60th Birthday: Vivian Wing-Wah Yam

60th Birthday: Vivian Wing-Wah Yam

Author: ChemistryViews

Vivian Wing-Wah Yam, The University of Hong Kong, celebrates her 60th birthday on February 10, 2023.

Professor Yam has made important contributions to the fields of light-harvesting and light-emitting materials. Her research focuses on the design and synthesis of new inorganic or organometallic complexes with potential applications as functional metal-based molecular materials.

Such materials can be useful, e.g., as optoelectronic materials, in spectrochemical and luminescence chemosensors and biolabels, as photochromic and photoswitching materials, in supramolecular assemblies and organogels, and in molecular electronics.


Vivian Wing-Wah Yam obtained her B.Sc. degree in chemistry from The University of Hong Kong in 1985 and completed her Ph.D. degree there in 1988 under the supervision of Chi-Ming Che. From 1988 to 1990, she served as Lecturer in Chemistry at the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong, followed by a position as Lecturer in Chemistry at The University of Hong Kong from 1990 to 1995. She became Senior Lecturer there in 1995 and Professor (Reader) in Chemistry in 1997. Since 1999, Vivian Yam has served as Chair Professor in Chemistry at The University of Hong Kong and, since 2010, as Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor in Chemistry and Energy there. 

Among many other honors, Yam has received the Josef Michl ACS Award in Photochemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2022, the InnoStars Award from the Our Hong Kong Foundation in 2021, the Porter Medal from the European Photochemistry Association, the Inter-American Photochemistry Society, and the Asian and Oceanian Photochemistry Association in 2020, the Huang Yao-Zeng Organometallic Chemistry Award from the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS) in 2018, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Ludwig Mond Award in 2015, a L’Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science in 2011, and an honorary doctorate from the Université de Rennes 1, France.

She is a Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences, an International Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Academia Europaea, a Founding Member of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences, and Chief Editor for Chemistry for the new flagship open science journal, Natural Sciences.

Selected Publications


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