Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Toggle navigation
26 July 2017
Achievements & awards
CityU to confer honorary doctorates on three distinguished persons

Emily Law
(From left) Professor Serge Haroche, Dr Joseph Lee and Professor Wendelin Werner.

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will confer honorary doctoral degrees on Professor Serge HarocheDr Joseph LeeGBSOStJJP and Professor Wendelin Werner in recognition of their significant contributions to education and the well-being of society. The awards ceremony will be held in November 2017.

Professor Serge Haroche, a distinguished scholar and a Nobel Laureate in Physics, will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Science. Professor Haroche is Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at CityU and Professor Emeritus at the Collège de France. His main research activities lie in quantum optics and quantum information science. He graduated from the École Normale Supérieure and received his doctorate from Paris VI University in 1971. After a post-doctoral visit to Stanford University in the laboratory of Arthur Schawlow, he became full Professor at Paris VI University in 1975. In 2001, he was appointed Professor at the Collège de France and became President in 2012, a position he held until 2015.

Professor Haroche has made significant contributions to cavity quantum electrodynamics, including the observation of single atom spontaneous emission enhancement in a cavity, the direct monitoring of the decoherence of mesoscopic superpositions of states (so-called Schrödinger cat states), and the quantum-non-demolition counting of photons.

He has received many prizes and awards, culminating in the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics, which he shared with Professor David Wineland, from Boulder, Colorado in the US. He is a Member of the French Academy of Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences; and a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences in the US, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Brazilian, Colombian, Moroccan and Russian academies of science. Professor Haroche also holds an honorary doctorate from the Weizmann Institute of Science and the universities of Montreal, Patras, Strathclyde and Bar Ilan.

Dr Joseph Lee, Chairman of Wofoo Plastics & Chemical Group, Chairman of Wofoo Foundation Limited and President of Wofoo Social Enterprises Limited, will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Social Science.

Dr Lee is a prominent industrialist and social entrepreneur. Born in Hong Kong, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management from Illinois Institute of Technology in the US in 1972. He returned to Hong Kong to join his family’s industrial business and decided to start his own business as Wofoo Plastics Limited in 1980. He has dedicated the past decades to building partnerships and cultivating a harmonious community. He is committed to delivering innovative social services for the whole of society and to nurturing the younger generation.

Dr Lee has extensive experience in public service, including three consecutive terms as a Deputy to the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. He has also chaired various government bodies and is currently Vice-chairperson of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund Task Force under the Commission of Poverty, and Chairman of Joint Committee for the Promotion of The Basic Law of Hong Kong.

Dr Lee was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2013 for his significant contributions to charitable activities and social enterprises. In addition, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Saint John in 2015, conferred Honorary Doctor of Social Science by Hong Kong Baptist University in 2011 and conferred Honorary Fellowships by CityU in 2014, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2015, and the Vocational Training Council in 2015. Dr Lee served on the CityU Council and its committee from 2008 to 2013.

Professor Wendelin Werner, a Fields Medalist and Professor of Mathematics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Science.

Professor Werner studied at the École Normale Supérieure from 1987 to 1991 and earned his PhD from the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in 1993. From 1991 to 1997, he was a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and from 1997 to 2013 he was Professor of Mathematics at the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay. Since 2013, he has worked at ETH Zurich. His main research interests focus on probability theory and statistical physics.

Professor Werner has been awarded many highly prestigious prizes for his remarkable mathematical achievements. These awards include the Rollo Davidson Prize, the Doisteau-Émile Blutet Prize and the Jacques Herbrand Prize from the Academy of Sciences in Paris, the Prize of the European Mathematical Society, the Fermat Prize, the Loève Prize, the Pólya Prize and the Heinz Gumin Prize.

Professor Werner received the Fields Medal in 2006 for his contributions to the development of stochastic Loewner evolution, the geometry of two-dimensional Brownian motion, and conformal field theory.

In addition, Professor Werner is a Member of the French Academy of Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. He is a Foreign Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Fellow of Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge, UK.​​​