He started his career as assistant, lecturer and associate professor in East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in 1985. From 1991 to 1993, he worked at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). From 1993, he carried on his research work at the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). In 1995, he joined Sasol (South Africa) as senior engineer, chief engineer mainly engaged in indirect coal liquefaction process development. In 2002, he joined Yankuang Group as Deputy Chief Engineer and since then was promoted to his present position. In his tenure, he has been instrumental in the successful development of indirect coal liquefaction technology with low and high temperature Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.
Sun Qiwen earned his PhD from ECUST and did his post-doctorate study at the University of Groningen, Netherlands.
Professor Sun has applied more than 40 patents and has more than 30 authorized patents, undertook five national 863 projects and two national 973 projects of China, obtained seven national scientific and technological achievements and published more than 40 articles in Chinese and international journals.