The predecessor of School of Mechanical Engineering (SME) of Jiangnan University was the program of Food Mechanism of Nanjing Institute of Technology set up in 1955, which was relocated to Wuxi in 1958 and formed the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Wuxi College of Light Industry. Later in 2001, the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Jiangnan College merged into the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Wuxi University of Light Industry. constituting SME of Jiangnan University，the earliest to cultivate professionals in Food Mechanism and Packaging Engineering which enjoys high national recognition in the industrial fields like light industry machinery and packaging.
SME offers different levels of study programs, including 2 doctorate programs in Light Industry Technology & Engineering and Packaging Engineering, 3 graduate programs in Mechanical Engineering，Packaging Engineering，industrial Engineering and 3 undergraduate programs in Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Process Equipment and Control Engineering as well as Packaging Engineering, and it has many R & D centers such as the National Quality Supervising and Testing Center for Light Industry Packaging Products， National Standardization Center for Light Industry Packaging, Key Laboratory of Food Packaging Technology and Safety of China National Packaging Corporation, Jiangsu Provincial Demonstration Center of Mechanical Elemental Experimental Teaching etc. In addition, we have established technological research centers and integration bases of industry, education and research with several domestic leading enterprises and research institutes of related industries.
A well-distributed faculty landscape has taken shape in SME, complete with more than 110 members,60% of which have master's and doctoral degree, about 90 are professors and associate professors, 14 are PhD supervisors (including 2 part-time supervisor)， 55 are master supervisors and 17 are candidates of the "333 Program" (aiming to foster 30 excellent talents of national level, 300 excellent talents of provincial level and 3000 excellent talents of municipal level), "Qinglan Program" (organized for senior scholars to pass on their own experience in helping and guiding younger ones) and "Top Talents Program in 6 Fields" (namely, in Education, Pharmacy and Health Care, Electronics and Information Technology, Mechanics and Auto-making Industry, Architecture and Agriculture) of Jiangsu Province. Meanwhile, SME has invited more than 10 noted domestic and overseas experts and scholars as part-time or guest professors.
Endeavoring to constant exploration and unswerving pursuit of development, SME attaches great importance to inter-disciplinary integration in light of its industrial and regional advantages as well as Jiangnan University's strong disciplines and has so far formed its unique features and advantages in such fields as light industry machinery, packaging engineering, non-traditional machining technology, electromechanical test and control and so on. In recent years, SME has undertaken more than 30 research projects including National Natural Science Fund Projects, National "863 Projects, National Science and Technology Supporting Projects and Science and Technology Planning Projects of provincial and ministerial levels as well as R & D Projects and Engineering Projects entrusted by many enterprises, resulting in top-notch research findings of wide application nationwide, a series of Provincial and Ministerial Awards for Science and Technology Advancement, thus making great contribution to both economical gains and social progress. We have also established extensive academic links and carried out increasing exchanges and cooperation with overseas universities and research institutes in America, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, etc.
SME has long been pursuing quality management in the training of mechanical professionals by closely combining education with social and industrial needs, blazing new trails of fostering talents to arm graduates with practical innovative competence and encouraging the coordinated development of students' expertise, ability and quality in a healthy and scientific manner, and it has cultivated more than 9,000 graduates and postgraduates with high quality, competitive edge and social recognition, including the first batch of graduates and postgraduates majoring in Food Mechanism and Packaging Engineering in China.