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YSU Prof. Tian Yongjun Elected Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences 2017


[News from News Center] On Nov. 28th morning, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) unveiled the list of newly selected members. Prof. Tian Yongjun from YSU School Materials Science and Engineering was elected CAS Academician.

Prof. Tian Yongjun

Tian Yongjun, born in March 1963, is a member of the CPC, a professor and PhD Supervisor at YSU School of Materials Science and Engineering, the first Distinguished Professor of Changjiang Scholars Programme in Hebei Province, the winner of National Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholar, leading personnel of National Hundred-Thousand-Ten Thousand Talents Project under National High-level Personnel of Special Support Program, German Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Hebei high-level talent, provincial excellent expert, Hebei Young and Middle-Aged Expert with Outstanding Contribution and the prize-winner of 2016 Hebei Outstanding Contribution Award in Science & Technology.

Engaged in the research of ultrahard material, Prof. Tian Yongjun devoted himself to the discipline construction, base construction, talent training and team development with rigorous scholarship. From November 1999 to March 2016, as the Dean of YSU School of Material Science and Engineering, Tian led the faculty to increase the original 2 undergraduate majors to 4, successfully apply for the first-level doctor station and postdoctoral research station of materials science and engineering, and establish the State Key Laboratory of Metastable Materials Science and Technology, the only state key laboratory in Hebei Province. The second-level discipline of materials science was rated national key discipline. All these breakthroughs lay a firm foundation for the discipline development of School of Materials Science and Engineering.

Prof. Tian Yongjun has creatively established a micro-model of covalent crystal hardness, which solved the recognized problem of “hardness quantitative forecast”, and enabled the quantification of ultrahard material design. The results of the study were highly appraised by peers at home and abroad such as the academicians of American Academy of Science (AAS), and were widely adopted by over 100 international research institutes. Prof. Tian designed a series of ultrahard crystals and some of them have been fabricated in experiments. American Physical Review Focus commented Tian’s research entitled with “Chipping Away at Hardness”, and stressed the difficulty and significance in the passage. In 2011, Prof. Tian won Second Prize of National Natural Science as first prize-winner by virtue of his research results.

Prof. Tian further established the hardening model of polycrystalline covalent materials, and found the new phenomenon that the polycrystalline covalent materials reduced sustainable hardening as the microstructure characteristic size, thus proposed a new method to obtain super high hardness by synthesizing ultrafine nanotwinned structures in ultrahard materials. In this way, Prof. Tian Yongjun broke through several technical difficulties and successively fabricated Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN) and bulk diamond, of which the hardness, toughness and thermal stability were improved at the same time. The hardness of the nanotwinned diamond is two times that of natural diamond. By using the cutting tools made by this diamond, the mirror processing of hardened steel is realized. Therefore, this research will bring reform to modern processing industry and high-pressure science and technology, showing attractive prospect. H K Mao, Academician of AAS, spoke highly of this achievement in magazines like Nature Materials. He pointed out that the research on nanotwinned CBN and diamond was a “breakthrough” and “what everyone attempted to achieve”. J Boland, internationally famous expert in ultrahard materials, said on magazines including Nature that the problem to find materials harder than diamond had changed to how hard the nanodiamond-based materials can be synthesized. Nanotwinned CBN and diamond were selected as 2013 Top 10 China Science Progress and 2014 Top 10 Science & Technology Progress of Colleges and Universities in China.

Prof. Tian Yongjun successively presided over the program of the Funds for Creative Research Groups of National Natural Science Foundation, National Key Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), the program of National Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholar, and the State Key Program and the General Program of National Natural Science Foundation. Tian has published 225 SCI Papers in internationally famous academic periodicals including Nature, Physical Review Letters and the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and citation on SCI is over 3600 times. He has obtained 15 international and domestic invention patents and has made 30 invited lectures. As the academic foregoer, Prof. Tian has been continuously supported by the Funds for Creative Research Groups of National Natural Science Foundation for three times. His team was awarded many honorable titles including the National Advanced Collective with Professional and Technical Talents, Innovative Research Team of Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University of Ministry of Education and Hebei Province High-level Innovative Team.

(Translated by Zhengjie Li)

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