On 24 November 2010, the Governor of the Shandong Province presented the Qilu Friendship Award to Roberto J. Peña, CIMMYT’s GWP wheat quality expert. The Qilu Friendship Award is the highest honor awarded to foreigners in recognition of their contributions to the economical and social development of the Province. This award was presented by the Provincial Governor to 18 expert foreigners who have a made a significant impact on economic, social and scientific development of the Shandong Province
Peña’s more than 10 years of work alongside scientists of The Crop Research Institute of the Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAC), have resulted in significant advancements in the infrastructure for wheat quality testing and improvement in China. His work has contributed to the development of modern high-yielding, high-quality wheat cultivars, and to human resource development through the training of various Chinese SAAC wheat scientists.
Peña’s hard work and many years of dedication to the region make him a deserving candidate of the award. He has since returned from the award ceremony in Shandong, China.