AWARDEE OF TECHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES PRIZE
Mr. Wu Zhongwei, an expert in cement and concrete and senior member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was born in Jiangying, Jiangsu Province on July 20th, 1918. He graduated from the National Central University in Chongqing in 1940. In 1945 he designed the Qijiang dam and ship-block and supervised its construction before he went to the United States to study concrete science and technology. In 1947, he established the first concrete research laboratory of China in Nanjing National Central University. By initiating the use of air-entrained concrete in China, he successfully solved the problem of disintegration of concrete blocks (wt. 30t) at Tanggu New Harbor project in Tianjing.
In 1949, Mr. Wu Zhongwei moved to Beijing to take part in establishing a research institute for building materials that later became China Building Materials Academy. He introduced advanced concrete technologies from the United States to various large and medium-sized civil engineering projects in China and brought about significant economic benefits. In 1951, with the joint efforts of his colleagues, he developed the first concrete chemical admixture, air-entraining agent, in China. The admixture was used in Tanggu New Harbor and many other engineering projects around the country. By the middle of the 1950s, he began to be in charge of the research and development of concrete products and cement products, such as concrete water pipes, prestressed concrete piles and poles, asbestos-cement shingle and pipes, house-building elements and ferro-cement boats. This resulted in saving a lot of steel and wood, which were then short of supply in China.
As a concrete scientist, Mr. Wu Zhongwei advanced in 1959 the “Concrete Centrum Hypothesis" that laid the foundation for the cement-based materials science in China. The exposition of the pore structure and interfacial structure of concrete in his hypothesis has been frequently referred to. In tackling concrete cracking problems, he introduced the concept of shrinkage-compensating concrete. Moreover, he published “Shrinkage Compensating Concrete" and “Self-stressing Concrete" which have been taken as guidance in practical work in the field of concrete in China. The shrinkage compensating concrete and self-stressing concrete water pipes have now been widely used in China. In 1992, Mr. Wu Zhongwei put forward a proposal to study and popularize high-performance concrete in China. He further introduced the concept of green high-performance concrete and made a suggestion to reform China's cement industry structure, according to which a large amount of industrial wastes will be used in cement and concrete industries and concrete will gradually turn into an environmental friendly material.
Mr. Wu Zhongwei has been working with China Building Materials Academy for more than 45 years as department head, chief-engineer, vice-president and technical advisor to the president of the Academy. He has been one of the few top-ranking engineers in the field of building materials since 1956. He was elected member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering when it was founded in 1994 and senior member in 1999. He has been a guest professor and a supervisor of doctoral programs at Tsinghua University since 1978. From 1962 to 1994 he was the chief-editor of the Journal of the Chinese Ceramic Society. He was coeditor of the widely known international journal-Cement and Concrete Research (1980-1997) and has been its honorary editor since 1997. His publications include eight books and over one hundred papers.