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Pursuing their dreams

ICE    Public:ICE    Datetime:2012/5/25
For each of them their dream started as a seed, fed and nurtured in Xiamen University; from those seeds finally grew big trees in different parts of China.

Chief Designer of the ´Flying Leopard´ fighter-bomber

Chen Yijian became a student of aviation at Xiamen University in 1949; now he is a researcher at AVIC the First Aircraft Institute.
Chen Yijian´s career in aviation is intimately connected with China´s aircraft induestry. He has witnessed the development of China´s aviation industry. He has made great contributions to China´s aviation industry, creating several significant ´Firsts´ - participating in the design of China´s First fighter, producting China´s First flying testbed for aero-engines and cooperating in the design of China´s First large aircraft. Of these, he considers the ´Flying Leopard´ fighter-bomber as the high point of pride and glory in his life.
The ´Flying Leopard´ project was launched at the beginning of the reform and opening up. China became aware of a number of new technologies and concepts, and Chen Yijian and his team were confronted by the tough choice of whether to adopt the USSR´s somewhat conservative technology or to follow the advanced but uncertain western approach. He says ´China was putting huge investment into this project, and it would have been irresponsible to choose outdated technologies.´ So he made the bold but wise decision to follow the internationally recognised advanced American standards in developing the aircraft.
Chen Yijian and and his team of over 140 professors and researchers in production and control systems had to work hard to produce a computer-aided aircraft design, and in 1986 they achieved their goal ahead of schedule. In 1999, a formation of six Flying Leopards did a fly-past over over Tiananmen Square as part of the National Day military parade.
In October 2010, Chen Yijian gave a lecture at the Fujian University of Technology, suggesting that in the future would be the majority of large-size aircraft used in China would be of Chinese production. He also expressed his fundamental belief about college education. ´When you do something you enjoy, things work out by themselves. Choosing your field in college should be the same.´

Wu Zidi -- a life devoted to the Qinghai-Tibet rail line

On July 1st, 2006, after a major construction process which took 5 years, the completed Qinghai-Tibet railway line was opened to traffic. Running across the Qinghai plateau, it is the highest railway line and the longest railway line in the world. Not only did it take hard work and a monumental struggle - a time of painstaking work by both old and young railway experts - it is also the embodiment of one man´s life, one of the civil engineers and surveyors, Wu Zidi, an alumnus of Xiamen University who graduated in 1947.
Wu Zidi was born in Nanchang, in Jiangxi Province in 1926. He graduated from the Xiamen University Civil Engineering Department and in 1956 was made Deputy-Chief Engineer in charge of surveys of the First Survey and Design Office of the National Railway Ministry. That year, he became involved in the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, as Chief Designer of the Xining to Golmud section. In 1991, he was written into the ´Almanac of Important Chinese´, and in 1999, he was awarded the ´Zhan Tianyou Science & Technology Prize for Railway Construction´.
Wu Zidi dedicated half of his life to the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, having to face a whole range of unexpected twists and turns in the construction of the railway. Construction started in 1958 but had to be halted a number of times following natural or man-made disasters starting and came to a complete halt in March 1961. Work didn´t resume for a full decade, but once again construction again came to a halt for years because of the Cultural Revolution of the 1970s. The Xining to Golmud section finally opened to traffic only in 1979.
During the construction of the Xining to Golmud section, there was fierce controversy about whether the railway should cross the Cha´erhan salt lake which lies in the middle of the Qaidam basin. At the time, building a railway across a salt lake was unprecedented anywhere in the world, and many experts questioned Wu Zidi´s proposal. However, Wu and his colleagues drafted a set of technical reports in favour of the proposal, and it was approved by the National Railway Ministry. In due course, thanks to the great efforts of the scientific research team, the design unit and the constructors, the 32km long stretch across Cha´erhan salt lake was completed, an outstanding historical achievement in railway construction both nationally and even globally.
However, construction once more came to a stop after the completion of the Xininig-Golmud section. Finally, in 2001, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway was approved as a major project of the 2001-2005 plan period, and on June 29th, 2001, construction re-started simultaneously at both Golmud in Qinghai and Lhasa in Tibet. Wu Zidi was responsible for the technical design of the whole line. His proposal, for the eastern route to by-pass Yang Bajing in Lhasa, with its famous hot springs, was accepted unanimously by experts in preference to the other proposals put forward.
The Qinghai-Tibet railway finally went into regular service in 2006, when Wu Zidi was 80 years old. He was still fully committed to the project. He says, ´Its success has been worth 50 years of painstaking efforts on my part.´

Wang Linglan - on the front line during Wenchuan earthquake

Wang Linglan became a student at the Xiamen University Biology Department in 1977 and now works for the Fujian Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
On May 12th, 2008, Wenchuan in Sichuan Province was struck by a terrible earthquake. A medical service team, an important part of post-quake relief work, was rapidly organised and sent to the earthquake-hit area. On May 19th, the first medical teams from Fujian Province left to assist with rescue work in Jiangyou, Wenchuan and various other towns. Wang Linglan was the director of Jiangyou team, responsible for directing and co-ordinating relief work and medical services.
The team members were dispersed through 8 villages in Jiangyou, and Wang Linglan had to visit each village frequently, ignoring any danger from aftershocks and landslides, risking his life to ascertain what medical relief services were necessary, to manage epidemic prevention operations and pass on the latest instructions.
Maintaining surveillance against infectious diseases is a critical task in earthquake relief. Wang Linglan spared no effort in maintaining surveillance, inspecting every medical rescue station every day and assessing any risk factors. Together with epidemic prevention experts and a China CDC medical team, Wang Linglan made his way to 25 township health centres, to initiate emergency vaccination programmes for children.
The heavy work-load and lack of rest put Wang Linglan under great pressure; his eyes became bloodshot and his voice became hoarse. For several days, he even lost his voice, and had to get other people to help explain his plans and handle his phone calls.
Wang Linglan was honoured as with the titles of ´Outstanding person in earthquake relief work´ by the Ministry of Health and ´National earthquake-relief model worker´ by the Central Committee and the State Council in recognition of his dedicated working spirit, professional skills and outstanding achievements.

Xi Ruijia - interpreter at Shanghai Expo

In 1995, Xi Ruijia was a freshman in the Xiamen University College of Foreign Languages and Cultures English Department. In June 2008, he was selected to be an interpreter at the Shanghai Expo.
Xi Ruijia´s mobile phone is always on silent. Wherever he goes he carries a small notebook and two pens. ´These are the ´occupational hazards of an interpreter.´ He explained to us with a smile. At 33 years old, Xi Ruijia´s speech is rapid and witty.
At the Shanghai Expo, Xi Ruijia welcomed a host of distinguished guests from different countries and interpreted at more than 30 events at the National Pavilion Days of different countries. He is a dedicated professional interpreter. As soon as the guest speaker paused, he would immediately interpret what the speaker had said for the audience, each time showing himself to be well-prepared and striving for perfection. On May 5th, 2010[Surely!], Xi Ruija was responsible for interpreting at the first National Pavilion Day at the Shanghai Expo, the Albanian National Pavilion Day. Not only did he prepare thoroughly for the interpreting task, but he also checked over the site thoroughly, including the flag-raising square, the VIP rooms and the location for the opening ceremony.
However, there was another side to Xi Ruijia´s story. Every day of hard work during the Expo was a time away from his family. Xi Ruijia felt guilty at not being able to play with his child, spend time with his wife and look after his ailing father. On April 16th, during the rehearsal of the opening ceremony for the Expo, he felt his cellphone vibrating in his pocket, but he had no time to answer it. When the rehearsal ended, he discovered that the call had been from his family, telling him that his father´s health had worsened and that they wanted to discuss his father´s treatment plan with him.
3 days later, his father passed away. Before his father closed his eyes, Xi Ruijia finally managed to be beside his father´s hospital bed, and heard his father´s last words. As he spoke of this, regret filled his eyes with tears and he buried his face in his hands.

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