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The Penn Club of Beijing Visits SEAS Alumnus, Professor Heng De Li, at Tsinghua University

On December 31, members of the Penn Club and current vacationing Penn students visited one of our most distinguished SEAS alumni, Li Heng De, at Tsinghua University to get to know more about him. Professor Li graduated from Penn in 1953. He is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Tsinghua and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. His research interests include Nuclear Materials, Ion Beam Modification of Materials and Bio-materials and Bio-mimetic.

Penn Club of Beijing members in attendance were KT Wu (Club Board Member), Terry Crossman (Club Historian), Andy Mok (Club Member) and Loretta Evans (Club President). Current students in attendance were Mary Zhen (Wharton 2011) and Yang Shi (SEAS 2012 and CSSAP). Li Heng De¡¯s son, Li Gong, and grandson, Li Yi Yung, were visiting from Singapore and also attended.

Professor Li told the group about taking his first trip to the United States in 1946 on the SS USS Phoenix transporter from China to the United States with stops in Korea, Japan, Hawaii, and Canada before finally arriving at his destination in Seattle. The trip took 18 days! He went to the United States at a time when many American GIs were returning from war and classes were quite full at universities.

He completed his M.S. at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon) in 1947. In 1948, Professor Li arrived at the University of Pennsylvania to study Metallurgy in the Department of Material Science. At the time, there were not many students since the department was relatively new. After completing his degree at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Li returned to China and began teaching at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Professor Li remains in touch with many of his friends he met at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Li¡¯s former classmates, their children and grandchildren have visited him in China.

To learn more about Professor Li, see the following links.

We plan to include more information about Professor Li. Check the website again in the future.

Professor Li and his son, Gong Li

Andy Mok, KT Wu, and Mary Zhen

Professor Li,Gong Li and Yang Shi

Professor Li,Gong Li, Yang Shi and Andy Mok

Professor shows us his article ¡° Light Metal Technological Artistry¡± published in Light Metal Age © 1997.

Terry Crossman (Penn Club Historian), Professor Li, Loretta Evans (Penn Club of Beijing President)

Professor Li¡¯s grandson Yi Yung Li, Professor Li, and his son, Gong Li
December 2009