Agriculture and Engineering Sciences

The University of Minnesota is proud of its role as one of the original land-grant institutions in the U.S. with long-standing roots in conducting agricultural and scientific research. The University has a long history of welcoming Chinese students into agriculture and engineering programs, and working with partners in China to solve world problems. Today, the University remains a leader in agricultural and engineering science academic programs, research, and collaborations.

Chinese Students Pursue Science

The first Chinese student to enroll at the University, Pan Wen Ping,earned two bachelor of science degrees in science and engineering from the University of Minnesota.


The first three Chinese students to enroll at the University recognized the excellence of the University’s science and engineering programs. Pan Wen Ping, Pan Wen Huen, and Kwong Yih Kum each majored in one of the science and engineering programs at the University. They led the way for many more Chinese students to pursue their education and training at the University, specifically in science and engineering. Cha Chien, who was the first Chinese student to earn a doctoral degree from the University in 1923, became the founding president of Central China Institute of Technology (now Central China University of Science and Technology) in 1955. 

In 1945, the University worked with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations to welcome 10 Chinese students to the University to study agricultural engineering. After graduation, the cohort returned to their homeland and became the first generation of agricultural engineering scientists in the People’s Republic of China. Notable alumni of this program include Dr. Zeng Dechao, academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who co-founded the Beijing Agricultural Engineering Institute, and Dr. Tao Dinglai, academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who became the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Global Scientists

Many University departments and faculty members expand and share their knowledge by participating in and organizing international networking opportunities. The University’s College of Science and Engineering collaborated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences on academic seminars, which provided a bilateral channel for faculty and students to discuss technological research. It was hosted in Beijing in 2005 and again in 2007 in Minneapolis. Today, Professor David Pui travels extensively, including to China, to address the PM 2.5 air pollutant challenge and collaborates with Chinese scientists on technological solutions.

In 2012, the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine organized the first annual Leman Swine Conference in Xi’an, China. The conference focused on the latest developments on swine research and production, disease surveillance and control, integration of production and public health, and their impacts on the global economy and China–the world’s biggest pork-producing country. The conference attracted professionals from China and North America.

Agriculture students in 1921

The People’s Republic of China’s first generation of agricultural engineering scientists pictured with University faculty on the Twin Cities campus.


In 2013, Professor Pui was invited to China to present his research on the PM 2.5 challenge.


2013 Swine Conference

The Leman Swine Conference in China was organized by the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.