Professor WEN Shizhu has passed away

date: 06.11.2023

Professor WEN Shizhu, the 2015 Tribology Gold Medal Laureate, passed away on Nov. 3, 2023, at the age of 91.

Prof. WEN Shizhu was a professor in mechanical engineering at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Honorary President of the Chinese Tribology Institute (CTI).

He was born in 1932 in the Jiangxi Province of China. In 1955 he graduated from Tsinghua University and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Gold Medal. He remained as a teacher in mechanical engineering at Tsinghua University. During the period of 1979-1981, he undertook tribology research as a visiting scholar at Imperial College, London. After returning to Tsinghua University, he actively promoted tribology research and his team engaged in research covering a broad range of topics. These ranged from traditional macroscopic tribology and numerical analysis of elastohydrodynamic lubrication, to thin-film lubrication and the emerging field of nanotribology, all of which are closely related to the industrial needs of mechanical-engineering development in China. He passionately pursued multi-scale and interdisciplinary approaches for solving practical and fundamental problems at surfaces and interfaces in mechanical systems. In 1986 he presided over the establishment of the State Key Laboratory of Tribology, serving as its founder director.

Professor WEN always had a passion for the education and training of young researchers. He supported the exchange of researchers and young tribologists from a number of countries. Starting in 1981, he mentored more than 100 postgraduates and a number of post-doctoral fellows, who have gone on to become the backbone of the academic and industrial sectors in China.

Professor WEN published over 600 papers, 8 books and received over 24 major scientific and technological awards, including a National Natural Science Award and Prize of National Scientific and Technological Progress Award. In 2009, he received the Highest Achievement Award from the Chinese Tribology Institute. He also served as Honorary Editor of "Friction", the first journal published in English in the field of tribology in China—a joint undertaking by Tsinghua University and Springer.

Professor WEN had a very high reputation in the field of tribology. His passing is a significant loss to our field.

It is with deep grief that we are mourning the passing of Professor WEN Shizhu.