Academic receives China Friendship Award

Professor D. Roger J. Owen, a Research Professor in the Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering at Swansea University, UK, was presented with the 2016 Friendship Award,which is the People's Republic of China highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country's economic and social progress.

China Friendship AwardProfessor Owen has been honoured for his research and development activities for over 30 years, particularly in the area of the finite element method which is the most powerful computational procedure to emerge for the solution of a wide range of engineering and scientific problems over the last fifty years. The methodology has revolutionised the way engineering structures and manufacturing processes are designed and has also been an invaluable tool for fundamental scientific research.

Swansea University has been a world leader in the development and application of such computational methods over the last five decades. The scientific community in China have recognised this and Swansea has hosted a stream of Chinese students and research visitors from the mid 1970’s to the present day.

Professor Owen has personally supervised more than 15 Ph.D. students and over 20 Postdocs and visitors from China. Three of his textbooks have been translated into Chinese, which provided the basis for research students and scientific researchers to develop their own research codes to be used for both fundamental studies and practical applications. Their influence can still be seen in many of the codes found in the Chinese research community today.

‌Through these activities, Professor Owen has developed strong links with many of the leading Chinese universities and research institutions; in particular with Tsinghua University and also the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His position as a Fellow of the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, UK has enabled him to initiate a variety of activities, including a series of Swansea-Tsinghua workshops on computational mechanics, a range of collaborative UK/EU/China funded research projects, participation in a major ‘973’ research project on Numerical Techniques for Severe Engineering Induced Geological Disasters and the establishment of a joint research laboratory for Discontinuum Mechanics for Engineering Disasters (DMED),between Swansea and the Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

China Friendship AwardProfessor Owen’s standing in the Chinese scientific community has led to his election as Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011.

Professor Owen said: “I am deeply honoured to have been selected to receive the Friendship Award from the government of China. It has been a privilege to work with so many talented research colleagues and students from China, which has proved to be an extremely rewarding experience”.