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The discipline of materials science & engineering at Jiangsu University (hereafter mentioned as "the discipline") is recognized both nationally and internationally for its excellence in research and teaching. Beginning in 1972 from the very specialty of mechanical engineering, the discipline is now among of a few disciplines at Jiangsu University which possess the qualification to run PhD programs in the first-level discipline and to train postdoctoral-level researchers. The discipline is consecutively deemed the "advanced discipline of materials science & engineering" in the advanced discipline development program in Jiangsu Provincial universities (2010-2013, and 2014-2017). The discipline is currently ranked top 1% in the Essential Science Indicators (ESI). The quality of publication derived from the discipline is worldwide ranked No. 141 in the National Taiwan University (NTU) Ranking.

The fundamental objective for the development of the discipline lies in Chinese national needs, training high-level and internationalized research talents and serving the regional economic development in Jiangsu Province. The scientific research programs in the discipline are to cater to practical needs, with the emphasis on improving materials’ performance and properties. The orientation for training talents is to develop professional researchers and engineers with expertise backgrounds of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Five main research directions are engaged in the discipline, including (1) high-end metal-based structural materials, where the focus is on the design, characterization and optimization of high-end special steel and lightweight high-performance alloys used as key components in thermal powers, nuclear power equipments, aviation, transportation, etc; (2) preparation and processing of advanced materials: where the key issues involved in material molding, composite technology and connection are highlighted, including electromagnetic field-mediated synthesis of aluminum matrix composites, laser welding, plastic molding, high-speed processing technology, etc. (3) inorganic non-metallic materials and their multi-functionalized design: where the research focus lies in the coupling effects of electricity, magnetism, heat, and light in these multifunctional materials, so as to meet the practical needs for new functional and low-dimensional materials with respect to the application in electronic devices and optical catalysis; (4) biomimetic polymer materials: an internationally recognized center of excellence in research and is worldwide known by its advances in designing polymers and polymer catalysts capable of biomimetic recognition, selective catalysis, and self-switchable catalysis; and (5) bio- and energy- materials: which are aimed at the self-assembled nanostructures of biomolecules and battery-related nanomaterials, performing studies on micro-force microscopy, three-dimensional structures of DNA, quantum dots, low-dimensional nanostructure, etc.

The orientation for training talents, as mentioned, is to develop professional researchers and engineers with expertise backgrounds of innovation and entrepreneurship. To that end, the discipline has its talent-training program in association with enterprises. Sponsored by the discipline, 48 province-level postgraduate workstations have been established throughout the provincial enterprises. Basing on the success of the talent-training program, the discipline has been awarded the honor of the "nationwide mode base for jointly training postgraduates with professional degrees in engineering". 47 PhD holders and 442 postgraduates have completed their learning and training programs in the discipline since 2012. Among these are 4 PhD holders and 6 postgraduates, whose theses have been deemed "excellent theses" by Jiangsu Province. Moreover, several students have become the winners in the prestigious "challenge cup" and relevant research competitions.

Five province-level key laboratories and a state-level international research centers have been established in the discipline, that is, "Jiangsu Key Laboratory of High-End Structural Materials", "Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Material Tribology", "Key Laboratory of Metal-Base Composite & Functional Material (Mechanical Industry)", "Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Photonic Manufacturing Science and Technology", "Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Centre of High-End Metal Materials and Key Equipment Components Forming", and "China-Australia Joint Research Center for Advanced Opt-Electrical Molecular Functional Materials ". The discipline has also attached great importance to the collaborative development between scientific research and engineering applications, serving to the regional economic development. The discipline is currently vice-chair agency of the Jiangsu strategic technology innovation alliance of high-performance alloys, and secretary-general agency of the Jiangsu strategic innovation alliance of aviation-oriented new materials. Sponsored by the discipline, 13 province-level engineering research centers, an industrial technology research institute and 34 school-enterprise cooperation platforms have been established throughout the provincial enterprises. The cooperation initiated by the discipline with enterprises is as many as 1000, which has helped to create more than 20 billion CNY for these enterprises involved. For this reason, the discipline has been award the "Chinese cooperative promotion prize and innovation achievement award". 72 state-level projects and 155 province-level projects have been run in the discipline since 2012, including the state key development projects 973 and 863, as well as the National Science Foundation of China. The total research funding has been well over 120 million CNY since 2012. The output included 692 SCI-indexed publications, 312 approved invention patents, and 15 provincial and ministerial level scientific prizes and awards.

More than 40 world-renowned academicians, experts and scholars have been appointed as honorary professors, adjunct professors or visiting professors in the discipline. The current honorary president for the discipline (the school) is Professor Liu Baicheng, an academician in the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The current honorary presidents for the institute of advance materials are Professor Chen Yunbo (an academician in the Chinese Academy of Engineering) and Professor Fleming Biesenbach (an academician in the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, a foreigner fellow for the Chinese Academy of sciences). The stable and long-term research ties have been established by the discipline with Cranfield University, Nottingham University, Harvard University, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin, etc. Two international joint research laboratories have been also established between the discipline and the University of Leicester and the University of Aarhus. In the meanwhile, the discipline also founded the international academic journal "Journal of the Chinese Advanced Materials Society" (JCAMS) in 2013 and which is being worldwide published and distributed by Taylor & Francis Publishing group. The discipline is the major founding member of the International Congress on Advanced Materials (AM) and has hosted the 2nd International Congress on Advanced Materials AM2013 (Zhenjiang), the 3rd International Congress on Advanced Materials AM2016 (Bangkok) and the 8th International Conference on Molecular Imprinting MIP2014 (Zhenjiang). The discipline as the joint organizer has also joined organizing of the 2nd conference of the compound materials CCCM-2 (Zhenjiang). These cooperation and fruitful results at home and abroad has efficiently promoted the discipline, improved the quality of training talents and increased international ties, which have drawn attentions from the Chinese Central TV, People's Daily, China Education and Development Network, Science and Technology Daily, Guangming Daily.In 2019,the high-end forum for the training of materials innovation talents for new engineering is held in our school. In addition, The 9th international Conference on Manipulation, Manufacturing and Measurement on the Nanoscale and Measurement was held successfully.

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