Changbaishan “supervolcano” China-N Korea border. Xu Yi Gang and Martin Menzies with Chen Xuan Yu collecting volcanic rocks for his thesis August 2014

08 March 2019

China Medal for International Science and Technology Cooperation

By Development and Alumni Relations Team

Professor Martin Menzies, from the Department of Earth Sciences will be awarded the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award at a ceremony in China this year. The award, from Guangdong Province, recognises individuals who have established international collaborative research programs in science and technology.  

The nomination by Prof Xu YiGang (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry) highlighted Professor Menzies’ contribution.

  • Doctoral Training
    In 1989, Royal Society China-U.K. funding initiated a program of research by doctoral and post-doctoral students from Changsha, Guangzhou, Xi’an and Beijing that would last for three decades. Research was undertaken in the geochemistry laboratories of Earth Sciences and more recently Geography, Queen’s Building, Royal Holloway. Funding came from the K.C. Wong Foundation, the ORS, The Royal Society, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Royal Holloway. All of these scientists returned to China and became leaders in their field. In 2018, Professors Xu Yi Gang and Zhang Hong Fu were elected as Academicians.

Royal Holloway alumni Professors Xu Yi Gang (Guangzhou), Zhang Hong Fu (Xi’an/Beijing) with Prof Menzies, Guangzhou 2006

  • Pioneering Research
    In 1993, Professor Menzies pioneered a new approach to understanding the geological evolution of eastern China during the last 250 million years. A “game changer”, it formed the basis of a new research focus for Chinese researchers, funded generously by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation of China. Decades later, the North China Craton project is internationally recognised and has attracted five National awards in China and international collaborations with Australia, the USA & Europe. Exotic rocks and diamonds in Chinese volcanoes helped pioneer this new research.

Exotic rocks & diamonds in Chinese volcanoes helped pioneer this new research

  • Skills Transfer
    An International Expert Review Panel visited the CAS-GIG in 2013. Prof Menzies and GIG Director Prof Xu Yi Gang agreed a strategic plan that would allow for the training of young Chinese scientists and promote skill transfer between Royal Holloway in the U.K. and CAS-GIG in China. A jointly funded doctoral program was established in 2013 between the Chinese Academy of Sciences GIG and Royal Holloway Earth. The doctoral program began in 2014 and Professor Menzies acted as co-supervisor of the first two doctoral students. Five years later Drs Liu Liang and Chen Xuan Yu will graduate from Royal Holloway.

Changbaishan “supervolcano” China-N Korea border. Xu Yi Gang and Martin Menzies with Chen Xuan Yu collecting volcanic rocks for his thesis August 2014

Speaking of his award, Professor Menzies said: “Since first visiting China in 1981, the country has changed beyond recognition. The landscape, people and culture continue to fascinate me. It is immensely gratifying that colleagues in China acknowledge my contribution to the internationalisation of their science. I am honoured to accept the Guangdong award on behalf of all those scientists who have benefitted from the RHUL-CAS-GIG joint programs.”

Further information: Martin Menzies, Lyell Professor Emeritus in Volcanology & Chinese Academy of Sciences Distinguished Professor (stromboli@hotmail.co.uk)