On Sept 13, the winners of the 2021 XPLORER PRIZE were officially announced, with 50 young scientists on the list. Prof. Gao Huijun, a professor from School of Astronautics, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), won the Award for "Electronics Information", becoming the second HIT young scientist to win this award.
List of awards in the field of information electronics
Huijun Gao is a professor and doctoral supervisor of School of Astronautics, Director of Institute of Intelligent Control and System, National Distinguished Young Scholar, and IEEE Fellow. He has long been engaged in automatic control theory and application research, and has made a series of innovative achievements in the fields of networked control, robot intelligent system, and intelligent equipment. He has won a number of honors including the second prize of National Natural Science Award, Chen Jiageng Youth Science Award, China Youth Science and Technology Award, China Youth May 4th Medal, and National Advanced Worker. He serves as the Vice President of IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Council Member. He also serves as co-editor and editorial board member of several international journals such as IEEE Journal of Industrial Electronics and Automatica.
Professor Huijun Gao with team members
The XPLORER PRIZE, established in 2018, is a public welfare award aimed to support full-time young scientific and technological talents under 45 in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao in the fields of basic science and cutting-edge technology. It’s sponsored by Pony Huateng Ma, Chairman and CEO of Tencent and founder of Tencent Foundation, together with famous scientists such as Chenning-Yang, Yi Rao, Taining Cheng, Shiyi Chen, Wen Gao, Huawu He, Peigen Li, Shude Mao, Jianwei Pan, Yigong Shi, Hequan Wu, Kechang Xie, Xiaoliang Xie and Yitang Zhang. The award upholds three purposes, namely facing future, rewarding potential and encouraging exploration. Each winner will be bestowed a free-disposable fund of 3 million yuan, currently one of the highest award schemes for young scientific and technological talents in China. In 2020, Professor Zhiwei Huang from the School of Life Science and Technology, HIT, won the second XPLORER PRIZE.
Since the establishment of the XPLORER PRIZE three years ago, 150 winners have been awarded. Nearly 80% of the winners have studied or worked overseas, with an average age of under 40 and the youngest being only 30 years old. They have reached the international frontier in the fields including basic mathematics, astronomy, cryptography, cytology, quantum science, and materials science. Many have been committed to tackling key problems in basic core fields such as artificial intelligence, quantum information, integrated circuits, advanced manufacturing, life and health, brain science, biological breeding, aerospace science and technology, and deep sea. Quite a few serve as chief scientists of National Research and Development Projects, becoming the backbone of national science and technology.
The XPLORER PRIZE has attracted extensive participation from the scientific and educational circles. In 2021, more than 600 academicians of Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Academy of Engineering and presidents of more than 20 famous universities participated in the nomination and recommendation, including 20 winners of Nobel Prize, Turing Prize, and Fields Prize, reflecting the growing international influence of the Award.