Explore as a

Share our content


Published 30 November 2023

Brent Clothier inducted into the Chinese Academy of Engineering 

In late November 2019, Royal Society Te Apārangi President Dr Brent Clothier FRSNZ was elected as an Academician (Foreign Member) of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE). The Biennial Inauguration Ceremony for all new 2019 Academicians was slated for May 2020.  Unfortunately, Covid-19 intervened, and that never happened.

Now in late November 2023, some four years later, Brent was in China for contracted work between Plant & Food Research, Wuhan University, Beijing Forestry University, and China Agricultural University. The CAE decided to take this opportunity to hold an induction ceremony to present Brent with his Academician’s certificate. The induction took place in Beijing on 27 November. Brent is the first New Zealander to become a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.  

Brent has been working in China on projects for nearly 25 years. Plant & Food Research has an even longer connection with China that was initiated by (the late) Dr Lairong Li who was appointed in 1941 to the DSIR, Plant & Food Research antecedent. Dr Li left New Zealand in 1944, and eventually returned to China after a stint in a Japanese POW camp as his ship got torpedoed. Dr Li was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in 1979. 

Brent has been in contact with Dr Li’s granddaughter Stella Si, and the Society will now provide her with a re-issued Fellowship Certificate, as the original got ‘lost’ during the Cultural Revolution in China.  He will sign this re-issued certificate as the current President. Brent is honoured to be able to reconnect the ‘circle’ of Chinese-New Zealand academies.

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi