Teaching & Learning

Professor Li Hua: an account of a female scientist tackling great challenges

Dec 8, 2021

Dr. Li Hua is a professor and supervisor of doctorate candidates in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST). In September 2021, she was elected to the Project for Tracking and Training Post-Doctoral Talents in Hubei Province. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

In the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, a group of female teachers have made great achievements in many aspects. In scientific research, they are unwilling to be lagged behind, keep studying assiduously in their research areas, and continuously make breakthroughs in independent technology. In education, they live up to their teachings, show great patience to and motivate the progress of their students. In daily work, they set an example and make selfless devotion for the development of their research teams. Among them, Prof. Li Hua, working in the Department of High Voltage Engineering, is such an excellent example. Now, let’s get close to the story of this beautiful and intelligent female scientist.

Working diligently to make major achievements

Prof. Li is the leader of a state-level science and technology innovation team, and the recipient of the Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars of the NSFC. Also, she  received the Youth Wusi Medal of HUST and was elected to the Project for Tracking and Training Post-Doctoral Talents in Hubei Province. She has presided over a number of state-level projects under NSFC and 863 Program, as well as cooperation programs with enterprises, such as State Grid, China Southern Power Grid and so on. She plays a role in a number of academic journals and institutions: an expert of ICE/TC33 team (power capacitor and its application), Senior Member of IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society, Guest Editor of IEEE TPS, Youth Editorial Board Member of High Voltage Engineering, Editorial Board Member of High Voltage Apparatus, and Power Capacitor & Reactive Power Compensation, as well as a committee member of China Standardization Technical Committee on Power Capacitor, Division of Power Capacitor of China Electrotechnical Society (CES), and National Technical Committee of High Voltage Test Technique and Insulation Co-ordination of Standardization Administration of China.

Prof. Li started her graduate study majoring in high voltage and electrical insulation engineering in 2002. Then, she conducted a post-doctoral study of the control system and engineering in 2007 and joined the faculty after graduation. Now, she heads the Department of High Voltage Engineering of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and serves as the Standing Deputy Director of a Key Laboratory under the Ministry of Education. The past nearly two decades have witnessed her working on the front line in science and technology, independent innovation and teaching with the spirit of the university’s motto-“Virtue, Erudition, Truth, Innovation”. All in all, she has added a new chapter of women’s efforts in the new era by her exceptional preciseness, assiduous study, thinking in big picture, and courage to exploit new fields.

Seeking breakthroughs with keen insight to burst fetters

Prof. Li has always attached great importance to science and research with a down-to-earth attitude. Since she began her post-doctoral study, she has devoted herself to the key technology and applied research of a basic component called thin-film capacitor. Even confronted with major “bottlenecks” in materials, technology, craft, etc., she chose to go against them with patience and perseverance rather than retreating backward, and aimed at the research on high-energy storage density capacitors which is a high ground in this field. Through more than ten years of unremitting efforts, she finally masters the key technology of equipment manufacturing. Owing to this, the energy storage density of China’s thin-film capacitor has multiplied its span from thousands to tens of thousands of times usages, ranking among the top globally. Her work has made breakthroughs in the appliance of traditional energy storage materials and devices in extreme environments, changed the former dependent situation of the technology of high-energy storage density capacitors, and solved key “bottlenecks” in related fields. These achievements can be directly used in strategic emerging industries such as aerospace, electric vehicles and new energy. Because of these results, more than 500 sets of capacitors in total have been developed for various major applications, and the related technologies have been promoted in the industrial manufacturing industry. Her work has promoted the progress of manufacturing high-energy storage density capacitors, cultivated and strengthened the competitive edge of related industries.

Unswervingly shouldering serious tasks and making due contributions to the country

Regarding her achievements in the course of scientific research, Prof. Li’s “secrets” are a down-to-earth attitude towards work, a broad and far-reaching vision of scientific research, a teamwork spirit of sincere cooperation, and the moral standing of setting an example for others. As an excellent young teacher at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Prof. Li persisted in scientific research and teaching even when she was not fully recovered after childbirth. Meanwhile, she is content to make contributions to disciplinary development and public services. As long as what is beneficial for the development of her team, she is sure to be arduous and serious, regardless of personal gain or loss. Her team has enjoyed continuous vitality and strength in research and won the title of State-level Science and Technology Innovation Team. Behind her soft appearance is her bold courage to be the first to make breakthroughs and innovation for China’s science and technology. With a rigorous and practical attitude, arduous endeavor manner, indomitable will, and excellent achievements step by step, Prof. Li has been widely recognized and highly praised by her colleagues and counterparts both at home and abroad.

Editor: Gou Bingbing, Peng Yumeng

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