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The School of Materials Science and Engineering (SMSE) in Tsinghua University was founded in December 2012, by combining the previous Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Materials Processing division within the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering was itself first founded in 1988 by the merger of several divisions within Tsinghua University, including the Inorganic Non-metallic Materials division from the Department of Chemistry, the Materials Physics division from the Department of Engineering Physics, and the Metallic Materials division from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The SMSE has a highly competitive faculty, consisting at present of 52 professors, 31 associate professors, 8 Assistant Professors, and 19 senior engineers, as well as 8 engineers/staff. With regard to educational activities, we are devoted to the training of talented students with an international perspective and creative spirit, as well as with a solid theoretical understanding of materials science and outstanding research ability. Currently more than 370 students are pursuing their doctoral degrees within the School. Additionally more than 350 students are pursuing MSc degrees, with more than 470 undergraduates pursuing their bachelor degrees, including over 30 international students.

A number of laboratories and centers are also hosted within the SMSE. These include the State Key Laboratory of New Ceramics and Fine Processing, the Education Ministry Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials, the Education Ministry Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology, the Beijing National Center for Electron Microscopy, and the Center for Testing & Analyzing of Materials of the SMSE, as well as other teaching and research institutions. In addition, the SMSE also encompasses several research centers and national production-study-research bases, including the Research Center for Bainitic Steels, the Research Center of Magnesium and Aluminum Alloys Processing Technology, the Beijing High-tech Ceramic Materials and Processing National Scientific and Technological Corporation Base, and the International Research Center of Functional Materials, appointed by Ministry of Science and Technology.

Research activities within the SMSE follow the frontiers of international science as well as supporting national strategic needs. We not only encourage original research on basic science, but also actively promote applied research to address national major scientific, technological, and industrial demands. The number of SCI-cited papers published annually has ranked first in Tsinghua University for many years, highlighting the highly productive research output of faculty members within the SMSE. Regarding both the publication output and the number of citations of published papers, the SMSE has been ranked as one of the best institutes in the world for the past 10 years according to the ISI statistics, and first in China over a continuous two year period according to the most recent national first-class discipline evaluation.In 2017, the School was ranked among the top 9 world universities for materials science, by both the US News Ranking by Subject and the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

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