May 3, 2016

Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong, Vice President Yang Bin, and other key Tsinghua members visited UC Berkeley on May 10, 2016. The occasion was the signing of an agreement between Tsinghua and UC Berkeley to enable the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI) to offer the new Dual Degree Program.  The signing was presided over by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, and was attended by Vice Chancellor of Research Paul Alivisatos, and College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry.  The new dual degree program, which aims to facilitate economic growth through transdisciplinary and translational research, will be facilitated by TBSI and will start in Fall 2016.  Students will spend 2.5 years at the TBSI Shenzhen Campus and UC Berkeley to obtain both Tsinghua Master of Science and UC Berkeley Master of Engineering degrees.

 

First row from left to right: UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong. Second row from left to right: Tsinghua University Dean of School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Sheng Ding, Tsinghua Professor and Co-Deputy Director Zhang Lin, Tsinghua University Vice President and Provost Yang Bin, UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research Paul Alivisatos, UC Berkeley College of Engineering Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances and TBSI Co-Director Connie Chang-Hasnain, Tsinghua University Dean of International Office Li Jinliang, UC Berkeley College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry  [Photo by Noah Berger]

UC Berkeley Chancellor Dirks expressed his warm welcome to the Tsinghua delegation and was delighted to see TBSI developing so rapidly. "UC Berkeley values its partnership with Tsinghua University and supports TBSI; this agreement represents yet another major step forward for the collaboration between both institutions and the new joint venture TBSI,” said Chancellor Dirks. “Our collaboration on the dual degree program is the first and the only one with a foreign university. The establishing of this program in TBSI will strengthen the multi-disciplinary research and education collaborations that are important to confronting societal and economic challenges that are global in scale and know no national borders.”

President Qiu commented, “TBSI is one of the most important programs in Tsinghua University’s hundred-year history of international education. It will help the school advance during the process of internationalization.” He explained, “Tsinghua University will see Shenzhen as the main base for international education and encourage faculty to teach across departments through the reform of their personnel system, in order to promote interdisciplinary education and encourage more excellent Tsinghua faculty to work at TBSI."

First row from left to right: UC Berkeley Industry Engineering and Operations Research Professor Shmuel Oren, Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong, UC Berkeley College of Engineering Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances and TBSI Co-Director Connie Chang-Hasnain, UC Berkeley Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Professor Ilan Adler. Second row from left to right: UC Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Scott Moura, Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Slav Hermanowicz, UB BerkeleyMechanical Engineering Professor and TBSI Co-Deputy Director Liwei Lin, Tsinghua University Dean of School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Sheng Ding, Tsinghua Professor and Co-Deputy Director Zhang Lin, Optometry and Vision Science Professor Xiaohua Gong, Physics Professor Feng Wang.  Third row from left to right: Tsinghua University Vice President and Provost Yang Bin, Tsinghua University Assistant Dean of International Office Zhang Jian, UC Berkeley Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Professor Xin Guo, Tsinghua University Dean of International Office Li Jinliang  [Photo by Noah Berger]

Tsinghua University Vice President and Provost Yang Bin emphasized that Shenzhen is determined to invest in higher education and has a pressing need to push local industry to advance. “TBSI is the best platform and timing for Tsinghua and UC Berkeley to collaborate; the two universities should utilize this opportunity to develop their collaboration at a fast speed,” Yang Bin added.

TBSI is a joint research institute between the two schools and will collaborate hand in hand to solve important challenges facing mankind. VCR Paul Alivisatos said, “Based in dynamic Shenzhen with vibrant industries and demands, TBSI will be successful in its missions.” College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry also said that the College of Engineering will support TBSI’s development and encourage more Berkeley faculty to participate.

 President Qiu Yong and TBSI Co-Director Connie Chang-Hasnain [Photo by Noah Berger]

College of Engineering Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances and TBSI Co-Director Connie Chang-Hasnain, the chief architect of the new dual degree program, expressed her aspiration to build a new bridge for the next generation leaders and entrepreneurs that spans across massively diverse disciplines, academia and industry, and vastly different cultures.  “With this program,” she said, “we are making a huge step towards research and education that will transform our world.  Both Berkeley and Tsinghua students believe in the mission of serving the society.  This education program enables us to undertake global scale challenges to benefit the world.”

Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong is shaking hands with UC Berkeley College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry, with TBSI leaders - Zhang Lin (top left) and Connie Chang-Hasnain (top right), and Tsinghua officials in attendance. [Photo by Noah Berger]

At the TBSI office in downtown Berkeley, President Qiu met with nine Berkeley core-principal investigators (PIs), including Co-Director Connie Chang-Hasnain, Co-Deputy Director Liwei Lin, Industry Engineering and Operations Research professor Shmuel Oren, and Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Slav Hermanowicz.  President Qiu presented appointment letters to the Berkeley faculty to be part of the Tsinghua faculty.  A total of seventeen Berkeley core-PIs is working with the faculty from Tsinghua University to establish the first of 15 TBSI research laboratories, which cover the interdisciplinary areas of Environmental Science & New Energy Technology, Data Science & Information Technology, and Precision Medicine & Healthcare.