Honorary Degree citation: Professor Bertil Andersson

13 December 2017

Chancellor, it is my privilege to present to you for a degree of the University, Professor Bertil Andersson.

Professor Andersson is an academic of exceptional scientific achievement having earned worldwide recognition for his ground-breaking discoveries in the field of plant biochemistry.

In particular, he has pioneered the study of artificial leaf research, where sunlight is used to produce clean, low-cost sustainable energy.

The discoveries, made with the late Professor Jan Anderson, have stimulated an enormous amount of further research that has proven how, over billions of years, plants have made the Earth habitable for - and have sustained - most forms of life.

Professor Andersson demonstrated the potential for his research when he said in an interview last year with The Straits Times of Singapore, "If we can devise artificial photosynthesis, if we could figure out its blueprint, we might have the ultimate solution to our energy crisis."

Later, he hosted Australian researchers to his laboratories in Sweden and encouraged Scandinavian plants scientists to undertake research in Australia.

Throughout his outstanding career, Professor Andersson has authored more than 300 papers on photosynthesis.

He was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Science in 1989 and then as a Corresponding Member of the Australian Academy of Science in 1999, in recognition of his scientific achievements and close links to research in this country.

Building on his early breakthroughs, Professor Andersson led a renowned research team at Stockholm University for almost 20 years.

He became Rector at Linköping University where he retained a Chair in Biochemistry until 2013.

He also became one of the youngest members to sit on the Nobel Prize Selection Committee for Chemistry.

His personal reputation as a research leader, coupled with his high-level experience in Swedish universities and international science affairs, led to him becoming CEO of the European Science Foundation.

He was appointed Provost of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and later became President in 2011.

These positions have cemented his global reputation in leadership of academic institutions.

In less than a decade he has transformed Nanyang Technological University into an internationally acclaimed research-intensive institution, now ranked among the top 15 in the world.

Chancellor, it is with pleasure that I present to you Professor Bertil Andersson, that you may confer on him the Degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa for his exceptional contributions to science.