Top Chinese nuclear scientist found dead under mysterious circumstances

One of China’s top nuclear scientists and the Vice-President of Harbin Engineering University has died after falling from a building. Zhang Zhijian, who was the Vice-President of the Chinese Nuclear Society was found dead on Thursday.

South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that the university in the capital of Heilongjiang said that police had ruled out homicide as the cause of death after on-site investigations failed to provide further details. “Harbin Engineering University announces with deep grief that Professor Zhang Zhijian regrettably fell off a building and died at 9.34 am on June 17, 2021,” the statement read. There was no other official statement about Zhang’s death and his name remained on the leadership list of the university’s website on Friday. Zhang was a professor at the college of nuclear science and technology at the university and the vice-president of the Chinese Nuclear Society. He was also a member of the standing committee of the Communist Party committee at the university. In 2019, the researcher was awarded the Qian Sanqiang Technology Award, named after the father of China’s nuclear programme, by the state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation for his contribution to nuclear power simulation and safety research.

Two days before his death the university announced that Yin Jingwei, 41, the former dean of the college of underwater acoustic engineering, had been appointed as a new vice-president.