School of Metallurgical Engineering (ME) stems from the Department of Metallurgy, which was founded in 1958. It was the only higher education institute in Northwest China to offer complete specialties in Metallurgical Science and Metallic Material Processing, and has been one of the major education bases in metallurgical science in China ever since. The first group of experts and scholars in the field of metallurgical science after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, came from Northeast University (the formerly Northeast Institute of Engineering), Beijing University of Science and Technology (formerly Beijing Institute of Steel & Iron), Central South University (formerly the Central South College of Mining & Mineral Science) and Chongqing University, and became the first faculty in the department. Based on the Department of Metallurgy，the School of Metallurgical Engineering was established in 1994, approved by the former Ministry of Metallurgy.
The School of ME has established a post-doctoral research station in material science and engineering. It grants doctoral degrees in one first-level discipline, material science and engineering, and offers two doctoral programs respectively, in material science and material processing engineering. It also offers six master programs in: metallurgy physical chemistry, non-ferrous metallurgy, ferrous metallurgy, material processing engineering, chemical technology, and applied chemistry. There are two engineering master programs: metallurgical engineering and material engineering; and four undergraduate programs including metallurgical engineering, material forming & control engineering; metallic materials engineering and chemical engineering & technology.
Among them, physical chemistry of metallurgy and materials processing engineering are entitled to be called Provincial Key Disciplines. Metallurgical engineering and material forming, and control engineering are entitled to Famous Brand-name Specialties in Shaanxi Province. Metallurgical engineering is one of the first specialties that was ratified by the Ministry of Education to enter the national program of "Outstanding Engineer Training and Education Project". Metallurgical science and material forming & control engineering are well established specialties at the university; and the Metallurgical Technology Laboratory is a Demonstration Center for Teaching, co-funded by the state and the province. There are three province/department-class key laboratories or research centers for engineering technology, five scientific research institutes and five engineering centers co-funded by the school and enterprises. The school is equipped with more than 600 large and/or precision instruments.
Today, more than 1000 students are in pursuit of their Bachelor’s degree at the school, together with 300 postgraduate students, 20 PhD students, and 3 post doctorate students. About 10,000 scientific, technological and managerial professionals have been trained at the CNE. The faculty totals 85, including 16 professors, ten of whom are supervisors of doctoral candidates, and 26 are associate professors/researchers or senior engineers. There are 36 more adjunct professors, 11 of whom are academicians of the Chinese Academy of Science or the Chinese Academy of Engineering. All teachers at the school hold postgraduate degrees. Their commitment to the profession and contribution to society have brought about recognition and rewards at various levels, such as “Ten Outstanding Youths in Shaanxi”, “National Talents Project of the New Century”, “Young or Middle-aged Technology Staff with Prominent Contribution to the Country”, “Outstanding Young Teachers in Shaanxi Province”, “Woman Model in Shaanxi Higher Education Institutions”, and “Outstanding Young Technical Workers in Shaanxi Province”, and last but not the least, the “Excellent Teacher Award’ sponsored by the Baoshan Iron and Steel Plant has been granted to three teachers.
The ME school has undertaken more than 20 national-level projects, such as the ones supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (a 863 Program), the National Program on Key Basic Research Project (a 973 Program), the National Key Technologies R & D Program of China during the 10th Five-Year Plan Period, the National Science and Technology Support Plan of China during the 11th Five-Year Plan Period, and the National Natural Science Foundation of Key Program in China.
The school fulfilled more than 100 provincial/departmental-level key projects, and collaboration projects with enterprises. Generations’ of dedication to teaching and research has resulted in 63 national patent grants, and more than 90 awards from departments at different levels: the third prize for the State Award for Progress in Science and Technology, the second prize for the Huo Yingdong Award for Young Teachers from the Ministry of the Education, the second prize of the Progress Award in Science and Technology from the State Commission of Economy and Trade, the first prize of Progress Award in Science and Technology in Shaanxi Province, the second prize of Progress Award in Science and Technology in Gansu Province, and the first prize of Invention Patent in Shaanxi Province, to name just a few.
The ME department has a rich academic atmosphere. In recent years, the ME has undertaken the organization of more than 20 international and national academic conferences: the Fourth International Conference on Hydrometallurgy, the Fourth Young Scientists’ Forum in Shaanxi Province, the Second National Symposium on Noble Metals, the Strategic Development Symposium on the Mineral Resources in West China, the National Conference on the Pedagogy of Metallurgical Engineering in Higher Education Institutions and the Second National Symposium on Bath Smelting Techniques and Equipment. The ME school has frequent academic contacts with universities in the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Canada and Hong Kong. It is the executive director of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, and the director of Chinese Society for Metals, China Association of National Gold, China Youth Science and Technology Association and the Younger Committee of China Materials Research Society.