest energy problems that we face as a society, ranging from energy storage, to decarbonisation and fuel poverty.

Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China’s oldest, most selective and most prestigious institutions of higher education.

Located in the city of Hangzhou, the University has over 45,000 students and 3,000 members of staff and is ranked within the top 100 universities in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.

It has significantly invested in the development of cutting-edge specialisms, such as manned spaceflight, assembly technology for large aircraft, clean energy, marine technology, industrial control technology, and global public health initiatives.

In addition to receiving the award, Professor Thomas delivered the annual “Zheng Guo-Xi” lecture on the subject of “Energy and the Ground. Some Geoenvironmental Considerations.”

Professor Thomas also visited another of China’s most prestigious and influential universities, Tsinghua University, to deliver an academic seminar and lecture on the subject of scientific writing.

On receiving the title of Honorary Professor, Professor Thomas said: “I am delighted and humbled to be given this title by Zhejiang University.

“It is a world-class institution that is steeped in history and tradition, with a truly innovative approach to all of its activities. I’m very much looking forward to re-visiting the University and strengthening our relationship in the future.”