International academicians invited to advise TBSI


To assist in mapping out better plans for the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI), eight top-notch experts were appointed as members of the institute’s external advisory board (EAB) yesterday morning in Nanshan District.

Most of the newly appointed EAB members are members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in the U.S. and heavyweights who have made profound contributions in the fields of science and technology.

TBSI was jointly established by Tsinghua University and the University of California, Berkeley, under the support of the Shenzhen Municipal Government in 2015.

The institute aims to cultivate postgraduate and doctoral students. It currently runs three key centers focusing on environmental science and new energy technology, data science and information technology and precision medicine and health care. Each center has six laboratories.

Meetings were organized yesterday morning where TBSI put forward questions about how the institute will develop in the next three years, as it is now halfway through the five-year cooperation term agreed to by Tsinghua University, UC Berkeley and the Shenzhen government.

“TBSI is a very core of Tsinghua’s Global Strategy and Berkeley is a very important strategic partner for Tsinghua,” said Yang Bin, Vice President of Tsinghua University.

“China will welcome more foreign academic institutions to set up branches here by collaborating with local partners and more engineering science-oriented schools and colleges, because that suits innovation-driven development and I think TBSI is definitely in the right direction,” said the Vice President.

“Based on the past three years’ development, it is time for us to get the invaluable feedback and comments from the top international education and research experts that will help us build the strategy for the next three years and beyond,” said Zhang Lin, one of the co-directors of TBSI.

According to the meeting’s transcript, provided by TBSI, the members were asked, among other things, to probe how the institute could better connect with local industries and research teams to support translational research and how to address local needs for education in technology and management.

Eric Grimson, Chancellor for Academic Advancement of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been appointed as Chair of the EAB.

Shankar Sastry, Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley and also an NAE member, is one of the EAB meeting attendees. He was also one of the initiators of the TBSI project several years ago.

Hu Chenming, one of the most renowned scientists specializing in semiconductors in the world, and an NAE member, is also among the EAB members.

With 18 labs in three major research directions, the institute now has approximately 200 students with a roughly equal proportion of master’s and doctoral students.

TBSI and the Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, jointly inaugurated the Shenzhen Geim Graphene Center, led by Nobel Prize winner Andre Geim, last December. The Shenzhen Municipal Government has invested in the center’s research on the special material graphene.

The co-director, Zhang, also disclosed that funds will be raised for a new campus that will be built by the Shenzhen government.

Source: Shenzhen Daily