A University of Limerick PhD Graduate at the Bernal Institute Dr Guang Ren has received The Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad.  This academic award is considered the highest award given by the Chinese government to PhD students who study outside China.  The number of Chinese students leaving China to study abroad is more than half a million each year, making this prestigious award highly competitive. Only 500 awards [top 0.1%] are granted every year.  Established in 2003, this award is developed to encourage research excellence and to recognize the achievements among Chinese students abroad.

Ren’s PhD research focussed on the development of lead-free solder alloys for next generation electronics packaging.  His research was supervised by Dr Maurice Collins, School of Engineering, UL and funded by the Irish Research Council, it is the subject of a royalty earning patent filing, and  is expected to be commercialised.

Speaking from his desk at home in Limerick, Dr Guang Ren said “I feel grateful and fortunate that I have the opportunity to carry out my PhD research in Bernal Institute, where the world class facilities are available to bring the scientific work to a high standard. Staff are so supportive, they keep everything running smoothly so that we can focus on research. Every week, world renowned researchers from different fields are invited here for seminars, which helps expand my thought, my vision and my network. The strong link between Bernal Institute and Industry empowers me to bring the fundamental research from the lab to commercialisation status. This opportunity to cooperate with industry helps me develop my transferrable skills such as presentation, project management, interdisciplinary communication and IP generation”.

Dr Maurice Collins said “The Chinese government award for outstanding students abroad is a really prestigious award. It underlines the quality of the work at the Bernal Institute and Guang Ren in particular richly deserves this accolade.”

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