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"Light and Shadow Display by One Thousand Drones: The Overture to HEU's 70th Anniversary"

DATESeptember 1, 2023


"5, 4, 3, 2, 1... As the gears of a thousand drones rotated clockwise, the countdown sign above them slowly changed numbers. It marked the commencement of Harbin Engineering University's 70th-anniversary drone light and shadow show. On the evening of August 31st, a fleet of 1000 drones formed intricate shapes, including a statue of President CHEN Geng, patterns representing Wukong DAMP, Hualong 1, and Bubble Equation, all above the South Stadium, creating a grand and spectacular scene. This drone performance was one of the celebratory activities for HEU's establishment. The performance was divided into five chapters.


The first chapter was the countdown to HEU's anniversary. The drones displayed four gears that rotated slowly clockwise. These gears were marked with the years 1953, 1970, 1994, and 2023, respectively. This sequence showcased HEU's evolution through three stages: from PLA Military Institute of Engineering to Harbin Institute of Shipbuilding Engineering and finally to Harbin Engineering University. As the time reached 2023, all teachers and students joined in celebrating the 70th anniversary together."


The second chapter depicted HEU's development by showcasing representative figures and buildings from its three historical periods: PLA Military Institute of Engineering, Harbin Institute of Shipbuilding Engineering, and Harbin Engineering University. This performance replayed HEU's 70-year journey. Group sculptures titled "Taking Command" depicted the historical scene where General CHEN Geng received orders to establish PLA Military Institute of Engineering, expressing the admiration and nostalgia of PLA Military Institute of Engineering's successors for the older generations.





Next, the drones presented the silhouettes of the opening ceremony of PLA Military Institute of Engineering, Building 31, the main building, and others. This showcased the iconic buildings from HEU's three historical periods: "1953 PLA Military Institute of Engineering," "1970 Harbin Institute of Shipbuilding Engineering," and "1994 Harbin Engineering University." The drones portrayed HEU's seventy years of struggle and emphasized that PLA Military Institute of Engineering, Harbin Institute of Shipbuilding Engineering, and Harbin Engineering University have continued the same glorious mission, composing the same blue chapter generation after generation.


Cities like Harbin, Yantai, Qingdao, and Sanya, represented by five-pointed stars, twinkled simultaneously on the map of China, shining brightly and complementing each other. One main campus and three branches jointly celebrated the 70th anniversary. The four Chinese characters "San Hai Yi He" below the map of China symbolized that HEU was continually expanding its educational space and venturing into the deep sea with its educational advantages.


As the outlines of the two submarines, "Jiaolong" and the "Struggler," appeared in the night sky, the third chapter of the drone performance titled “National Treasure” began. This chapter commemorated the contributions and courageous qualities of HEU people to China's maritime industry. The research achievements of HEU, recorded in history, injected vitality into China's maritime power efforts.


“Clasp the moon in the Heaven, and seize turtles deep down in the Five Seas,” the scientific achievements of HEU helped Chinese people gradually realize their millennium-old aspirations. Hundreds of drones created three-dimensional models of Wukong DAMP, showcasing its ocean exploration capabilities. Dozens of drones moved gracefully around Wukong, resembling a school of fish following it. This was HEU's most eloquent tribute to its motherland on its 70th birthday.



The drones continuously changed their formation in the night sky, and images such as the bubble equation and Hualong 1 appeared in sequence. These “National Treasures” reflected HEU's wisdom and were supported by HEU's key technologies. Generation after generation, HEU people courageously embraced the responsibility of leading China's underwater gateway.



The combination of a grand roof with green eaves and blue tiles, along with the magnificent teaching building against the backdrop of fluttering apricot blossoms in the sky, has always been captivating. This represents HEU's unique charm and embodies the university culture that has accumulated over 70 years. The fourth chapter showcased the cultural logo featuring Building 31, the emblem, and the motto, "Great Engineering Towards Perfection, Great Learning Towards Distinction." With the help of drones, the rotating school emblem resembled a rudder, symbolizing the pursuit of deep-blue dreams and the journey of Harbin Engineering University.


The 70th-anniversary logo illuminated the night sky, eliciting cheers from the audience. At 70 years old, Harbin Engineering University was in its prime. The unwavering HEU belief was "Seventy Years of Glory, Striving to be the Best." HEU people, resolute and passionate, always resonated with their alma mater and the times.


“Happy birthday to Harbin Engineering University!” The fireworks gradually grew larger, with the number "70" lighting up in the midst of the display, reaching the climax of the drone light show. The audience warmly applauded. Under the fireworks, eight words were displayed: "Dare to succeed, opening and cooperation," representing the characteristics of HEU people entering a new era. Adhering to the educational specialties of "Shipbuilding Industry, Marine Equipment, Ocean Exploration, and Nuclear Application," HEU aimed to comprehensively enhance its ability to independently cultivate talents, serve high-level technology, and promote self-reliance, striving to create a new dimension of development as a world-class university with distinctive features.