Inaugural Lecture: Professor Tuck Seng Wong

Professor Tuck Seng Wong outside of the Sir Frederick Mappin building

Event details

Friday 26 May 2023


Why do giraffes have long necks? Driving Industrial Biomanufacturing with Evolution



When the initial title of my talk was announced, my friends expressed confusion. ‘Will you be discussing giraffes?’ However, I am not a zoologist. Instead, this talk focuses on the application of Darwinian evolution to engineer biological systems found in nature for large-scale manufacturing. Nature has evolved complex biological machinery that performs tasks far more efficiently than most engineers could achieve. For example, photosynthetic bacteria, which convert sunlight into nutrients from carbon dioxide and water, have existed for at least 3.4 billion years. As we continue to develop engineering strategies for storing or utilizing carbon dioxide, nature has already evolved a solution.

During my inaugural lecture, I will share my experiences in drawing lessons from nature to engineer innovative solutions to global challenges, such as food, health, energy, materials, and the environment. I will also discuss how we translate our benchtop research into commercial reality. Since joining the University of Sheffield in 2011, I have evolved from an engineer to an entrepreneur. This presentation is a celebration of my evolutionary journey, and my first attempt to share my scientific work with my beloved family and friends. I dedicate this talk to those who have supported me throughout my academic career.


3:00pm: Tea & Coffee - Diamond Basement Area

3:30pm: Inaugural Lecture - Diamond Lecture Theatre 4

4:30pm: Prosecco & Canapés - Diamond Basement Area

Register here.

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