Brent Clothier, president of the Royal Society of New Zealand and Principal Scientist at the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, has been inducted into the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Announcing the induction, the society says that late in November 2019, Brent was elected as an Academician (Foreign Member) of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE).
The Biennial Inauguration Ceremony for all new 2019 Academicians was slated for May 2020. But Covid-19 intervened, and that never happened.
Four years later, Brent was in China last month for contracted work between Plant & Food Research (PFR) and Wuhan University, Beijing Forestry University (BJFU) and China Agricultural University (CAU).
The CAE decided to take that opportunity to hold an induction ceremony to present Brent with his Academician’s certificate.
The induction took place in Beijing on 27 November.
Brent is the first New Zealander to become a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
He has been working in China on projects for nearly 25 years.
Plant and Food Research has an even longer connection with China that was initiated by (the late) Dr Lairong Li who was appointed in 1941 to the DSIR, PFR’s antecedent.
Dr Li left New Zealand in 1944, and eventually returned to China after being held in a Japanese POW after his ship was torpedoed.
Dr Li was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1979.
Brent has been in contact with Dr Li’s granddaughter, Stella Si, and the Society will now provide her with a re-issued Fellowship Certificate, because the original got ‘lost’ during the Cultural Revolution in China.
He will sign this re-issued certificate as the current President.
Brent said he is honoured to be able to reconnect the ‘circle’ of Chinese-New Zealand academies.
Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi