Zhang Guofan, President of National Jingu University.



Zhang Guofan (1905-1975), Tieping as his style name, born in Anlu County, Hubei Province. He is a famous physicist, hydrodynamics scientist and educator. He went to the United States to study at public expense of Hubei Province and entered Cornell University to study water conservancy and physics in 1931. He obtained a master's degree in science, and then went to Iowa University to study water conservancy, fluid mechanics, aerodynamics and aviation mechanics in 1933. He received his doctorate in engineering in 1935 and returned to China in the same year. He has been designated as the president of national Jingu University since 1951. (Note: Tianjin Industrial and Commercial University, founded in 1921, is the predecessor of Hebei University. In 1951, the school was approved to rename "National Jingu University” by the Ministry of Education, and Zhang Guofan became the president, creating a new historical stage of the school. In 1960, the school changed the name to Hebei University.)

1、 Educational Background

From 1935 to 1950, Zhang Guofan successively served as a professor of Beiyang Institute of technology, Hujiang University, Lingnan University and Longnan Northwest Institute of technology, the director of the branch of Institute of technology and director of the Department of aviation in Northwest Institute of technology; Researcher of Northwest Academy of Sciences; Dean of the Department of physics, Dean of the Department of Aeronautics and provost of Beiyang University. He taught theoretical mechanics, optics, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, flight mechanics, vibration mechanics, etc. Based on "smaller quantity, better quality" in teaching, he put forward a new idea of "smaller to benefits and better to wonders". He focused on the cultivation of young teachers. And founded Tianjin Physics Society and Tianjin Mechanics Association.

In September 1951, the Ministry of education of the Central People's government issued Order No. 1170 of Gao Yizi that changing Jingu University from the Ministry of education of the Central People's government to National University, and Zhang Guofan was designated as president. Jingu University changed from private to national, marking that Jingu University entered a new historical stage with epoch-making significance. During his tenure, president Zhang Guofan established and led the joint meeting of the school's party, government, industry, league, Youth League and students, so as to brainstorm, unify understanding and act. Finally, the president decided to deploy the central work of the school. Such as campaign of resist US aggression and aid Korea, campaign of increasing production and saving money, and the ideological reform campaign of intellectuals. He organized and coordinated the placement of teaching courses for teachers and students in the whole school to bring them into the teaching track as soon as possible. Based on the School of Arts of Jingu University, the Normal School of Jingu University was established, and the Teaching Work Research Association and general affairs work research association were founded. In this important period of connecting the past and the future and building a new one, president Zhang Guofan shouldered his mission and played a positive role in promoting the school political reform.

In addition, Zhang Guofan also participated in a lot of social works. From 1950 to 1951, he concurrently served as director of Tianjin Education Bureau; Vice mayor of Tianjin since 1956; He also served as a deputy to the first, second, third and fourth National People's Congress, chairman of Tianjin Association for science and technology, vice chairman of Tianjin CPPCC, member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Democratic League and chairman of Tianjin Committee of the Democratic League.

Zhang Guofan devoted himself to all kinds of social activities. He is thoughtful and creative. In leading the NLD, he was good at combining the party's united front policy with the reality of NLD members and put forward arguments that intellectuals can easily understand and accept. For example, he advanced: "the organizational life of the NLD should cultivate the atmosphere of 'meeting friends with business and supporting benevolence with friends'." In his opinion, culture means business and benevolence refers to thoughts. He advocated making friends through business, helping each other and making common progress.

2. Scientific Research

Zhang Guofan's academic achievements, mainly in molecular physics and atomic physics, especially in turbulence theory and application, have been outstanding for nearly 30 years. Starting from the master's thesis "The Theoretical Nature and Mechanism of Liquid Molecular Aggregation", he entered the research on liquid aggregation and hydrodynamics. Zhang Guofan advocated studying the essence of turbulence from the physical aspect to resist the internationally popular view that the difficulty of turbulence lies in the mathematical difficulty of solving Navier Stokes equation; He put forward the analogy concept of turbulent temperature and works on The Thermal Theory of Turbulence. Other representative papers include "An Equation of Turbulent Motion" and "On Turbulent Resistance", which put forward his own equation and denied the Navier Stokes equation. The views are consistent with the current international views.

In 1941, the northwest Academy of Sciences was established, and Zhang Guofan was a researcher. Combined with a very serious problem of the southward movement of the northern desert in China's Geosciences at that time, he studied the aeolian sand from the perspective of hydrodynamics, wrote the article "The Southward Movement of the Northern Desert in China", and called for the control of the expansion of the desert. After the founding of the people's Republic of China, the party and government attached great importance to this issue, built a large area of windbreak and sand fixation forest, and achieved remarkable results.

Zhang Guofan was the president of Tianjin University and academic leader of turbulence theory research in 1964. He attached great importance to the practical application of engineering technology and believed that the research results could be immediately used in production and promote the development of production. After 20 years, the international research in this field has developed vigorously, which proves Zhang Guofan's foresight.

To engage in applied research, we must first pay attention to experimental work. Zhang Guofan said, "before the founding of the people's Republic of China, there were no conditions for experiments, so most of the older generation engaged in theoretical research. When they study abroad, they only learn theory, because they have no conditions to do experiments after returning home. Where foreigners experiment go, the Chinese theory will follow. In this way, the scientific research of the Chinese people cannot be independent with the color of semi colonial dependence on foreign countries. Now, China is independent politically, economically and militarily, and our scientific cause should also be independent. To make the scientific cause independent, we must first establish our own experimental base. "

Zhang Guofan's research on turbulence theory and its application has lasted for nearly 30 years. Even under heavy administrative work and frequent social activities, he is still tireless. The academic circles praised his serious scientific attitude and unremitting dedication. Qian Weichang said, "Zhang Guofan is an honest scientist. With serious and diligent spirit, he has done a lot of work in turbulence theory, admired by his contemporaries, and can be a model for young people. "

In his later years, Zhang Guofan accumulated ten years of teaching experience and scientific research achievements and compiled two teaching materials,namely,  Fluid Mechanics and Vibration Mechanics, which have been adopted by many colleges and universities.

3、 Patriotic Act

 Zhang Guofan is a patriotic intellectual. In 1931, he left home to study in the United States and wrote such a sentimental poem when boarding the ship:

Foreign countries invade our country and three cities were lost.

The Northeast was invaded and no one defend the frontier.

We should serve our country after going out for schooling.

In 1935, Zhang Guofan returned home during the war of resistance against Japan. During the December 9th campaign, he participated in the "national salvation meeting" campaign. He participated in the organization of the "National Association of Scientists" to carry out propaganda activities to adhere to the war of resistance against Japan and oppose surrender, and served as the group leader of the Science Association of Northwest Institute of technology in 1944. In 1947, he participated in the "anti-hunger and anti-civil war” campaign of Beiyang University, and jointly launched the campaign of refusing to accept American aid with teachers and students of Beiyang University.

On the eve of the liberation of Tianjin, when Kuomintang spies came to Beiyang university to search for progressive students, Zhang Guofan accepted the entrustment of underground Party organizations and negotiated through president Zhang Hanying to force the military and police surrounding the students to retreat and protect the underground party members to transfer to the liberated area. When the Kuomintang government coerced Beiyang university to move south, Zhang Guofan foiled the plot to move south under the leadership of the underground party. At the beginning of the liberation of Tianjin, no one was responsible for Beiyang University. As a professor, director of the Department of aviation and provost, Zhang Guofan actually presided over the work of the whole university, restoring the teaching order.


Zhang Guofan had been engaged in education all his life. He was one of the pioneers in China's higher education, especially in engineering colleges; He had unique views on molecular physics, atomic physics and turbulence theory. He was also one of the founders of China Association of scientists. He loved the motherland all his life, pursued truth, studied rigorously and lived frugally. He is a scientist, educator and political activist deeply loved by the people.