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Translator and Editor: News Center of BIT  Zhao Lin


Historical Evolution  

    The predecessor of Beijing Institute of Technology is the Academy of Natural Sciences, the first university of science and engineering established by Communist Party of China in Yan'an.

    At the beginning of 1940, Academy of Natural Sciences was born during Counter-Japanese War. It was finally settled in Beijing after undergoing trials and hardships throughout North China.

    For the past 70 years, the university has kept serving for the main tasks of the Party and the country and stuck to the Yan'an spirit in running the school and educating the students. It has been inheriting and promoting the revolutionary tradition, developing through vigorous efforts and has finally become a domestically first-class and internationally well-known high-level research-oriented university.

    Reviewing the history, we feel it like a beautiful melody; looking forward to the future, we are filled with ambition and passion. Through exhibiting the splendid history of our university, this museum aims to motivate the teachers and students to strive for the great future of the school.

The First Exhibition Hall: Born in Yan'an, Growing Sturdily


Brief Introduction of School-running Information during Yan'an Period

    The Chinese People’s Counter-Japanese War was at its hardest stalemate in the early 1940s. The vast armymen and civilians’ production and living in Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region ran into great difficulties. In view of the actual situation of the Border Region and an urgent demand for sci-tech personnel, the Party Central Committee showed a forward-looking vision by transforming Yan'an Research Institute of Natural Science which was initially aimed at assisting the Border Region in promoting industrial production into Academy of Natural Sciences, and thus created a precedent of the Party in establishing higher natural science education. Therefore, the first university of science and engineering established by the Communist Party of China was born in Yan'an, and officially opened on September 1, 1940.

    In March 1943, according to the instructions of the Central Committee, Academy of Natural Sciences was merged with Yan'an University, LuXun Academy of Liberal Arts, Academy of Minorities and New Cadre School into the new Yan'an University, which was called Yan'an Academy of Natural Sciences. At the end of 1945, due to the current war situation, Yan'an Academy of Natural Sciences was translocated to North China and the Northeast.
 


The photo that Lin Boqu (1st right), Chairman of Border Area Government, inspected the location of the Academy in person. (The 4th right is Chen Kangbai, Associate Dean of the Academy)

    The main leaders of Academy of Natural Sciences were chosen by the Central Committee of CPC. And Lin Boqu, the then Chairman of Border Area Government, personally led the Preparatory Group to choose Dufuchuan as the location of the Academy.
 


The original appearance of Academy of Natural Sciences

Striving hard, teachers and students jointly participated in school construction.
 
    The Preparatory Group led by Chen Kangbai, Associate Dean of the Academy, began the arduous and intense preparation work. Ministry of Finance and the Border Area Government provided great support for them. They hired workers to participate in preliminary construction. The subsequent teachers, staffs and students also engaged themselves in the intense and painstaking school construction. By August 1940, over 50 care dwellings and over 30 one-storey houses had been set up, making good preparation for the new term.
 

1st left stands Louis Eli; 2nd left stands Zhou Enlai.

The strong support from Louis Eli, an international friend

    During the period of school preparation, they got much help from Louis Eli, an international friend from New Zealand and leader of "Chinese Industrial Cooperative".  He participated in choosing the location personally and actively collected construction fund and purchased teaching materials and devices for Academy of Natural Sciences, which he sent to the Academy for several times through the arrangement of Song Qingling and Zhou Enlai.
 
The four directors during Yan'an period.



Li Fuchun
Director of Academy of Natural Sciences
From March 1940 to December 1940


Xu Teli
Director of Academy of Natural Sciences

 From January 1941 to March 1943



Chen Kangbai

Director of Yan'an Academy of Natural Sciences

From May 1943 to April 1944


 Li Qiang

Director of Yan'an Academy of Natural Sciences

From April 1944 to November 1945

The great contributions made by Yan'an Academy of Natural Sciences to the construction of Border Area

    It invented Herba kalimeridis paper-making technique, provided valuable investigation report of Nanniwan development, designed and provided guidance to construction of Yangjialing Hall and Office Building of the Central Committee and also made "Yan'an Petroleum" revive. In addition, it also successfully refined premium grey pig iron that is used to make hand grenade; developed trinitrotoluene; solved the salt making problem in Border Area; Explored geologic mineral distribution and detected barreler; Invented glass, soap and match production technique; Established meteorological station, etc.
 
 
Production of herba kalimeridis paper



Munition production

Optimistic revolutionary spirit and colorful life of students


    Under the extremely arduous conditions, the teachers and students of Academy of Natural Sciences had made rich technological achievements. Meanwhile, their arduous, simple, striving and persevering revolutionary spirit motivated a generation of passionate youth to engage themselves into the revolutionary trend.
 


Splendor of the holy place educates great talents

    During the nearly six years when Academy of Natural Sciences ran school in Yan'an, a series of splendid schooling thoughts promoted by the old-generation educators including in terms of teaching, scientific research and economy cultivated over 500 excellent graduates. Among the alumni who once learned or worked in Academy of Natural Sciences, many became the proletarian revolutionists, scientists and pillars in the construction of PRC. For example: Li Peng, the original Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee and Premier of the State Council. Ye Xuanping, the original Vice chairman of CPPCC; The alumni that became academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences include: Li Qiang, Yun Ziqiang, Qian Zhidao, Shen Hong, Peng Shilu, Qi Yuanjing, Yu Guangyuan, Wu Heng and Lin Hua: The alumni also include many ministers, such as: Lin Hanxiong, the original Minister of Ministry of Construction; Cai Cheng, the original Minister of Ministry of Justice; Zeng Xianlin, the original Minister of Ministry of Light Industry; Ji Yicheng, the original Minister of Ministry of Energy; Zhao Dongwan, the original Minister of Ministry of Personnel.

The Second Exhibition Hall

Brief Introduction of School Running Information in North China

    In January 1946, Academy of Natural Sciences was moved to Zhangjiakou. Due to the fact that the current war situation was extremely urgent, it could not be moved to the Northeast; after asking for instructions from the Central Committee, Shansi-Chahar-Hebei Central Bureau decided that Academy of Natural Sciences continued to run school in Zhangjiakou and merged it with Engineering Technical School of Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Area into Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Industrial Vocational School, directly subordinated to Bureau of Industry of Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Area.

    In December 1946, Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Industrial Vocational School was moved to Boling Village, Jianping County, Hebei Province, which was merged with Railway College of Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Area into Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei border Industrial Traffic College, directly subordinated to the Administrative Committee of Border Area. It set up general courses through taking Railway College as the foundation and set up preparatory courses through taking Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Industrial Vocational School as the foundation. Wang Jiagang was the Director of preparatory course.

    By the end of 1947, with the sincere concern of Zhu De, the Commander in Chief and under the support of Liu Ding, the Vice Head of Bureau of Industry of Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Area, Shanxi - Chahar - Hebei border Industrial Traffic College was moved to Jingxing, Hebei and was renamed Industrial School of Bureau of Industry of Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Area, directly subordinate to Bureau of Industry of Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Area; Wang Jiagang became the president.
 
    In August 1948, with the approval of the People's Government of North China, Industrial School of Bureau of Industry of Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Border Area was merged with University of the North into School of Engineering of North China University, directly subordinated to Public-owned Enterprise Department of the People's Government of North China. Liu Zaisheng became the Dean; Yun Ziqiang and Zeng Yi became Associate Dean. Since then, a new-type engineering university with independent school running qualification was born.
 
    School of Engineering of North China University was moved to Beijing

    In August 1949, School of Engineering of North China University was moved to Beijing, changed from serving revolutionary war to serving national industrial construction. The school was subordinate to Ministry of Heavy Industry, which became the first new-type heavy industry university of new China.
 
    Sino-French University was merged

    According to the orders of Ministry of Education of the Central Government, the head campus of Sino-French University and three majors of mathematics, physics and chemistry were merged into School of Engineering of North China University in October 1950.
 
    The merging of Sino-French University greatly alleviated the difficulties of dormitory, laboratory and library insufficiency after the school was moved to Beijing. The coming of a batch of excellent teachers greatly improved the teaching strength of the school, especially the strength of basic teaching. The rigorous, practical, scientific and democratic school spirit and the excellent school running tradition of Sino-French University enhanced the running strength of the school, providing conditions for the standardized construction of the school.
 
    Teaching Team Construction of School of Engineering of North China University 

    After School of Engineering of North China University was moved into Beijing, it paid great importance to construction of teaching team and reliance on intellectuals. It attracted several proficient teachers through measures such as recruitment, employment and invitation. Many of them are masters with abundant teaching experience and profound scientific attainments. Such as: Zhang Yijun, Chen Jinmin, Zhao Jinyi, Ma Shixiu, Wen Shi, Zhou Faqi, Zhang Hanliang, Yu Daowen, Wang Junkui, Jiang Chao, Yang Shangzhuo, Tong Guangzhao, Sun Shuben, etc. At the same time, we also won over several young scholars in early days of new China who studied and returned from Europe and America. Such as: Yan Minggao, Ding Hui, Wu Dachang, Fu Junzhao, Wang Faqing, etc. In addition, Ministry of Education preferentially distributed numerous excellent undergraduates to teach in the university. School of Engineering of North China University had an abundant teaching staff. The number of whole university's teachers developed to 213. (Thereinto, there were 65 professors and 24 vice professors.)

    School-running thoughts and students of the School of Engineering of North China University

    Zeng Yi, the Associate Dean of School of Engineering of North China University, put forward a series of school-running thoughts and policies, for example: "theory is consistent with practice", " politics combines with technology", "universal genius combines with specialized personnel", "teaching students is not teaching books", "centers on teaching" and "establishes learning guidance and answering system"; which propelled the school's formal education and teaching practice.
 
    Filling with the attitude of working hard for constructing new China, School of Engineering of North China University students' learning goal was explicit; their learning attitude was upright and comprehensive quality was high. Therefore, School of Engineering of North China University also won the society's approval. In 1951, the number of students who registered School of Engineering of North China University for examination reached over 4,300. The first-choice candidates occupied 11.7% of students who registered engineering colleges around the country. Freshmen's admission scores were among the highest in the country.
 
The Third Exhibition Hall

    Renamed as Beijing Institute of Technology; established the first defense industry college in new China

    On January 1, 1952, School of Engineering of North China University was renamed as Beijing Institute of Technology through approval of Central People's Government's Ministry of Education. According to the Party Central Committee's strategic disposition of strengthening national defense construction, on March 8, 1952, Central People's Government's Ministry of Heavy Industry made a decision that Beijing Institute of Technology which originally served for heavy industry construction developed to defense industry college gradually and it was made to be a major base to cultivate senior technical backbone of national defense industry. The university became new China's first national defense industry college and began its large scale basic construction. In October 1952, Wei Siwen took office. He successively served as Associate Dean, Acting Dean, Dean and Party Secretary. As new China's first national defense industry college's creator and the founder of our university's national defense science and technology education, he had worked hard in the university for fourteen years and made contribution on the university's development and construction.

    Constructing new China's first set of conventional weapon majors

    For requirements of new China's national defense construction, the university began to build conventional weapon majors comprehensively. In November 1952, Northeast China Ordnance Vocational School's ordnance major was merged into Beijing Institute of Technology. From December 1953 to September 1957, the university employed four Russian experts which was over thirty in total successively to guide ordnance construction work. According to requirements of production and development of national weapon Industry, the university initially built fourteen matched ordnance majors with over three years.

    Establishment of high-end national defense majors





 
    In 1958, Party Central Committee made the decision of establishing missile force. In October 1958, under guidance of Qian Xuesen and other scientists in person, the university began to set up China's first batch of rocket and missile major. Meanwhile, it employed fourteen Russian experts for guidance. In 1959, the university was listed into one of the first 16 national key universities. In February 1961, after the university was put under National Defense Science and Technology Commission's leading, it further adjusted the university's majors development direction and set up a professional structure which took rocket and missile major as subject and high-end national defense and conventional national defense majors developed harmonically.

    It reinforced teaching staff construction energetically and cultivated red defense engineers.




 
    Through measures of replenishing new teaching assistants in quantity, cultivating postgraduates and bringing over a batch of senior teachers, exerting their backbone roles, carrying out key training and bringing up academic leaders and so on, it greatly reinforced teaching staff construction and made a host of young teachers become core teachers and academic leaders after 1980s. In those years, Beijing Institute of Technology stuck to a belief: "Cultivates red national defense engineers for the country". All teachers and students, with lofty ideals, prepared to struggle for constructing national defense immediately during fervor burning years.

    Endeavor and scaling new heights

    During the 50's and 60's, the university's teachers and students carried forward the spirit of self-dependence and scaling new heights and obtained a batch of excellent scientific achievements. Thereinto, a lot of projects filled up the country's vacancy and some even created China's first products. For example: In September 1958, China's first solid-fuel two-stage sounding rockets researched and produced by the university's teachers and students was launched successfully; In June 1956, the experiment of China's first set of TV transmitting receiving device was successful; From July to September of 1958, China's first large-scale planetarium trial-produced by the university's teachers and students was demonstrated successfully; It researched and produced China's first "265-1"antitank guided missile: It took part in researching and producing China's new generation of  light tank, "582" low altitude height-finding radar, "802, H212" field rocket, unbranded and dateless gun by an unaddressed factory, heavy and light machine gun, step blunt general gun, etc.





 
    It cultivated undergraduates with high quality for the country.



    Most of the university's students who graduated between 1950s to 1960s went to Science and Technology Industry of National Defense and cooperate with the army and made great contribution to the country. Such as: manned launching vehicle expert academician Cui Guoliang, Wang Zhiren, Fan Shihe, Li Xiangrong and Huang Chunping; space launch project experts Zhang Zeming and Xu Kejun; spaceflight test control expert Hao Yan; tank design expert academician Su Zhezi and Tang Zhangyuan; rocket-powered missile expert academician Huang Xianxiang; light weapon expert academician Duo Yingxian; high-energy chemistry expert academician Dong Haishan and radar technology expert academician Wang Xiaomo, are all our university's graduates. The country's vice chairman Zeng Qinghong, the deputy director of National Defense Science and Technology Committee Zhang Xuedong, the provincial governor of Jilin Hong Hu, Secretary of Yunnan Party Committee Linghu An, etc., also worked in gross-roots units of National Defense Science and Technology after graduation and stepped to leading positions gradually.
 

The Fourth Exhibition Hall: Reform and Opening Up  Writing glorious chapter

    In 1977, college entrance examination system which had been interrupted for ten years because of the impact of the Great Cultural Revolution was recovered. From then on, China welcomed the spring of respecting knowledge and talents again.
 

    In 1978, the Third Plenary Session was held successfully. The country entered into reform and opening period centering on economic construction. The university reorganized work in all aspects and showed  new appearance. In 1978, our university had 33 achievements which got prizes in national conference on science and technology. With the strongest voice of the times of reform and opening up, our university corrected guiding ideology of running a school, deepened teaching and education reform, carried out open running schools, enhanced educational quality, reformed personnel system and strengthened teacher training: It launched scientific research energetically and got fruitful results in scientific research of military products and civilian goods. In 1985, the university was listed into one of the country's fourteen "Seventh Five-Year Plan" key construction universities. The scale of subject major and basic construction develops rapidly. In 1986, Li Peng, then State Council Vice Premier and Chairman of the State Education Commission, took part in the unveiling ceremony of Xu Teli bronze statue in person. The university set up Xu Teli scholarship. In 1990, our university's many products were applied in Beijing Asian Games. Our university actively reinforced Party construction, improved ideological and political work and sprang up many advanced role models. Chen Boren, Li Hongbing, Feng Changgen were typical representatives among them.
 
 
    Beijing Institute of Technology held Scientific Research Summary Commendation Conference (left figure above)

    Qian Xuesen, Zhu Guangya, the vice minister of Weapon Department Tang Zhongwen visited our university's exhibition of science and technology (left figure middle)

    Vice minister Li Peng visited our university's unveiling ceremony of Xu Teli bronze statue (left figure below)

    Eleventh Asian Games' torch applied our university's titanium technology (figure above)

    With the pace of national reform and opening up, through over ten years' reform, development and construction, the university's various works occurred fundamental change and obtained remarkable achievements. Approved by the State Education Commission, the university was renamed as Beijing Institute of Technology. State Council Vice Premier Zou Jiahua came to the university to attend the opening ceremony of the new university name. Under all teachers and students' joint effort, aspects of the university's teaching quality, talent cultivation and scientific research level and so on were greatly improved. It realized historical five changes and generated three academicians of Chinese Academy of Engineering including Xu Gengguang, Mao Erke and Zhou Liwei.

Five historical changes

Single engineering course was transformed to multi-disciplinary of engineering course, science, management and liberal arts which centered on engineering course.

The single product type defense specialty was transformed to civil-military integration major which centered on subject;

It changed from mainly centering on teaching to two directions of education and scientific research;

It changed from mainly cultivating undergraduate talents to cultivating talents with multilevel, especially talents with high level and compound type;

Running a school closely was transformed to running a school openly.



        The famous female conductor Zheng Xiaoying was giving a speech to our university's students

                          Homemade  new type tanks which the university took part in research and production



     In April 1988, the university was renamed as Beijing Institute of Technology

    State Council Vice Premier Zou Jiahua (left) came to the university to attend the opening ceremony of the new university name

    Main construction and accelerated development. In December 1995, it became one of the first "Project 211" universities in China.

    The overall objective of "Project 211"construction planning: Through ten to fifteen years, the university will be constructed to socialist new university which has the feature of army-civilian combination, centers on industry, combines science and engineering and industry, engineering, management and liberal arts developing harmoniously. In aspects of education quality, scientific research and management and so on, it reaches or is close to the world's same kind of schools' advanced level.

 


The university's library named by Defense Minister Zhang Aiping

 

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