Memorial for Dr. Mow Shiah Lin


I still remember the last sentence I talked to Dr. Mow Shiah Lin before his flight to China, which is “Have a nice trip”, and his answered “See you in Beijing Capital airport”. Unfortunately we cannot see each other at the airport, forever. A couple of days later, I saw his body in a funeral house of Beijing. On the same day of seven years ago, he flew to China to visit us and the oil field for a potential microbial enhanced oil recovery project from John F. Kennedy International Airport. On the airport, he suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm. According to the words of employees’ from Air China, that was the first case they had ever met.

At the end of September 2002, it was the first time I saw Dr. Mow Shiah Lin on a conference of MEOR held by our institute (the Institute of Porous Flow & Fluid Mechanics, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development in Langfang Branch, China National Petroleum Corporation) in Beijing. I was one of the organizers for the conference. In addition, I was also the interpreter for specialists overseas. Because Dr. Lin was Chinese American, I did not need to serve him. It was the first time that we talked in the lobby of hotel. He introduced his current research and the Brookhaven National Laboratory where he worked for nearly 30 years. Months after the conference, we initiated the cooperation on the MEOR project. With my advisor’s permission and requirement, I sent emails to him to exchange the information about the project in my advisor’s name. At the beginning, he should visit China in April 2003, but for the SARS, the trip had to be postponed. When the epidemic situation completely changed, he and his assistant booked the air tickets to China.

I still remember due to the blizzard in 2003 I cannot reach him via emails. Later, he told me that he had to dig out the car from snow to go to work. It was very interesting for me to see the word “dig”. I have never met such a heavy snow. Once my advisor needed his information urgently, while he was on a business trip to North Dakota. I had to call his family to get his contact information in the hotel, and call the hotel later. That is the first time I talk to a native English speak over phone. The experience brought a lot to me. Thanks Dr. Lin very much. In the letter of condolences to BNL which was written by me, I expressed our sorrow and appreciation.

Before I wrote this post, I tried to search his information on the Internet. I found a scholarship in his name. Once upon a time, I told myself that if I came to US, I wish I could visit his family to express my feelings. But I could not, because I do not know how to do that. In addition, I do not want to rub salt into their wound. Hereby, I wish this short essay could express my memory for Dr. Mow Shiah Lin.

God bless him!

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One Response to Memorial for Dr. Mow Shiah Lin

  1. weight says:

    i see what you did there

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