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Returning To SUSTech For Education: Interview With Professor Yongbo Wu From Mechanical And Energy Engineering Department

Professor Yongbo Wu, who are an internationally famous specialist in precision machining, joined SUSTech in August, 2016. He has worked as the professor in Mechanical Intelligent System Engineering department at Akita Prefectural University (Japan) and the director of Advanced Technology of Machining lab. He was the first person who proposed the concept of multi-field (acoustic field: ultrasonic, magnetic field: magneto-rheology, electric field: plasma discharge/electricity induced plasticity/microwave, optical field: laser/ultra-violet, chemical field: solid phase reaction) assisted precision machining and conducted a series of prospective research. He is acknowledged as the authority in this area and published over 200 papers. He has also applied 16 patents in Japan (7 were granted) and has been invited to present in seminars more than 30 times. 

 
【First impression: Embraced in mountains and rivers, submerged in students enthusiasm】
 
Speaking of the meeting of professor Wu and SUSTech, we cannot leave out SUSTech's tradition of lecture invitation. SUSTech has paid much attention to providing international outlook for students since its establishment so that internationally famous scholars are often invited to SUSTech to lecture. Consequently, students can know about the cutting-edge research development as much as possible. Before professor Wu officially worked at SUSTech, he was once invited to SUSTech for seminar. Even though he was an experienced and knowledgeable scholar, he was still astonished by the beautiful "appearance" when he first came to SUSTech. "The environment of the campus is amazingly great", to him, SUSTech's campus is not similar to other universities which consist of tall buildings and dull atmosphere. The layout of SUSTech is special: buildings are embraced in mountains and rivers which are peaceful and tranquil. "The planning  of construction is reasonable, which benefits the research." Additionally, the students at SUSTech have won his compliment, "When walking along the road, the students are full of passion and vitality, which makes me feel energetic."
 
[Further development: mind leads action]
 
After fully understanding the education philosophy and management system of SUSTech, he had an idea of joining her. He said, the management system was the main reason for his return. "I very much agree with the idea of SUSTech", in his point of view, a university should not be an institute managed by government as too much administrative restriction would damage its passion for innovation. However, SUSTech's management system was unique: the university was governed by board of director and professors were also responsible for governing. Meanwhile, the core was education and research while administration serves education, which is an ideal situation for a university. "This is the main reason I choose SUSTech and I believe it is also the reason of the joining of other professors at SUSTech."
 
Professor Wu has been studying and working in Japan for more than 26 years and he is familiar with Japan's post-secondary education mode. In general, the admission system provides each student with more than three opportunities. The entrance examination includes the national examination held by University Entrance Examination Center and the individual ability examination held by universities. The latter one provides more than two examinations. The score of each section weighs differently and they will form the final score. To some extent, Japan's university entrance examination ensures the consistency with national requirement and the flexibility of university admission. "Japanese universities treat the comprehensive score as the major admission criterion, just like SUSTech." He also spoke highly of SUSTech's 631 admission mode, "This is a breakthrough to China's tradition of one-time examination and provides students with more opportunities." Based on the admission system, education philosophy and administration mode, he summarized that the education mode of SUSTech was the closest to the global standard. Thus, it was reasonable that she has attracted many famous scholars. "I could have lived a easy life in Japan. But the rapid development of motherland and SUSTech has inspired me to return." He smiled with excitation.
 
[Careful cultivation: active learning and hardworking]
 
"First, I admire the vision and adventure spirit of SUSTech's students for choosing the young SUSTech." Professor Wu had a bigger smile on his face when speaking of SUSTech's students. He was shared with many lovely stories of the students so he had high expectation for them. For example, professor Rong have once told him the story about the establishment of the race car team of MEE department. It was the time when professor Rong just arrived MEE department and then a student send him an email to express the will of beginning the research and learning the knowledge about race cars as well as establishing race car team. "SUSTech has a promising future because of these students."Professor Wu also had a unique prospective on education. He felt that the hardworking atmosphere at SUSTech had created a positive effect on students since they had such an active will. Research required such initiative spirit when identifying problems and finding out solutions. Communication with students and teachers initiatively would help conquer the peak of science.
 
In addition, professor Wu proposed the habit of carefulness when conducting research. "I hope that our students will always work with carefulness and hardworking spirit no matter what they do." In his point of view, teaching knowledge and performing experiments could be done by every university but helping students learn the attitude of being responsible is not easy. Human beings had five senses and effective study required all of them. He very much agreed with Chairman Mao's words: "The most difficult thing is 'being serious'." He told us that Japan's excellent undergraduates might enter laboratories to research in their first or second year and almost every student would enter laboratories. "I hope that we can introduce this great research institution to China as well as their spirit hardworking and responsibility." He said Chinese students were smart but most of them lacked patience and attitude. When he was a Ph.D. students, he was usually annoyed about the experiment results which were not as good as expectation. The best situation was that 10 out of 100 results might be useful. "Research needs patience. Be prepared for iterative experiments. Science problems cannot be accomplished in only one move."
 
Finally, professor Wu once again expressed his confidence in the development of SUSTech. He said, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has a short history but high reputation, which was our great example. "A great university needs three important factors, professors, teams and students. SUSTech have great foundation in these three area therefore its future is promising!"


Translator: Pengfei Ji、Xiaochuan Xiao