Shenyang Aerospace University


Shenyang Aerospace University (SAU) is designated high risk for its high level of defence research and close relationship to China’s military aviation industry.

SAU is the only university formally under the supervision of China’s military aircraft manufacturer, AVIC. SAU engages in high levels of defence research and describes itself as a base for training talent in national defence science and technology. Serving China’s military aviation industry is what SAU refers to as its ‘glorious tradition’.

Many of China’s military aircraft are designed and built in Shenyang, which is home to AVIC subsidiaries Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute and Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. SAU and AVIC work closely together, including through a joint research institute. ;

A Shenyang J-8II fighter jet build by AVIC and displayed on SAU’s campus. Source:

SAU’s primary defence laboratory, Key Laboratory of Fundamental Science for National Defence of Aeronautical Digital Manufacturing Process, works closely with AVIC and the PLA. ; Reflecting the importance of defence research to SAU, the laboratory is directed by the university’s party secretary.

SASTIND has designed eight areas of research at the university as defence disciplines or specialisations, one of the highest numbers of designated defence disciplines among civilian universities. In 2018, the university estimated that between 2016 and 2020 it would received RMB35 million (AUD7.3 million) in investment from SASTIND to develop these defence disciplines.

Major defence laboratories

Designated defence research areas

SASTIND has designated eight defence research areas at SAU. These include five ‘disciplines with defence characteristics’:

The university also has to have one ‘specialisation in short supply with defence characteristics’ and two ‘key specialisations with defence characteristics’.

Noteworthy international collaborations

SAU runs a joint doctoral program with Mississippi State University and the University of Missouri. In 2016, SAU began running joint undergraduate projects on machine design manufacturing and automation with the University of Picardy-Jules Verne in France for a period of three years. In 2019, SAU started administering a joint undergraduate program with the Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondale, which is said to run until at least 2023. During the program, students will spend ‘first two years of university coursework in China, students will attend SIU Carbondale for their final two years. After completing the 4-year curriculum jointly designed by aviation faculty from both institutions, students will receive degrees from both SIU and SAU.’ The curriculum will focus on flight propulsion engineering and other aviation technology. ;

Last updated 15 November 2019. Unclear about any wording? Visit the terminology page.