A pioneer and champion of electric vehicles, dubbed one of the “three wise men” of the international electric vehicle community, has been awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering's highest individual award for his contribution to engineering.

Professor Ching Chuen Chan FREng, Honorary Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, will receive the Prince Philip Medal during the Academy’s Awards Dinner on 2 July in recognition of his role in the development of electric vehicles as we know them today.

Professor Chan is one of the world’s most eminent authorities on electric vehicles and has contributed to the development of the field through his academic research with over 300 research papers, as a co-founder and president of the World Electric Vehicles Association, his efforts in advocacy and education, and his commitment to promoting academic and industrial interactions between Asia and the rest of the world.

His contributions to the field are many and diverse, especially in the optimisation of electric motors to be used specifically to power vehicles. His work there focused mainly on motors using alternating current (AC motors), which could be made smaller than the direct current (DC) counterparts and allowed for superior control of their speed and torque.

Professor Chan is a consultant to several major car manufacturers. He was instrumental in the development of the E2O, Mahindra REVA’s low cost electric car for the Indian market. He was appointed as Honda Chair Professor of Engineering at the University of Hong Kong in 1992, advising on the development of Honda electric vehicles until 2002. He is also chief advisor on the development of new energy vehicles to FAW, China’s largest automotive manufacturer.

Professor Fred Eastham FREng FRSE, Emeritus Professor of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Bath, said: "Professor Chan is a world renowned authority on electric vehicles. He has made an outstanding contribution to their engineering, commercial development and public awareness over many years."

Professor Chan said: “Electric vehicles have been my bread and butter in the latter half of my life and indeed they are what have made me what I am today. To cope with the challenges of this new era, it is essential to promote a climate of renaissance and open mindedness, truly in the spirit of engineering. The philosophy of engineering is system integration and optimisation; the engineering spirit is a ‘can-do’ spirit.

“It is in that spirit that I accept this prestige award, not on behalf of myself only, but on behalf of my institutions, teachers, colleagues, friends and students. This is the result of decades of collective work; the honour also belongs to them”.

Professor Chan continues his research, focusing on the new infrastructure needed to integrate electric vehicles into the world’s energy systems, such as smart charging and vehicle-to-grid systems, and the correlation between energy and information.

Over his 40-year career, Professor Chan has published 11 books, including the seminal Modern Electric Vehicle Technology, the first comprehensive book on the subject, which has been widely adopted by both industrialists and academics.

The annual Academy Awards Dinner takes place on 2 July at the Royal Opera House, and will celebrate the ingenuity of engineers and the contribution of engineering innovation to growth in both the wealth and well-being of the UK, as part of the Academy’s Engineering for Growth campaign.

Notes for Editors

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place  to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook. We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.
  1. Engineering for Growth is a partnership campaign to promote the economic impact and societal benefits delivered by engineering and to raise debate on how engineering can make an even bigger contribution. Engineering for Growth is led by the Royal Academy of Engineering in partnership with Atkins; BAE Systems; EADS; Lucite International; Rolls-Royce; McLaren Group; National Grid; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Technology Strategy Board; Institution of Chemical Engineers; Institution of Engineering and Technology; and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
    Engineering for Growth website

For more information contact:

Giorgio De Faveri at the Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel: 020 7766 0655
Email: Giorgio De Faveri

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