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An expert in the casting and welding of metals from the University of Leicester has been made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, an honour placing them among the nation’s best engineers.

Professor Hongbiao Dong, Professor of Materials Engineering and Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair at Leicester, is among 72 leading figures in the field of engineering and technology elected by the Royal Academy of Engineering to its Fellowship yesterday (September 20). 

Picture: Hongbiao Dong

The group consists of 60 Fellows, seven International Fellows and five Honorary Fellows, each of whom has made exceptional contributions to their own sector, pioneering new innovations, leading progress in business or academia, providing high level advice to government, or promoting wider understanding of engineering and technology.

Professor Dong, from the University’s School of Engineering, said: “I am honoured and humbled to be elected as a Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering. I have been driven to develop computer models to translate engineering research and innovation into the metals industry. This can only be achieved through collaboration and interaction between academia and industry. I have been very fortunate to work with passionate colleagues across metals sectors where our collaborative work has made a real difference.”

Professor Dong has made pioneering and significant contributions to metals industry. He is internationally renowned for solidification modelling and its application in casting and welding. His modelling work has far-reaching influence in both theory and industrial application, revealing new understanding of solute-driven solidification and provides practical solutions in casting and welding; his simulation work has been used in undergraduate teaching at universities.

This underpinning work led to his subsequent achievement on the development of modelling framework for fusion welding and the application of artificial intelligence in metal manufacturing, allowing industry to design and optimise casting, welding and additive manufacturing of metals. The real-world engineering impact of Professor Dong’s work has been exploited in various sectors, including in aerospace by Rolls-Royce, energy by the Welding Institute and steel by the Materials Processing Institute. He has played a key role in establishing international partnerships between UK and China, India and South Africa. 

The Academy’s Fellowship represents the nation’s best engineering researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, business and industry leaders. 

Professor Sarah Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, said: “I am delighted with Professor Dong’s election as Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering for his significant and lasting contributions to metals research and innovation. It is welcome recognition of the quality, impact and standing of the expertise in our School of Engineering here at the University of Leicester.”

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a special ceremony in London on November 8, when each Fellow will sign the roll book. In joining the Fellowship, they will add their unique capabilities to the Academy’s mission to harness the power of engineering to create a sustainable society and an inclusive economy for all.

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