Chief Scientist

Di Li

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D.: Astrophysics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY                                                       Dec 2001

Bachelor of Science: Nuclear Physics, Beijing University, Beijing, China                      July 1995
Graduation Certificate: Computer Science, Beijing University, Beijing, China              July 1995

Work Experience:
Chief Scientist                                                                                                       July 2018 – present
The Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) project
Chief Scientist                                                                                                       Jan 2012 - present
Radio Astronomy Division, National Astronomical Observatories of China  
FAST Project Scientist                                                                                          2008
Research Scientist                                                                                                 Jan 2007- Dec 2011
Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology          
National Research Council Fellow                                                                       May 2005 - Dec 2006
Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology
Astronomer                                                                                                           Feb 2002 - May 2005
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Leader, FRB Research Group

Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2022

"Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize"

2022 Top 10 Advances in Chinese Science

2021 Top 10 Advances in Chinese Science

Member, Basic Science Center

National Natural Science Foundation of China , 2020-2024

"LAMOST and FAST: A Study of the MilkyWay and the Local Universe" 

PI, Distinguished Young Fellowship

National Natural Science FOUNDATION of China , 2017-2022

"Surveys with Large Radio Facilities and Evolution of the Interstellar Medium" 

Honorary Research Fellow

University of KwaZulu-Natal, South African, 2020-2023

PI, National Key R&D Program of China

Ministry of Science and Technology of China, 2017-2022

"A Commensal Radio Astronomy FAST Survey (CRAFTS)" 

Major Contributor, Research Group of FAST Project

Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2017

"Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize"

Member, Major Facilities User-Guidance Council, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2015-2018

PI, International Partnership Key Program, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2017-2022

CoI, Gravitational Wave and General Relativity, Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China , 2017-2022

Chair, Cradle of Life Science Working Group, The Square Kilometer Array Organization, 2015-2016

PI, COsmology and Molecule Explorer (COME) 

concept study, "Pilot-A" Space Program, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2015

Member, Australia Telescope National Facility Steering Committee (ATNF), 2012-2014

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia

PI, Fundamental Science Key Program (973) 

Ministry of Science and Technology of China, 2012-2016

"The Frontiers of Radio Astronomy and FAST Early Sciences" 

Member, Stratospheric Observatory for Far Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Science User Group 

Universities Space Research Association (USRA), 2012-2014

Member of the Judge Panel, Chinese National Science and Technology Achievement Award 

Ministry of Science and Technology of China, 2012

PI, Herschel Open Time Project, ESA/NASA, 2011

"The Conditions of Isolated Dark Clouds with Signs of On Going H2 Formation" 

PI, SOFIA Basic Science Program, USRA/NASA, 2011,"Mapping Dark Gas in Rho Oph A" 

Member of Group Achievement Award, NASA, 2010

citation:"Outstanding achievements in the successful development of critical hardware" 

CoI of Herschel Open Time Key Projects, ESA/NASA, 2008

"GOT CPlus: State of the Diffuse ISM: Galactic Observations of the Terahertz CII Line" 

"HOP: Herschel Oxygen Project" 

CoI of 4 Herschel Open Time Projects, ESA/NASA, 2011

PI of Spitzer Proposal, NASA, 2007

"MIPS SED Observations of Massive Quiescent Cores in Orion" 

CoI of two Spitzer Proposals and Grants, NASA 2006

Resident Research Associateship Award, National Research Council, USA, 2005

citation: "awarded to postdoctoral scholars of outstanding ability as a result of national competition."

Representative Publication:

· Niu C.-H., Aggarwal K.Li D.* et al. 2022, Nature, 606, 873

A repeating fast radio burst associated with a persistent radio source

· Feng Y., Li D.*Yang Y.-P. et al. 2022, Science, 375, 1266

Frequency-dependent polarization of repeating fast radio bursts-implications for their origin

· Ching T. -C.,  Li D.*Heiles, C. et al. 2022, Nature, 601, 49

An early transition to magnetic supercriticality in star formation

· Wang P.Li D.*Clark C. J. et al. 2021, Science China Physics, Mechanics, and Astronomy, 64, 129562

FAST discovery of an extremely radio-faint millisecond pulsar from the Fermi-LAT unassociated source 3FGL J0318.1+0252

· Li D.*Wang P., Zhu W. W. et al. 2021, Nature, 598, 267

A bimodal burst energy distribution of a repeating fast radio burst source

· Yao J. M., Zhu W. W., Manchester R. N., Coles W. A., Li D.* et al. 2021, Nature Astronomy, 5, 788

Evidence for three-dimensional spin-velocity alignment in a pulsar

· Li D.*, Wang P., Qian, L. et al. 2018, IEEE Microwave Magazine, 19, 112

FAST in Space: Considerations for a Multibeam, Multipurpose Survey Using China's 500-m Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST)

· Li D.*, Tang, N. Y., Nguyen, H. et al. 2018, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 235, 1

Where is OH and Does It Trace the Dark Molecular Gas (DMG)?

· Nan R. D., Li D.*, Jin, C. J. et al. 2011, International Journal of Modern Physics D, 20, 989

The Five-Hundred Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (fast) Project

· Li D.*, Goldsmith P. F. & Menten K. 2003, The Astrophysical Journal, 587, 262

Massive Quiescent Cores in Orion. I. Temperature Structure

· Li D.* & Goldsmith P. F. 2003, The Astrophysical Journal, 585, 823 

Publications list: ADS Library
Li, Di is an observer and instrumentalist. He is the Chief Scientist of the radio division of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and the Chief Scientist of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST). He was trained in Nuclear physics and observational astronomy. He established a novel technique to solve the temperature distribution of interstellar dust, (co-)discovered interstellar oxygen as well as other molecules, developed and named the HI-narrow self-absorption (HINSA) technique, which enabled the first HINSA Zeeman measurement that was published as an Nature cover article. He led the science definition efforts during the commissioning phase of FAST, which resulted in its first pulsar,FRB discoveries. His research papers were voted into the “Top 10 Scientific Advances in China” of year 2021 and year 2022. He was awarded the 2022 “Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement” medal by the Chines Academy of Sciences. He served in advisory roles in various collaborations/organizations, such as the SKA, ATNF, Breakthrough Listen, etc.