World Oceans Day: Tsinghua sails the sea


There are only five of them around the world, but combined they cover over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface.

They are oceans, which seamlessly connect every continent together, and impact the lives of every person across the globe.

Today, marine lovers around the world convene for World Oceans Day, to raise public awareness of the importance of ocean protection, providing an opportunity to honor, protect and champion for environmental conservation.

At the Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School (Tsinghua SIGS), Tsinghua’s only other campus outside of Beijing, there is a group of marine lovers who have poured their passion into the study and research of marine related subjects, and are doing their best to innovate for a sustainable ocean.

Tong Zhen, Master’s student

“Exploring the ocean is like exploring the universe, it’s an exciting and rewarding process.” 

Song Junting, PhD student

“The ocean is a cradle of life, but the threats and challenges that the ocean is facing are far more severe than we realize.”

Li Sunwei, Lecturer

“Currently, we have adequate manufacturing technologies, but lack the talents to combine and apply them to marine related research and development. This is the gap we are trying to bridge. By combining Tsinghua’s advanced engineering resources with marine research, we hope to promote the development of marine engineering in China and the world.”

Tsinghua SIGS has nearly a decade-long experience in marine scientific research and innovation. In 2011, the Division of Ocean Science and Technology was established, aiming to support the development of Shenzhen as a global marine center.

In 2019, Tsinghua SIGS set up Marine Engineering & Technology as one of its seven theme areas, further promoting interdisciplinary research and learning in deep sea engineering, deep sea technology, coastal engineering and technology, and marine ecological environment.

Last May, “Qing Yan 1”, the first scientific expedition and trial ship owned by Tsinghua and Shenzhen Municipality, went into service, providing a research platform to test and develop new ocean engineering equipment.


Leaders and guests unveil “Qing Yan 1”

On March 10 2020, Professors Ma Hui and Associate Researcher Liao Ran from Tsinghua SIGS, together with over 60 scientists from other universities and institutions, took on a 20-day scientific expedition to investigate the ecology, geology and environmental pollution of seamounts and canyons in the South China Sea.

During the expedition, they dived 4,300 meters under the sea in a submersible, sampled plastic pollution and seamount ecosystems, and completed deep-sea intelligence projects and sea trials of key equipment.

Making the expedition even more memorable, scientists on board also discovered a rare, natural "Whale fall", indicating that a rich ecosystem has been formed.


 Ma Hui (left) and Liao Ran with the "Deep Sea Warrior" submersible

Cheer for those who are using their expertise to help ensure a safe home for us all. Today is not just a day for them and the marine lovers.

It is a day for everyone to take action in helping to protect our oceans and maintaining a safe home for us all.

Initiate yours.



Cover Design: Cui Yuntao, supervised by Wen Xueyuan

Source: Tsinghua University Wechat

Writer: Grace Tsai

Editors: Lin Lu, Natalie Meyer, Cassandra Ler, Elena Blair, Karen Lee