Leaving a mark on the global academic circle—Six glorious decades of geodesy and geomatics
The past decade witnessed the excellent performance of the School of Geodesy and Geomatics of Wuhan University in the international arena, with notable events such as earning the Prize of Global Leader in Geo-spatial Information of Geodesy and Geomatics, becoming an Honorable Member of ISPRS (the ultimate accolade of Sino-EU’s “Dragon Plan”), and hosting international summer sessions for global students. This excellent performance reflects its ever-deepening international cooperation, which is also the foundation of discipline advancement.
Building a world-class faculty team is the guarantee of a well-rounded education for students, equipping graduates with the skillset necessary to excel in the international market. Reflecting back, the former Wuhan Technical University of Surveying and Mapping (WTUSM) has struggled for co-education since its founding and eventually achieved fruitful exchanges with other institutions.
With the improvement of educational capacity and conditions in the new century, the school reached new milestones in building an international teaching team through the importing and exporting of talent.
As part of this process, the school introduced a great number of world-renown scholars to join the national talents projects. By now, there are seven foreign honorable professors in the School of Geodesy and Geomatics, who have made great contributions. Encouraging local young teachers to further their study in prestigious universities and institutions overseas is another approach to promote the establishment of an international talents team, for it broadens their academic horizon and also strengthens the cooperation with international counterparts. In addition, the school actively supports exchange opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Global scientific research cooperation
Targeted at the national demand and international academic frontier, the School of Geodesy and Geomatics has yielded fruitful results in international cooperation during the past decades.
Founded in 1993, International GNSS Service (IGS), whose members are first-class institutions specializing in global satellite navigational technologies, has motivated development and cooperation within this field. WHU’s research team of global satellite navigation built the IGS tracking station (WUHN) in 1992, which is one of the first IGS tracking stations in the world, as well as a pivotal one.
In 2014, the chairman of IGS appointed WHU as the team in charge of the construction of the fifth IGS statistics center, making WHU only one of three institutions capable of dealing with the tasks from both IGS analysis centers and IGS statistics centers. This symbolizes that WHU’s satellite navigation team has taken a leading role in international GNSS and is going to continue making valuable contributions to the international high-accuracy GNSS researching field.
Moreover, in the past ten years, the School of Geodesy and Geomatics has engaged in countless international science and research projects such as the “Beidou Project”, “ERASMUS MUNDUS+ multi-cooperation plan” and “Sino-US Spatial Intelligence Analysis”
International cooperation machanism
With the rapid development of the geodesy and geomatics discipline, international scientific cooperation and the transition of technology transition has become highlights in the promotion of bilateral cooperation towards technological innovation and science and technology diplomacy. In addition to the full-fledged communication and cooperation system, the practice and exploration within the discipline itself has also yielded significant findings.
What comes first is the establishment of joint laboratories. Statistically, there are seven international joint research centers co-founded by WHU’s geodesy and geomatics discipline, relevant institutions, and corporations abroad. Active engagement in international academies and academic journals is another common practice. Thirdly, is to promote the internationalization of English journals. For example, the school started Geo-Spatial Information Science with academician Li Deren as the chief editor and this journal has gained global influence and reputation. Last but not least, holding international academic conferences is also a priority for the discipline at WHU. These include the first International Symposium on image communication, and the Sixth International Symposium on the Theory and Computation of Geodetic Surveying.
“Wuhan University is the most prestigious institution in Geo-Spatial information in the world”, ETH Zurich commented in 2008. In 2012, WHU was conferred “World Leader” by the International Conference of Geo-Spatial Information Science. It is fair to say that against the backdrop of global higher education on geodesy and geomatics, the School of Geodesy and Geomatics of Wuhan University is one of the leading voices.
Rewritten by Xiao Zhenlai
Edited by Jin Yiwen, Shen Yuxi, Edmund Wai Man Lai & Hu Sijia