Chinese Scientist & Entrepreneur Provides $10 Million Endowment to UC Riverside

January 30, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

The University of California, Riverside announced that Winston Chung, a Chinese battery technology scientist, inventor and entrepreneur, has expressed his intent to give $10 million to support clean battery power, solar energy and sustainable transportation research at the Bourns College of Engineering.

Chung and UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White have signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to the gift, which will make Chung the largest individual donor to the campus in UC Riverside history.

Chung is the founder of Winston Global Energy Limited and inventor of the rare earth lithium yttrium battery.

"The University of California, Riverside welcomes Mr. Winston Chung as an integral partner in our educational and research mission," White said. "His investment in this university will result in generations of students and faculty sharing their knowledge with local and global communities, and in new materials and new energy sources for an energy-hungry world. This gift is a wonderful testimony to the current strengths and aspirational future of the UCR Bourns College of Engineering."

Reza Abbaschian, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering, said Chung’s work on electric vehicles is a perfect match with the Bourns College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT) and the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy (SC-RISE) at UC Riverside.

"Mr. Chung has created a clean and efficient energy storage that is an expression of a sustainable future," Abbaschian said. "We are talking about vehicles that go for 180 miles on a single charge and can be recharged in the time it takes to stop and drink a cup of coffee." He said he is excited by the prospect of future research collaborations, and by the opportunities the gift would mean for engineering students.

When an endowed fund is created in Chung’s name, UC Riverside will: support two named professorships in the Bourns College of Engineering: the Winston Chung Professorship in Energy Innovation and the Winston Chung Professorship in Sustainability; and establish the Winston Chung Global Energy Center within CE-CERT. The center will initially focus on Life Source Rare Earth Lithium batteries, which Chung invented, bio-inspired technology and the development of clean energy and energy storage.

Since arriving in the United States, Winston Global Energy Ltd. announced it will provide $310 million to MVP RV, which is based in Riverside, to promote motorhome exports to China. Additional money will fund development of all-electric RVs and fast-charging electrical systems.

The deal was one of about 70 between the U.S. and China announced in connection with the official state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao, in what was called a demonstration of cooperation between the two countries.