Dr. Winston Wong, OBE, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Dr. Winston Wong, OBE is a Taiwanese entrepreneur, scientist and philanthropist, and principal founder of the GRACE THW Group, where he has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1996.

The company, a growing plastics and electronics conglomerate, has six subsidiaries, one of which, Epoxy Base Electronic Material Corporation Limited – the maker of high-performance, environmentally friendly, electronic grade epoxy resins – is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Dr. Wong is also the founder of Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., a Shanghai-based multinational company, which manufactures semiconductor products. The company, a leader in semiconductor research and development, has been identified as a “Chinese Champion.”

Prior to launching these businesses, Dr. Wong, a British-educated physicist, held a variety of positions in industry and academia.

From 1994 to 1996 he served as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Before that, he worked for Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), the multinational corporation founded by his father, the late Taiwanese industrialist Yung Ching (YC) Wang.

Dr. Wong began his tenure at FPG with Formosa Plastics Corporation, one of FPG’s “Four Treasures,” providing environmental engineering expertise to facilitate the opening of FPC’s first manufacturing facility in the United States. He then returned to Taiwan to take a position with Nan Ya Plastics, the world’s second largest plastics processor. While there, from 1979 to 1995, Dr. Wong directed Nan Ya’s diversification efforts, which led to the founding, in 1994, of Nan Ya Technology Corporation, a leading DRAM memory chip manufacturer. One of Dr. Wong’s other achievements during this period was the creation of Nan Ya’s Electronics Materials Manufacturing Center, which now accounts for some 50% of Nan Ya’s business.

At this time, Dr. Wong helped Taiwan’s Chang Gung Medical College, which had been founded by his father and operated as a nonprofit enterprise under the FPG umbrella, obtain university status with the addition of schools of engineering and management. With his help, the college was renamed Chang Gung College of Medicine and Technology in 1994, and later Chang Gung University. Dr. Wong served during this time as a professor and founding Dean of Engineering and Technology.

Dr. Wong started his business career as a design engineer with U.S.-based PPG Industries, a leading coatings and specialty products company. While working with PPG, Dr. Wong participated in Texas’ real estate boom as a part-time realtor.

Following his early education in Taiwan, Dr. Wong was sent by his father to study in the United Kingdom, where he attended St. John’s School in Surrey and Imperial College London, studying physics, applied optics and combustion physics. In 1975, he was granted a Ph.D. in Physics by Imperial.

Throughout his career, Dr. Wong has maintained a close relationship with Imperial College London. Dr. Wong is currently a Visiting Professor at the College’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, specializing in semiconductor physics, and sponsors a Chair in Biomedical Circuits.

In 2009, in furtherance of his commitment to the development and commercialization of university-developed technologies that will improve human health, Dr. Wong sponsored the creation of the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology within the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. The Centre’s research focuses on combining electronics and biological processes to make miniaturized healthcare devices that can be used for early detection, diagnostics, monitoring and therapy and that shift the focus of care from the doctor to the patient. The Centre continues to develop its ground-breaking “lab on a chip” technology, which allows DNA to be quickly and accurately tested on a highly portable microchip.

Research sponsored by Dr. Wong has contributed to a number of important life-saving developments, including a new branch of sensors, which are being used to diagnose chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart failure

Committed to the idea that green energy should play a role in helping meet the world’s growing energy needs, Dr. Wong was also the primary sponsor of a major scientific research expedition to the Antarctic, during which ethanol fuel was tested and performed successfully under the most extreme temperature conditions, expanding the potential uses for this form of renewable energy. During the expedition the lead vehicle was known as the Winston Wong Bio-Inspired Ice Vehicle which has been put on display around the world.

Dr. Wong is also involved in a variety of philanthropic and intellectual activities. In 2010, for example, he co-founded the Wang Yueh-Lan Charitable Foundation to help fulfill the wishes of his late father’s late wife, Yueh-Lan Wang, to help the underprivileged. Since 2011, the foundation has supported local government programs that serve the orphans of military personnel and which provide educational scholarships for low-income children. The foundation has continued to expand its initiatives since the passing of Madam Wang in 2012.

Dr. Wong also supports Taiwan’s participation in the UK’s Chevening global scholarship program. Under this program, operated by the UK Foreign Office, scholarships are given to Taiwanese students to pursue graduate studies in the UK.

These and similar projects have earned Dr. Wong international recognition – including an honorary Doctor of Science Degree, which was presented to him by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, during Imperial College’s Centenary observances in 2007.

In 2015, Queen Elizabeth II named Dr. Wong an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), one of the UK’s highest honors, in recognition of his longstanding contributions to education and research in the UK and to UK and Taiwan education relations.

Dr. Wong lives in Taipei and has three children: Winston Wong Jr., Grace Wong and Solomon Wong.

News & Reflections

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