Alumnus celebrates centenary

The University is delighted to wish a very Happy 100th Birthday to a distinguished alumnus, and long-time supporter of the University, The Honourable Sir Sze-yuen Chung (PhD Mechanical Engineering 1951, Hon LLD 1985), who celebrates his birthday on 3 November.

sir szeyuen chung

This year also happens to be the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sir S.Y.’s home department while at Sheffield, which will itself be celebrating in the city’s Winter Garden on the same day.

Sir S.Y. has been a firm friend of the University throughout his life. As an alumnus he has supported his University in many ways over the years. His endowed scholarship fund has helped outstanding students from Hong Kong come to the UK to study for a postgraduate degree at Sheffield. Some of Sir S.Y.'s generous donations have also been used to provide scholarships for women, supporting the University’s commitment to increase, support and recognise the number of women in engineering.

The University’s postgraduate engineering building was in part made possible thanks to a 1 million US dollar donation from Sir S.Y., including the fitting out of the central atrium space which was named in his honour. In recognition of this gift Sir S.Y. was also admitted to the University’s Roll of Benefactors in January 2012.

Sir S.Y.’s support for the University has also spread beyond engineering, with his donations helping to establish a library and study space in the School of East Asian studies.

Most recently, Sir S.Y.'s generous donations to the Faculty of Engineering have helped establish the prestigious Sir S.Y. Chung Centenary Fellowships in the Faculty. These Fellowships will allow distinguished international academics to visit and work at the University on 6 month fellowships, enhancing our research and teaching capabilities.

The University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, congratulated Sir S.Y. on behalf of the University: “As Sir S.Y. celebrates his 100th birthday, so too does his department. On behalf of all at Sheffield I would like to wish him a very happy birthday, and also thank him for his unstinting and generous support of the University.”

The Honourable Sir Sze-yuen Chung, GBE, GBM, PhD, HonFIMechE, FREng, JP

Sir S.Y. arrived in Sheffield in 1948 from his home in Hong Kong after a 28-day journey at sea to take up a British Council scholarship. During his studies he lived in the South-West of the city with his fellow postgraduate students until the completion of his PhD in 1951. During his time at Sheffield he published ten research papers, one of which was awarded the prestigious Whitworth prize of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Following his studies, Sir S.Y. returned to Hong Kong and worked as a mechanical engineer, establishing his own firm - Chung Sze Yuen Engineering – as well as becoming a leading member of the business community there. He later moved into politics, becoming a senior member of numerous leadership councils, and was heavily involved in the transfer of Hong Kong back to China, and its establishment as a Special Administrative Region.