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Tianjin University Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Shi Shaoxi

 Campus

On September 25, 2016, Tianjin University (TJU) held a forum to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Shi Shaoxi, who was the pioneer of the Strategy of Invigorating China through the Development of Science and Education, founder of the Internal Combustion Engine profession, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a former president of TJU. 

Shi Shaoxi was committed to teaching, scientific research and prestigious university governance for a long period, therefore, he left a content-rich and meaningful education and teaching legacy. Earlier in the Reform and Opening-up period, his thoughts and practice led the reform of Chinese higher education, so he is a pioneer of the Strategy of Invigorating China through the Development of Science and Education. 

From 1979 to 1986, during his term as Vice President and President of TJU, Shi Shaoxi connected the preceding and the following, while blazing new trails in a pioneering spirit, leading TJU to enter into a new stage of comprehensive development during the Reform and Opening-up period for exploring ways to invigorate China through science, technology and education, through innovation and development. 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of former President Shi Shaoxi. His remarkable contributions in Engineering Technology and Engineering Education during the New China period were honored, as well as his ideal of strengthening China in the noble manner of true patriotism.  

Chen Zhemin addressed the forum. He spoke highly of Shi Shaoxi's altruistic life, and pointed out his outstanding contribution to TJU. Chen Zhemin emphasized that, currently Tianjin is faced with significant development opportunities, in all aspects of life to further study and implement the spirit of the National Technology Innovation Conference. Secretary-General Xi Jinping, spoke about implementing the Strategy of Innovation-driven Development, to promote economic restructuring and the development of National Independent Innovative Demonstration Zones, as well as developing initiatives for the construction of innovative cities and industrial innovation centers, therefore, needing higher requirements in terms of scientific and technological innovation to be put forward. The prestige of the university is an important platform combined with science and technology, a top productive force, first class talent, the best resources, and innovation and with the most impetus. So it is the university’s new historical mission to carry on Shi Shaoxi’s altruistic spirit, as well as his reform and innovation courage, to strengthen discipline construction, research and innovation, and talent cultivation. Furthermore, to develop a world-class university and disciplines, and contribute to Tianjin’s economic and social development. 

Chen Zhemin put forward three hopes and requirements. Firstly, the university should strengthen scientific and technological innovation, and stick to the principle goal of leadership, being, demand-oriented and opening up to the outside. Besides, expanding basic innovation, research and develop the trump card is to improve the technological capability for serving the economic development of society. Secondly, the university should attach great importance to talent cultivation, insist on the fundamental principle of moral education first, highlight innovative and entrepreneurial education, and make an effort to build a team of top-notch talented people and innovative leaders. Thirdly, a prestigious university's comprehensive reform will center around governance and system innovation, coordinate to promote the university’s governance system and modernization as well as develop a world-class university and discipline development, and contribute to the construction of innovative cities and industrial innovation centers. 

Chairman of the University CPC Standing Committee Li Jiajun (then the President of Tianjin University) shared his first-hand learning experience of Shi Shaoxi's spirit and ideals of education. In his opinion, it is important to learn from Shi Shaoxi's patriotism and loyalty to the Communist Party, as well as his scientific strategy of serving the country, looking forward to the future, and to learn from his creative spirit of seeking truth from facts and then pursuing the truth. Li Jiajun said, "It has been 16 years since the previous president Shi Shaoxi deceased. Today, we can thankfully tell him that the profession of Internal Combustion Engine which was founded by him, underpins the Chinese Internal Combustion Engine Industry, and his schoolmates and students are in every one of the key industries and fields. The key state laboratory undertakes major projects research in these subjects. TJU has made considerable progress along with Chinese engineering technology and engineering education. Today, as we remember our former president we still know that he has put all his efforts into loving his homeland and education, which is the motivation for his strength and perseverance and sticking to his career." Li Jiajun encouraged the students and faculties to connect the past and the future, and therefore connect TJU and their education to the Communist Party that Shi Shaoxi made all his efforts so it can be better and better. 

In 1997, Shi Shaoxi established Shi Shaoxi Technology Education Foundation with the Tianjin Internal Combustion Engine Research Institute and others in the field, for searching and cultivating talented people, as well as promoting the industry development. This is the only private foundation of its kind devoted to the internal combustion engine. In 2015, TJU joined hands once again with many companies and individuals to contribute and maintain the foundation, and, up to now, it has received several donations. Shu Gequn, the Vice Party Secretary and Vice President, described the situation of the foundation, and expressed thanks to the companies, from which donations had been received. 

Li Jun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of the China FAW Group Cooperation R&D Center, Su Wanhua, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Yu Lijun, the Executive Deputy Secretary of The Work of the CPC Beijing Municipal Education Committee, Zhang Lizhu, the Vice President of the Tianjin Association for Science and Technology, Tang Jingli, Chief Editor of China Higher Education, Zhou Lixing, a Professor of Tsinghua University, Gao Yingzong, the former President of Jiangsu University, Huangzhen, the Vice President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Zhang Quanguo, the Vice President of Henan Agricultural University, Shen Shengqiang, the Director of the Chinese College of Engineering Thermal Physics, Qi Fei, the Chief of the China Branch of the Combustion Institute, Li Shusheng, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of China Internal Combustion Engine Association, Xing Min, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the China Internal Combustion Engine Industry Association, and Yao Chunde, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Society of Engineering Thermophysics attended the conference. Other attendees included, the family members of Shi Shaoxi, all members of the leadership team of TJU, Yang Yuqin, the former Secretary of the Party Committee of TJU, Shan Ping, former president of TJU, representatives of teachers and students, Presidents of Tianjin University Alumni Association from almost 30 cities, and more than 120 leading officials from Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Chinese Society For Internal Combustion Engines, the Chinese Society of Engineering Thermophysics and other universities, as well as from Scientific Research Institutions, Industry Associations and so on. 

A feature film was played at the forum, which was recorded by the Propaganda Department of Tianjin University Party Committee, reviewing the former President Shi Shaoxi’s glorious life. The former Minister of Machinery Industry, the Eighth and Ninth Standing Committee of CPPCC He Guangyuan, could not attend the forum, therefore, he specially recorded a video and also commissioned a staff member to read his speech to recall his very respected predecessor. Tang Jingli and Li Jun deeply cherished the memory of what an important contribution the old President Shi had made to China's higher education and the development of the internal combustion engine. They recalled as well his excellent personal qualities and noble demeanor. Su Wanhua and Wang Rongtai, representatives of the teachers and students alumni, BaiJing Sheng, former director of the Tianjin University Internal Combustion Engine Research Institute, GaoZongYing, ZhouLiXing, representatives of other universities, LiShuSheng and Xing Min, the relevant leaders in charge of the association, made speeches in turns reviewing the life story and difficult history of Shi Shaoxi, showing that his dedication and ideals of innovation should be carried forward. 

The school also held an exhibition, "The Pioneer of the Strategy of Invigorating China through the Development of Science and Education to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Shi Shaoxi, which is now open to people inside and outside the university in the Museum of School History at the Weijin Road Campus and the Zhengdong Library of the Peiyang Park campus. All the participants visited the exhibition and expressed their warm appreciation.

 
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