Physics Professor Lu Haizhou, treating every challenge as a blessing


Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) is blessed with dedicated educators, scholars and researchers, who pursue the noble path of blessing society with a brighter future. These forgers of the future path are those that seek a new way forward for all, and SUSTech is honored to have many of them among their faculty.

Earlier this month, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) announced its funding results, with Department of Physics Professor Lu Haizhou receiving funding under the 2019 National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars. He has received national support for his research project, named “Electronic Transport Theory of Topological Materials in Magnetic Fields.”

Working in the Department of Physics and the Shenzhen Institute of Quantum Science and Engineering, Professor Lu Haizhou is currently studying condensed matter physics. His research interests are the use of quantum field theory to study the phase and electron transport in new materials such as topological materials. His theoretical work has been experimentally supported and applied.

Professor Lu Haizhou is a firm believer in the need to focus. While many of his compatriots across China and around the world tend to use computers to use their calculations and theoretical work, Lu Haizhou prefers to use a pen, as he finds that it is better for clearing his mind to focus on the problem at hand.

“The secret to good research is concentration. I wouldn’t be able to achieve as much as I have if I had not committed to my study every day.” His efforts have not gone unnoticed, having published more than 70 papers in top academic journals that have been cited more than three thousand times. He is an “Outstanding Referee” of the American Physical Society, and has undertaken many ministerial, provincial and municipal-level research projects.

Lu Haizhou has achieved outstanding results in electronic transport theory in magnetic fields, and published several articles in top physical journals such as Physical Review Letters. Lu Haizhou said that his team is working on extremely strong magnetic field physics, while studying the behavior of electrons in solids in a magnetic field millions of times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field.

He said that he wanted to thank a long list of people for helping him get to where he is today, as they have inspired him to get there, and he will continue to reward them with his efforts.

As a member of the teaching and research community at SUSTech, Lu Haizhou did not realize all the mutual benefits when he first arrived at SUSTech. Since he carries out his classes at the same time as he conducts research, he can integrate cutting-edge research knowledge into his classes, and students present refreshing ideas that become inspiration for research.

When he is teaching, Lu Haizhou would rather bring out chalk than textbooks. He believes that while textbooks are helpful, students may struggle to understand their content, so it is smarter to derive formulae line by line by hand. That way, students can develop a solid foundation in quantum mechanics before moving onto more challenging areas.

The support that SUSTech provides to its researchers and scholars is another reason that Lu Haizhou is happy to be here. He notes that he has had many students come through his research groups, sometimes halfway through a project, due to SUSTech’s freedom for students to find their own academic pathways. Lu Haizhou is a big supporter of the “General Education + Professional Education” talent pipeline at SUSTech, as he believes that it provides the best opportunities for students.

Lu Haizhou is an encouraging tutor, giving confidence to his students to find the direction that they are truly interested in, as well as getting involved in scientific research. The transition from high school to university is a critical movement for all first-year university students, and the role Lu Haizhou plays in supporting his students is crucial to their development.

In the 2019 graduation ceremony, SUSTech President Chen Shiyi quoted a Greek poem “I hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery”. Professor Lu Haizhou believes that this is an important message for students of SUSTech to hear, looking back on his own time here.

“A life full of adventures and discoveries is not something you ask for. When you look back at the road you have traveled, you will find that these challenges are actually blessings and opportunities from which you grow.”

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