This January, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China awarded five individuals with the highest level of honor in the field of international science and research. Jun Ni, Shien-Ming Wu Collegiate Professor of Manufacturing Science and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has become one of China’s most recognized researchers, after receiving the 2013 International Science and Technology Cooperation Award.
Chinese President Xi Jinping presented Ni with the award on January 10th at the annual ceremony, which was held in Beijing. The awards are intended to embody China’s commitment to new scientific innovations, for the sake of both economic and social development, and to honor foreign scientists who have made the largest contributions to such progressive efforts.
Ni is responsible for establishing a decade-strong connection between the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical and Production Engineering. Ni leads an effort to foster international collaboration between students and link various research projects. On January 27th, the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute partnership recently won the Andrew Heiskell Award — one of the highest honors in international higher education.
In a Q&A session with The China Daily, Ni referred to himself as an “ambassador between China and the US in engineering education and scientific research.” He explained that since 1994, he has been travelling back and forth between China and the U.S. The connection built by Ni between the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao University has continued to grow as Ni has continued to make trips to China on a monthly basis during the past ten years.
The Chinese publication also asked questions concerning Ni’s most important accomplishments in the field.
“In my humble opinion, I introduced some of the innovative engineering education models and curricula to China, and helped a number of leading Chinese manufacturing companies to implement advanced manufacturing technologies with greatly improved manufacturing excellence,” Ni said.
At the U-M, Ni resides as Director of the Shien-Ming Wu Manufacturing Research Center, established in 1993 to promote education and research in manufacturing engineering. Additionally, the research center leads a scholarship program for students of manufacture engineering.
Ni holds various other leadership positions including Co-Director of the Multi-Campus National Science Foundation Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems, and Deputy Director of NSF-Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems. His research focus spans manufacturing process modeling, analysis and prediction, precision engineering and metrology, cutting tool development, quality control methods, intelligent maintenance systems, and monitoring and fault diagnosis.