With the continuous enhancement of the overall comprehensive strength, China¡¯s aerospace industry has experienced a dramatic growth over the last few decades. To better transport highly qualified innovative talents for the country and to contribute to the promotion of scientific research in aerospace, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics (SAA) was founded in January 2007. The history of the new school can date back to the 30s of the last century. In 1936, a sub-department about aeronautical engineering was set up under the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In 1945, the Department of Aeronautical Engineering was established. It had been making remarkable contribution to the development of the country¡¯s aerospace technology until the nationwide restructuring of universities in 1952. Since the reshuffling of disciplines, though there had been a department of rocket engineering, it did not last long. An urgent need to set up an aerospace department had been sustained during the reform and construction of the university.
The school is dedicated to develop disciplines of aerospace science and technology, as well as those related subjects such as mechanics. The basic orientation is: to be closely combined to the country¡¯s demands for constructing major projects, to seek in practice the key directions of development, to be an integrated and compact top-ranked research platform for aerospace science and technology; to become an active advocate and participant of the pilot and innovative researches in the field of aerospace, which are of great significant to the nation¡¯s development; to play the important role of major driving force to develop the civil and national defense scientific research.
Different from the traditional professional setup of general aerospace colleges, there is no separate school of aeronautics, astronautics or propulsion technology in Zhejiang University. Integrated with a collection of relevant disciplines, SAA has become a crucial institute of education and research which continues to be engaged in training creative versatile talents in the fields of aerospace and mechanics.
Current dean is Mr. Shen Rongjun, who is an academician from CAE, and the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese Manned Spaceflight Program. The total number of faculty and staff members of the school is 71, including 22 professors and 30 associate professors. Among them, there are 2 members of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), 1 member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), 1 member of the first batch of National Distinguished Professors from overseas (the one-thousand talents program), 1 Cheung Kong Scholar Special-Term Professor, 4 recipients of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, 1 recipient of the China Youth Science and Technology Prize, 2 candidates for the National project of ¡°Hundred, Thousand and Ten Thousand Talent¡±, 1 senior specialist of Zhejiang Province, 5 candidates of the Training Program for New (Trans) Century Excellent Talents, and 1 Qiushi Special-Term Professor.
The fields of study of SAA cover aerospace and engineering mechanics. It has 1 National Leading Academic Disciplines and 2 Leading Academic Disciplines in Zhejiang Province. Under the school¡¯s administration, there are 7 Research Institutes, 1 National Teaching Base for Fundamental Courses of Mechanics, and 1 National Demonstration Center for Experimental Teaching of Mechanics. Besides, it has set up 1 doctorial program and 1 post-doctor station for the National Leading Academic Discipline of Mechanics, and 9 doctorial (master) programs for secondary disciplines.