The Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics (EAA) of Tsinghua University, the former Department of Electrical Engineering (DEE), was founded in the fall of 1932. At the beginning of its founding, the head of the Department was acted by Gu Yuxiu who was the Dean of the Engineering College, and 7 sophomores transferred from other departments and 31 freshmen were admitted for the first year.
Two groups of Electric Power and Telecommunications were established in the fall of 1934, and an electrical engineering building started to be constructed at the same time and completed in 1935. It had 103 students at most in this period. The first graduates numbered just 3 in 1935, and a total of 27 students graduated during the three years from 1935 to 1937.
Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering was found, and the Department of Electrical Engineering was one of the initiators and founders.
After the July 7th Incident in 1937, the Department of Electrical Engineering was moved with southward relocation of Tsinghua University, which first made up the Changsha Temporary University in Changsha together with Peking University and Nankai University.
The Southwest United University was founded in Kunming in May 1938. The Department of Electrical Engineering of the United University ran the telecommunications training class with a two year educational system in 1939, cultivating a large number of telecommunication talents needed urgently during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. It brought up a large number of professionals
Some teachers from the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Physics founded the Radio Research Institute.
After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War, the Department of Electrical Engineering was moved back to the Tsinghua Campus together with Tsinghua University, and was allowed to enroll more than 100 freshmen that were most in all departments then. A saying went at that time, “the Department of Electrical Engineering is a most difficultly-entering department for students while the Department of Civil Engineering is a longest-serving one in Tsinghua University”.
The Department of Electrical Engineering of the Engineering College of Peking University was incorporated into the Department of Electrical Engineering of Tsinghua University.
With the adjustment of departments, the telecommunication group was independently established into the Department of Radio Engineering.
There were three majors in the Department of Electrical Engineering: electrical machinery & appliances, power distribution network & system for power stations and the electrification for industrial enterprises. At the same time, the Department of Electrical Engineering opened two special course classes: the practices for power plant and the power transmission & distribution. Around 300 students were enrolled in the Department.
To learn the advanced experience of Soviet Union, the Department of Electrical Engineering established five teaching and research groups, namely, power machinery, electricity generation and power transmission & distribution, electrification for industrial enterprises, fundamentals of electrical engineering, and electrotechnics.
The Soviet had dispatched six experts successively since 1953 to work in the Department of Electrical Engineering, who gave the disinterested assistance in teaching, lab construction, scientific research and instructions to the graduate students in the Department of Electrical Engineering. In this period, the Department of Electrical Engineering also dispatched many teachers to the Soviet Union for study and further training. Gao Jingde was the first man to be awarded the doctoral degree of the Soviet Union because of his research achievement in salient pole synchronous machine for long distance power transmission.
From 1953 to 1966, around 150 graduates had been enrolled (they were registered but granted no academic degree because no academic degree system was established in China by then).
Four majors in the Department of Electrical Engineering, namely, electrical machinery & appliance manufacturing, electricity generation and power transmission & distribution engineering, high-voltage technology, and electrification for industrial enterprises, were determined, and the key teaching links for a round of five-year undergraduate program were completed. Eight teaching and research groups were established, and they were: electrical machinery, electric appliances, electricity generation, power transmission and distribution, high-voltage technology, industrial enterprises, fundamentals of electrical engineering, and electrotechnics.
The national government deployed the research and development of atomic and hydrogen bombs. The Department of Electrical Engineering together with Department of Engineering Physics and Department of Radio Engineering made positive contribution to the development of related new majors. It established two teaching and research groups: automation & telemechanics and operational research, took charge of the teaching task of main specialized courses in the computer major, and participated in the preparations for establishment of the Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), CAS. Under the guidance of Mr. Qian Xuesen, the Department of Electrical Engineering started the major of “Operational Research” to recruit two classes of students, and opened the tutorial class of Automation with 90 students.
The Department of Electrical Engineering was moved into the west main building from the Electrical Engineering Building with east and west main buildings completed.
In July, following the adjustment made by the University, automation and telemechanics constituted the Department of Automatic Control, which is the Department of Computer Science and Technology now.
The Electric System Dynamic Simulation Lab was put into operation in 1961 and the Institute of Electrical Engineering was established by the approval of Ministry of Higher Education in 1963. The length of undergraduate schooling changed a lot in this period. It was five years of schooling for the undergraduates of 1958 and 1959, five and a half years for the undergraduates of 1961 and 1962, and six years for the undergraduates of 1964 and 1966. Two sessions of cadre training classes were held for industrial sectors from 1958 to 1959, with two years of schooling. In this period, a total of 180 ~ 200 students were enrolled as undergraduates every year. In addition, some overseas students were recruited from such countries as Korea, Viet Nam and Laos.
Adjusted by the University, the former DEE’s teaching & research groups of electrification and electronics and its industrial enterprise major and the former Power Machinery Department’s teaching & research group of thermal instrument automation and its thermal engineering major formed the Department of Industrial Automation.
The former DEE’s five teaching and research groups (power system & automation, electric motor manufacturing, high-voltage technology, fundamentals of electrical engineering and electrotechnics) and the former Power Machinery Department’s three teaching and research groups (boiler, gas turbine and thermal engineering) formed the Department of Power Engineering.
DEE’s three majors, power generation, high voltage engineering and electrical machinery, began to enroll students, and the length of schooling was five years.
The postgraduate enrollment was restored, and 22 postgraduates were recruited in the Department of Electrical Engineering.
In November, the Department of Electric Power Engineering was divided into Department of Electrical Engineering and Department of Thermal Energy Engineering. The former DEE’s five teaching and research groups (power generation, high voltage engineering, electrical machinery, fundamentals of electrical engineering, and electrotechnics) and three majors (power generation, high voltage engineering, and electrical machinery) had been reverted as a new Department of Electrical Engineering.
With the approval of the Ministry of Education in 1982, the Department of Electrical Engineering officially established the major of biomedical engineering & instruments, and enrolled about 30 undergraduates in a class. DEE’s biomedical engineering and instrumental disciplinary unit was awarded master's degree and doctor's degree conferral rights respectively in 1981 and 1986
The name of the Department of Electrical Engineering (DEE) was changed into the "Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics (EEA)"
Four secondary disciplinary units of power system & automation, motor & its control, high-voltage technology and theoretical electric engineering were awarded the first batch of doctoral degree conferral right in China and selected as key national disciplinary units, and ranked first in the same disciplinary units in China.
To reform the talent cultivating system, EEA merged the three specialties, power system automation, high-voltage engineering and electrical engineering, into a wide-range “electrical engineering & automation" specialty, which has been approved by the State Education Commission and listed in the national specialty recommended catalogue.
The secondary disciplinary unit of power electronics was awarded master's degree conferral right.
EEA had seven in 695 Chinese doctoral and master degree recipients who had made outstanding contributions in their work and were commented first by the State Education Commission.
The project for State Key Laboratory of Control and Simulation of Power System and Generation Equipment, based on Tsinghua University, was approved to establish by the State Planning Commission, and was completed in October 17, 1995, which passed the state-level acceptance. It is one of the first batch of state key labs in the electrical engineering field of China.
EEA’s electrical engineering disciplinary unit of the Department ranked first in the national comprehensive evaluation in terms of discipline construction, personnel training, scientific research and comprehensive level.
EEA’s electrical engineering disciplinary unit was announced as the first batch of pilot units authorized by the first-level disciplines by the Academic Degree Committee of the State Council.
The power electronics technology disciplinary unit was awarded the doctor's degree conferral right.
In the course of national discipline adjustment, the first-level discipline of electrical engineering was renamed the electrical engineering discipline, and the discipline of biomedical engineering and instrumentation was renamed the biomedical engineering discipline and upgraded to the first-level discipline.
At that time, the number of graduate students enrolled reached more than 150, which was equal to that of undergraduate students for the first time.
The teaching achievement "To cultivate high-quality high-level talents in electrical engineering for the main battlefield of national economic construction" won the special prize of national teaching achievement.
The Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics and such units as Department of Automation, Institute of Nuclear & New Energy Technology and Institute of Microelectronics of Tsinghua University jointly established the Research Center of Power & Electronics Engineering.
The major of "Biomedical Engineering and Instrumentation" was independently established into the Department of Biomedical Engineering of Tsinghua University.
The teaching achievement "Optimizing theoretical courses, strengthening practical links — Electric power system undergraduate course reform" won the first prize of national teaching achievement.
International evaluation on electrical engineering disciplines was completed in China, and the evaluation conclusion was: “The Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has made unprecedented contributions to China’s power system and electrical equipment manufacturing industry”; “The electrical engineering courses offered by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics are in the highest quality”; “Most of the research groups of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics are in the world-class scientific research level”, and so on.
EEA initiatively established the undergraduate major "Energy and Electrical", and in the same year established the "International Class of Energy Internet" for undergraduate enrollment.
EEA’s three scientific and technological achievements won the National Science and Technology Progress Award, in which, the "Complex power grid self-discipline — Key technology, system development and engineering application of Collaborative automatic voltage control" won the first prize.
EEA transformed all academic masters in electrical engineering into professional masters in electrical engineering (energy Internet).
EEA began to enroll doctoral students of engineering.