Institute of Applied Chemistry (IAC) was founded in 1932 and the first one that focused on the applied chemistry in university. Prof. Kezhong Zhang is the first director of IAC. Prof. Zhang received his PhD degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) under the supervision of Prof. W.K.Lewis, who is the founder of chemical engineering. The Zhang's diffusion principle that was proposed by Prof. Zhang is still used so far.
At the beginning of founding IAC, Prof. Kezhong Zhang advocated that the theory and practice were equally important and both of teaching and scientific research were developed simultaneously. In every year, IAC would arrange the students to take part in practical work, such as chemical analysis, installation and debugging of equipment. In the regulations of IAC, the aim of IAC is to study the practical problems that are faced by industry and commerce in our country and assist industrial and commercial circles to improve the quality of their products by utilizing equipment in Nankai University, achieving the cooperation between society and university. In addition, at the start-up period, although there are few faculties, all of them are the famous chemists, including Prof. Zhongyue Qiu, Prof. Shixian Yang, Prof. Changgeng Gao and so on.
In 1937, Nankai University was bombed by Japanese Army. IAC moved to Chongqing and Kunming Successively. After the victory of Anti-Japanese War, Nankai University was moved back to her respective site and Prof. Kezhong Zhang found IAC again in 1947. In 1952, after the reshuffling of organizations in universities, the IAC was incorporated into Tianjin University. In 1986, owing to the reform of the science and technology management system, IAC was founded again by Academician Panwen Shen. The research interesting of IAC focused on the electrochemistry of noble metal until 2004, including: producing agents for the Noble metal plating, guiding the plating technology and recycling noble metals. Since 1988, IAC has begun to recruit undergraduates.
In 2015, IAC was established again. Now, IAC have 33 faculties, 4 technicians and 1 manager. Among them, there are 1 academician of Chinese Academy of Science, 3 leading talents of Ministry of Education, 4 Distinguished Young Scholars named by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, 4 Excellent Young Scholars named by the National Natural Science Foundation of Chin, 25 Professors, 7 Associate Professors, 25 Doctoral supervisors and 32 master supervisors.
Owing to the supporting by first degree national key discipline of chemistry, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), authorized primary Doctoral specialty of Science, Post-Doctoral research stations, IAC focuses on the interdisciplinary significant problem according to the energy needs of nation and Tianjin City. In the future, IAC will carry out the research on the energy catalyst, advanced electrochemical storage devices, the design, fabrication and the applications of fine chemical production, biology as well as analysis and applications of pharmacy. IAC will train highly-skilled talent with capacity of science and Engineering to serve society and economy.
IAC locates at Lianhe Building of Nankai University. IAC is fully equipped with various types of apparatus and equipment for both teaching and extensive research use: FESEM equipped with EDS, TEM, paramagnetic resonance spectrometer, advanced sorption analyzer, magnetic sputtering and thermal evaporation coating system, XRD, XPS, AFM, TG/DSC, physi-chemi sorption analyzer, Raman spectrometer and so on.