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Be brave to build an "advanced structure" for self-reliance in science and technology!

Always follow the party, forge ahead on a new journey

High level research universities should better combine the development of science and technology as the first productive force, the cultivation of talents as the first resource and the enhancement of innovation as the first driving force, give full play to the advantages of profound basic research and interdisciplinary integration, and become the main force of basic research and the new force of major scientific and technological breakthroughs.

——Excerpts from the speeches of General Secretary Xi Jinping at the Academician Conference of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Tenth National Congress of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology

Laboratory Building of Institute of Advanced Structure Technology

"The purpose of establishing the Institute of Advanced Structure Technology (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Institute') is very simple. We will try our best to solve what the country needs."

Speaking of the original intention of the construction, said Yang Yazheng, Assistant to the President, Dean of the Research Institute, and Secretary of the Party Committee of Beijing Institute of Technology, Behind the simple and plain words is the mission of BITers who are determined to strengthen the country and build a sword for the country.

In 2015, BIT strongly invited Fang Daining, an expert in the field of materials and structural mechanics and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to work at BIT and lead the construction of the Institute of Advanced Structural Technology. Facing the major national needs and the advanced layout of the world's scientific and technological frontier, the Institute gives full play to the advantages of profound basic research and interdisciplinary integration, establishes new design theories, new concepts, new processes, new experimental means and characterization methods of advanced structural technology, and solves the key problems in the field of major needs.

After six years of development and construction, the Institute has more than 70 teachers and more than 300 students, gathered an interdisciplinary and multi-field high-quality talent team, formed the layout scale of the two campuses covering an area of 6000 square meters, built Beijing key laboratories and 10 multi-industry laboratories, and has international high-level scientific research instruments and equipment with an investment of nearly 140 million yuan, providing a strong driving force for talent training, scientific research and discipline construction.


"Weight reduction" + " more weight bearing"

Making continuous breakthroughs towards the frontiers of science and technology!

External signboard of Institute of Advanced Structure Technology

In the experimental building of the Institute of Advanced Structures on the Liangxiang Campus of Beijing Institute of Technology, the seemingly simple and ordinary structural parts are placed in the exhibition hall on the first floor. In fact, behind every ordinary appearance, there are extraordinary contributions.

Despite that this object looks ordinary, it has given too much ‘credit’ to the country’s major needs! The cylinder in the middle is the main bearing structure of some large-scale equipment. Compared with the previous structure, its own weight is reduced by 40%, but it can withstand more than 50 tons of axial pressure. "

Li Ying, deputy dean of the research institute, said.

Generally speaking, to improve the performance and indicators of parts, most people will choose to use new materials to improve the overall structural performance. However, the teachers of the Institute "do the opposite." They use advanced structural design as a breakthrough point to improve structural performance through innovation and improvement of structural design.

"The high-end equipment structure of modern science and technology is developing in the direction of lightweight, integration, compounding, functionalization, intelligence, flexibility and bionics. The research and application of advanced structural design and manufacturing technology is the key technical guarantee to promote the generation-leaping upgrading of equipment in major demand fields."

Said Academician Fang Daining, Honorary Dean of the Academy.

Facing the country's strategic goal of building a world power in science and technology, the Institute focuses on strengthening basic frontier exploration and key technology breakthroughs, based on advanced structure research, and makes every effort to tackle the frontier basic science and major engineering technology problems of modern high-end equipment. In 2016, the Institute was approved to build the "Beijing Key Laboratory of Lightweight and Multifunctional Composites and Structures".

In addition to researching and developing lightweight components for airplanes, rockets, etc., to meet the needs of "flying", the institute also conducts research on the structure and function of ground equipment. From 2016 to 2019, Professor Lei Hongshuai of the Institute led the team and CRRC Group to jointly research and develop the composite material suspension frame of the maglev train. The development of its structure has always been a difficult problem in the world because the structure of the magnetic suspension in the maglev train is very complicated.

The research and development of the composite suspension frame structure reported by Xinhua News Agency

"We failed many times in the early tests, and the structural parts produced were always not the expected size." Said Professor Lei Hongshuai. Even after many failures, the team never gave up. Through technical approaches such as structural optimization design, process mechanics simulation, mold design and low-cost manufacturing, they have broken through the key technical problems of integrated design and manufacturing of large-scale main bearing composite special-shaped parts, and greatly improved the vibration resistance on the basis of cost reduction. For the first time in the world, the all-composite maglev train magnetic suspension structure has been successfully developed. The achievement will be applied to a new generation of high-speed maglev trains in China.

There are countless such breakthroughs. In the past six years, the Institute has adhered to the problem orientation, continuously strengthened originality and leading scientific and technological research, and developed a multi-field, multi-atmosphere multi-environment micro-nano indenter and bubbling instrument with independent intellectual property rights; invented the world's first fully automatic three-dimensional braiding machine, which solved the problem of lightweight design and manufacture of large-sized special-shaped structures; proposed a topology optimization design method for special-shaped large-sized main bearing structures... From time to time again, the Institute has promoted the source innovation of scientific and technological research, and also provided technical support for scientific and technological research and development and industrial high-end equipment research and quality assurance.

While carrying out innovative research on the frontiers of science and technology, the Institute gives full play to the advantages of scientific research and education, pays attention to the integration of science and education, encourages students to break through themselves, enhances their awareness of innovation, and cultivates students with outstanding innovation ability to solve cutting-edge problems. Among the students who are about to graduate in 2022, 17 students have signed employment agreements with research institutions, enterprises and other institutes. The Institute has sent batches of outstanding scientific and technological talents to aerospace institutes, research institutions, enterprises and other institutes.



Integration+ fusion

Facing the frontier of disciplines and climbing the peak

The new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation is advancing by leaps and bounds, the paradigm of scientific research is undergoing profound changes, the interdisciplinary integration and fusion is developing continuously, and the infiltration and integration of science and technology and economic and social development is accelerating. Aiming at the key core technical “bottleneck” problems, the Institute constantly breaks through the barriers between disciplines, and truly achieves the "perfect" interdisciplinary integration.

"We want to develop a 3D digital visualization test and characterization platform, which can not only present the damage process of the material's internal defects under ultra-high temperature loading, measure the internal deformation field, but also extract the parameters of the damage process and quantitatively analyze the damage intensity."

Xu Baosheng, deputy dean of the research institute, said.

At first, "ultra-high temperature testing technology" may sound abstract and difficult to understand, but in fact, this technology is used to detect and analyze the reason why materials are destroyed under extreme high temperature conditions. Once the ultra-high temperature material is deformed by heat, it will cause thermal stress concentration at the internal manufacturing defect, which will cause fracture damage. If the failure mode and failure mechanism of ultra-high temperature materials cannot be accurately analyzed, it is impossible to overcome the problems of material use in key fields. At the same time, the ultra-high temperature testing technology is strictly blocked to China, and the instruments are also prohibited from being sold to China, which firmly "stuck our necks".


Young teachers of the Institute doing experiments

"The teachers of the Institute come from a variety of professional fields. When they come to the institute, they want to 'have a powerful combination' to break through the technical difficulties together."

Introduced Cai Tingting, Executive Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Institute.

In recent years, aiming at the major national needs, the Institute has broken through the discipline barriers, highly integrated the disciplines of mechanics, materials, chemistry and physics, broken the technical blockade, solved the "bottleneck" problems, and strived to become the main force of basic research and the new force of major scientific and technological breakthroughs.

In November 2020, the project "In-situ Testing Instrument for Ultra-High Temperature Internal Deformation Field and Defect Damage of Materials Based on Movable X-ray Imaging" led by Academician Fang Daining was approved as a national major scientific research instrument development project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Thermally connected structural parts developed by the Institute with "3D" and "4D" printing approaches

In the eyes of the teachers of the Institute, the interdisciplinary integration is very interesting. Sometimes it is possible to play the "stealth game" by changing the structure and materials, and put an "invisibility cloak" on the submarine; sometimes it is possible to use the mechanical design method of "3D" and "4D" printing to simulate the "integrated antenna radiation structure", reducing the size of the antenna to receive stronger signals; even sometimes carbon fiber materials can be used to "knit sweaters".

"Like knitting a sweater, we weave the scattered special-shaped structures into a whole to improve the overall performance of the structure. There cannot be the slightest difference in the knitting process due to the complexity of the shape."

Xu Baosheng, deputy dean of the Institute, said.

The Institute breaks through the boundaries of disciplines, breaks down barriers, and carries out innovative design of the structure of the spacecraft tail nozzle, effectively solving the problem that the nozzle parts are easy to fall off and unstable, creating a "perfect" overall structure.

"In the process of 'weaving' the tail nozzle, multi-disciplinary cross-integration has given us a broader vision and a deeper accumulation of knowledge." Under the cross leading mechanism, teachers and students of the Institute have integrated the scientific spirit of seeking truth from facts and pursuing excellence into every day and night of struggle, achieved fruitful results in the research on thermal protection materials and structures in the national aerospace field, and provided scientific and technological support for the development of Long March 5 Rocket.

In addition, the Institute has independently developed multi-filament metal additive manufacturing equipment, multi-field in-situ micro-focus CT and industrial DR/CT systems, high-temperature in-situ loading CT imaging instruments... A closed-loop process of "design-preparation-evaluation" has been formed, and mature scientific research equipment conditions and scientific research site conditions have been created in a short period.


Attracting talents + gathering talents

Attracting and training at the same time, and the team continues to grow

"Success is based on talent, and industry is based on talent". In addition to the first-class platform support, the construction of first-class disciplines is inseparable from the cultivation and construction of first-class talents. The institute has always adhered to the principle of "gathering talents with industry, gathering people with people, and promoting training at the same time", firmly grasping the direction of cutting-edge science and technology, and accurately training high-level talents by introducing high-level talents at home and abroad to enhance the "acceleration" of innovation and development.


Academician Fang Daining giving lectures for students

After working in BIT, academician Fang Daining focused on building an emerging cross integration platform of the Institute of Advanced Structure Technology, bringing together an interdisciplinary and multi-field high-quality talent team with academic leading talents as the core and young backbone teachers and postdoctoral as the hard-core, forming an innovative team with characteristics and "brand" effect of interdisciplinary integration of mechanics, material science and engineering, mechanical engineering and other disciplines.

The research institute constantly innovates the talent introduction and cultivation mechanism, and insists on attracting talents with talents. With the continuous participation of young scientific and technological workers, the head goose effect and multiplication effect of talent introduction have been formed, and the coordinated development and benign interaction of "team, achievements, and talents" have been gradually established. Young scientific and technological workers have become the main force of scientific and technological innovation in the institute.

Since 2018, the Institute has been approved for major national projects for four consecutive years. The average annual total funding of the National Natural Science Foundation of China has exceeded 100 million yuan, and the average annual scientific research funding of full-time teachers has exceeded 3 million. The research directions cover the sea, land, air and space and so on.

"With the guidance of Academician Fang and the experience in the team, many young teachers have grown into the 'pillars' of their scientific research direction. They are positive, united and collaborative, and work together to create a good atmosphere for the institute."

Said Qu Zhaoliang, a young teacher who has participated in the development of major national scientific research instruments.

In addition, academician Fang holds group meetings for young teachers and students every week, which is also a rare learning opportunity for young teachers. "We are often influenced by the spiritual level and position of 'everyone'. It is precisely because of the 'big platform and big team' effect that many excellent students at home and abroad, even talents with international academic influence and technical influence in the field, come here with admiration." Said team young teacher Lian Yanping.

"Supporting young talents to 'play the lead and be the protagonist' is the biggest feeling I have after coming to the college. As a young teacher, being able to have the opportunity to participate in major national scientific research projects is stressful but more motivated." Peng Zhilong, a young teacher shared.

"Plant trees and attract birds to build nests." The Institute strives to build a scientific research innovation highland that gathers outstanding talents from all over the world, in order to attract more high-end talents and professional talents, and form a virtuous circle of "gathering talents with industry and people ", to create a talent team led by academicians and national-level young talents. In order to further stimulate the vitality of talents, create a high-level innovative team, give full play to the advantages of the team, optimize the new ecology of "introduction and long-term development", and create a good atmosphere, the Institute has established a professor committee to help talents grow in an all-round way from introduction, evaluation to cultivation, to promote talent development. At present, the national-level young talents of the Institute have been added continuously for 6 consecutive years, and the proportion of high-level and high-end talents has reached more than 30%. The effect of talent introduction and cultivation is outstanding.

Interior view of the laboratory building of the Institute of Advanced Structure Technology

In August 2021, the party committee of the Institute was formally established, marking a new stage in the development of the Institute. In the future, the Institute will insist on leading the high-quality development of the Institute's business with high-quality party building, always adhere to the "four aspects", aim at the key core technical problems of "stuck neck", overcome difficulties, gather wisdom to tackle key problems, and use more strategic, key and major scientific and technological achievements, and make greater contributions to the overall construction of a world-class university with Chinese characteristics.


Six years of hard work, down-to-earth

On the journey of becoming a powerful country in science and technology,

the "bottleneck technology" has become the persistent pursuit of

all teachers and students of Institute of Advanced Structure Technology, BIT

Facing the future

BIT’s "advanced structure" will be more wonderful