The predecessor of the Space Structures Research Center of Guizhou University was the Space Structures Institute of Guizhou University of Technology originally established in 1993. Based on the Space Structures Institute, the Space Structures Research Center featuring scientific research in civil engineering (structural engineering) was formally established in January 2008. The Center offers master's (academic) and doctoral degree programs, recruiting candidates each year (Program Title/Code: Structural Engineering/081402).
The Center currently has ten full-time faculty members, including four professors, two associate professors, two lecturers, one assistant experimentalist, and one administrative staff. Among them, there is one academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, one provincial outstanding sci & tech youth, two academic leaders of Guizhou University, and one academic backbone of Guizhou University. Also, six of the faculty have been granted with projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, seven have obtained the Guizhou provincial fund, and three have been awarded grants from the Department of Education in Guizhou. Currently, the Center has two doctoral supervisors, six master's supervisors, twelve doctoral candidates, fifty-five graduate students of academic program, and four graduate students of engineering.
Major research activities of the Center include: (1) the development and application of spatial grid cassette structures; (2) development and application of prefabricated architectural structures; (3) research on the application of the industrial waste phosphogypsum in architectural structures; (4) development and application of concrete folded-plate type multi-ribbed reticulated shell structures; (5) research on progressive collapse of reinforced concrete structures; (6) research on mechanical properties of architectural materials.
Under the leadership of Academician Ma Kejian, the Center has set its sights on producing more advanced scientific outcomes by integrating teaching, research, and production. Bearing such approach in mind and striving to meet the needs of Guizhou’s economic development, the Center has thus been able to make innovative breakthroughs in structural engineering science and technology while staying committed to teaching graduate students. The academic team led by Academician Ma Kejian innovatively proposed new structural systems such as hollow sandwich plate structure, open-web grid structure, hollow large slab structure, and spatial grid cassette structures. These cutting-edge technologies, applied to practical projects, have resulted in cost-efficient benefits, saving the country more than 100 million yuan (about $15 million) on investment funds. The faculty team has won a number of prizes and awards: one third prize for the National Science and Technology Progress Award, two first prizes, three second prizes, six third prizes for the Science and Technology Progress Award at the provincial and ministerial level, two gold medals at the National Invention Expo and one first prize and one second prize respectively in the National Invention Innovation Competition in China. The faculty has published two regional regulatory standards as key editors, one national regulatory standards as assistant editors, four monographs, and more than 300 papers. The team has also obtained 134 patents including 62 national invention patents and 72 utility model patents.