HANGZHOU, China, Sept. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- September 26th, 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Qiantang River Bridge to date. The Mao Yisheng Science and Technology Education Foundation, in collaboration with six other institutions, held the International Engineering Technology Development Strategy Summit - The 7th Bridge and Tunnel Engineering Technology Forum (Summit and Forum) and related commemorative events in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Qiantang River Bridge in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China.
In addition to the Summit and Forum, commemorative events included an organized run to honor the legacy of China's expertise in bridge construction as well as the 26th award ceremony of the Mao Yisheng Science and Technology Education Foundation and Commemorative Ceremony for the Qiantang River Bridge's 80th anniversary.
The Qiantang River Bridge is the first modern steel bridge designed and constructed by the Chinese experts, representing a significant milestone and a new era in China's bridge construction history. The bridge was completed on September 26th, 1937, and subsequently played an important role in the transport of munitions and materials in the 2nd World War as well as the safe evacuation of millions of people, saving countless casualties. The bridge took 925 days to complete, however, it only stood for 89 days. The architect of the bridge, Mao Yisheng, was forced to blow up his own "masterpiece" in a move to stop the advance of the invading Japanese Imperial Army. In 1946, after Chinese troops defeated the Japanese, Mr. Mao supervised the reconstruction of the bridge which opened to traffic again in 1953. Although it has been operational for 80 years, 30 years longer than its designated 50-year service life, the spectacular bridge has remained firm and solid.
Wang Zhizhen, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and director of the Mao Yisheng Science and Technology Education Foundation, said during the commemorative ceremony: "The Qiantang River Bridge is a testament to the patriotism of Chinese scientific and technical workers including Mr. Mao. We aim to enhance general awareness of the Qiantang River Bridge, a bridge that symbolizes the love that the people have for their country. The bridge acts as a vehicle from which much can be learned and from which we can understand Mao Yisheng's strong patriotic spirit. Mr. Mao's scientific prowess, willingness to fight for what is right and devotion to his country can serve as an encouragement to all Chinese who contribute to our country's strong growth. "
As an important part of the commemorative event, the Summit and Forum were both held at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China on September 27th, 2017. The forum, which focused on the topic of sustainable bridge and tunnel engineering, brought together 22 of the world's top civil engineering professors and researchers as well as over 300 leading bridge and tunnel engineering professionals from both within China and from abroad, including the US, the UK, Austria and Canada, 12 of whom participated in the forum as keynote speakers. The forum outlined the latest research results, challenges and development trends of the sustainable bridge and tunnel engineering community and included discussions on multiple topics, including technology for building long-span bridges for Chinese high-speed railways, research and development of high performance materials, technology for integrated manufacturing and erection of bridge structures as well as bridge architectural design and related aesthetics.
Mr. Mao was not only a bridge engineer but also an engineering educator who has taught legions of aspiring professionals entering the Chinese bridge engineering sector. To inherit Mr. Mao's concept of learning by practice, his patriotic spirit and his dedication to engineering education, the Mao Yisheng Science and Technology Education Foundation has launched and promoted the "Mao Yisheng Charity Bridge-Small Bridge Engineering" program whose mission is to build bridges in remote rural areas across China over which children living in these remote areas can travel to and from school safely. To date, ten small bridges that have been built in five Chinese provinces and municipalities have helped thousands of primary school students and tens of thousands of villagers. In addition, three bridges are currently under construction as part of the program. Since its launch by the Foundation, the program has drawn wide attention across many sectors and communities. During the commemorative event, the Mao Yisheng Foundation awarded the title of "Love Angle of Small Bridges" to 14 industry experts, companies and private citizens who have fully supported and participated in the charity bridge program, as a means of recognizing their outstanding contributions to the small bridge program and for attracting more attention to and support for the program. With its unremitting efforts in promoting science and technology education, the Foundation has been affirmed and recognized by Chinese government leaders and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, gaining a good reputation in society.
About the Mao Yisheng Science and Technology Education Foundation:
The Mao Yisheng Science and Technology Education Foundation was established in 1991 by a dozen organizations, all of which Mr. Mao had worked for during his lifetime. With the mission of carrying on Mr. Mao's spirit and encouraging professionals in science and technology to make greater contributions to the nation by making major achievements in their field, the Foundation annually holds a series of bridge-themed events involving academic exchanges as well as science and technology awards meaning to expand the popularization of science. The Foundation's ten awards under the Mao Yisheng Science and Technology Award banner have honored over 3,000 leading professionals in science and technology education for their contributions over the past 26 years, with the bridge award recognized as the industry's highest individual honor.
SOURCE The Mao Yisheng Science and Technology Education Foundation