Carnegie Mellon University
November 14, 2011

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon Partners With Sun Yat-sen University To Develop Graduate Engineering Degree Programs

Contacts: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /
Ken Walters / 412-268-1151 /

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University will extend its global reach to China, as the first private institution to offer graduate engineering degree programs with Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU).

Carnegie Mellon and SYSU will establish a joint Institute of Engineering in Guangzhou, China, initially offering master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical and computer engineering beginning in 2013. SYSU is located in southern China in Guangzhou along the Pearl River Delta, an important economic and technology hub of the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are pleased to partner with Sun Yat-sen University, which has a long history as one of China's finest institutions,” said CMU President Jared L. Cohon. “Working with SYSU, we hope to usher in a new era of engineering education in China. We look forward to bringing CMU’s innovative style, technological expertise and creative problem solving to the region.”

“We selected CMU because its great academic and research reputation fits nicely with south China’s vision of growing its global IT and electronics companies and training a critical mass of IT professionals with an innovative and entrepreneurship mindset,” said SYSU President Xu Ningsheng, one of China’s top physicists.

The mission of the joint Institute of Engineering will be to deliver world-class education in engineering, perform cutting-edge research and development, and find solutions to real-world engineering problems. Another goal is to help implement successful technology transfer to China-based industries, including helping move Chinese industries from mass-production to technology/innovation-based businesses.

China’s economic performance is the envy of the Western world. It reported annual gross domestic product growth of 9.1 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and the International Monetary Fund has forecast growth of 9.5 percent for all of 2011. SYSU is located about 100 miles northeast of important trade and economic centers like Hong Kong and Macau, giving it access to one of the Asia-Pacific region’s most vital business hubs.

“Our vision for the joint institute is that it will educate leaders, develop innovative engineering education and lead China in enhancing engineering education,” said Pradeep K. Khosla, the Dowd University Professor and dean of Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering.

Carnegie Mellon’s engineering faculty is well known for its research and education efforts. The program’s undergraduate and graduate programs both rank in the top 10 in the U.S., according to U.S. News and World Report, and a recent Times Higher Education survey placed CMU’s engineering college among the top engineering programs in the world. The college also hosts programs in Portugal and recently announced it would offer courses in Rwanda.

“We have a successful tradition of collaboration with international partners. Our model for engineering education inspires students and researchers to advance engineering practice, innovate and have an impact in society and improve our daily lives,” said Ed Schlesinger, the David Edward Schramm Professor and head of Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

CMU’s relationship with China is longstanding and there are nearly 500 alumni in China. In 1919, the university granted its first Ph.D. in civil engineering to Mao Yisheng, one of the pre-eminent engineering minds of the 20th century. He designed two of China’s most famous modern bridges — the Qiantang River Bridge near Hangchow and the Yangtze River Bridge at Wuhan. He also led the structural design of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, and served as the president of four universities in China.
About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 11,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon is located in Pittsburgh, Pa. It also has locations in California’s Silicon Valley, Qatar and Australia, and has programs in Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.

About Sun Yat-sen University: Sun Yat-sen University ( is one of the leading comprehensive research universities in China, with academic areas in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, medical sciences and engineering. It has about 53,000 students studying on four campuses in Guangzhou and Zhuhai. Benefiting from its location near Hong Kong and Macau and the regional advantage of opening and economic development, the university has become an important base for training high-level talents, scientific research, providing services to society and inheriting cultural traditions. Sun Yat-sen University has also successfully built international cooperation and exchange relationships with many top universities in the world. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2010-2011, Sun Yat-sen University was ranked in the top 200 in the world.