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        The Department of Automotive Engineering at Tsinghua University, was formally established in 1980 with a view to promoting the development of China’s automotive industry.

      The Department of Automotive Engineering has 2 national Grade II key disciplines – automotive engineering and power mechanical engineering, offering master’s degree and doctorate programs in mechanical engineering and power engineering & engineering thermophysics, both are national Grade I key disciplines. In 2008, automotive engineering was selected as a characteristic specialty for development in national colleges and universities. Over the past decades, the Department has delivered more than 5,200 bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate graduates, including over 60 foreign students.

      The Department of Automotive Engineering has set up 3 research institutes according to discipline – the Institute of Vehicle and Traffic, the Automotive Power Institute and the Institute of Automotive Model and Car Body Design, covering the main directions of automotive engineering research. Affiliated to Tsinghua University are the State Key Laboratory of Automotive Safety and Energy Conservation, and the Automotive Research Institute, built respectively as a national level and an industrial level institute for scientific research. Besides, there are 14 R&D institutes, set up by the University jointly with local governments or businesses.

      The Department of Automotive Engineering undertakes scientific research by centering on 3 themes – automotive safety, energy conservation and environmental protection, keeping a close eye on industrial needs, promoting scientific and technological advancement of the automotive industry, and actively carrying out domestic and international academic exchange and cooperation. Its research tasks mainly come from the 863 Program, the 973 Program, national key scientific and technological projects, international cooperation and horizontal cooperation.

      So far, the Department of Automotive Engineering has a faculty of 74, 701 enrolled students, 51 postdoctoral fellows and scientific researchers in service.

In 1932, the Department of Mechanical Engineering was established, intended to set up a power engineering group, an aircraft and vehicle group and a machinery manufacturing group, with internal combustion engine to be set as a compulsory course for the third-year students.

In 1951, senior students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering were divided into a manufacturing group, a power group and a vehicle group.

In 1952, the Department of Power Mechanics was established, with a specialty of vehicle and a teaching and research group of vehicle put in place.

In 1956, the original automotive building, a Π-shaped automotive laboratory and an engine laboratory were completed.

In 1980, the Department of Automotive Engineering, Tsinghua University, was established.

Year 1986 saw the signing of an agreement between Auto China and Tsinghua for jointly constructing the Automotive Research Institute of Tsinghua University. The research building and laboratory for the Institute began to be constructed in 1988 and were completed in April, 1993.

In 1989, the State Planning Commission approved the establishment of the State Key Laboratory for Automotive Safety and Energy Conservation. The project started in 1990, and in 1995, the completed construction was formally put into operation and opened to the public after being checked and accepted by the government.