Harbin Engineering University (HEU) is located on the banks of the beautiful Songhua River, Harbin—known as a “city of ice” in Northeast China. The predecessor of HEU was the PLA Military Engineering Institute founded in 1953. Harbin Shipbuilding Engineering Institute was established at the original site on the basis of Naval Engineering Department with the original military academicians in 1970. Eight years later, the HSEI was listed as one of the key institutes by the State Council. In 1982, the HSEI was listed into the first batch of university which had the right to confer doctor, master's degree.
HSEI was renamed as Harbin Engineering University (HEU) in 1994. Two years later, HEU was listed as one of the key universities being enhanced by the first batch of the '211 Project'. In 2002, the Graduate School of HEU was approved by the Ministry of Education. In 2007, the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, the Ministry of Education, the People's Government of Heilongjiang Province and Navy signed an agreement to jointly construct this university. HEU was selected into the “985 Strength Discipline Innovation Platform” Project in 2011. HEU is affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and is the main base for talents cultivation in the fields of ship industry, ocean equipment and exploration, and nuclear application and scientific research.
HEU has formed a well-structured curriculum that is characterized by the main subjects of ship industry, ocean equipment and exploration, and nuclear application as well as distinctive, related disciplines with matching support and reasonable structural layout: 12 first-degree doctoral stations, 27 first-degree master stations, 56 under graduate majors, 13 post-doctoral mobile stations (research station) ,1 national key discipline of the first-degree subjects, 1 national key discipline of the second-degree subjects, 11 defense featured subjects, 7 special defense majors, 4 characteristic profession stations of the Ministry of Education, 1Heilongjiang provincial key discipline group, 11 first-degree subjects. “Modern ships and deep ocean engineering” is among the national “Strength Discipline Innovation Platform”. Material Science, Engineering science and Chemistry are selected into global top 1% of ESI.
HEU has always attached great importance to the tradition of scientific research. The school is well-known not only for the first experimental submarine, the first hydrofoil craft, the first shipboard computer, the first swath bathymeter set and dozens of other major gap-filling scientific research breakthroughs, but also for being the best in the world with several achievements such as duplex submersible vehicles, hovercrafts and gradient velocimeters. The university maintains strong technical knowledge in the shipping, ocean and nuclear fields. Its underwater robots, shipping anti-rolling technology, integrated navigation, acoustic positioning and nuclear power simulation have occupied advanced domestic and international positions, leading HEU to become one of the main forces in the basic and applied research of China's ship science and technology. It is renowned for providing key units of the navy's advanced technical equipment and being a reliable resource for developers of high-tech marine equipment in China. Since the beginning of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, the school has adhered to major strategic demands of national defense, constantly condensing the direction of the frontier research, focusing on improving the capability of independent innovation, undertaking major national science and technology research and a large number of research projects such as the National Defense Program 973 (which is called the National Basic Research Program of March 1997), Program 863 (which is known as the High-tech Research Development Program carried out by Deng Xiaoping in March 1986), and national defense pre-research and models, winning more than 260 provincial and ministerial awards. The quality management of the research products has been identified by the ISO9000 quality system. HEU has become the first domestic university possessing "dual authentication". In addition, the school owns a national university science park crowned “National science and technology business incubators”. In 2015, the total scientific research spending exceeded 1 billion RMB.