Guest professorship and earthquake escape for Mohan Edirisinghe
16 May 2008
Professor Mohan Edirisinghe, Chair of Biomaterials at UCL Mechanical Engineering, has been made a Guest Professor at Sichuan University. The position is linked to the Chinese university's National Engineering Research Centre in Biomaterials.
A special ceremony was held at Sichuan University on 12 May, where the Vice-President of Sichuan University, Professor Jin Shi, presented Professor Edirisinghe with the award in the presence of biomaterials centre staff including Professor Xingdong Zhang, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. This was followed by a lecture on 'The Novel Preparation of Biomedical Engineering Structures' by Professor Edirisinghe.
Professor Zhongwei Gu, Director of the National Engineering Research Centre in Biomaterials, noted the significant contribution of Professor Edirisinghe to recent biomaterials and biomedical engineering literature and the enhancement of collaboration between the Sichuan University biomaterials centre and UCL Mechanical Engineering. The links between the two academic departments are to be strengthened and enhanced with academic staff, researcher and student exchanges. Joint workshops and joint research grant applications are planned over the next two years alongside the long-term expansion of the collaboration to an international network involving Europe, Asia, US and Australasia.
Professor Edirisinghe's visit to Sichuan University took place on the same day as the earthquake that has devastated large areas of the region in southwest China. The university is situated in Chengdu, about 60 miles away from the epicentre. Some of the first images to emerge of the violence of the quake came from students at the university who had filmed the event on mobile phones. The latest news from the university is that 60 students suffered injuries and some historical buildings have been damaged.
Professor Edirisinghe, now safely home, said: "Despite the disaster, which happened towards the end of the visit, Sichuan university looked after me and my PhD student Xiang Li exceptionally well right up to the point of our departure. The university staff are very determined, clever and hardworking people, and will come out of this setback strongly. I look forward to visiting them again soon."
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Image: Professor Mohan Edirisinghe (centre), with Sichuan University Vice-President Professor Shi on his right and Professor Zhang on his left, and staff from the National Engineering Research Centre for Biomaterials.