Zhu Manfu: Be a Youth "Racer"

    Editor: News Agency of BIT

  “1 lap, 2 laps... 30 laps, 31 laps... 50 laps”.

  At noon, the sun is shining fiercely. In the slightly quiet campus of BIT, a water-drop-shaped racing car drives at a uniform speed of 25 km/h on the runway of the playground with bursts of roar from time to time.

  When the 50th lap was completed, the car stopped smoothly and the car shell was removed. The 2015 undergraduate Zhu Manfu from School of Mechanical Engineering, BIT, who is petite but cool and handsome in a red racing suit, jumped out of the cab less than one cubic meter.

  On February 25, 2019, Zhu, who has a good academic performance, was selected into the National Scholarship Award-winning student representative list and published in People’s Daily. Only 100 of the approximately 50,000 national award winners in the country were awarded this honor.

  Four-year college life passed by quickly like the racing cars. Looking back, Zhu’s youth track was full of hard work and struggle for success, full of achievements and excitement.


Being well-grounded: learning is an awesome thing

Part of Zhu Manfu’s course results

  “There are 69 courses in her undergraduate life, she has achieved 9 full marks with an average score of 94.72 points, which ranks firmly the top of the grade; she has won national scholarships for three times, Xu Teli Scholarship, and first-class scholarship for outstanding students; besides, she also has obtained Beijing ‘three good’ student and ‘Pioneer Cup’ as a member of the Communist Youth League of China…” said by Ma Kai, Zhu’s college counselor, who always expresses his heartfelt praise and admiration when talking about Zhu Manfu.

  Four-year study life in BIT witnesses the fruitful academic achievement of Zhu Manfu. “My mother used to be a primary school teacher. From an early age, I followed her to school to watch her attend classes and correct the homework. It feels like books and pencils are not ordinary objects. The sound of reading and writing seems to cover them with a mysterious and sacred veil”. Zhu was born in a poor family, whose first lesson of her life was taught by her mother. She learned that even if her family was poor, she could not give up education and learning. Her parents shouldered the hardship and fatigue of life and insisted on cultivating all the children into college students. Thanks to the family tradition of respecting knowledge and advocating education, Zhu has a firm belief and is determined to study hard, change the fate of individuals and families, and make greater contributions to the country and society.

  In 2015, with some expectations, Zhu Manfu came to BIT and realized her dream to be a college student. At the beginning, the teachers repeatedly emphasized the study, so that she felt the rigorous and strong style of study of BIT. With a sense of awe for learning, she dared not slacken at all, and steadfastness and diligence became the consistent “label” of her study life.

Part of Zhu Manfu’s the course notes

  “After reading the course notes of Manfu, I have a feeling of being shocked”. In the past four years, Zhu seriously took notes and studied the learning experience of each course during the period of reading the courseware and turning the PPT into the normal state of the college students, whose note is popular among younger schoolmates because of its neat handwriting and clear thinking. In addition to keeping notes, she also “practiced” her own learning methods. “When I first learned calculus, I also read the textbook in advance, but I found that I could not understand even the introduction in class. I was panicked”, which gave her a sense of frustration as a freshman. Since then, Zhu has had a newer understanding of college studies and taken it more seriously. Before each class, she had to carefully understand the concepts in the book, even the examples. In the long run, she slowly became more adept at her homework.

  Pre-class preparation, after-class review, the study of the course needs to be recycled. After mastering such a learning method, Zhu is able to jump out of the book, sum up the main points according to her own understanding, grasp the logic, and take notes like a “new textbook”. On the other hand, she also attaches great importance to after-school exercises, and gradually forms a virtuous circle of “preview-lecture-summary-thinking-doing-revision”. Her scientific method and diligent quality make the study solid and outstanding.

  However, Zhu, a “straight A student”, also encountered challenges in study. Although the teacher’s explanation was vivid and humorous, she, who has never been exposed to computer programming, always feels “unknowledgeable”, which made her feel “under great pressure” in the second freshman semester. But the only way to overcome difficulties is to never give up. Zhu, who firmly believes that "diligence can make up for stupidity", not only re-read all the courseware before the examination, but also rewrote all the program cases in class, debugging and summarizing ideas one by one. Finally, in the final computer examination, her last three programming questions were all given “AC (accept)”, which made her have a deeper understanding of this course.

Zhu Manfu won the 2017 Xu Teli Scholarship (the second from left)

  Starting studying from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Zhu always urged herself to run farther with more efforts. “On the way back to my dormitory in the evening, I review the knowledge I learned that day in my mind. When I get back to my dormitory, I almost finish sorting out the knowledge points”. When talking about everyday study and life, full of fullness permeates the face of this petite girl. “Every day, I know clearly what I have done and what to do tomorrow step by step”.


Practice and innovation, being brave to challenge myself

  “To be a female racer?”, which Zhu dare not think about before her college life. While at BIT, the fertile land, the seeds of dreams are watered carefully and finally blossom and yield fruits.
        After entering BIT, under the guidance of careful education in school and college, Zhu ‘s understanding of the future development has gradually become clear, and various high-level innovative practice activities have also provided her with a platform for professional growth. At a lecture of the Energy-saving Car Club, she found the direction in her heart as she watched the racing cars made by the BIT elder students themselves galloping on the race field.

  In order to join the team, Zhu began to prepare from the freshman year, and worked hard to enrich herself. Finally, in the summer of sophomore year, she was able to study as an intern in the team. In the beginning, Zhu was unavoidably nervous, but her solid knowledge reserve and excellent learning ability gave her self-confidence. What’s more, the atmosphere of innovation, practice and learning of BIT made her feel like a fish in water. During her summer internship, she was often the first person to come to the team, which has a strong atmosphere of knowledge inheritance. If there were something she did not know, she could always get the answer from senior students patiently.

  In the team, Zhu, a keen and eager learner, grew rapidly. After the summer internship, she was selected as a tram driver by the team. Song Qiang, who has served as a team instructor for many years said that Zhu was selected not only due to vehicle weight reduction and energy saving, but also her calm and serious attachment, which was the most important factor.

  “When I look at the operation of the seniors, I think about why the structure was so designed. If I were responsible for design, what will I do? Are there any improvements? I am a driver, but not just a driver. Besides driving, I also want to be able to solve more problems myself and reduce the burden for the other teammates”. After becoming a driver, Zhu pays more attention to the ability of hands-on operation. She keeps the performance and characteristics of the tools and components of the team in mind to cope with possible emergencies.
At the end of August, 2017, Zhu ushered in the long-awaited test run, but she, who was on the racing car for the first time, met with setbacks because the driving handlebars were too heavily twisted and the vehicle had not started yet. Because of the excessive current, the fuse was burnt, which made her longing mood fall to the bottom. However, Zhu, who has never been easily defeated, quickly adjusted her state and quickly plunged into hard practice.

  From the landing of the new car to the eve of the race, it is the concentration and golden period of the test run. During the summer vacation, Zhu and the team members seized the prime time test in the morning, and in the afternoon, they went back to the team for maintenance and prepared for the test the next day. After September, she spent almost all of the blank time in her curriculum on the test drive. In many cases, she would come to the test drive even though she couldn’t have lunch at noon. If a driver wants to get a good result, he should drive at a uniform speed and stabilize the throttle, which is a great test of arm strength. In order to control the weight and hold the handle steadily, Zhu tried various indoor fat-reducing exercises, and forced herself to try the outdoor long-distance running that she did not like, and also paid special attention to the training of her arms. In the two-month hot summer, Zhu’s suntanned face and black and white marks on her arms were the “most beautiful medal” to witness her struggle for success.

Zhu Manfu and other team members joined in the 11th Honda China Energy Conservation Competition in 2017

  At the end of October, 2017, Zhu and her teammates joined in the Honda China Energy Conservation Competition. However, the first practice match is full of challenges. Because of the complex track conditions of Guangzhou Zhaoqing International Circuit, Zhu Manfu, who is accustomed to driving on the flat playground, is not adapted to it. In the practice race, she not only drove the tram one more lap, but also did not meet the requirements of the race when she ran the second lap, which resulted in the final score not being recorded. The failure of the practice race and the coming of the official competition made her mood low and suppressed to the extreme. “Safety first, don’t be too stressed”. The encouragement of teammates made Zhu feel warm. “We have worked hard for this competition for a year. I can’t give up easily”. Zhu calmed down, watched the video again and again, analyzed the problems in the driving process, and redesigned the driving strategy. On the eve of the official race, she fell asleep unconsciously, remembering the driving strategies corresponding to every bend and every downhill, and simulating countless race scenes in her mind. Thanks to the perfect cooperation of the leaders and team members, she was familiar with the track and coped with it calmly, so they got a good result. Eventually, the Wingshaft of the Energy-saving Vehicle Club of BIT won the second place in the race.

  “The driver’s experience and the life as a member of the team is unforgettable for me. It is BIT that has given me such a platform for growth, which not only helps me learn solid basic knowledge, but also provides the opportunity to build and drive racing cars. It has also learned to cope with pressure and overcome myself, which is profound of my life”. Adhering to the spirit of teamwork, Zhu has made remarkable achievements with diligence and hard work on the track of youth. She won the second prize of the 2017 AAM Cup International Innovation Design Competition, the prizes of the 2018 National University Student Machinery Innovation Design Competition, and was the runner-up of the 2018 Asian Shell Energy-saving Marathon.


Remembering past kindness and being gratitude for the growth with our original aspiration

  “The blue sky and clear water beside the Sydney Opera House are charming; the fireworks in the night sky are beautiful by the port of Darling Harbor; professors of University of Technology, Sydney give us speeches on splendid Australian culture. In the southern hemisphere, nearly 10,000 kilometers away from home, we have a deep understanding of the mysteries of Australia”. Zhu’s eyes are filled with happiness and gratitude whenever she recalls her first trip abroad. “I never thought about going abroad in the period of my undergraduate. Although Zhu comes from a small village, she knew more about Australia than the past through reading and Internet without a cent. Therefore, I am especially grateful to the countries and BIT for their cultivation for me”.
In the summer vacation of 2016, Zhu was selected as the first international exchange program for students under the “Overseas Project” of BIT and went to University of Technology, Sydney for a study tour, which aims to broaden the international horizon of students with financial difficulties, improve their comprehensive quality and promote their all-round growth and improvement. During that two weeks, she had a great harvest of different knowledge, which is a beautiful and unforgettable memory.

  In addition to the study tour abroad, Zhu was also guided by teachers’ meticulous care and development. Pang Lu, once the head teacher of Zhu’s freshman year, gave her the warmth of “home” at the beginning of the college life. When learning about the family situation of Zhu, Ms. Pang not only gave two books she likes to encourage her, but also gave her some living expenses every time she came to Liangxiang to talk with Zhu. “The present difficulties are temporary, and everything will get better”. Ms. Pang’s entrustment always impressed her.

  “Zhu, our grades come out. You know what? I get 90 points because of the question you taught me. I get an extra twenty or thirty points”, which was expressed by Peng Hongyu, Zhu’s roommate of the International Machinery Class to show her excitement after learning the results of the electronic circuit class and is also a “happy moment” that Zhu often recalls. That time, Peng asked Zhu for help just an hour before the English exam. Zhu did not attend to dinner, and she gave the roommate a half-hour counseling.

Zhu Manfu shares her learning experience in Youth Forum

  The care and support from schools and teachers not only warmed Zhu, but also made her feel grateful and know how to give back. During freshman and sophomore years, she took the initiative to organize a series of lectures for his classmates every semester, covering nearly 500 people from calculus to linear algebra, from material mechanics to electronic circuits. Zhu was also invited to hold a learning experience exchange meeting in schools, and to share the learning experience and experience, and nearly 700 students participated in the exchange. “I often remember to be grateful to feedback, so that I will feel I am a complete person with happiness”. Four-year college life witnesses Zhu’s participation in many volunteer activities inside and outside the campus, which makes an annotation of her gratitude.

  The life in college is the best time of youth; the struggle for success is the brightest undertone of youth.
Zhu, who is both a “straight A student” and a racing car driver, explains the dream-driven track of a BIT student “being ambitious, virtuous, innovative and inclusive, and era-responsible” with her sensitive, eager to learn and hard-working effort.

  Let’s be a young “racing driver” to drive the racing car struggling for success and head for the dream of life!