Academician Xian Xuefu served as the deputy redirector of National Technical Term Working Committee for Coal Science of Natural Science; member of the Geological Prospecting, Mining and Petroleum Discipline Group, Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council; commissioner of Geoscience Department, Science and Technology Committee, State Education Commission; vice chairman of Chongqing Association for Science and Technology; and vice president of Chongqing Rock Mechanics and Engineering Society and Chongqing Coal Society.
Academician Xian has been devoted to the research of coalbed methane theory and its engineering application for an extended period of time, and has solved the gas absorption bond issue that was argued all over the world both in theory and by experimental verification, and revealed the structure of outburst zone coal on the molecular level. In addition, he was also the first one that has established the coal seam gas flow theory that included the electric field, crustal stress field and geothermal field completely in the world; Xian also established a calculation method used to measure the index of coalbed methane characteristics, improve the initial pressure, content and occurrence of the mining area of the coalbed methane; and systematically established the mechanic method to predict the potential dangerous area for outburst of coal and gas. He was the first one to lead implementation of the close distance coal seams protective seam mining and gas drainage technology, and proposed the calculation method to predict the critical pressure for gas outburst; collaborated with others and established the calculation method for solid-liquid-gas interaction and seepage of coal seam methane leakage for single-layer and multi-layer system; carried out the research of rock salt exploitation theory and process engineering and realized innovation of the salt mine water dissolving mining process and technique.
Academician Xian has cultivated nearly 50 doctors and more than 10 masters for the country. In particular, 26 of the students of Xian are now professors, 18 are associate processors and senior engineers, 18 are doctoral supervisors, 2 are cross-century outstanding talent of the Ministry of Education, 1 winner of the National Science Fund for Outstanding Youths, and 1 academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The mining engineering discipline led by Academician Xian was successively appraised as the key discipline of Sichuan and the national key discipline in 1992 and 2007 respectively.
Xian has won 3 national prize for progress in science and technology, 4 first prizes and 9 second prizes for progress in science and technology of the provincial level, and 2 second prizes for teaching achievements of the provincial level. He has published more than 300 academic papers and co-authored 7 monographs. In 1989, Xian was hailed as the national outstanding teacher; in 2000, he was appraised as the national advanced worker and won the “award for contribution to prospering Chongqing” in the same year.