Environmental Science and Engineering maintains progress in education and research
Chris Edwards | 03/07/2020

Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) continues in its efforts to support the community in this challenging period. There are many teams across SUSTech working relentlessly to ensure the health and safety of all on campus, and the School of Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) is one department continuing with their academic and research pursuits in the face of epidemics.

ESE has long understood the impact of foreign bodies on the human body. With this in mind, ESE created many policies to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to keep everyone safe and healthy while allowing the teaching and research operations to continue.

As strict adherents to proper laboratory safety management procedures, the additional layer from dealing with the novel coronavirus has seen ESE Dean Zheng Chunmiao lead the ESE Epidemic Prevention and Control Working Group. Every research laboratory reports to the Working Group, ensuring that every researcher and scholar can continue their scientific research in a safe and orderly manner.

Policies have been formulated, and staff assigned to ensure that all members of the ESE community understand what is required during this challenging period. Public health measures are actively promoted with up-to-date information to provide ESE members with proper understandings of how to keep themselves healthy. Staff members keep track of health declaration data, as required by regulations, and other vital materials that help manage laboratory safety and the movement of people.

The opportunities that have arisen from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen the ESE teaching staff rapidly adapt to the online teaching platforms on offer. Pre-recorded videos and live-streamed classes have been the most commonly used educational approaches to the online teaching environment. It has allowed for a high-quality education to continue unabated within the School.

There is always significant research work that continues regardless of what is happening outside the walls of ESE. Researchers have simply shifted their communication modes from offline to online, allowing for the furtherance of many projects, such as the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) funding applications, data analysis, model simulations, and preparation for talent project defenses.

At this stage in a semester, students are often looking for guidance in selecting a major for the upcoming academic year. ESE has taken an active approach by offering online professional promotion conferences, allowing more than one hundred students to talk with faculty members. ESE head of undergraduate teaching Chair Professor Liu Junguo hosted both these conferences, which has seen Chair Professor Yang Xin, Associate Professor Zeng Zhenzhong, and Assistant Professor Tang Yuanyuan play active roles. Class of 2018 alumni Wang Tianyuan called in from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), where he shared his academic experience at SUSTech.

In this period, many students are increasingly engaged with their future opportunities for higher education, and SUSTech is reaching out through many different platforms. ESE Professor Zhang Zuotai was instrumental in one online platform that had thousands of interactions from high school students and their parents.

The School is also playing a pivotal role in assisting those in need through the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, alcohol-based sanitizer, and disinfectant. Returning scholars and students have been blessed with these gifts and information packs on their safe use. Similar donations have been sent to Hubei Province. Vice-Provost (Global Strategies) Zheng Chunmiao made a personal donation of masks to the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control (SZCDC), as a mark of love and respect for their front-line efforts.

ESE remains entirely committed to its studies of the soil and groundwater, and its high-impact scientific research and ongoing excellence in education. They have added layers of safety management to their duties and will fight hand-in-glove with the rest of SUSTech, Shenzhen, and the world to defeat the novel coronavirus.

2020, 03-07
By Chris Edwards

From the Series

Education

Proofread ByXia Yingying

Photo BySchool of Environmental Science and Engineering

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