Tien Chang-lin, the distinguished Chinese-American scientist who spearheaded Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's controversial technology policy in his first term of office, has died. He was 67. He died in a California hospital on Wednesday after a two-year battle with brain cancer. The professor was a world-renowned engineer and specialist in heat transfer. He was best-known in the US as the first Asian-American to head a major research university, the University of California at Berkeley, where he was chancellor from 1990 to 1997. In Hong Kong, he is best remembered as Mr Tung's principal technology adviser. He helped shape the initiative to make the SAR a hi-tech hub when he served as head of the Chief Executive's Commission on Innovation and Technology in 1998 and 1999. Many of the commission's final recommendations made in 1999 were adopted by the government, including the formation of a $5 billion technology and innovation fund. Tien received the Grand Bauhinia Medal this year but was too ill to travel from California. His wife, Tien Di-hwa, accepted the award for him from Mr Tung. Yesterday, Mr Tung sent his condolences to his family. 'Professor Tien led the commission in mapping out strategies and laying the foundation for Hong Kong's public programmes for strengthening the use of innovation and technology,' he said. Tien's power and influence on the government stemmed partly from Hong Kong's euphoria over the Internet, information technology and the stocks of related companies. The hi-tech stock bubble burst shortly after his commission was disbanded in 1999. Seeing the favourable terms which Pacific Century Cyberworks obtained from the government in building the Cyberport project, Tien encouraged his friend and associate, Hsu Ta-lin, chairman of Hambrecht & Quist Asia Pacific, to pursue the computer chip-making Silicon Harbour project. This project fell through, and the propriety of his support for a commercial project was questioned. He was born in Wuhan, on July 24, 1935, and completed his undergraduate education at National Taiwan University. He earned a master's degree and a PhD at Princeton University in 1959. The professor is survived by his wife of 42 years and three children.