Good morning, dear Senior Fellow Li Meng, Secretary Qiu Yong, Chairman Shu Yinbiao, Chairman Sun Changji, distinguished leaders, distinguished guests, alumni, teachers and students!
In this spring full of flowers, we gathered at the New Tsinghua Lecture Hall, with our alumni and friends from all over the world in the cloud through the Tsinghua University WeChat video account and other relevant live channels to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Department of Electrical Engineering of Tsinghua University. First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Department of Electrical Engineering, to extend a warm welcome to all the leaders, guests and alumni attending the meeting, to extend best wishes and cordial greetings to all teachers, students and staff of the Department of Electrical Engineering, and express my sincere thanks to leaders at all levels, alumni at home and abroad and people in all walks of life who have been long caring about and supporting the development of the Department of Electrical Engineering!
The title of my report is “Ninety-year-old Department of Electrical Engineering Facing the Opportunities in a New Century”, and it is divided into three parts.
1. Ninety years of magnificence
The first is to look back on the past, the 90-year development of the Department of Electrical Engineering is a magnificent history.
In 1932, Gu Yuxiu, Zhang Mingtao and other senior fellows established the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University with great vision. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Department of Electrical Engineering has undergone several professional adjustments to give birth to many brother departments of radio, computer, automation, and biomedicine. During this process, the name of our department has changed several times until in 1988, it was officially renamed into the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics. Over the past 90 years, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has trained more than 18,800 students, and successively employed 1,200 staff members and postdoctoral fellows. The Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has been adhering to leading the development of China’s electrical engineering disciplines and promoting the progress of China’s electric power and electrical industry. Our teaching level has been generally recognized, and we are maintained at national first or A+ in subject evaluations.
In the past 90 years, we have condensed the character of people of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics who adhere to the inheritance and dare to be the first. The department motto “Being strict in learning and being upright as a person”, inscribed by our senior fellow Zhu Rongji, has become the cultural bloodline of our department, inspiring generations of people of our department to forge ahead. The department emblem and the department celebration logo creatively designed by the alumni have been praised by all the people of the Department. Two days ago, the university held a mechanical conference with deep memory of Mr. Gao Jingde, the president, who encouraged and supported his student Academician Lu Qiang to create the nonlinear control theory of power systems, and Academician Lu’s students Mei Shengwei and Shen Chen also explored emerging directions such as compressed air energy storage and energy Internet simulation. Professor Wang Xiangheng, Mr. Gao’s another student, led his students Wang Shanming and Gui Lin to overcome the multi-circuit theory of AC motors, which was applied to the power generation foundation protection design of dozens of large hydropower stations such as the Three Gorges and Baihetan.
The Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics, which dares to take the lead, has been leading the reform of the talent training model. It has taken the lead in carrying out MOOCs and blended teaching and leading the development of online teaching since the 1990s when it carried out undergraduate training according to wide-caliber majors and cultivated doctoral students in a new era. The Department always dares to be the first and is brave to challenge from building China’s first dynamic power system simulation laboratory in 1960, undertaking the national 973 project in the 1990s, to taking the lead in international evaluation in 2010.
In the course of 90 years, the great teachers Gu Yuxiu, Zhang Mingtao and Gao Jingde’s innovative spirits have created the Department’s genes for pioneering and working for the motherland, which becomes a valuable asset in the cultural heritage and innovation. To this end, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has set up the Gu Yuxiu Scholarship, the Mingtao Named Professor and the Jingde Tribune to inherit and carry forward the spirit of rigorous scholarship and innovation. Graduates from our department are talented, and we have cultivated a batch of academic masters, talented entrepreneurs and nation administrators, including former Premier Zhu Rongji of the State Council, former Vice Premier Huang Ju, former Vice Chairman Li Meng of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Jin Yilian, winner of the National Highest Science and Technology Award, Ma Weiming, winner of the August 1st Medal, and Zhao Xizheng, the first general manager of State Grid Corporation of China, and more than 40 Chinese and foreign academicians. Moreover, the majority of our graduates do not seek fame and fortune, but take root at the bottom level, and many model workers such as Li Mingjie, Wang Xiaohai, Lin Yunzhi, Xia Deming, Xie Bangpeng have emerged and become outstanding representatives of our department.
2. Pioneering and forging ahead in the new era
In 2012, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics. In the following 10 years, our department has made gratifying achievements in various segments, for which I will make a brief report here.
The past ten years are the ten years since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Our faculty and students have deeply studied Xi Jinping’s thoughts about the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, especially the important instructions of the central government on education, scientific research and electric energy, which is regarded as the guideline for the development of the whole department. The national major strategies such as the dual-carbon goal of the energy revolution and the construction of a new power system have provided new development opportunities for the discipline development and personnel training of our department, and also pointed out the orientation.
Oriented to energy Internet, we built an organizational structure of one department and two institutes consisting of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics, the Energy Internet Innovation Research Institute, and the Tsinghua Sichuan Energy Internet Research Institute. Today, we also set up a sub-conference in Sichuan. The discipline development presents a new feature of one axis and two wings. One axis refers to the in-depth extension of electrical engineering discipline, and the two wings refers to the development of multidisciplinary crossover and extensive industry applications, thereby expanding the discipline breadth.
In recent years, the level of the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has been continuously improved. Among the 101 teachers, 63 have won the title of national talent, many professors have won various honors including the Gu Yuxiu Electrical Engineering Award and the National Innovation Award, and 7 teachers have won the National Award for Outstanding Contribution to Electric Power, 11 people were elected as fellows of the Society of Electrical Engineering and the Society of Electrotechnical Technology.
The Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has been putting talent cultivation as the top priority, and reforming and optimizing the undergraduate and postgraduate training programs. Currently, 120 undergraduates are enrolled each year, including 90 in the energy and electrical category (including the international energy Internet class), and 30 in the foundation reinforcement plan; about 70 doctoral students and 40 master students majoring in energy internet are enrolled each year. In the past 10 years, our department has won 5 national and Beijing important teaching achievement awards, and core courses such as circuit principles have been selected as national excellent courses. Our students adhere to the career development concept of entering the mainstream, going to the big stage, and doing big business, more than 95% of the students are developing in China mainly in the power and energy industry. The graduates realized a 91% degree of professional fit in 2020.
In recent years, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has formed an organized scientific research pattern led by research teams and promoted by platform construction. The State Key Laboratory of Electric Power System is the most important national scientific research platform of our department, and has leveraged four branches to support the central and western regions. And meanwhile, it actively strengthens strategic cooperation with leading enterprises in the industry, and successively established joint research institutes with State Grid, Three Gorges Group, and China Southern Power Grid to support the in-depth integration and innovation of production, education and research. Our department attaches great importance to the layout of scientific research disciplines, and has taken the lead in undertaking a large number of influential national-level projects including the major projects of the 973 Program, the Natural Science Foundation, and the National Key R&D Program. We also pay attention to cooperation with industries, and have undertaken many horizontal major projects with a single expenditure exceeding 100 million yuan. In recent years, in the face of the new situation of international scientific and technological competition, our department has bravely shouldered the heavy burden of bottleneck technology in response to major national needs, and has overcome the difficulties in many innovative technologies for IGCT Plus devices and equipment, compressed air energy storage, intelligent dielectric materials, and non-destructive testing of oil and gas pipelines, and developed a series of software platforms represented by DSIM power electronic simulation to realize important scientific research innovation. After years of solid accumulation, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has won a large number of important awards in the past five years, including one national first prize and four second prizes as the first completing unit or the first completing person, and 27 provincial, ministerial or industrial first prizes.
The Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics has been adhering to the leadership of party building, and carrying out distinctive grass-roots party building activities, and the department party committee was selected as a benchmark unit for party building in Tsinghua University. Our teachers and students also regard serving the country and giving back to the society as their unshirkable responsibility. In the fight against the COVID-19, our professors, represented by Yu Xinjie and Zhu Guiping, rose to the challenge and innovated the online teaching model. Luo Haiyun led the cross-departmental scientific research cooperation on plasma air disinfection technology. Our department has made contribution to fighting against the pandemic in both teaching and research. Professor Liang Xidong, Mei Shengwei, Li Yongdong, Zhou Yuanxiang and so on have went to support the universities such as Qinghai University and Xinjiang University in West China one by one, and their selfless dedication have returned them the fame of the most beautiful border supporters granted by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China. Our students have launched the Dream Grid Project to build photovoltaic microgrids for many schools in remote western areas, which was widely reported by the central media.
The Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics regards internationalization as an important task in building a first-class electrical engineering discipline. Many teachers have won important international awards, and the international reputation of our teaching team has been significantly improved. We actively strive for resources and expand multi-level international exchange channels for students, from a one-week summer school to a half-year exchange visit and a one-year joint training until we have basically realized the full coverage of international undergraduate and postgraduate exchanges. We focus on building an all-round international academic cooperation system, and we have established a joint research center with Imperial College London, cooperated with Italy to build the Sino-Italian “Belt and Road” advanced manufacturing laboratory, founded three international academic journals, and organized important international conferences such as EI2 and iSPEC.
Serving alumni has been a key task of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics in recent years. In 2018, we established our alumni association, followed by the branch associations in Chengdu and Shenzhen to provide a platform for exchanges and cooperation among alumni and between alumni and their alma mater. For a long time, our alumni have been concerned about the construction and development of the department, many alumni have funded and set up a number of scholarships and grants, 90 classes have pledged donations to the new lecture hall, and we have received many batches of funds donated to enrich the pension for retired teachers. Here, on behalf of all the teachers and students of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the alumni for their long-term care and support to the department!
3. Set sail for the future
Summarizing the past is to better move towards the future.
Looking back at history, Tsinghua University was born when the country and the nation were in crisis, grew up with the country and the nation, and bloomed when the country and the nation were rejuvenated. The 90-year history of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics is a microcosm of the development of the country and Tsinghua University.
Thinking about the achievements made by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics of Tsinghua University, we have received the care and support from relevant state departments, benefited from the trust and cooperation of industry enterprises, and received the assistance from brother institutions. At this ceremony to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the establishment of our department, we received congratulatory letters from the Chinese Society of Electrical Engineering, China Electrotechnical Society, China Energy Research Society, China Power Supply Society, China Artificial Intelligence Society and other societies, we received letters from the headquarters of central enterprises such as State Grid, China Southern Power Grid, Huaneng Group, Datang Group, Huadian Group, National Energy Group, State Power Investment Group, Harbin Electric Group, China Mobile Communications Group and so on, we received congratulatory letters from Chinese and foreign enterprises such as Huawei and Hitachi Energy, and we also received congratulatory letters from 48 brother universities including North China Electric Power University, Xi’an Jiaotong University , Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Zhejiang University, Chongqing University, Peking University, University of Hong Kong, University of Macau and Hsinchu Tsinghua University, which encouraged us to keep moving forward with national energy transformation.
Facing the future, the country has formulated the vision goals by 2035, and Tsinghua University has also formulated three important documents for 2030, proposing to build a global talent highland, a world innovation highland and an international exchange center. We will take the 90th anniversary as an opportunity to clearly understand the current opportunities and challenges, know the status quo and gaps, learn in an open mind, be down-to-earth, and pioneer and innovate. The Department of Electrical Engineering will take serving the country as the highest pursuit, start from the national needs such as building a new power system and serving the dual-carbon strategic goals, enhance exchanges and cooperation with industrial enterprises, other universities, all alumni and friends at home and broad, take morality setting-up and people cultivating as the fundamental task, help realize the national goals and promote Tsinghua to be a world top university in the second century.