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Intellectual Column of "People's Daily" Had an Exclusive Interview with Han Jiecai- The Vice President of HIT

Updated: 2017/6/7

Reported by: Wang Ji
Translated by: Lin Yuting
Edited by: Garrick Jones
Date:2017-5-31

On the May 31, the intellectual column of "People's Daily" had an exclusive interview with "Han Jiecai, the vice president of HIT and produced the article “Han Jiecai: aiming at the cutting edge and working in a down-to-earth way "

Interview link: http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2017 05/31/nw.D110000renmrb_20170531_1-04.htm

The exclusive Interview is as follows:

Looking at These outstanding performances---“15-year-old Han was admitted to university, as a 49-year-old elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the authority expert in the field of composite materials, the cutting-edge heat-resistant composite materials developed by his team solved crucial issues in aviation and aerospace engineering ... ... the reporter can not help waiting to know the research story of Han Jicai academician, the professor in Harbin Institute of Technology

 "No matter where, Chinese scholars are the hardest workers" Han said.

We met at 13:30 on a working day, when he just returned into the busy work from the airport. "I have gotten used to the busy life, and only sleeping makes me relaxed" the gentleman, Mr. Han said, "since from college, I had developed such a habit. it is not easy to go to university in our generation, so I especially cherished the learning time. "

Han comes from Sichuan province, and was admitted to the Harbin University of Science and Technology with the major of materials science in 1981 "in the old times, among several  people’s communes , I was the only one who could go to university. I didn’t know what I should do in the future, but the only things I want to do is to learn more knowledge and skills, to lay a solid foundation for my major. "

After the graduation, Han got an exam - free recommendation to HIT to continue the postgraduate study because of his outstanding performances. He said, in the 1980s, the laboratory conditions were poor, they had to rack their brains to create proper conditions for the study of new materials. “I remember at that time, there was no equipment in Harbin. I had to make new materials in the factory of Mudanjiang city, then bought it back and studied it. If I fail, I will repeat the process. In order to save money and time, I always took whole-night train with hard-seat. "Han said, "now these experiences are very valuable, and living conditions, scientific research conditions are rather better than that in the past, so I cherish them. "

"In the late 1990s, I was a visiting scholar in the UK, and I felt that the level of our research was more backward than that of foreign countries, so scholars from China were very hardworking." Han said, "for example, in my University –Nottingham University, there are also many scholars from developing countries, but I could feel that the Chinese scholars badly desired advanced technologies. There was a saying: if few Chinese scholars do research in a laboratory, the outcomes of scientific research are certainly few "

“Master the core technology, then we will not be controlled by others"

"Our team mainly research high-end composite materials to meet the major strategic needs of the country." Turning to the current research, Han said, "such as the aerospace field requires heat-resistant and lightweight composite materials, then you need to develop more superior materials. Our applications lie in the development of the aerospace field with more than 2000 ℃ ultra - high temperature heat - resistant materials. Internationally, we are at the leading level and recognized by academics.

For many years while engaged in the field of materials research, Han has had a deep feeling, that is, we should master the core technology, to not be controlled by others. "Materials discipline is a basic discipline, some high-end equipment, equipment development, have to rely on high-performance materials, if the material can not keep up, then it is difficult to achieve the appropriate level." Han said, "so we have to independently master the core technology, and then avoid being controlled by others.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Han Jiecai team broke through the large-scale sapphire industrial production technology, so that China became the world's third country to do. Before this  they did not come out, mainly through the import to meet the demand, the price is very expensive, then for a 2-inch size, 1 mm thick sapphire film specification, the cost would reach to tens of dollars.

"After ten years of continuous efforts, from the production process to the equipment, we provide a package of solutions, reaching hundreds of kilograms of specifications now." Han Jiecai said that mastering some key technologies not only promotes the whole industry itself, but also has a great impact to the development of our country, "A product, a technology, once you master it, foreign blockades on our country is out of operation. The materials developed by ourselves guarantee the better safety and lower cost for our defense industry."

“Of course, mastering the core technology requires being down-to-earth.” Han Jie said," Scientific exploration is a good test for human tenacity. Some people are unable to bear loneliness to give up halfway, but in fact, if they break forward a little bit, they can succeed.

 “Moving forward to be a scientific leading power in the world, scientists should carry more responsibility”

“On May 30th last year at the National Science and Technology Innovation Conference, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that the scientific and technological innovation should be placed in a more important position. It is a great encouragement for our scientific and technological workers! "Han Jiecai said that we live in a great era, when the party and the state provide a broad stage to the scientific and technological workers and we should play a greater role.

Han Jiecai said that moving forward to a scientific leading power in the world needs more attention to the construction of scientific research team and the cultivation of reserve personnel, “For the scientific development today, only one person’s strength is not enough to make significant achievements. We must rely on the strength of the whole team as well as everyone’s wisdom.”

"Now I am mainly working on to making the research direction, being a mentor behind and building a ladder for my research team, which is similar with what my supervisor Professor Wu Rengong and Academician Du Shanyi did when I was a graduate student.” Han Jiecai said, “when New China has been established for 100 years, our country will be a scientific leading power in the world, just accompanied by the growth and progress into a technology pillars of these young talent. At that time, they are the fresh troops and major forces of our country.”

Referring to future research plan and main tackling direction, Han Jiecai said that his research team aims to solve self-control problems of some key materials, which addresses the major needs by our country. Besides, his team is focusing on the development and demand of emerging materials, i.e., high-performance lightweight heat-resistant materials in Lunar Exploration Project.

"We are also trying to overcome the industrial production problems of large-scale diamond single crystal which is known as ultimate semiconductor materials, hoping to make the world's most advanced research results." From the viewpoint of Han Jiecai, facing the country's major demand as well as the forefront of world science and technology is always the advancing direction to which his research team is sticking.

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