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Cardiff Professor receives People’s Republic of China Friendship Award

7 October 2014

Professor Ralph Martin

A Cardiff University Professor has received China's prestigious Friendship Award – the nation's highest honour awarded to foreigners.

Professor Ralph Martin from the School of Computer Science & Informatics accepted his award from Ma Kai, Vice Premier of China, at a special ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Friendship Award

This is the highest level recognition awarded by the Chinese government to non-Chinese experts for their contributions to the country's economic and social progress. Professor Martin was one of 100 award winners from 25 countries, and was honoured for his outstanding academic contributions.

He was nominated for a Friendship Award by China's top University for science and engineering - Tsinghua University in Beijing – where he is a Guest Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Technology.

Friendship Award

"I have been collaborating with Tsinghua since 2001 and this award is recognition of that long-standing and successful partnership," said Professor Martin, who leads the Visual Computing Research Group within the Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics.

"Our work together has achieved some outstanding results over the years; both research groups here in Cardiff and at Tsinghua have gone from strength-to-strength, improving the quality of their research significantly to the point where both institutions are now undisputedly producing world-leading research. We have helped each other to get there."

Professor Martin believes that the reciprocal relationship between the two Universities is mutually beneficial on numerous levels.

"We both benefit greatly from the sharing of information and expertise," he commented. "We have Professor Shi-Min Hu of Tsinghua serving as a part-time Professor at Cardiff, and several of his PhD students have come to Cardiff for typically six months to work on various projects. For me, it is always a great pleasure to go out to China and work with such highly motivated students on a range of interesting topics."

As part of the Friendship Award celebrations, winners were invited to the National Day Banquet by the President of China Xi Jinping, and also attended a meeting with the Premier Li Keqiang who thanked them for their contributions. Award winners received a medal and a plaque commemorating their prize.