HEU has always attached great importance to the tradition of scientific research. The school is well-known not only for the first experimental submarine, the first hydrofoil craft, the first shipboard computer, the first swath bathymeter set and dozens of other major gap-filling scientific research breakthroughs, but also for being the best in the world with several achievements such as duplex submersible vehicles, hovercrafts and gradient velocimeters. The university maintains strong technical knowledge in the shipping, ocean and nuclear fields. Its underwater robots, shipping anti-rolling technology, integrated navigation, acoustic positioning and nuclear power simulation have occupied advanced domestic and international positions, leading HEU to become one of the main forces in the basic and applied research of China's ship science and technology. It is renowned for providing key units of the navy's advanced technical equipment and being a reliable resource for developers of high-techmarine equipment in China.
Since the beginning of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan in 2006, the school has adhered to major strategic demands of national defense, constantly condensing the direction of the frontier research, focusing on improving the capability of independent innovation, undertaking major national science and technology research and a large number of research projects such as the National Defense Program 973 (which is called the National Basic Research Program of March 1997), Program 863 (which is known as the High-tech Research Development Program carried out by Deng Xiaoping in March 1986), and national defense pre-research and models, winning more than 260 provincial and ministerial awards. The quality management of the research products has been identified by the ISO9000 quality system. HEU has become the first domestic university possessing "dual authentication". In addition, the school owns a national university science park with a flourishing development of the technology industry and industrial-academic cooperation. In 2011, the total scientific research spending reached 760 million RMB, which ranked among the forefront of the national key universities.