In 1952, HIT founded its discipline of mechanics. Now, this discipline consists of 110 faculty members, including four members of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), one member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), one member of the Academy of Europe, two World Fellows, and one vice president of the International Committee on Composite Materials.

Students in this discipline benefit from interdisciplinary learning, especially in mechanics, materials, and astronautics. Plus, this discipline teaches students to apply this information to development in the aerospace industry. Scientists and students work together on research projects, such as advanced composite materials and lightweight structures, multifunctional and smart materials and structures, multi- scale analysis of solids in multi-physical fields, dynamics and control of aerospace vehicles, multiscale fluid mechanics and fluid structure interaction, and extreme mechanics.

Much of this work aims to transform aerospace technology and related fields. For example, research projects address the advancement in nonlinear dynamics theory and vibrationcontrol methods, failure theory of solids under ultra-high temperature, multiscale analysis methods of inhomogeneous materials, and design methods of aerospace structures.

Of particular note, composite-materials expert Shanyi Du established HIT’s National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Advanced Composites in Special Environments, which is known for scientific and technical breakthroughs, particularly ones that benefit the Chinese aerospace industry and industries in other countries. As examples, scientists from this lab developed the thermal protection composite materials for: China’s Long March-5 carrier rocket; an inflight measuring sensor for the reentry capsule of spacecraft; an inflated deployable discrete reinforced membrane boom for satellite attitude control; and the world’s first shape-memory polymer composite-based flexible solar array, which has been demonstrated in space.