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Alumnus lifts China's top science prize

An Edinburgh alumnus has won China's top award for science.

Cheng Kaijia, a nuclear physicist, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to scientific and technological innovation.

The 95-year-old was presented with a certificate by President Xi Jinping at an annual ceremony celebrating distinguished scientists and their research achievements.

After a first degree at Zhejiang University, Cheng studied for a doctorate at Edinburgh from 1946-1948.

He worked as a researcher in the UK before returning to China in 1950, where he has remained since.

Also honoured with the top prize was physical chemist Zhang Cunhao.

Both won an award of 5 million yuan.

Distinguished career

Cheng worked at Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, and the Research Institute at China Nuclear Test Base, among others.

He was elected a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1980.

Since the 1990s, his research has focused on material theory and high-power microwave technology.

At the same ceremony, eight scientists from Italy, the United States, Germany, Russia and Canada won the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award.

A further 313 scientific research projects received the 2013 State science and technology awards.