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Mechanical And Energy Engineering Department Chair Professor Qiang Zhu: We Should Perfect Students

"Travelling the world with motherland in heart,
Zhu's pupils prevail the earth;
Words and knowledge bared in our minds,
Virtue and morals always shine."
--From professor Zhu's Ph.D. students Kang Du
As a professor, his students documented his work; as a scientist, he possesses many patents; as a entrepreneur, the commercialization of his research is complete. He, is the Chair Professor from MEE department, Qiang Zhu. Among various choices, he selected SUSTech to continue his career life. "I am happy and proud to be at SUSTech. I hope that we can make history together and witness the growth of her. After my retirement, I wish I can tell her wonderful stories to more people."
[ Insist on research, aspire for breakthrough ]
Professor Zhu has worked at superalloy laboratory at University Of Science and Technology Beijing, National Metal Matrix Composites Engineering Research Centre, General Research Institute of Nonferrous Metals and he is always keen on material science. From advanced forming of multi-phase materials and 3D printing to computer aided engineering, his research interest and ability cover many subdivisions. It is estimated that professor Zhu has published more than 100 papers and applied for more than 30 patents. He has hosted many projects, such as National Key Basic Materials, "863", National Science and Technology Support Program, International Co-operation and etc. In previous years, professor Zhu achieved great success in light-weighting automobile parts. The aluminum alloy automobile parts produced by his semi-solid technology have the same functionality as the parts produced by forging whereas the cost is close to casting. Such technology fulfills the requirement of energy saving and lightweight materials. Currently, the semi-solid technology has achieved industrialization (e.g. Switzerland ABB, BYD, Xugong Group. etc) and technique transfer fee reaches 10 million Yuan.
Many people enjoy easy and comfortable life which professor Zhu does not. In General Research Institute of Nonferrous Metals, he chose to leave when the development is at its apex and joined SUSTech. Professor Zhu said: "I have been researching since I was at university. Now the semi-solid technology has already industrialized so that I can continue my next research topic. Perhaps you may suggest to continue my research while enjoying the benefits from previous achievement at the same time. However, this is inappropriate to me. I enjoy research and hope for breakthrough, so I selected SUSTech." To him, SUSTech is youthful and vigorous, like Shenzhen; she breeds the seeds of innovation. "This is such a great platform with plenty of development space and excellent colleagues. I wish to witness a growing SUSTech and a new me."
[Balanced management, 1+1 is greater than 2]
Professor Zhu has multiple identities: a professor, a researcher, an organizer. You may wonder if it is possible to deal with so much work. Professor Zhu answered: "In fact, learning how to properly manage the time is essential in multi-tasking. One plus one may be greater than 2."
Recalling his student life at university, professor Zhu suggested that we should participate in activities if possible and learn to manage time. "Research, management and organizing are similar to each other. Many factors were mutually assistive. Thus, you may participate in activities if possible. During this process, you will meet many things which do not exist in research and study. Then, you should learn how to express yourselves and persuading others, which are precious skills."
[All decisions are correct]
There exist many possibilities in our life and young generation like us are usually confused when we have to make choices. Sometimes, we may even resort to scientific theories to evaluate our decisions. As for this, professor Zhu said: "It is all up to your instinct. You should choose the one that makes you feel better. But your must realize that every decision is correct. There is neither wrong decision nor wrong life." After the study in Germany, the director of National Key Laboratory at University Of Science and Technology Beijing, Academician Guoliang Chen, who was also the supervisor of professor Zhu, strongly wished professor Zhu to continue his research in the future. However, professor Zhu did not choose this path. "Many of them hoped that I can follow my director for better development. However, I do not regret for my choice as it is not a mistake to me. I am joyful right now. Remember, never regret for the decision your ever made, otherwise you will be living in agony."
[Perfecting students]

When talking about education, professor Zhu used an analogy. Students represented raw materials, schools were factories and we were the product lines. We need to assist, advice and forge the raw materials till perfect product were produced.
This is how professor Zhu consider undergraduate education: " Undergraduate study is a transitional state between middle schools and society and it is also the transformation of students from kids to adults. This is an essential process where the more you learn the fast you grow, like a sponge. Keep learning knowledge brings you maturity." For graduate study, professor Zhu said that graduate students were not only students but also an independent researcher. In compare with undergraduates, the output of knowledge is equally important as learning knowledge. The evolution of mode of thinking was based on certain knowledge and it was vital for independent research. It was a transform from the stage of questions and answers to the stage of output. Indeed, the faster you transform, the faster you grow. The essence of Ph.D. students were similar after graduate study. Professor Zhu said: "I can provide students with platform and resource but the growth and achievement are more of students' problems."
"No student is better than another one. We can only say that he or she may not be in the right position or the feature is not found. The quality of product also depends on processing. Therefore, there is much for us to do in education."
[First-class research in the world]
When talking about the goal in the future, professor Zhu said, the first thing was the colleagues in MEE department should establish the platform for both research and education. The second thing was to conduct research on 3D printing and other projects. "We must have dreams and confidence in developing the metal processing and 3D printing technology of SUSTech to world-class level, the best in the world." A the same time, professor Zhu welcomed the joining of students who had interest in metal forming manufacture and 3D printing to his group.

Translator: Pengfei Ji、Xiaochuan Xiao