Lu Jiaxi

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Lu Jiaxi
卢嘉锡
Lu Jiaxi.jpg
Lu Jiaxi in the early 1960s
President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
In office
1981–1987
Preceded by Fang Yi
Succeeded by Zhou Guangzhao
Chairman of the Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party
In office
1988–1997
Preceded by Zhou Gucheng
Succeeded by Jiang Zhenghua
Personal details
Born 26 October 1915
Xiamen, Fujian, China
Died June 4, 2001(2001-06-04) (aged 85)
Political party Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party
Spouse(s)
Wu Xunyu (吴逊玉) (m. 1936)
[1]

Lu Jiaxi (Chinese: 卢嘉锡; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lô͘ Ka-sek; 26 October 1915 – 4 June 2001), or Chia-Si Lu,[2] was a physical chemist who is considered a founder of the discipline in China. He served as President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, director of Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (FJIRSM), and Vice President of Fuzhou University, as well as high-ranking political positions including Chairman of the Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and Vice Chairman of the National People's Congress.

Biography

Lu Jiaxi in 1934, at graduation from Xiamen University

On 26 October 1915, Lu Jiaxi was born to a scholarly family in Xiamen (Amoy), Fujian, China.[3] A child prodigy, he finished elementary school in a single year, before spending another year and a half in junior high school. Before turning 13, he passed the entrance examination to a preparatory class for Xiamen University. He received the Tan Kah Kee scholarship for four years and graduated from Xiamen University in 1934 with a degree in chemistry. He then taught at the university for three years.[2]

In 1937, Lu passed a competitive examination and received a national postgraduate fellowship to study at University College London, where he studied under Samuel Sugden and obtained a Ph.D. at the age of 24. With the recommendation of Sugden, he was admitted to the California Institute of Technology in 1939, and studied structural chemistry under Linus Pauling, the future Nobel laureate.[2][4] In 1944, he worked at the Maryland Research Laboratory of the US National Defense Research Committee (NDRC).[4] His research in the area of combustion and explosion earned him an R&D prize from the NDRC.[2]

After the end of World War II, Lu turned down numerous employment opportunities in the United States, and returned to war-torn China in the winter of 1945.[2][4] He was appointed professor and dean of the Chemistry Department at Xiamen University.[2][4]

From 1960 to 1981, Lu was director of the Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (FJIRSM), and vice president of Fuzhou University.[4][5] He served as President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) from 1981 to 1988, and as a special advisor to the CAS afterwards.[5] He was also Vice President of the Third World Academy of Sciences.[5] His political positions include Chairman of the Chinese Peasants' and Workers' Democratic Party (1988–97, Honorary Chairman afterwards), Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (1988–93 and 1998–2003), and Vice Chairman of the National People's Congress (1993–98).[5]

Lu Jiaxi died on 4 June 2001.[2] On 6 April 2002, a bronze statue of him was erected in front of the Chemistry Department of Xiamen University.[3]

Research and honours

Lu Jiaxi's research focus was on physical, structural, nuclear, and materials chemistry. He proposed a structural model of the center of nitrogenase, a key enzyme used in biological nitrogen fixation, and studied the relationship between chemical structure and performance.[4] His work is recognized internationally,[4] and he was elected as a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and of the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.[3] For his contributions to structural chemistry, he was awarded the Scientific Achievement Prize by the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation.[3] In 1998, the asteroid 3844 Lujiaxi was named in his honour.

References

  1. ^ Lu Xianchi (2012-07-31). "Lu Jiaxi" (in Chinese). Beijing Taiwan Compatriots Association. Archived from the original on 2016-01-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Qianer Zhang (March 2002). "In Memory of Professor Lu Jiaxi (Chia-Si Lu), My Beloved Teacher". Journal of Cluster Science. 13 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1023/A:1015150810212.
  3. ^ a b c d "Professor Lu Jiaxi: Pioneer of Structural Chemistry in China". Xiamen University. 2012-05-22.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Sullivan, Lawrence R.; Liu, Nancy Y. (2015). Historical Dictionary of Science and Technology in Modern China. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 254. ISBN 978-0-8108-7855-6.
  5. ^ a b c d "Lu Jiaxi". China Vitae. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
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