seal  Purdue News

November 13, 2003

Purdue professor wins China's Great Wall Friendship Award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Gavriel Salvendy, a professor of industrial engineering at Purdue University, has won a Great Wall Friendship Award in China, and his recently televised lecture was seen by millions of viewers in China and Korea.

Gavriel Salvendy

"I'm doing everything I can to help make Purdue a household name in the world's biggest country," said Salvendy, who in 2001 was named chair professor and head of the newly formed Department of Industrial Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Salvendy fills both his Purdue and Tsinghua positions concurrently.

"All tolled, I spend about a month each year in China, and then the rest of the time I communicate either by e-mail or videoconferencing," he said.

Salvendy's appointment to the Chinese university represented the first time since the People's Republic of China was established in 1949 that a Western researcher had been named a chair professor and head of a university department in China. Tsinghua University is ranked No. 1 in engineering in China.

The annual Great Wall Friendship Award is the top honor for foreign experts working in Beijing. It was presented on Sept. 24 to 15 recipients from 11 countries.

"The ceremony was quite lavish," said Salvendy, whose award was specifically for his contributions to science and technology.

Sixty-three people have won the award since it was established by Beijing's municipal government in 1999, and four of those recipients were chosen for their contributions to science and technology.

Salvendy also presented a lecture that was televised in October in China and Korea and viewed by millions of people in those countries, he said.

"Purdue University is becoming a known name in China," Salvendy said.

The hour-long lecture focused on the role ergonomics might play in raising the standard of living and productivity in China. It was aired by Korean and Chinese television stations on Oct. 21 and Oct. 11, respectively.

Salvendy is one of only 11 Purdue faculty members who are members of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He has written more than 400 scientific publications, including more than 200 journal papers, and has authored or edited 26 books.

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709,

Source: Gavriel Salvendy, 765-494-5426,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page