China gave the country's top science award on Tuesday to physicist Xie Jialin, a pioneer in particle acceleration, and architect Wu Liangyong, whose research is guiding the nation's urbanization.

The laureates, both members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Wu is also a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering), were each awarded the State Top Scientific and Technological Award by President Hu Jintao at a ceremony held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. In addition, they received a bonus of 5 million yuan ($793,870).

China has been offering annual awards - considered the country's answer to the Nobel Prize - to elite scientists for 12 consecutive years since 2000, and 20 have been honored so far.

Xie is best known for helping China build its first high-energy electron linear particle accelerator in 1964 and for contributing to the research and design of the Beijing Electron Positron Collider in the 1980s.

Wu earned his reputation studying the history of human settlement in China and applying the lessons learned to problems with China's urbanization.