ZhangLi, deputy chief engineer and general manager of Security CT Divisionof Nuctech Company Limited
For the past twenty years, Zhang Li has been engaged in the theory and application of radiation imaging. Her research achievements, especially those concerning CT technology, are world-leading.
Zhang’s special love for security checking systems originated after her college years. Having received a postgraduate diploma from Tsinghua University, Zhang chose a research career in engineering physics first and then expanded into container inspection systems and CT in dentistry.
In 2005, security personnel in China uncovered a plot of an aerial attack using a plane carrying liquid bombs. The shocking event made Zhang, together with her team, start conducting research into liquid CT technology.
For the first time in that field, Zhang and her team used DR and CT technology to create effective security checks for liquids, and came up with the world’s first X-ray CT liquid security system.
The system was later approved by the European Union, and was soon used for liquid security airport checks by the German federal police.
So far, over 80 airports in more than 10 European countries have installed the system. More than 500 systems have been sold for a total of over 200 million yuan ($30 million).
Advanced CT technology from foreign manufacturers has traditionally dominated aviation security checks worldwide. The new CT luggage check system independently developed by Nuctech, for which Zhang and her team work, has finally broken the foreign market monopoly.
After approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the European Civil Aviation Conference, the system has enjoyed breakthrough sales in the domestic and global markets.
By the end of May 2016, more than 200 sets of the product had been sold, with a total sales volume of more than one billion yuan, creating economic benefit for Nuctech and social benefit for China.
For all her work and achievements, including two important inventions for China’s Ministry of Information Industry, Zhang has received numerous awards at national and provincial levels.
In Zhang’s view, an industry needs three preconditions to develop its potential: user need, scientific research, and inter-disciplinary innovation.