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Forestry Electrification and Automation discipline

1. Discipline introduction

The Forestry Electrification and Automation, which was the former second-level discipline of the control theory and control engineering, is an independent second-level discipline established under the first-level discipline of forestry engineering. Our research topics include applying automatic control theory, power system, automation, and other related theories to forestry productions; forestry ecological environment monitoring and control relying on fundamental theories in control, system and information; applying electronics, computer, and electric power; forestry micro-grid and electrification; and forest area intelligent information processing. Our research has been playing an important role in promoting the sustainable and innovative development of forestry and forestry economy. The undergraduate curriculum focuses on teaching fundamental theories, research methods, and engineering practice ability. Students are working in industries related to agriculture, forestry production, power system, automation, computer and information, and electronics.

2. Discipline Status

2.1 Faculties

This discipline has 16 faculties including 4 professors, 5 associate professors, and 7 lecturers; among which there are 2 doctoral advisors, 10 master’s student advisors, 14 with a doctoral degree, 4 aged between 45-60, 5 aged between 35-45, 7 aged under 35, and 1 Beijing Outstanding Teacher.

2.2 Research and Development achievements

Our faculties have successfully completed over 10 projects that were funded by the National Natural Science Foundation, China Postdoctoral Foundation, the Ministry of Education Doctoral Fund, Beijing Science Foundation, The National Forestry and Grassland Administration 948 Project, the Ministry of Science and Technology Agricultural Science and Technology Achievements Transformation Project, and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration Promotion Project. Our faculties have published more than 200 papers, and were granted 60 invention patents and 50 software copyrights.

2.3 Student Development

This discipline has admitted 91 Master of Science students and 36 Master of Engineering students, among which 77 have successfully graduated with Master of Science degree.

2.4 Academic Exchange

We have established academic exchange relationship with universities and organizations in the United States, Germany, Australia, and other countries. Our faculties have been visiting the Texas A&M University, the University of Bonn, the University of Melbourne, the University of Wollongong, and the University of Sydney for academic exchange and research collaboration. We have also invited experts from our academic partners to lecture and research in the school.

2.5 Research Facilities

We have research areas with a floor area of 200 m2, and also have the most advanced facilities and equipment with a total of 2 million yuan in research funds supporting our state of art research activities. We have also established collaboration with universities, research institutes, and companies worldwide to mutually benefit from one another’s facilities and research capabilities.

3. Research Areas

3.1 Forestry micro-grid technology

Research on independent power generation and power supply technology in complex environment of forest areas to solve energy supply difficulties for monitoring and control systems by applying power electronics technology, power engineering theory, wind energy, solar energy, and other technologies.

3.2 Forestry ecological environment automatic monitoring and early warning technology

By using sensor technology, computers, wireless network technology, modern communication technology, and modern control theory, research can be conducted on real-time automatic monitoring and transmission of forest ecological environmental information including automatic monitoring of small climates in forest areas, forest fire, forest pests and diseases, and wild animals. The received data are analyzed and mined using modern control theories and techniques like image processing, neural network, and deep learning. The findings from these data will be helpful to develop early warning technology for forest fire prevention, as well as forestry pest and disease warning methods and technologies.

3.3 Urban garden environment automatic monitoring and control technology

Research on environmental automatic monitoring and control in urban landscaping –especially intelligent water-saving irrigation automatic control technology – was used to improve the water efficiency and intelligence of urban landscaping by using automatic control theory, sensor technology, and irrigation control theory.

4. Short-term Development Plan

Scientific research activities will closely meet the needs of national science and technology strategies to enhance independent innovation ability. The main research topics will be the detection and control of forestry ecological environment, which can provide scientific and technological support for forestry production and green ecology management in a new environment of China.

In the next 3-5 years, we plan to expand the number of faculties to be 20-30 including 5-8 professors, 8-10 associate professors, 8-10 lecturers, 4-6 doctoral advisors, and 10-12 master’s student advisors. We also plan to expand the graduate program with admitting 5-10 doctoral students, 20-30 Master of Science students, and 40-50 Master of Engineering students. Hence, it is estimated that we will undertake 5-10 national-level projects, 20 provincial and ministerial projects, and 10 horizontal projects with more than 10 million yuan in research funding. In order to meet the research and experimental requirements of these new expansions, we will strive to increase the laboratory area by 500 m2, as well as creating a budget of 10 million yuan for buying new experimental equipment in the next five years.