Peking University Emerging Engineering International Forum 2021 held

Peking University, October 25, 2021: The first Peking University Emerging Engineering International Forum was held on 23 October 2021 at Yingjie Exchange Center of Peking University. Officials from state bureaus and local governments, professionals and experts from universities and institutions in China and abroad, distinguished guests from enterprises and representatives from Peking University were present at the conference. Huang Ru, vice president of Peking University presided the conference.

With the theme of “New Era, New Challenges, Emerging Engineering”, the conference includes the main forum and nine sub-forums, aiming to further promote the development of emerging engineering programs, deepen global exchanges and promote international cooperation. The forum invites leading figures from domestic and foreign academia and related fields to attend, and focuses on the global challenges faced in the field of engineering. The conference aims to promote academic exchanges in emerging engineering science and technology, and discuss strategies and plans for the construction of new engineering.

Qiu Shuiping, chair of Peking University Council, expressed his optimism and the long-term goals PKU has strived for regarding the advancement of its engineering programs. He said, as the first year of the 14th five-year plan, the build-up of emerging engineering programs would become an important task to serve the national strategy. PKU will not only inherit the persisting spirit and solid historical tradition that helped form the structure of engineering, but also choose to view the future from a brand new starting point and metamorphosize the definition, framework, and practice of engineering. He cherished the hope that PKU can foster an entirely new path of engineering with its unique imprints.

Qiu Shuiping
A video depicting PKU’s booming engineering programs was broadcasted on the spot, which showed numerous outstanding achievements attained by schools related to the field of engineering.

Vice chairman of the Secretariat China Association for Science and Technology Zhang Yuzhuo pointed out that the field of engineering would need to integrate major scientific discoveries and its subsequent technological development in practice. He said, PKU has built up the solid foundation of engineering over the past hundred years and been playing a leading role in the innovation and application in emerging engineering. He recommended to build and expand higher-level cooperation between the engineering industry and education.

Zhang Yuzhuo
Xie Xincheng, vice president of National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC), explained that the NSFC regarded basic research as its main duty to cultivate original innovation capability. He said, in recent years, the worldwide science paradigm has been changing rapidly with an increasing national and social appeal for ground-up innovation. Since the number and grant of PKU’s projects supported by the NSFC was among the top in China, he hoped that PKU could play a major part in the economic and social development of the country.

Xie Xincheng
Wu Yan, director of Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, regarded the establishment of emerging engineering programs as an active response to the technological revolution we are currently living today, and suggested that emerging engineering programs roots in new specialties, new requirements and new convergence. With reforms taken place, Wu hoped that PKU could take the lead in post-secondary education on engineering after its reforms.

Wu Yan
Liu Min, director-general of Department of Major Science and Technology Project, Ministry of Science and Technology, pointed out that since new technologies have reshaped the modern life, the future of China would require the favorable support of scientific and technological innovation during this new stage of development. She reiterated that the serious task of the Ministry of Science and Technology would be providing continuous support for Chinese engineering industries during China’s transition to becoming a major industrialized nation.

Liu Min
Shi Huikang, deputy director of Department of Information Technology Industry, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, praised PKU’s long-lasting ambition and accomplishments in the education of engineering, all of which reflected a high sense of responsibility and mission. Because the nature of this discipline, he suggested that PKU’s emerging engineering programs should pay attention to the relationship between basic innovation and mode innovation.

Shi Huikang
The conference was followed by congratulatory video from representatives of universities and institutions abroad. They are Kaori Hayashi, executive vice president of University of Tokyo; Asher Cohen, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Mac Tessier-Lavigne, president of Stanford University; Sir Jim McDonald, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, principal and vice Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde; and David Harel, president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Xu Ningsheng, president of Fudan University, pointed out that the construction of emerging engineering was a timely response to the technological revolution we now lived in, as it was necessary to speed up the advancement of technology, to serve the national major strategic needs, and to promote the rapid development of new industries. He stressed that post-secondary education should take the responsibility to promote the formation of emerging engineering.

Xu Ningsheng
As a representative of Peking University professor, John Hopcroft, winner of the A.M. Turing Award, stated that the world has undergone an information revolution and talent was the major force driving this evolution. For the emerging engineering programs to be successful, PKU has to focus on the first three undergraduate years and attract high quality faculty to improve education, all of which could be achieved by changing the evaluating metrics and thus to create talents for emerging engineering programs.

John Hopcroft
Baidu CEO Robin Li highlighted the importance to shift our mindset from a scientific one to an engineering one – going from a one-step process to a step-by-step process. He stated that Baidu’s dedication also includes cultivating talent that will be able to take on the technological challenges of the future. As such, he has committed to cultivating 5 million AI talents in the next 5 years to help job seekers grow their skills toolbox, creating more well-rounded talent, contributing to China’s growth as a technology powerhouse.

Robin Li
The conference witnessed the strategic cooperation agreement signing ceremony between Peking University and Changping District People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, as well as the strategic cooperation agreement signing ceremony between Peking University and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

Strategic Cooperation Agreement Signing Ceremony
President Hao Ping of Peking University emphasized that PKU was willing to work with advanced universities and research institutions in China and abroad to actively promote the establishment of emerging engineering programs. With the strong support from notable industrial giants and world-renowned institutions, emerging engineering programs in China are endowed great hopes to create a global influence leading the development of engineering science, thereby promoting global cooperation and making important contributions to social welfare in China and around the world.

Hao Ping 
Afterwards, the Emerging Engineering Development Strategy Roundtable and Entrepreneur Roundtable were respectively held in the Yingjie Exchange Center Moonlight Hall and Starlight Hall. The participants had an in-depth exchange of views on how universities, research institutions and enterprises can corporate with each other and promote the establishment of innovative engineering and future technological transformation.