Prof. Ben U named Scientific Chinese of the Year 2012


University of Macau (UM) professor Ben U Seng Pan was named Scientific Chinese of the Year 2012 (Information Technology and Electronics category), in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of microelectronics. Prof. U is the first from Macao to receive this prestigious honour. A total of 136 people received the honour this year, including well-known academicians such as Wang Xiaomo, Lu Shibi, Zhu Yingfu, and Xue Qikun; Zhang Bonan, chief designer of Shenzhou Spaceship and Tiangong-1; Weng Zhenping, director of the 702nd Research Institute, CSIC; and Wang Jun, director of BGI.

“Scientific Chinese of the Year” is a prestigious title conferred upon scientists who are dedicated to scientific research, dare to innovate, have achieved major breakthroughs in their research, and with significant impact on the advancement of science and technology as well as outstanding contributions to technology transfer in China. The selection criteria include influence, creativity, potential for technology transfer, and sense of responsibility. Prof. U is the first from Macao to ever receive this prestigious honour. Prof. U is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UM, and deputy director of the State Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal VLSI. Over the past two decades, Prof. U has been fruitful in both teaching and research. He has supervised many outstanding graduates in microelectronics, and has received numerous honours for his research achievements. UM’s microelectronics team, led by Prof. U and Prof. Rui Martins, vice rector (research) of UM, and mainly consisting of UM faculty members and students, are dedicated to the design and development of technologies for high performance analog and mixed-signal circuits. They overcame numerous technical challenges and developed a dozen internationally advanced technologies, filling the gap in the research, technology transfer and industrialisation of state-of-the-art microelectronic technologies in Macao. The team’s research results have been presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which is considered “the Chip Olympics”, and have led to over 150 papers, several US patents, and over ten other awards and prizes.

Prof. U has always spared no effort in promoting the industrialisation of research results. In 2001 he co-founded Chipidea Microelectronics (Macau) (now known as Synopsys Macau), the sole innovative-technology integrated circuits design company in Macao. Prof. U and his team are dedicated to the research and development of analog mixed-signal IP for well-known consumer electronic products. He received Macao’s first Prize for Scientific and Technological Innovation from the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation, the second-class State Scientific and Technological Progress Award, and the 2012 World Chapter of the Year Award for the Macao Chapter of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society.

The awards ceremony for recipients of the title “Scientific Chinese of the Year 2012” was held in Beijing on 22 June. This year a total of 400 people were nominated. 136 were awarded across 16 categories, including 13 well-known academicians (such as Wang Xiaomo, Lu Shibi, Zhu Yingfu, and Xue Qikun); Zhang Bonan, chief designer of Shenzhou Spaceship and Tiangong-1; Weng Zhenping, director of the 702nd Research Institute, CSIC; Wang Jun, director of BGI; Liu Yunjie, who is a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, considered the father of the Internet in China, and was named by Times magazine among the top 50 most influential IT people in the world.

The “Scientific Chinese of the Year” activity was launched in 2002. So far more than 200 eminent individuals have received this prestigious honour, including Yuan Longping, Yang Zhenning, Bai Chunli, Sun Jiadong, Min Enze, Shi Changxu, Xu Guangxian, Gu Binglin, Deng Zhonghan, Huang Boyun, and Chen Chuangtian.