AWARDEE OF PHYSICS PRIZE
Wei Rongjue (Y. T. Wei), physicist, was born in Shaoyang, Hunan on September 4, 1916, B. S. (1937), University of Nanking, Nanjing, M. S. (1947), University of Illinois, Ph.D. (1950), UCLA, all in physics.
He was instructor of physics of the Nankai School and then his Alma Mater, both in wartime Chongqing from 1938-1944. He continued one year (1950-1951) at UCLA by doing research in acoustics before he decided to go back China with his wife (meteorologist) and their new born baby by accepting the professorship offered by the Nanjing University in June 1951 , and was appointed as the chairman of the physics department one year later , a post extended till 1984 .
Besides teaching regular courses in physics, he did some research in electro—acoustics with a few young colleagues and organized seminars from architectural and molecular to speech acoustics with laboratory practice. It was in 1954, some fundamental courses of acoustics were offered for some junior and senior students of the physics department, which marked the first acoustical group or “speciality" engaged in both teaching and research in Chinese universities or the embryo of the Institute of Acoustics founded in 1978, where Wei was the director up to early nineties.
International collaboration was successful in the 50's, for example, the visit of Prof. I. G. Mihailov of Leningrad for our joint research on the absorption of ultrasound in ethel acetate etc in late fifties. This was more so after the “Cultural Revolution", which started with the close association with late academician I. Rudnick at UCLA. Wei was invited to the 100th Meeting of the Acoust Soc. Am. in 1980, by giving a talk on “the Acoustics of the Peoples Republic of China". He was invited to give lectures in more than 20 world-renowned universities and laboratories in USA, Europe and Australia in the last two decades.
Wei's field of research covers various aspects of acoustics, however the following two problems are considered to be among his chief contributions: (1) the propagation of sound in foggy atmosphere, and (2) the study of water tank solitons and their unification with bifurcation and chaos.
Wei is Honorary director of the Institute of Acoustics of the Nanjing University, member of the Academia Sinica, Hon. President, Acoust Soc. China, fellow, Acoust Soc. of Am., and has been member of the Organizing Committee of the International Conference of Acoustical Ed., Phonon Physics, and Nonlinear Acoustics, consultant of the Nonlinear center of the Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, etc. He has organized several international conferences in Nanjing, e.g., the Sino-Japanese Conference of Ultrasonics in 1987, and the 14th International Con. of Nonlinear Acoustics in 1996.