Prof Xu Xi addressing the RCUK Science Bridges China Research Workshop in Chengdu, April 2012

We are sad to report that Professor Xi Xu passed away on Saturday, February 16th, 2013, at the age of 93. 

Professor Xi Xu was an Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Director of the Polymer Research Institute of Sichuan University and the Director of the Polymer Materials Research Institute of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.   He was the founder of the State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering at Sichuan University.

Prof. Xu was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu and graduated with a BSc from Zhejiang University in 1944, then got his MSc degree from Lehigh University, USA in 1948. Prof Xu was recognized as one of the pioneers and founders of the Chinese polymer materials science and engineering discipline and had earned the respect of his peers around the world during his distinguished career. He was elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1991 and had held a number of both national and international awards, medals and prizes. He was the international representative of Polymer Processing Society (PPS), the Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), board member of International Materials Information Society, the editorial board member of the Journal of International Materials Reviews and Journal of Materials Science Technology. He was also the editor in chief of the Journal of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering (China) and Oil field Chemicals (China)

His research interests covered the fields of polymer mechanochemistry, polymer materials processing, green polymer chemistry, and radiation chemistry. He had long been engaged in research on ultrasonic degradation and polymer composites, macromolecular complexation through hydrogen bonding, and the compatibility of polymer blends and composites. He published more than 300 papers and was awarded 30 patents. He won 20 national, provincial and ministerial science and technology awards in China, such as the National Natural Science Prize and the National Technology Innovation Prize. 

Prof. Xu was not only admired by his colleagues for his outstanding research, but much loved by his past and present students, to whom he generously gave both his time and knowledge. He won the National Outstanding Teaching Achievement Awards of High-level Qualified Personnel's Training of polymer Science, and the Yucai (Bringing up Talents) Award of Polymer Science. 

Professor Xu will be remembered by all who knew him, and particularly by his friends and former colleagues. His passing away is a great loss to his family and his friends as well as the broader polymer community. Professor Xu is survived by his two sons and one daughter.  

Professor Qi Wang,   State Key Lab of Polymer Materials Engineering, Sichuan University


I know from my extensive contact with Sichuan University how important and influential Prof Xu Xi has been for the significant rise in polymer-related research in China, and the prominence of Sichuan University in the polymer engineering field.   It is perhaps difficult for those outside of China to see how important the role of an Academician is in the Chinese system, and what a great honour that is.  Prof Xu Xi was a good friend and one with whom we shared many happy as well as formal occasions.  He was a great supporter of the UK-China collaborations, including the RCUK Science Bridges China platform, to which he gave considerable support, and of course the wider international co-operations and interactions.  He was also very supportive and fond of the PRC:ME journal, having chosen to publish a key paper in the 1990s on mechano-chemical processing (solid state shear milling), a technique which is still finding new avenues of exploitation.

Professor Phil Coates FREng

The obituary above was published in Plastics Rubber & Composites: Macromolecular Engineering, the international journal of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, in the June 2013 edition.  

The following is an obituary from Sichuan University:



   中国共产党党员,忠诚的爱国主义者,九三学社社员,杰出的科学家,中国科学院院士、英国皇家化学会会士,我国高分子材料学科的开拓者和奠基人之一,第三、五、六、七、八届全国人大代表,国务院特殊津贴专家,九三学社第六、七、八届中央委员会委员,原成都科技大学副校长、原高分子材料工程国家重点实验室主任及学术委员会主任,四川大学教授、高分子研究所所长,上海交通大学教授、高分子材料研究所所长,解放军总后军需部军需装备科技发展特邀顾问徐僖同志,因突发呼吸心跳骤停,经抢救无效,于2013年2月16日14 时01分,不幸逝世,享年93岁。

   徐僖同志1921年1月16日生于江苏南京。1944年毕业于浙江大学化工系,获工学学士学位,并考取本校研究生,在染料专家侯毓汾教授的指导下研究五棓子染料。1947年考取中华教育基金董事会庚款留美研究生,赴美国宾州李海大学(Lehigh University)化学系留学,1948年获科学硕士学位。回国后,创建了我国第一个塑料专业和我国高分子材料学科,先后任重庆大学化工系副教授,重庆棓酸塑料厂副厂长兼总工程师,成都工学院、成都科技大学、四川联合大学、四川大学及上海交通大学教授。