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Yang Shie: Pioneer in Underwater Acoustics in China

Ordinary, an old man, not tall, with glasses on a chain around his neck and beard same as Lu Xun, is working tirelessly in his life. Unordinary, however, this old man, as academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, the vice board-chairman of China Acoustics Society and currently the head of Underwater Acoustics Research Institute of Harbin Engineering University, has a legendary life for his devotion to the career of’ acoustic science in China. He is Yang Shie, a man worthy of our respect and admiration.

During the past eighty years, Yang Shie made his home wherever he was. With ancesstors in Henan province, he was born in Tianjin, and then he spent his childhood in Beijing, juvenile life in Chongqi, and young adult life in Dalian. In 1953, Yang Shie started his career as a lecturer in Harbin Engineering University (whose predecessor is Harbin Military Engineering Institute). Here, he has been focusing himself on the studies on the acoustic technology for almost sixty years and created a new era of China’s acoustic science and technology.

Yang Shie went to the Soviet Union to learn acoustic science in 1957 when little was known about acoustic science in China. In the Soviet Union, despite all his unusual efforts to acquire the knowledge, Yang was refused to participate in the Soviet ships underwater "noise research project". In 1960, Yang Shie returned to China and established in Harbin Military Engineering Institute the discipline of underwater acoustics engineering, which is comprehensive discipline committed to serve the national defense. The overseas experience made Yang Shie realize for high-tech R&Ds self-reliance was always an inevitable solution.

After years of diligent study and exploration, Yang Shie achieved splendid outcomes and delivered a unique contribution in the development of marine acoustics in China. He helped cultivate the first batch of underwater acoustics professional technical backbone for China, and also supervised the development of state key laboratories in the field of underwater acoustics engineering, and is now participating in the construction decision of marine acoustics in China. Yang Shie has published many useful textbooks, including  Underwater Noise Principles, Acoustical Theory, Acoustic Communication Principle, Statistical Propagation and so on. All these books enable the students at HEU to access the acoustical field more easily. Now the Underwater Acoustics Research Institute of Harbin Engineering University has grown into a well-known acoustic research base in China.