The Institute of Earth Exploration and Sensing (IEES) at Nanjing University was officially established in November 2018. Formerly known as the Institute of Geophysics and Dynamics of Nanjing University, IEES serves as an innovative interdisciplinary platform at the forefront of knowledge creation and advancement. It builds on the development of the geophysics discipline at the School of Earth Sciences and Engineering of Nanjing University, leveraging the multidisciplinary advantages of geology, physics, mathematics, and computer science to establish a public platform and innovation base for major scientific issues and national resource-energy strategic needs.

IEES is focused on major national demands for deep resources from the earth and urban development space, combining applied geophysics, geological engineering, and tectonic geology to develop autonomous intellectual property rights for earth exploration and sensing technologies through theoretical and technological innovation. Currently, IEES is mainly committed to three key technologies: active source underground exploration technology, distributed fiber optic acoustic sensing technology, and high-performance computing and interpretation of earth exploration and sensing data. It aims to achieve international frontiers and national needs, obtain local support through the integration of industry, academia, and research, promote the transformation of achievements, and thus promote interdisciplinary cross-fertilization and innovation in talent training, creating new growth points for relevant disciplines.

The Institute houses five laboratories: optoelectronic sensing, earthquake exploration, high-performance computing, rock physics, and earth science big data. Since its establishment, IEES has conducted in-depth theoretical research on earth exploration and sensing, industrial application research, and product innovation and development, and has undertaken more than 100 scientific research projects, such as the National Natural Science Foundation and the National Key Research and Development Program. It has applied for more than 70 patents and published over 120 papers in high-level journals such as Nature Geoscience, Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth, Geophysical Research Letters, and Earth and Planetary Science Letters. IEES has also led the development and application of earth exploration and sensing research by hosting and editing several national and industry standards, such as the Distributed Fiber Optic Testing Regulations for Pile Foundations.