The department of bridge engineering at Central South University was created in 1953. The department was one of the first batch of educational institutions approved by the State Council to grant master's degree in 1981. In 1986, the department was authorized to grant a doctor's degree. In 2001, the department of bridge engineering was named the national key disciplines. The postdoctoral research station was set up in the department since 2004. The discipline of bridge engineering holds the positions for recruiting “Yangtze River Scholar Award” distinguished professor, “Lotus scholars” distinguished professor, and “sublimation scholar” professor.
The department has been dedicated in training high-quality talents, and has been well recognized as an important research platform/base, such as the national “2011 collaborative innovation plan”, “211 Project” key discipline construction projects and the "985 Project" science and technology innovation. The 22 full time faculty members of bridge engineering consist of 9 professors, 11 associate professors, and 4 lecturers, nearly 90% of the faculty possess PhD degree, including one academician of Chinese Academy of engineering, one “Yangtze River scholar”, two “New Century Excellent Talents in University”, and one sublimation South University scholar.
By combining theory and practice, and by integrating research on teaching, the department built its advantages on theoretical innovation, fusion of production, teaching and research, as well as training of application oriented high-level personnel. With six decades of development, the department has established its domestic and international reputation, and has formed a series of distinct and competitive research directions, including: analysis of vibration and train derailment of train-bridge system; ultimate bearing capacity of bridge structure, analysis of interaction between rail and railway bridge, bridge wind engineering, seismic mitigation and isolation of bridge structure, bridge flood forecast and regulation, optimization of bridge structure, and high-performance concrete materials for bridge structure.
The department of bridge engineering is widely involved in the construction of major projects, for instance: Yixiantian bridge, Chengdu-Kunmin Railway, Xijiuxi River Bridge, Nanning Kunming Railway; Dongting Lake cable-stayed bridge; Xiangtan Xiangjiang bridge cable-stayed bridge; Qinghe curved cable-stayed bridge on Beijing light rail line 5; Wuhan Tianxingzhou cable-stayed bridge; Steel tube concrete arch bridge on Beipan River Bridge Railway; Nanjing Dashengguan Yangtze River Bridge; Jiujiang Yangtze River bridge (continuous steel truss arch), Cable-stayed Wuhu Yangtze River bridge; Yellow grass Wujiang Railway bridge (High Pier & long-span continuous rigid frame bridge); Jingkou Jialing River bridge (large span continuous rigid frame bridge with high pier), construction and research of Guangzhou metro line 4, and research and design of Changsha Sanchaji Xiangjiang bridge, to name a few.
Recently, the department of bridge engineering has been focused on the research of high-speed railway bridges in China, and has been involved in the construction of a number of high-speed railways, including QingShen high-speed railway, WuGuang speed railway, Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, ShiWu high-speed railway, Shanghai-Kumin high-speed railway, Wenzhou-fuzhou high-speed railway, Nanning-guangzhou high-speed railway, etc.
The 60 years’ practice of the department of bridge engineering is a success history of dedication to the development of China's transportation industry, a progress of science and technology, and a commitment to the training of high-level talents for this nation.