Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NUST) can be traced back to 1952, when new China’s first chairman Mao Zedong led an effort to establish a military engineering college to raise People’s Liberation Army to a more modernized level since new China was beset with peril lurking both at home and abroad.

This vision was fulfilled in 1953, when Institute of Military Engineering of the PLA was established with the assistance from hundreds of USSR experts and the exertion made by General Chen Geng, who assembled many excellent professors and scholars. Located in Harbin, a northeastern city in China, the college had five departments specializing in air force, artillery, navy, armor, and engineering corps. General Chen Geng was assigned as the first rector.

In1960, it was restructured as Artillery Engineering College of the PLA since it merged with another PLA military school. Two years later, the campus was moved to Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province.

In 1966, it was renamed East China Institute of Engineering, and this name remained until 1984 when it was changed into East China Institute of Technology. In 1993, the name was changed into Nanjing University of Science and Technology.