Wang Zeshan, Hou Yunde win China's top science award
By Huang Xinwei, Bu Shi, Gao Yun, Fan Yixin and Chen Xieyuan
‍Chinese scientists Wang Zeshan and Hou Yunde won China's top science award for their outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation.
China's State Science and Technology Awards ceremony was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday.
Wang is a professor of Nanjing University of Science and Technology and an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, while Hou is a virologist and academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
President Xi Jinping presented them with award certificates and offered congratulations at the annual ceremony which is held to honor distinguished scientists and research achievements.
Other leaders, including Li Keqiang, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Gaoli, Wang Huning also attended the ceremony.
Wang Zeshan: King of gunpowder 
Wang Zeshan /Chinanews Photo

Wang Zeshan /Chinanews Photo

Dedicated to the research on gunpowder for over 60 years, Wang Zeshan was awarded for his original achievements made in this field, taking a leading international role and rejuvenating research in gunpowder, one of China’s four great inventions.
Wang, born on Oct. 10, 1935 in Jilin City, northeast China’s Jilin Province, has spent his whole life working with explosives, specializing in energetic materials. Now in his eighties, Wang still spends half the year working.
Wang was the first to develop technology for re-utilizing obsolete explosives, and energetic materials with low temperature sensitivity. He successfully designed propelling charge and modular change systems for the extended firing range, improving the firing range of China’s artillery by 20 percent and optimizing the ballistic performance.
Wang Zeshan at work. /Xinhua Photo

Wang Zeshan at work. /Xinhua Photo

Wang's students dub him as "post 80s," as he seems more energetic than the youngsters at the bitter cold explosion test site.
“The environment here is about minus 10 degrees Celsius. Even though we young people are well equipped, we still can't bear the cold. Professor Wang keeps the same line as us in the same environment," one of them said.
This is not the first time Wang has received a national-level award. He was the first-prize winner of the National Scientific and Technological Progress Awards in 1993, and National Technology Invention Awards in both 1996 and 2016.
Hou Yunde: Father of China’s interferon
Hou Yunde /Chinanews Photo‍

Hou Yunde /Chinanews Photo‍

Hou Yunde is a researcher at the National Institute of Viral Disease Control and Prevention, and director of the National Engineering Research Center for Viro Bio Technology. He was born on July 13, 1929, in Wujin, now a district in the city of Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.
Hou was awarded for his outstanding achievements in molecular virology, genome project interferon, and control and prevention of major infectious diseases.
Hou is known as the “father of China’s interferon.” He laid the groundwork for the research of molecular virology in China, and successfully developed a genome project interferon and other cytokines products including interferon α-1b.
Hou Yunde (L) with his team /Xinhua Photo

Hou Yunde (L) with his team /Xinhua Photo

During the H1N1 flu’s outbreak in 2009, Hou served as a director of the Expert Committee of the Defense and Control Mechanism. His team’s successful intervention of the flu was internationally recognized.
In 1984, Hou was the first Chinese scientist to win the “Young and Middle-aged Scientists with Outstanding Contributions” title. Hou received the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize in 1994, and Medical Science Prize of China the year after. During the following two decades he has won one first prize and seven second prizes of National Science and Technology Progress, 10 first prizes of Scientific and Technological Achievements of Ministry of Health.
The two scientists have dedicated their lives to their fields of research. While both now are in their 80s, it doesn't look like they plan on slowing down their accomplishments anytime soon.