The 5th Vision Forum Welcomes the Coming of Spring by Taking a Step Forward in Winter

(Text by Wang Rui)

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” The arrival of winter means the coming of the spring season soon after. And we are leading the way in welcoming the spring.

The 5th Vision Forum for International Young Scholars opened on December 22, 2018 – the Winter Solstice (a festival and one of the 24 Solar Terms in Chinese Calendar). The Forum was sponsored by Beihang University and organized by the Human Resource Department and the International Research Institute for Multidisciplinary Science. The Forum brought together over 100 scholars from world-class universities and research institutions including MIT, Yale University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, National University of Singapore, University of Technology, Sydneythe University of Tokyo, and HKUST.

The opening session, co-hosted by Vice President, Professor Wang Yunpeng and HR Director, Professor Xiao Zhisong, had speakers including Professor Cheng Jiwei, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Beihang University Committee, Academician Fang Jiancheng, Vice President and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Shi Chuang, Professor Sun Yanming, and Professor Chang Lingqian. The session also had scientists and scholars with titles of honor, as well as Deans and Secretaries of the University’s Schools.

In his speech, Deputy Secretary Cheng Jiwei congratulated on the opening of the Forum, and extended greetings to the young scholars from around the world. He pointed out that Beihang has, since its establishment in 1952, brought together aviation experts nationwide, the outstanding ones of whom had studied at some of the world renowned universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, and Imperial College London. As the first higher education institution featuring aeronautics and astronautics established after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Beihang has been making unwavering efforts to take the lead in scientific and technological development, and, in the process, has discovered a way to combine serving the strategic needs of the nation and orienting for global scientific frontier. Therefore, choosing Beihang means assuming responsibilities and going on a mission that comes along with the nation’s advances. Beihang has always been recognized for its pioneering work and advancement of ideas, as well as for its inclusion. The University cultivates talent with platforms and mechanisms, increases group cohesion with common career pursuits and responsibilities, and unites efforts with reform and development. He sincerely welcomes young scholars with academic accomplishment to return to homeland and make dreams come true at Beihang.

Our mission is to drive ground-breaking innovation that unites talent across the divides of generation and geography, and to create a community whose members understand that full utilization of the global talent pool is at the heart of innovation, competitiveness and success. During the session, Vice President Fang Jiancheng awarded the ‘Certificate of Honor’ to the representatives of the young scholars, hoping they could take this opportunity to exchange ideas, to learn from each other, and to stimulate vitality of scientific research and technological innovation to achieve greater success.

In his keynote speech, Vice President Fang Jiancheng offered a look back at the transition which took place in China’s higher education, and the changes that took place in Beihang’s history, especially the effectiveness in planning for the development of its subject areas. He presented the path taken by Beihang to innovation, and told the story of the spirit, the heart of patriotism, and the dreams of the pioneers, who, in over 60 years of time and through hard working, have made significant achievements in the research and development of unmanned aerial systems, aero engines, and inertial navigation systems. In retrospect, he showed a path of scientific and technological innovation for serving the strategic needs of the country with decades of persistence, perseverance and endeavor — till “the edge of the sword is exposed”. He laid out the principles of an integrated strategic plan aimed at strengthening engineering education, enhancing science education, ensuring quality of liberal arts education, expanding cooperation with medical institutions, and accelerating development to become a world-class research university. He sincerely welcomes talented young people to join the faculty of Beihang, and build the future together.

In the second half of the opening session, the talk of “High Accuracy Positioning of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System”, presented by Professor Shi Chuang, emphasized the importance of overcoming technology bottlenecks and mastering core technologies. The inspirational talk was followed by Professor Sun Yanming’s report on “Organic Photovoltaic Materials and Highly Efficient Organic Solar Cells”, which was followed by Professor Chang Lingqian’s presentation on “Single Cell Gene Therapy and Analysis on Nano-Electroporation Chip”. The reports were given in an active and pleasant atmosphere, with applauses from time to time.

Aiming at advancing the frontier of sciences and promoting research across disciplines as well as success of young scholars, the two-day Forum creates a platform and a network of academic exchanges for the Schools and outstanding young scholars worldwide. The Schools comprehensively introduced their strengths, academic environment, and future plans, discussing the possibility of cooperation with outstanding scholars. The Human Resource Department, on the other hand, conducted a talent review meeting for the “Zhuoyue” recruitment and management program, implementing the University’s strategies of talent team construction through selection of outstanding candidates.  

Now it is cold outside in winter, but attendees of the Forum have the reason to believe that the spring breeze will eventually blow away the mist.