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Professor donates savings to university

By Zhou Huiying and Tian Xuefei | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-07 09:34

Shen Shizhao (left), an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang province, receives the Education Contribution Award medal and donation certificate from Xiong Sihao (right), Party secretary of the institute on Friday. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Shen Shizhao, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang province, on Friday donated his savings of 3 million yuan ($420,000) to the institute's education development foundation to support the construction of the School of Civil Engineering.

"I have been studying and working at HIT for 70 years, and it is more like my home," Shen said after receiving the Education Contribution Award medal and donation certificate from Xiong Sihao, Party secretary of HIT. "It is meaningful for me to contribute to the training of talent at the institute with my savings."

Shen was born in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, in 1933.

After graduating from the Department of Structural Engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai in 1953, he was assigned to HIT as a graduate student.

After finishing his postgraduate study in 1956, Shen decided to stay at HIT to continue his teaching and research work on wooden structures, and in the following 70 years he devoted himself to the research of structural engineering and the construction of the institute.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Shen began to shift his research work to the new field of large-span space structures in combination with the needs of the development of national construction after reform and opening-up.

Over the past decades, he has obtained systematic results in the advanced research of spatial structure morphology, static and dynamic stability, and seismic and wind resistance design theory.

At the same time, a number of new spatial structures with typical significance have been created in combination with major projects Shen designed, such as the Jilin Ice Skating Hall in Jilin province, the Shijingshan Gymnasium and Chaoyang Gymnasium in Beijing, and the Heilongjiang Provincial Speed Skating Hall.

His theoretical research and engineering innovation have made important contributions to the development of large-span space structure disciplines in the country.

Located in Southwest China's Guizhou province, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope can use its giant disc to detect the faintest signals emitted from deep space.

The active reflector cable network structure proposed by Shen's team provided strong technical support and guarantees for the project.

During the process of scientific research, Shen also cultivated a large number of space structure talent in China. So far, more than 600 master's and doctoral students have graduated from the research center he led.

"Young talent is the future of the country," said Shen. "I hope that through my donation, more outstanding students from HIT can work hard on the path of 'made in China' and grow into indispensable and capable talent who can shoulder heavy responsibilities, making new contributions to the construction of a strong nation and national rejuvenation."

Xiong said that Shen is an excellent representative of HIT who has persevered through hardships and made patriotic contributions.

"Shen has led his team in scientific research in the field of largespan spatial structures, cultivating a large amount of talent in this area and making important contributions to major national projects," said Xiong. "The institute will make good use of the donation to inspire young students to move forward on the path of dedicating themselves to science and exploring innovation."

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