The 42-year-old materials expert has died
Zhou Jun, a well-known materials expert, deputy director of the Wuhan National Research Center of Optoelectronics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and vice president of the College of Optoelectronics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, died on March 12 at the age of 42, according to an obituary of the center.
The official website of the Wuhan National Research Center of Optoelectronics has now been changed to black and white, with reports of significant progress made by the research team led by Zhou still visible on the front page. “Heaven envies talent,” the obituary lamented. The passing of Professor Zhou Jun is a great loss to Huazhong University of Science and Technology and to the field of materials science in our country.” After the news broke, there were renewed calls online for “reducing pressure on researchers”.
Zhou Jun was born in Chenzhou, Hunan Province in August 1979. In 1997, he entered the School of Physics, Sun Yat-sen University, and studied for his PhD directly after graduation under the supervision of Xu Ningsheng, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former president of Sun Yat-sen University (now president of Fudan University). After receiving his doctorate in 2007, Zhou went to Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States for postdoctoral research. In 2009, he joined Wuhan National Research Center for Optoelectronics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology as a professor and doctoral supervisor.
In his academic career, he for our country’s new energy materials, especially inorganic non-metallic materials and components of energy conversion study made a number of pioneering work, won the universal praise and high praise: academia has won second prize in 2016, the national natural science “(2 persons), 2015 institutions of higher learning, scientific research outstanding achievement, natural science prize” (2 persons); Zhou Jun has been selected by the National Natural Science Foundation of China for Outstanding Young Scholars (2013), the National “Ten Thousand Talents Program” for Top Young Talents (2014), and the “Changjiang Scholars Program” for Young Scholars (2015) of the Ministry of Education. In 2020, he was just awarded the National Science Foundation for Outstanding Young Scholars.
According to the Wuhan National Research Center of Optoelectronics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Zhou Jun has served as deputy director of the center since 2016 and executive deputy director of the Optics Valley Laboratory since 2021. He has made outstanding contributions to the university’s talent introduction, major scientific research and instrument platform construction, and has cultivated many high-level talents for the development of related fields in China. He led research teams in recent years in Science, Nat. Nanotechnol. Last year, an article published in Science proposed the use of heat-sensitive crystalline materials and dissolution process to induce the continuous concentration gradient of REDOX ions. The research results provide a bright prospect for the efficient utilization of low-grade heat energy, and also have great commercial potential.
In 2020, the top academic journal Science published Zhou Jun’s research results as the corresponding author.
In addition to teaching and research, Zhou also holds an administrative position. On the website of Wuhan National Research Center of Optoelectronics, many records of his participation in student work and party building can be retrieved. At the beginning of February last year, during the critical period of Wuhan’s fight against COVID-19, USTC decided to set up a school party commando team to assist in the campus prevention and treatment. Zhou Jun was the first volunteer in the center to sign up.
In the mind of many colleagues, he is a famous teacher with both political integrity and talent. But now because of overwork illness, in the should have been great fall, more regrettable and alarming.