SJTU, established in 1896, is the first university to set up the aeronautics in China. From the creation of the Aeronautic Program under the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1935, to the establishment of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in Chongqing in 1942, onto the nation-wide department adjustment in 1952, SJTU’s aeronautic department has experienced multiple historical changes and endured the test of war. From 1936 to 1953, SJTU trained 16 classes of 249 graduates. Among the 23 “Atomic Bomb, Hydrogen Bomb and Artificial Satellite” project heroes, 6 graduated from SJTU. They are: Qian Xuesen, founder of China’s aerospace industry, Wu Ziliang, Yang Jiachi, Wang Xiji, Chen Nengkuan, and Yao Tongbin. In addition, Huang Zhiqian, chief designer of China’s first military aircraft, Ma Fengshan, chief designer of the country’s first civil plane, and Gu Songfen, a distinguished aircraft designer and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Science and the Chinses Academy of Engineering, are also SJTU alumni.
In response to the needs of national strategies and Shanghai’s regional economic growth, a series of steps have been taken by SJTU to contribute to the development of the aerospace industry. In November 2002, the Department of Aerospace Engineering was re-established. In January 2005, Institute of Aerospace Science and Technology (IAST) was built. Later, the Institute of Aerospace Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education was jointly funded by the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Education, and Shang Development and Reform Commission, with a total investment of RMB 188 million. In September 2008, SAA was founded with combined resources of aerospace research and teaching facilities. With special approval of the Shanghai Municipal Government, the Large Civil Aircraft Innovation Project at SJTU was founded with an investment of RMB 166 million, aimed at maintaining SJTU’s leading role in civil aircraft education and research.
SAA devotes itself to state-of-the-art aerospace scientific researches by integrating SJTU’s advantages in the field. In doing so, SAA also promotes the development of other disciplines. It proactively seeks opportunities to undertake, organize, and implement key national aerospace projects both in basic researches and technology application. The school engages in visionary research projects to meet future demands and train highly-qualified aerospace professionals for the future development of China’s aerospace industry.
The school consist of 3 departments and 3 research centers, namely, Department of Aircraft Design, Department of Aerospace Information and Control, Department of Propulsion, Aerospace Systems Engineering Research Center, Near Space Research Center and J.C. Wu Center of Aerodynamics. SAA currently offers several Master and Doctoral Programs, including Mechanics, Aerospace Science and Technology, Control Science and Engineering. There are more than 70 faculty members, 98% of faculty have Ph.D. and 56% of them have overseas study background.
Currently, the school has around 72 Doctoral Candidates, 180 Master Candidates, 120 Undergraduate students and 34 international students. SAA has maintained close and wide-ranging research cooperation and academic exchanges with many famous overseas universities and research institutions. Collaborations with 2 foreign universities has been established, including Dual Master Degree Program， Joint Doctoral Educational Placement Program with U of Toronto; Dual Master Degree Program, Dual Bachelor Degree Program with Moscow Aviation Institute.
SAA has 5 registered laboratories, including 72 research group labs. It has 1 Shanghai key laboratory of crucial discipline.
SAA will fully exploit the advantages of a comprehensive university and its multi-disciplinary innovation platform to build itself into a first class Chinese aerospace program with an internationally recognized reputation. We will be committed to “elite education, international vision, cross-disciplinary development, and public services” in our efforts to achieve rapid progress in the globalized world. Our aim is to play a leading role in aerospace research and train high-level aerospace professionals to meet the country’s strategic needs. SAA will devote itself to China’s aerospace enterprise and establish SJTU as an engineering power in the field.