Lunar New Year Report: Where teachers & scholars thrive
Chris Edwards | 01/26/2020

Talent is the inexhaustible source of power that promotes the development of Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech). In 2019, our faculty members made remarkable breakthroughs in scientific research and taught incredible classes. Their efforts have been rewarded with awards at home and abroad, fully reflecting the effectiveness of SUSTech’s talent pipelines.

“A strong higher education sector provides vital support for the development of the regional economy. A developed regional economy can also give back to higher education, giving birth to and creating world-class universities,” said SUSTech President Chen Shiyi at the Xili Lake International Science and Education City Development Forum.

SUSTech bears the responsibility of exploring and developing a modern university system with Chinese characteristics that will serve as a model for cultivating innovative talents. Throughout 2019, SUSTech sought to align its talent pipelines with the unheralded opportunities arising from the pioneering demonstration zone of Shenzhen and the industrial transformation of the Greater Bay Area.

Innovations and initiatives in teacher development

Southern University of Science and Technology was honored with its fourth consecutive ”Outstanding Talent Scout Award” from the city of Shenzhen, at a glittering ceremony at the Wuzhou Guest House in downtown Shenzhen, as part of “Shenzhen Talent Day” on November 1. President Chen Shiyi received the award on behalf of SUSTech, along with a cheque for 2.8 million RMB, in recognition of its first place for talent introduction.

SUSTech’s faculty expanded to over 900, including three academicians, nine nationally appointed experts, one recipient of funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, and two Yangtze River Scholars. This expansion of the talent pipeline is supporting the rapid growth of SUSTech.

Throughout 2019, SUSTech developed nine teams within vital disciplines to support the development of SUSTech and the Greater Bay Area. SUSTech President Chen Shiyi, ESS Head Chen Xiaofei, School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Dean Liu Ke, MSE Chair Professor Wang Hong, Biology Head Chen Wei, BME Chair Professor Jin Dayong, EEE Assistant Professor Liu Zhaojun, BME Professor Wu Changfeng, and MEEE Chair Professor Wu Yongbo were appointed as leaders of Shenzhen overseas high-level talent teams, overseeing total funding of 280m RMB. Their appointments brought the total number of teams led by SUSTech faculty to nineteen.

SUSTech received approval for four new post-doctoral research stations in mathematics, physics, biology, and mechanics from the Ministry of Human Resources & Social Security, in conjunction with the National Postdoctoral Management Committee. Post-doctoral research stations are organizations approved by universities and higher education institutions to recruit post-doctoral researchers. All four post-doctoral research stations applied for by SUSTech were approved, which represents a significant breakthrough for SUSTech’s post-doctoral work.

At the end of 2019, SUSTech has signed over 900 teachers and added 14 academicians and international award winners. 90% have worked overseas, and 60% have worked or studied in a global top 100 university. Our faculty includes 39 Academicians and 30 Distinguished Young Scholars of the National Nature Science Fund. SUSTech has also seen ten faculty members nominated for the National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars. 

Continued educational and scientific achievements for SUSTech faculty members

2019 saw SUSTech teachers rewarded for their educational efforts and sustained scientific struggles. They have been acknowledged across mainland China and around the world for their excellence in a broad range of fields, returning with honors befitting an emerging research university. These individuals are not only scientific explorers who ventured into the unknown but have brought young men and women with them to develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

In 2019, faculty members at SUSTech had made significant breakthroughs in research, academic influence, and talent development. Distinguished Visiting Professor Joseph Sifakis of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at Southern University of Science and Technology was elected as a foreign academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Institute of Risk Analysis, Prediction, and Management (Risks-X) Visiting Chair Professor and Dean Didier Sornette was elected as a full member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (Schweizerische Akademie der Technischen Wissenschaften, or SATW), in recognition of his “groundbreaking and globally recognized work on the characterization and prediction of rare extreme events and bubble formation in technology and society.” School of Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) professors Zheng Chunmiao and Liu Junguo were elected to international bodies, along with the Department of Biology Professor Xiao Guozhi

Our faculty members have also been recognized for their scientific research endeavors at home and abroad. Department of Physics Lu Haizhou received NSFC funding for National Young Scientists, while the Department of Earth and Space Science (ESS) Assistant Professor Zhang Zhenguo received support from the NSFC Fund for Excellent Young Scholars.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Associate Professor Li Guixin won the 2019 Outstanding Young Scholars Awards from the Qiu Shi Science and Technologies Foundation. University Council Vice Chairperson Li Fengliang received the title of Provincial Excellent Social Scientist. Acting Vice President Zhao Yusheng was appointed to the board of directors for the American Society for Materials Research (MRS). Two faculty members won the inaugural “Xplorer Prize,” & CSE Chair Professor Hisao Ishibuchi won the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS) Fuzzy Systems Pioneer Award. ESS Associate Professor Fang Xinding won the J. Clarence Karcher Award from the Society of Exploration of Geophysicists.  Chair Professor Liu Junguo from the School of Environmental Science and Engineering was selected as one of the recipients of the 15th Science and Technology Award for Chinese Youth. Humanities Center Lecturer Liu Yang received a Silver Medal for Best Novel and the Original Stone Award for his book, “The Orphans of Red Planet.

Our faculty members have also stuck to the original mission of educating people, being recognized for their pedagogic prowess in the process. Department of Ocean Science and Engineering Professor Liu Qingsong was recognized as a “National Model Teacher” for 2019. He was one of 41 in Guangdong Province and the only one from a university in Shenzhen. It is also the first time a SUSTech faculty member has been commended with this honor.

MSE Associate Professor Cheng Chun received the honorary title of “National Excellent Teacher” this year by the Ministry of Education.

SUSTech President Chen Shiyi received the title of “Pioneer of Shenzhen’s education reform.” Chemistry Associate Professor Xu Zongxiang and Mathematics Professor Chen Yimao were named “Excellent Teachers.” Global Engagement Office Director Zheng Chunmiao and Executive Deputy Dean of Zhixin College Wang Lingjun were both named “Advanced Educators.” Shude College Counselor Li Siming was named “Excellent Class Teacher.” The Department of Physics was also rated as an “advanced unit.”

2020, 01-26
By Chris Edwards

From the Series

Chinese New Year Special Report

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Translated and Adapted By SUSTech Newshub

Proofread ByXia Yingying

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