The State Key Laboratory for Advanced Metals and Materials was approved by State Development Planning Commission and Ministry of Education in 1989. Upon approval from the former Ministry of Metallurgical Industry, it was to be under the management of the University of Science and Technology Beijing, and construction started in 1991. After four years of construction, study and trial operation, it passed the national acceptance check and officially came into service. It passed the National Key Laboratory evaluation (an assessment conducted by the Ministry of Science and Technology every five years) in 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013，and 2018.
In alignment with the latest international development of metal materials, and the demands of the national economy and national defense for metal materials, the Lab conducts basic and applied research to boost both new metal materials research and development and improvement of traditional materials, seeks a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the governing laws, offers new materials prototypes and related technologies, and promotes the commercialization of engineering findings and applications. In terms of research methods, the State Key Lab, with a focus on the core issues concerning the relations between material science and the four elements of engineering activity, conducts research in five major sectors, namely exploration of scientific laws, preparative technique, computational simulation and design, service evaluation and experimental techniques. By spanning from material science to overarching engineering disciplines, the Lab carries out a wide range of studies, including basic study on the application of new metal structure materials; basic study on the application of new metal functional materials; basic study on the application of new metal energy materials; basic study on new technology and new technology of material preparation; computer simulation and aided design of metal materials. Professor lin Junpin acts as the Director of the Lab, and Professor Cai Hongnian, an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and Deputy Director of the Science and Technology Committee of China South Industries Group Corporation acts as Director of the Academic Committee.
Currently, the Lab has 68 - 57 teachers as permanent staff, 4 administrators, and 7 technicians. Of the 57 teachers, 31 are winners of provincial-level talents, with a total of 63 such titles won. The staff consists of 2 academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, 4 members of the 973 Chief Scientists, , 1 member of the national " Thousand Talent Program for Young Outstanding Scientists ", 7 winners of National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars under NSFC, 8 distinguished professors of the Chang Jiang Scholars Program under Ministry of Education, 6 members of the “hundreds of millions of talents program”, 4 winners of the Outstanding Youth Fund under National Science Foundation, 2 leading scientists in innovation in Science and Technology among the young and middle-aged, 2 leading academics of the Ten Thousand talent program, 1 young top-notch talent of the Ten thousand talent program, 19 excellent cross-century and new-century talents, and 6 rising stars of Science and Technology in Beijing.
The Lab has carried out 384 vertical projects, with a total input of 60 million yuan. Further, it has led 4 “973 chief programs”, 11 “973 chief projects”; 2 “863 projects”; 5 “national key research and development programs” and 9 “national key research and development projects”; 2 major instrument projects from NSFC. The NSFC also assigned the Lab 1 project of key program, 7 key projects, 1 key international cooperative project, 2 outstanding youth fund projects, and 4 excellent fund projects; 1 national project of field scientific observation and research platform for material environmental corrosion; 3 projects of the “Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities ”; and 3 international cooperation projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology. It has made several historic breakthroughs in defense equipment projects. Also, the Lab has undertaken 2 defense bottleneck projects, in which both the chief and deputy-chief engineers were from the Lab.
The Lab has achieved significant results by focusing its research on overall development goals, making itself a world-leading player in Materials Science and Engineering. (1) It has published 1,415 academic articles, of which 1,015 published in foreign journals, 330 in domestic core journals; 1,135 articles were included in SCI, 173 in EI, and of which 2 published in Nature, 1 in Science, 2 in Progress in Materials Science, 6 in Advanced Materials, 31 in Acta Materialia, and 453 in other top journals, accounting for 32.0%; 235 articles were published in area 1, accounting for 16.6%; 4 English monographs and 20 Chinese monographs have been published. (2) Its awards and honors include: 2 second prizes of national technological invention; 1 second prize of national science and technology progress award; 1 Ho Leung Ho Lee Award; 1 first prize of national teaching achievements; 26 first prizes,17 second prizes and 3 third prizes at provincial or ministerial level; 1 Baosteel outstanding teacher special award; 1 China's industry-university-research cooperation innovation award; and 1 China patent excellence award.(3) In the commercialization and application of scientific research achievements, the Lab has obtained a total of 392 national invention patents, and applied for 224 national invention patents; applied for 6 PCT international invention patents; transferred 26 scientific research achievements with a transfer amount of 11.79 million yuan.
The Lab has built up five public experimental platforms, namely about materials preparation and processing, micro-structure analysis, performance test, physical simulation system and high-performance computational simulation. Currently, the Lab has over 1,200 sets of advanced instruments and equipment of total value over 56 million yuan, including 36 equipment worth more than 300,000 yuan, and 50 worth more than 100,000 yuan. In short, the Lab has a complete set of equipment and systems for material synthesis and processing, performance testing and organizational structure analysis, data calculation simulation and safety service evaluation. With breakthroughs in quality management systems, the Lab has passed the authoritative certification of CNAS, making its test results legally binding worldwide. The Lab has also planned and built up five research and cooperation platforms, namely Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities based rolling support, national advantageous discipline innovation platform; military material platform; light-alloy international R&D center; and industry-university-research cooperation platform. Now it is growing into an important basis for basic research and application of metal materials, gathering and training excellent scientific and technological talents, high-level academic exchanges and scientific research equipment.
In line with the national guideline that any national key labs should maintain open, integrated and mobile, the Lab, by drawing on its advantages in equipment and technology, has opened some projects to the outside forces, and actively recruited domestic and foreign personnel as visiting scholars to work in the Lab. In addition, it invites foreign famous professors to give lectures at international seminars in the Lab and sends researchers abroad for global meetings, investigations, short-term cooperations or studies, in order to enhance academic exchanges and cooperation with global peers engaging in material science. Furthermore, the Lab also attaches great importance to cooperation with domestic and foreign enterprises, offering technical service and consultation, such as material science research, performance test, inspection and analysis for domestic and foreign enterprises, schools and research institutions.
The Lab also functions as a key basis for training senior technical service personnel. Over the past five years, it has trained a total of 463 students (both graduates and current students), of whom 198 have doctor's degree, 426 master's degree, and 5 postdoctoral degrees. Some of the students have won the National hundred outstanding doctoral dissertation nomination award, with their papers included in the “one hundred excellent doctoral theses in Beijing”, or the title of “top 10 academic stars”. The recent years have seen its graduate students hit an employment rate of nearly or 100%. We welcome postdocs, visiting scholars and engineers from home and abroad to join us in our scientific research. And we welcome young and promising masters and doctors to pursue their further studies in our Lab.