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The Firsts and Pioneers

Wang Chongyou

 

Wang Chongyou (also known as Zuochen) was born in 1878. His ancestral home is, Dongguan, Guangdong. He was admitted to Peiyang Univserity with his brother Wang Chonghui in 1895 to study mining and metallurgy and became one of the first specialists in this field in China’s history. He was the pioneer of antimony smelting technology, and one of the founding fathers of the Geological Society and the Mining and Metallurgy Society of China. He composed a monograph on antimony mining, Antimony, which is the first in the world and considered in the metallugy field as the authoritative work on antimony. He successively held the posts of vice president, and president of the Geological Society of China, a member of the Defense Commission in the Military Commission of the Chinese Nationalist Government, and senior executive officer of the later reorganized Resource Committee. He was awarded the University Medal by Columbia University and the medal of Honor by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers. Internationally, he is considered the “Antimony King” in the metallugy field.

 

Wang Chongyou was among the first students admitted to Peiyang University. Diligent and excellent in his studies, he earned the honor of “Excellent Student” and graduated in 1899. In 1901, he became one of the first student who pursued a study abroad experience in USA. He first majored in mining engineering in UC Berkeley, later in Columbia University in the City of New York, and in 1904 graduated with a Master in Mining and Geology. In recognition of his excellence, he was selected as a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, and a member of the American Institute of Mining. In 1908, he returned to China and was devoted to his career in mining and metallurgy. In the same year, the first antimony smelting factory was established in Changsha, Hunan, and which started to collect low-grade antimony ore for extraction of antimony, signifying the beginning of the industrialized production of antimony in China.

 

Wang Chongyou was one of the founding fathers of the Geological Society, and the Mining and Metallurgy Society of China. He was successively selected as vice president and president of the Geological Society of China. In 1933, he was appointed as a member of the Defense Commission in the Military Commission of the Chinese Nationalist Government, and senior executive officer of the later reorganized Resource Committee. In 1934, he held a co-current post of Director of Commodity Inspection Bureau, when the Resource Committee took charge of the production of tungsten, antimony and tin nationwide. He accepted the mission to examine and study the tin mines in Hunan province, and the antimony deposits and antimony smelting factories in 10 other regions. He provided instructions in the production, solved technical problems, and accumulated ample resources for compiling works on metallurgical engineering and the distribution of mineral resources in China. He was sent abroad in 1938 to observe and study the antimony and tin production in Europe and America. In 1939, he was appointed the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for Yunnan Steel Plant. He went to USA in 1941 and held the post of director in the research department of Huachang Company, and traveled frequently to and from China. With the ambition to develop the antimony and tin industry in China, he introduced in 1947 an expert team from the Dober Company in the U.S. to examine the tin mines of Lengshuijiang in Hunan and the tin mines of Gejiu in Yunnan.

 

The academic monograph in English, Antimony, composed by Wang Chongyou (published in 1909 by Charles Griffin & Co, Ltd.) is the first monograph on antimony in the world, and is considered in the metallurgy field worldwide the authoritative work on antimony. For this work he was deemed the “Antimony King”. The English academic monograph Tungsten, composed by Wang Chongyou and Doctor Li Guoqin (manager of Huachang Company, and an entrepreneur), and was published in 1947 by Reinhold Publishing Co. The rich content was well accepted by the academic world. It introduced several aspects of Tungsten, the history, nature, geology, mine selection, metallurgy, analysis, application and economy. China has the largest deposit of antimony and tungsten in the world, and has the largest export volume. The publications of the two world famous works, Antimony and Tungsten, exerted profound influence and made a huge impact. Wang Chongyou also published in 1917, 1925, 1933 Catalog of Geology and Mineral Resources in China. For his academic achievements, he was awarded the University Medal by Columbia University and the Medal of Honor by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers.

 

Gerard Wong is a Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, Department of Chemistry, and the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. Prof. Wong received his BS and PhD at Caltech physics and Berkeley physics respectively. He joined the Materials Science & Engineering Dept and Physics Dept at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000 and moved to UCLA in 2009. His awards include a Beckman Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P Sloan Fellowship, and two Xerox Faculty Research Awards. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2011), and currently leads a new multidisciplinary center on bacteria for the Human Frontiers Science Program.

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