The predecessor of the department of Aerospace Propulsion Technology was the Rocket Motor of the department of Aerospace Engineering built in 1958. Later it was renamed as the Solid Rocket Motor, and in 2000 it was reformed into the Department of Aerospace Propulsion Technology. Since its establishment, the department of Aerospace Propulsion Technology has cultivated more than 1000 undergraduates, 500 masters and 50 doctors in total, and delivered a large number of outstanding talents to our nation, such as the first doctor and first master majoring in solid rocket engine respectively, as well as the first foreign doctor in Shaanxi province. One of the students cultivated in this department won the “Top Ten Outstanding Youth of China”, one won the “Top Ten Outstanding Youth Experts of China”, and one won the advanced worker in Shaanxi province. Every year, the department takes in about 50 undergraduates, 35 postgraduates (10 for Ph.D. program).
In 2013, we have 26 staff, including 9 professors, 13 associate professors (including senior engineers), and an expert who is awarded the special allowance of the State Department. More than 90% of teachers here have Doctor Degree.
Aeronautical and Astronautical Science and Technology, as the first-level discipline, is one of the earliest disciplines that have the qualification to authorize the academic degrees including master and doctor. Aeronautical and astronautical engineering, as the second-level discipline, is national key discipline as well as an important component of NPU which is characterized with its aeronautics, astronautics and navigation. Moreover, it is also the key discipline in national "211 Project" and the "985 Project". The department also takes in master and doctoral students majoring in power engineering and engineering thermophysics, artillery automatic weapons and ammunition engineering.
With the benefits from "211 Project" and the "985 Project", in terms of the facilities and the research level, the department has its obvious advantages in such aspects as the optimal design of solid rocket motor, the coupling simulation of motor working process, the rocket-based combined propulsion, solid rocket ramjet, composition propellant and combustion high-energy boron-containing oxygen-diluted, microwave plasma propulsion. It becomes the research and teaching base which also has the innovative research on aeronautical and astronautical engineering in China.
After the unremitting efforts for more than half a century, the Department of Aerospace Propulsion Technology has formed a complete system on undergraduates’ and graduates’ education. The department has set up several advanced teaching labs, nearly 30 high-level key courses, and published more than 10 teaching materials and monographs.
The department of Aerospace Propulsion Technology offers 4 years bachelor program in Flight Vehicle Propulsion Engineering. The aim is to cultivate talented professional bachelors that have solid basic knowledge, strong practical ability, broad insight, great consciousness of innovation, high-standard comprehensive quality, as well as scientific spirit, humanistic quality and worldwide insight. The graduates from this department are widely acknowledged by their solid basic skills, steadfast work attitude, down-to-earth style of dealing with affairs and a strong sense of innovation.
Some of these graduates become the leaders in CASC, the research institutes of aviation and aerospace, the general engineers of national key project, the national cross-century principal investigators. Moreover some has been awarded as “National Youth Experts with Remarkable Contributions”, “Changjiang Scholars”. Also, some become the professors in leading universities and the frontier researchers who are devoted themselves to the development of aviation and space industry. The department of Aerospace Liquid Propulsion Technology supports and encourages students to take part in international and national mathematical modeling, such as the “Model United Nations”, “Scientific and technological creation” and other innovative competitions, among which one student won the International Grand Prize on mathematical modeling, and one won the international first prize in the Model United Nations. From 2005 to now, more than 150 students in the department have won the national, and the provincial and ministerial-level awards. In addition, the outstanding achievement also has been achieved in cultivating postgraduates, among whom, one won an award nomination of National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation, and two postgraduates won the honor of Excellent Doctoral Dissertation in Shaanxi province.
The key of the scientific research is the fundamental research and the application of the solid rocket motor. Meanwhile, the development of the technologies of the solid rocket ramjet, the rocket/ramjet combined engines, the space electric propulsion and the synthesis and combustion of energetic material are also carried out. In particular, the researches about the solid rocket motor and the rocket/ramjet combined the cycle engines have the distinctive traits and superiority. The in-depth study about the flow, combustion and insulation ablation mechanism of motors under overload condition has won the second prize of the “National Technological Invention Award” in the year of 2011. In 2010, one of the scientific research programs won the second prize of the National Defense Science and Technology Progress Award. In 2012, one of the scientific research programs won the first prize of the National Defense Science and Technology Progress Award.
The teaching laboratory of aerospace propulsion technology which mainly focuses on conducting researches about the working principle and mechanism of rocket motor is supported by Science and technology on combustion, internal flow and thermal-structure laboratory. The laboratory covers an area of 800 square meters. Currently it has more than 100 sets of various experimental instruments and equipments which are worth more than 10 million RMB. In addition, some of the instruments and equipments are unique among the universities in China. At present, the experimental courses for undergraduate teaching mainly include Principle of Solid Rocket Motor and Measuring and Testing Technique, in future, the courses like Fluid Mechanics and The Design Experiment of Rocket Engine will be carried out. The experimental projects are including the solid rocket motor thrust-time measurement, the pressure-time measurement, the regression rate measurement, the calibration of thrust transducer, the calibration of pressure transducer and the measurement of temperature measurement. Experiments such as nozzle atomization characteristic test, flow measurement, nozzle flow measurement and shock wave measurement will be carried out soon. The laboratory has a team with the high standard experimental skills, the reasonable staff arrangement and the advanced experimental instruments and equipments.
The laboratory plays an important role and makes a series of achievements in conducting experiment teaching and cultivating innovative talents. Moreover, the laboratory supports more than ten national projects and provides a good platform for college students to conduct innovation training projects.