United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu visited Peking University on November 16, meeting with professors and students at the Chen Shouren International Research Center to discuss energy problems.
Attendees included Jianhua Lin, PKU’s executive vice president; Shiyi Chen, dean of the College of Engineering; Gao Song, dean of the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering; and delegates from the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, College of Environmental Sciences, School of Physics, and School of International Studies.
Lin spoke on behalf of all the PKU students and faculty and gave Chu a warm welcome.
“[We’re] glad to exchange ideas about energy problems with Mr. Chu when at the same time, U.S. President Obama is visiting China.” Lin said.
Chu is a Chinese American, appointed as U.S. Secretary of Energy in 2009. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for his research in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, becoming only the fifth Chinese Nobel Prize winner.
In his speech at PKU, Chu analyzed various reasons for energy scarcity and affirmed the possibility of reducing energy consumption by developing technologies and new energy resources.
He encouraged the students with a little bit of humor: “Doing research on energy technology is [the] best choice if you want to achieve the Nobel Prize.”
PKU professors and students gave presentations about PKU’s research on energy problems, new energy resource technologies, energy’s impact on international relationships, and students’ activities. Xiaolei Wu, vice dean of the Department of Mechanics and Engineering Science, reviewed the achievements and prospects of clean energy research at PKU and made a thorough introduction of carbon capture and storage technology.
“Many colleges in PKU are doing researches on energy problems at present,” Zhang said. Chu showed great interest in the latest development of energy technologies in China.
Later, Wu, Professor Rongping Yu, a special-term researcher, and Kai Wu, vice dean of the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, made presentations called “Research on Renewable Energy” and “Energy Storage and Electronic Cars.”
“These new energy resources will develop at a high speed in the following years, and I think the direction of your research is right,” Chu said.
Professor Daojiong Zha from the School of International Studies reviewed the consensus between China and the U.S. about energy cooperation and climate change under the title of Interdisciplinary Research on Clean Energy Policies.” Jie Fan, director of the PKU Institute of Clean Development Mechanism and graduate student of the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, made an introduction about environmental protection and energy saving activities in PKU.
“Students’ actions are always faster. They can encourage their parents to save energy at home,” Chu encouraged in response to Fan’s talk on energy saving practices.
Chu added that he believed China and the U.S. would come to work together in solving energy problems and other climate and environmental problems resulting from them.