Vice President of AREVA, Weidong Zhang, Attended the SJTU-ParisTech Intercultural Module
On the afternoon of March 29th, 2017, SJTU-ParisTech invited Vice President of the French nuclear energy company AREVA, Weidong Zhang, to attend Intercultural Module. Mr. Zhang gave a presentation to second and third-year students on the topic of AREVA and Commercial Nuclear Energy. Dean Joaquim Nassar also attended the class.
Mr. Zhang began by introducing AREVA and its businesses. AREVA ranks number one as a commercial nuclear energy company, and is the third largest electrical power transmission and distribution (T&D) company. As a global leader in the nuclear energy industry, it focuses on providing reliable non-carbon-dioxide electricity generation and T&D plans for customers. Its main businesses include nuclear raw material mining, purifying and sales, building nuclear reactors, and recycling nuclear waste (AREVA also owns the core technologies to recycle nuclear waste). After re-organization in 2014, AREVA is now more focused on mining and production.
Then Mr. Zhang spoke about the history of utilizing nuclear energy in China. The first nuclear power station in China was built in 1991 at Qin Shan. After that, Da Ya Wan Nuclear Power Station was the first built with French cooperation by AREVA. Nowadays nuclear generated electricity constitutes 3% of the total electricity generation in China, and is estimated to rise to over 5% by 2020, thereafter continuing to increase. Currently there are over 30 nuclear reactors in service in China, with over 20 other reactors under construction. In China nuclear energy will become a strategic focus in the next 20 years.
In the end, based on his own experience, Mr. Zhang believes that the Chinese education system is more focused on knowledge and the earning of a diploma, while in France personal ability and good relation with corporations are considered more important. Thus a combination of the two will provide students at SJTU-ParisTech with a broad vision and occupational competitiveness.
This presentation provided students with a good platform to understand nuclear energy development and its current global position. The students also got a feel for our national construction programs. This was a good opportunity for improved cultural communications. During the entire presentation, there were questions and answers, back and forth, between Mr. Zhang and the students. Students came to understand more about the Elite Engineer Development Program at SJTU-ParisTech.
Note: Weidong Zhang earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, then earned his PhD at Telecom ParisTech on a Chinese government funded program. Previously he worked at Phillips, Lucent Technology, TCL, and TCL-Thomson Electronics. He is now Senior Vice President of AREVA for the Asia-Pacific Region, in charge of areas such as finance, HR, IT, security, etc.