Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has bestowed one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious honors on Dr. Winston Wong, recognizing his service to education and research in the United Kingdom and his contributions to Taiwan-UK education relations, by naming him an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The Honor is more widely known as being awarded an OBE (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/honorary-british-awards-to-foreign-nationals-2015).
Dr. Wong will have the actual award presented to him later this year in Taipei by The Honorable Chris Wood, Representative of the British Foreign Office, Taipei. At that ceremony, Dr. Wong will be presented with his Royal document and Royal insignia. His OBE status, however has already been privately and publicly approved by Her Majesty the Queen.
The commendation recognizes Dr. Wong for his long-standing commitment to and support of various scientific research and educational programs at Imperial College London and for his support for Taiwan’s participation in the UK’s Chevening global scholarship program (http://www.chevening.org/partners/corporate/winston-wong). Under this program, scholarships are available to Taiwanese graduate students who plan to study in the UK.
While most individuals given this honor are British citizens, non-citizens can be recognized by the Queen. Dr. Wong’s OBE is just one of a few conferred on Taiwanese citizens in history and one of a handful for non-UK citizens this year.
“First I must thank Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for honoring me in this very humbling way. It is an honor I shall cherish for the rest of my life. I obviously have a deep affinity for the United Kingdom, where I attended high school and obtained my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Imperial College. So I feel privileged to have this honor bestowed on me from the country that gave me an unforgettable academic experience and foundation which has shaped my entire life. So many great people at Imperial have taught me so much and have been so generous with their friendship and I am very grateful. Finally, I am proud to accept this honor as a Taiwanese to further UK-Taiwan relations through education.”
Dr. Wong attended high school at St. John’s School in Surrey, England, and received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from Imperial College London. He has remained actively involved with Imperial College throughout his adult life and, among other things, sponsored the creation of the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology within the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the College. The Centre’s research focuses on combining electronics and biological processes and has led to a number of important life-saving developments, including a new branch of sensors that are being used to diagnose chronic diseases.
Dr. Wong is being honored in a series of informal celebratory events this week in London, by Members of Parliament, Members of the House of Lords, the leadership of Imperial College and other leaders and friends in the UK.