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Beihang turns 65, aims at being world-class university

By ZHAO LEI | | Updated: 2017-10-29 17:28

Beihang University marked its 65th birthday over the weekend with a pledge to become a world-class center for science and technology.

Formerly called Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beihang was established in October 1952 when the aeronautic research institutes at eight universities were merged.

The university is known for its support of the Chinese military's modernization, while a large number of its graduates have played crucial roles in the nation's arms and space programs.

A ceremony was held at Beihang's Chenxing Concert Hall on Saturday morning to celebrate the anniversary and to lay out measures for building a top-level institute.

More than 800 people attended, including government officials, representatives of universities and State-owned defense companies, and members of the Chinese academies of sciences and engineering, according to a news release.

Zhang Jun, the university's Party chief, said Beihang will follow the missions set out at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which concluded in Beijing last week, and will strive to become a prestigious institute and build its research wings into world leaders in their fields.

The university has set up an award — which comes with 1 million yuan ($150,000) — to honor its best educators, and conferred the first on Saturday to Gao Zhentong, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the release said.

Gao, an expert in structural fatigue, has contributed a lot to China's aircraft development, it added.

On Thursday, Beihang also launched a foundation to promote the university's research and find commercial applications.

Beihang Changying Capital Management will help the university make better use of its academic resources, help researchers make closer connections with companies, and boost government efforts to coordinate growth between civilian and defense industries, according to BUAA Holdings, the company that has registered the foundation.

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