BEIJING – Wan Gang, president of Shanghai-based Tongji University and a noted automotive expert, was appointed China’s Minister of Science and Technology on April 27 by the 27th Session of the 10th National People’s Standing Committee.
Wan replaces Xu Guanhua and becomes the first non-Communist party person to hold a ministerial position in a State Council department since China’s opening up and reform. Wa’s appointment is also significant in that it comes less than seven years after his return to China from a 10-year tenure at Audi’s Ingolstadt headquarters where he worked in various positions in the German carmaker’s R&D and production planning departments.
The 54-year-old Shanghai native received his Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tongji University in 1981 and taught at the school’s mechanical engineering department until April 1985. He then left to pursue a Doctorate degree in mechanical engineering at Germany’s Clausthal University of Technology. Wan returned to China at the end of 2000 from Audi and became the director of Tongji’s New Energy Automotive Engineering Center before becoming vice president of the university in June 2003 and president a year later.
Wan is most famous for his role as chief scientist and director of the State 863 Plan‘s key electric vehicle project. He is also well-known for his work on four generations of SAIC Motor’s “Chaoyue” fuel cell prototype cars. The fourth generation “Chaoyue” concept was shown at this April’s Auto Shanghai 2007, badged as a Shanghai brand vehicle.