A Vivid Example of Turning the Tables: An Inspiration to the Youth

36-year-old Dr. Zhang Zhe-Wei Won 2010 International Inventor Prize


Golden State University presented 2010 International Inventor Prize to 36-year-old Dr. Zhang Zhe-Wei, the youngest recipient with a doctoral degree. Must an exceptional inventor be a genius with extraordinary IQ? Must he/she be excellent academically since his/her childhood or exhaust himself/herself in studies only? Dr. Zhang is currently the director of the Institute of Digital Innovation Management at Yuanpei University, Taiwan. He wears a pair of eyeglasses with a black frame and looks young and ruddy. Far from the impression of a typical scientist, Dr. Zhang is amiable and personable. People often think that he is still a college student when they first see him. Dr. Zhang’s story regarding the entire course of his schooling is an inspiration to the youth.

Mr. Wang Jin-pyng, president of the Legislative Yuan presented the National Outstanding Scholarship Award to Dr. Zhang (right)

Dr. Zhang’s experiences in his whole schooling is a vivid example of “turning the tables.” In his senior high school days, he was unable to catch up with his classmates. “Without an aim, I would often fall asleep within fifteen minutes after I studied,” Dr. Zhang said, “I even received six minor demerits because of arguing with a school official.” He fortunately entered a university, but his life got worse. He started to indulge himself in playing PC games and mahjong and cutting classes. “I thought that the diploma I got would look the same whether I got 60 or 90 percent on my tests.” His life changed greatly in the second semester of his junior year. Because of the recommendation of his friend, he joined Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy. “At Tai Ji Men, Shifu teaches me to improve myself by his examples, words, and heart,” Dr. Zhang said, “Furthermore, my Shifu reminded me that the goal of education is to help one learn how to handle people and things in life.” He started to make plans for his life and concentrated on studying. He not only got admitted to a Ph.D. program smoothly but also graduated as the top student in his class.

Dr. Zhang became an associate professor and department chairman when he was 34 years old. He was not only the youngest chairman but also an expert in acquiring patents, and he made numerous records. He won the 2010 IIP International Inventor Prize in December of 2010. Mr. Wang Jin-pyng, president of the Legislative Yuan, also presented the National Outstanding Scholarship Award to Dr. Zhang. As the youngest inventor with a Ph.D., he also won the 2010 International Inventor Prize from Golden State University in the same year. Moreover, with 24 certificates, he has been presented the 2010 TMPA Top 100 Teacher Award by the Taiwan Project Management Association as well as the 2010 Excellent Academic Community Prize for Assisting Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise Technology by Metal Industries Research and Development Center of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, R.O.C. In addition, he has also published more than 60 papers in international journals, attended more than 40 conferences at home and abroad, and implemented 27 industry-university research programs.

Dr. Zhang, who has won numerous prizes, is loved and respected by his students and has also won the outstanding teacher prize. However, the entire course of his schooling was not smooth. “I would like to thank my Shifu for his guidance,” said Dr. Zhang, “I am willing to assist more students who are ignored by the society and equip them with the necessary skills to compete in society.” He hopes to help these students so that they can have the same competitiveness as those graduating from national universities. Five graduate students under his tutelage got admitted to the Ph.D. programs of national universities. Furthermore, more than 80% of the students he tutored passed national and international certificate examinations. Dr. Zhang also obtained 20 patents within one year.

Many people wonder how he can achieve such amazing accomplishments. Dr. Zhang expressed that practicing qigong enabled him to stay healthy mentally and physically and to think clearly. He emphasized that one needs to first find the point of balance in using one’s time. Especially he obeys the 80/20 rule to manage his time after work so that his vision will not be limited to professional areas. “After work, I spend 80% of my time at Tai Ji Men, acquiring wisdom, strengthening my mental and physical health, and learning ways to deal with people and things from my Shifu. This way, I am able to spend the remaining 20% of the time handling things efficiently,” remarked Dr. Zhang. His second tip is that he utilized the wisdom taught by his Shifu—one can accomplish a task effortlessly if he uses leverage in exerting his power. “The key point of teaching lies in the students themselves,” he pointed out, “Thus, the win-win strategy for both teaching and learning efficiency is to assist students to develop and reach their goals by themselves. Dr. Zhang tutored his students to get ready for certificate examinations so that his students’ willingness to learn and competitiveness are increased simultaneously. Dr. Zhang said, “Guiding the students to be willing to improve themselves and obtain good grades will in turn help the teachers to obtain better performance in research publications and industry-university research programs.”

As the youngest inventor with a Ph.D., Dr. Zhang was presented the 2010 International Inventor Prize by Golden State University.

It is amazing that an unruly youth could change significantly after he joined Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy, an ancient menpei of martial arts. At Tai Ji Men, Dr. Zhang not only found the meaning and value of his life but also his wife, Yang Li-hui. Dr. Zhang and Yang often bring their four-year-old son to Tai Ji Men and share with others their experiences. Dr. Zhang has been successful in work, health, and family life. Dr. Zhang talked about his hopes and objectives in the future. “Achievements and fame are tentative, and the wealth will go to the next generation. However, good moral character is forever, and physical, mental, and spiritual health is perpetual.”

In today’s ever-changing environment and busy lifestyle, only through maintaining a peaceful heart can one fully realize his potential. It is very important to replenish oneself with words of wisdom and positive energy. Dr. Zhang recommends everybody to visit the Tai Ji Men website at http://www.taijimen.org to read articles with life wisdom and to watch a series of the Energy Family videos. We hope that everyone can find his own goal in life and create a happy life.