An official with China's Ministry of Science and Technology said on March 28 in Beijing that since the adoption of the state science and technology awards in 2000, first prize for inventions has for the first time been granted to engineers.
Chen Chuanhong, director of the state science and technology awarding office, said that with regard to quantity and quality of the awardees, Chinese scientists and engineers performed admirably in the past year.
Huang Boyun, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), led his team to invent charry materials for aero brake systems, a sophisticated technology only grasped by engineers in the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
Zhang Litong, also a CAE academician, led her team to invent a heat-resistant material.
Both Huang and Zhang earned the first state invention prizes.
Besides Huang and Zhang, Chen said, another 26 achievements were honored with second place in the category of inventions.
While no one won the first prize in the category of natural scientific research, Chen said, a total of 28 achievements were honored the second prize of natural scientific research.
Diverging from standards in past years, the selection panel weighed quality of papers published by scientists more heavily, aswell as patents owned by inventors.
About 30 percent of the panel are academicians at both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the CAE. About 30 percent are young experts, Chen said.(Xinhua).