uni of bradford04102023

Honorary graduate given highest honour for work in China

An honorary graduate from the University of Bradford has been handed a prestigious award for his decades-long association with China.

Professor Roger Falconer received the Chinese Government Friendship Award and Medal, which is the highest honour given to foreign experts who have “made contributions to China’s modernisation drive.”

He has worked with a number of universities and institutions in China since the 1980s on water-based projects including with Wuhan University on developing urban flood models and formulations for stability of people and vehicles in floods, with these formulae now being widely used internationally.

Professor Falconer, who was awarded his honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Bradford in December 2022, says he was delighted and honoured to receive the prizes during a visit to China in the summer.

He received the award in June from Dr Zhu Jiang, Deputy Director, International Economic and Technical Co-operation and Exchange Centre (INTCE), Ministry of Water Resources.

Professor Falconer, who is Emeritus Professor of Water and Environmental Engineering at Cardiff University, and continues to support the University of Bradford, said: “I have benefitted immensely from collaborating with Chinese scholars and practitioners since 1981.

“I first started collaborating with China through Tongji University and have since worked with several leading universities and government institutes.

“Through these collaborations and Honorary Professor appointments at several universities and institutes, I have had the opportunity of co-authoring over 120 journal publications with Chinese scholars.”

Professor Falconer, from Ilkley, was previously associated with the University of Bradford for 11 years from 1986, in roles which included Professor of Water Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering from 1993.

During this period he worked closely with a number of Chinese universities, including Tongji and Tsinghua, and in 1988 he successfully nominated Dr Qu Geping, then Head of China’s National Environmental Protection Agency, for an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Bradford.

Dr Qu subsequently went on to receive many other international awards for his work on environmental protection and management in China and other countries, including: the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal, the highest award of the World Wildlife Fund, calling him the father of environmental protection in China.