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July 17, 2010

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Behind the Expo scene

THE best minds in Changning District in all kinds of technology, engineering, environmental science and law are making the World Expo experience more vivid, convenient and fun. Victoria Fei reports.

A lot of technology goes into putting on the World Expo Shanghai show and making it run smoothly. From the moving scroll of the ancient painting in the China Pavilion to the efficient ticketing system to the environmentally friendly battery-powered cars, there's a lot of brain power behind the Expo, and much of it comes from companies and individuals in Changning District.

Crystal CG animated and digitized the scroll "Along the Riverside During the Qingming Festival." Ticketing and electric cars also involved Changning firms.

District enterprises, professionals and individuals mobilized to help set up the Expo from the very beginning.

Six eight-member units from the district's Expo Cohesion Project have taken part in planning and implementation. Most of the units are scientific research institutes, universities and large corporations with strengths in new technology, state-of-the-art manufacturing and a big talent pool.

Staff not only took part in pavilion construction, reception and security but also worked as volunteers and transport wardens.

Mao Xianmin, 25, is an assistant engineer from Shanghai Zhixin Electric Co Ltd and his job is to research and develop power transformers. Having worked at the company for three years, he describes himself as a freshman who has a long way to go.

He was proud to be assigned to support power distribution projects at the Expo site. "I left the office and came to the front lines, getting valuable on-the-spot experience and broadening my ideas," Mao says.

At the construction site, he learned to communicate and cooperate with design houses and manufacturers of electric products and gave feedback to his company. One of his low-carbon devices was selected for use in the China Pavilion and the Theme Pavilions. It's a new amorphous alloy dry-type transformer that performs with lower noise level, lower temperature and more stable operation than many other devices.

Mao helped connect the transformers at substations for power transmission across the site. Every time he returned from the Expo construction site, he delivered a progress report to his colleagues.

"Our technology research and development team was energized with each step in our progress. As a Shanghai native, I feel proud and honored to be part of the effort."

From 2007 to 2010, Mao has grown from a university graduate to a professional engineer who designs power solutions for the Expo.

Changning experts help in other fields as well.

Lawyer Wang Yimin from Shanghai Junyue Law Firm specializes in economic legal services for corporations.

She volunteered to provide free legal services for the Expo, and was accepted. She has advised on amendments to 33 legal texts for 13 Expo projects.

"Although my legal service is free, I work hard and give my best effort to ensure that Expo projects proceed well," says Wang.

She is often required to give opinions on amending texts the day after she receives the original.

"There's a high demand for fast, exacting work," she says, noting that Expo legal texts required detailed examination and understanding before amendments can be offered. Sometimes she discusses issues with Expo staff until midnight.

To Wang, the Expo is a grand event to showcase people's concern for each other.

"As a certified lawyer, it is an honor for me to provide legal service for such a grand event," Wang says.

"Volunteering is not new, but I enjoy the sustained dedication."


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