DUAN Chunhui - Enjoying Scientific Research
November 14,2014 15:13:21 readCount:1781

Award ceremony

At the 13th Communist Youth League Congress of Guangdong Province, the person of the year 2012 who moved Guangdong campuses were commended. Among the 10 representatives is DUAN Chunhui, a doctorate candidate of School of Material Science and Engineering of grade 2010. DUAN Chunhui is also one of the two student members on the recent “China-Dream Builders” team of Guangdong Propaganda Department. He left a deep impression on us as a “academic genius” or “academic madman”. However, how much efforts has he made behind these fruits? What experience has he come through?  Let’s come close to this thin and polite student of great strength.

Doing What He Likes is the Happiest Thing

DUAN Chunhui, a student of academician CAO Yong and Prof. HUANG Fei, takes up the research of organic optoelectric materials, in which he was interested from a very early age. “I am very lucky that I could know what I like and what I’m good at earlier,” said DUAN. In his senior high school, he took a great interest in chemistry. He studied his undergraduate studies in Dalian University of Technology (DLUT). He was one of the four students, who took the high polymer material as the first choice, among 61 students. DUAN said, “I like chemistry and research. I am at ease with research and enjoy its charm.” Thus he devoted himself to the research and study heart and soul. He remained unmoved when many of his classmates changed their specialty to economics or struggled for fortune in the market. At the beginning of the sophomore year, he had the opportunity to do research in the lab with his teachers. Though he did not achieve much, he learned a great deal in research methods and skills, which laid a solid foundation for his later researches.

With great efforts, DUAN Chunhui ranked the first place in the undergraduate stage. In 2008, he was recommended to study graduate program in South China University of Technology with academician CAO Yong as his tutor. However, on 10th January, 2008 when he was a senior student, he came to SCUT earlier by train on his own after knowing the recommendation. He took the initiative to work in the laboratory. During the winter vacation, he returned to SCUT after a short brake at his hometown and did not go back to his alma mater for his thesis defense until June. At that time, he missed the graduation photo and reunion of his class. But he never regretted. In his view, studies require a peaceful mind and whole-hearted dedication. Despite pity sometimes, he felt happy and gay.
No Diligence, No Gain

 DUAN in laboratory

In his graduate studies in SCUT, DUAN Chunhui devoted all his energy to scientific research. He believes that the top priority of a graduate is to do research, which not only helps realize his dream, but also makes his bit for scientific innovation of the country. In the past five years, DUAN has been immersed in doing research. He went to the lab at half past eight and returned to his dormitory at eleven, and then he continued to study research literature and wrote research report till one or two every day without stops. For example, when he was a freshman, to improve efficiency, he got up early at six o’clock, went to the lab and prepared for the experiment, went to the classroom and observed the results of the experiment after class, then went to the next step. When he went out for errands, he would prepare everything before going out, and continue it when he was back. “I should make the most out of my time, avoiding the interference of other activities and trifles.” said DUAN. Therefore he could always complete all work ahead of others.
The wider your heart is, the larger your stage will be. When he entered into SCUT, he had considered going abroad to study for doctorate degree after graduation. But on his supervisor’s suggestion, he continued to study his doctorate program after he completed his master’s degree program. In the beginning, he decided to do something meaningful and valuable to show his gratitude to his teachers. Henceforth, he secretly made up his mind that he must achieve something more and better than other doctor candidates in the same laboratory. Since then, DUAN bore this in mind, and explored step by step. He told himself, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” He feared nothing and got good grades. In June 2011, he has published academic papers on SCI when his classmates were busy with graduation. The sum of impact factors is over 30. So he won the first prize of SCUT’s Innovation Fund of the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in 2011, and the special prize in 2012. He became the winner in the lowest school grade of the two high-level prizes after the establishment of the Innovation Fund of Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation of SCUT.
Poor but Ambitious, Successful with Perseverance
DUAN Chunhui was born to a poor family in the countryside. He had a hard life during his school years. After the College Entrance Examination, he went to a sports shoe factory in Conghua, Guangdong, working for one month, and earned 420 Yuan only. After knowing DUAN’s condition, the kind owner of the factory paid him another 2000 Yuan. In addition, a teacher from his senior high school sponsored him 2000 Yuan. With 4100 Yuan, DUAN started his college life in Dalian alone.

 Photo in a street of Boston during the autumn session of ASTM

In college, he temporarily solved the problem in tuition and board by student loans. Besides, he bought a phone and a personal computer with the money earned through part-time jobs and various types of scholarships. In the first two years, DUAN concentrated on the scientific research even if he felt the pinch. Eventually, owing to the achievements of his subject study and the publication of his dissertations, he resolved his financial problem with the help of various material and non-material rewards, thus enabling him to focus on the scientific research. Meanwhile, he got married and built a new house for his parents with his own earnings.
DUAN Chunhui never stepped back on his way of research, even with great life burden. He never remained idle for one single day in his study. Prof. HUANG Fei taught him, “We should work for perfection in thesis writing until we find no errors at all, in other words, beyond modification.” His words kept engraved in DUAN’s mind. He was not good at English writing, while he still tried his best to publish dissertations in English with tough and rigorous attitude. DUAN put it, “I will correct and check it hundreds of times before handing in.” It was his toughness and persistence that brought him notable achievements.
“April showers bring May flowers.” It’s his motto. DUAN showed great interest, prudence and perseverance in the pursuit of research. He once shared with his alumni the remarks YU Minghong, chairman of the New Oriental Education and Technology Group, that is, everyone strives in his life. But some lead a meaningful and successful life, while others are immersed in trifles. I’m sure we could pile everything together and live successfully and happily with an ambition and a warm heart, vice versa, we will idle away the time and lead a meaningless life. DUAN is one who leads a fulfilling life in the pursuit of science.
Edited by HU Nanping and DONG Peiyun 
From SCUT News Network