FC: CHINA VISITS 1998 2013
1: BACKGROUND My contact with the People's Republic of China arose initially through my research effort on the catalytic oxidation of Sulfur Dioxide: both Professor Yuan at the East China University of Technology in Shanghai and Professor C.Y. Li at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology were active researchers on that topic. Both of these eminent researchers were also interested in periodic operation of chemical reactors.....a topic on which I was an international authority. Thus, letters to these two Professors quickly secured me lecture invitations. In addition, C.Y. Li had spent a year with me in Waterloo and Prof. Lin of the Shanghai institution had been in Waterloo with one of my colleagues several years earlier. I had formerly retired from the University of Waterloo a year ago after Helen sadly died so I was free to travel. I had been spending some time with Betty Lake, an Oakwood classmate, after Helen passed on and our Oakwood class's 50th reunion, and asked her if she would like to join me in China. In hindsight, this was a bad mistake on my part because Betty seized the offer but turned out to be a poor traveler and a bit of a burden.. I flew to Cleveland, picked Betty up and we immediately flew on to Seattle where we boarded a flight for Tokyo. We stayed at the Tokyo Quaker House overnight and the next day took a China Air flight to Beijing. Professor Li met us at the airport and took us to a nice hotel he booked for us near the Technical University. We s=pent most of a week in Beijing. I toured the Chemical Engineering one day meeting staff and students. I put on two technical lectures and also did an informal seminar on Waterloo's co-operative engineering program. During my days in the Beijing department, I editing several English language manuscripts for faculty members as a curtesy. I also joined the Chemical Engineering faculty for a boisterous dinner featuring Peking Duck and lots of Chinese wine and beer. The Beijing faculty, and particularly C.Y.Li, arranged for a good bit of tourism for Betty and I. A junior faculty member drove us, ca a 100 miles, up to the main access point to the Great Wall for Beijing for a day long excursion. We took the cable car from the valley up to the Wall and I was able to hike for several miles along that remarkable and well preserved structure. On the way back, we stopped at a clean, modern noodle shop for delicious noodles....... perhaps our best dinner in China. On a weekend we were dropped off at the Forbidden City and on another day we toured the Temple of Heaven. There was a further day at the imperial tombs, set in a spacious park in the outskirts of Beijing.