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YEAR ONE

December 2016

UK China Consortium Established

The UK-China University Consortium on Engineering Education and Research (UKCEER) is established in 2017, an initiative that is led by Queen’s University Belfast with six other UK Russell Group universities, in partnership with China’s Excellence League (E9) universities under the approval of the Ministry of Education. This initiative was led and facilitated by the British Council with initial funding of £200,000 by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for the UK partners.
The objectives of the consortium are: To increase UK-China collaboration in engineering education and research; To boost the engineering capacity and accelerate the growth of world-class universities of both countries; and, to build major interdisciplinary collaborations and drive the quality of engineering research and teaching in the UK and China.

March 2017

Initial Consortium Meeting, Beijing

A meeting is held in Beijing on 25 March, 2017 to discuss the vision and strategy for the consortium, discuss working principles, agree milestones and draft the work plan for 2017.

May 2017

Signing Ceremony, Nanjing

At the Signing Ceremony the Memorandum of Understanding is finalised between the nine Chinese Universities and 6 British Universities fully establishing the UCEER. Research is yet to begin but study areas are likely to include electric vehicle technology, industrial energy consumption, and artificial intelligence.

May 2017

Research Sandpits, Nanjing

Research Sandpits which focus on ‘Energy and Intelligent Manufacturing’ are held at Southeast University in Nanjing. The key themes identified are: Intelligent clean energy vehicle technologies; End-user energy saving and waste energy recovery; Decarbonising the energy chain Materials processing technology; Low carbon manufacturing; and Robotic based smart manufacturing. As a result, technical challenges and policy barriers are explored. Skills and expertise needed for success are identified. Key success indicators suggested and the most promising project outlines identified.

August 2017

Thematic Workshops, Conferences and UK & China Forums, Cardiff

The UK-China Symposium on Future Energy is hosted in Cardiff. This symposium is held in conjunction with the China Electro Technical Society. Additionally, the 9th Annual Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE) is also held in Cardiff in August 2017.

September 2017

International Conferences, Nanjing

Two conferences and two workshops are delivered in Nanjing. The first is the International Conference on Life System Modelling and Simulation and is followed by the International Conference on Intelligent Computing for Sustainable Energy and Environment. The workshops cover Smart Grid and Electric Vehicles on Intelligent System and Networked Control.

November 2017

1st Future Engineers’ Leadership and Innovation Academy, Beijing

In November, Beijing Institute of Technology hosts the first Future Engineers’ Leadership and Innovation Academy (FELIA). Twenty-eight PhD students from across the Consortium took part in the FELIA. This is the first step in building enhanced transnational PhD educational opportunities between the UK and China in engineering. The FELIA takes place over a period of two weeks, with the first week incorporating a mini-MBA programme, delivered by the Leadership Institute from Queen’s University Belfast. Week two includes work on technical interdisciplinary projects on Creativity and Technology Management, Technical challenge and design of UAVs and UAV basics.

December 2017

UK China High Level People to People Dialogue, Lancaster House, London

As the respective secretariats of the consortium in China and the UK, Southeast University and Queen’s University Belfast come together to sign a Joint Declaration to establish the UK-China University Consortium on Engineering Education and Research in December 2017.

January 2018

UK China Science and Innovation Forum, Birmingham

The delivery of the 2018 UK-China Future Energy Systems Forum: Energy Internet, Energy Integration and Energy Intelligence (3 EI), co-organised by the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering (CSEE), UK-China University Consortium for Engineering Education and Research, the University of Birmingham, CSEE UK Chapter and China Electrotechnical Society (CES) UK Branch, held in Birmingham on 15th Jan 2018

January 2018

UK Future Energy Systems Forum, Birmingham

Co-organised by the CSEE, UK-China University Consortium for Engineering Education and Research, the University of Birmingham, CSEE UK Chapter and CES UK Branch, held in Birmingham on 15th Jan 2018. The Forum covers 3 strategic topics, namely, Energy Internet, Energy Integration and Energy Intelligence (3 EI), addressing the major challenges of future energy systems development. The Forum aims to forge partnerships between the UK and Chinese industrial and academic communities to promote future collaboration. In addition, the Forum explores new and innovative ways to promote sustainable partnerships on EIᵌ between the UK and China, along with China’s One Belt One Road Initiative.

YEAR TWO

March 2018

Queen’s University Belfast visit to Chongqing University

In March, staff from Queen’s University Belfast visit Chongqing University. During this trip meetings are held to discuss the potential for transnational education (TNE) collaboration. Meetings are also held to prepare for the International Conference on Intelligent Manufacturing and Internet of Things (IMIOT) & International Conference on Sustainable Energy Engineering (ICSEE) 2018 conference that will be organized and delivered in Chongqing 21-23 September 2018. Stan Scott runs the Chongqing Half Marathon wearing a UK-China UCEER t-shirt to publicise and promote the Consortium.

September 2018

International Conference on Intelligent Manufacturing and Internet of Things (IMIOT) & International Conference on Sustainable Energy Engineering (ICSEE) 2018 Conference, Chongqing

The conferences are successfully delivered in Chongqing. 135 high-quality papers are selected for presentation from 386 submissions from over 50 different universities, research institutions, and companies in both China and UK. Over 200 delegates attend the conferences.

September 2018

UK-China Knowledge Exploitation Consortium, Chongqing

The 2018 UK-CHINA Knowledge Exploitation Forum is delivered to 150 attendees and comprises of 20 presentations from industry (7), university (6) and government sectors (7). The forum is a preparatory event for the establishment of a future UK-China knowledge exploitation network. The intention to sign an MoU involving the Consortium and at least 4 industry partners, preferably 2 from each country is yet to be achieved.

September 2018

UK-China UCEER Management Meeting, Chongqing

The management meeting is attended by 10 UK partner representatives and 20 China partner representatives. A presentation is provided by Yuan Chao (SEU) and Stan Scott (Queen’s) giving a general review of UCEER's development and achievements since the MoU was signed in May 2017.

November 2018

Presidents’ Forum: 90th Anniversary, Nanjing University

The Presidents’ Forum is delivered to 20 senior UK representatives, 53 senior China representatives and 30 FELIA students. The Forum provides a unique opportunity to raise the domestic and global profile of the UCEER. It also provides a rare opportunity to for UK partners to inform Chinese thinking on the latest trends in Higher Education, as seen from the UK.

September 2018

2nd Future Engineers’ Leadership & Innovation Academy, Nanjing

The 2nd FELIA takes place in Nanjing in November 2018 and is successfully delivered to 30 PhD students from 16 universities across the Consortium (UK: 8 universities and China: 8 universities). This year’s theme is ‘Deep Learning Technology’ where students explore FPGA Frontiers and Deep Learning Accelerator Design and Huaiwei Cloud FPGA Development Processes.

January 2019

Workshop, University of Leeds

Delegates from the UK and China attend the workshop. This provides a platform to share latest studies and thoughts on the nexus of smart energy, manufacturing and transportation systems in alignment with the global effort in achieving 100% clean and renewable transition for all sectors. An early career researchers’ workshop and a UCEER project scoping meeting are also organised.

YEAR THREE

April 2019

Knowledge Exploitation Consortium, Guangzhou

The April visit to Guangzhou takes place and prepares the ground for participation at the China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair (CIEF).

April 2018

China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair (CIEF), Guangzhou

During the forum and the 3 day exhibition fair over 100 detailed discussions and contacts are made with investors and industrial partners. The 35 projects exhibited generate a lot of interest, leading to a large number of initial discussions and then follow-ups on both potential exports, inward investments and collaborations with Chinese partners.

June 2019

UK-China knowledge exploitation consortium, Guangzhou

The 2019 UK-CHINA Knowledge Exploitation and Innovation Forum in Guangzhou results in 19 talks, 6 products (Queen’s), UoB (5), Cardiff (3), Cambridge (1), Warwick (1, Leeds (11), Liverpool (3), UCL (2) + Texture Jet Ltd; Microforce Measurement Ltd; Bristol BlueGreen Limited.

June 2019

Early Career Researcher (ECR) Mobility Fellowships, Various Locations

12 ECRs and 4 staff make 2-4 week visits to China. The UK sending partners were: Queen’s University Belfast, University of Leeds, University of Cambridge, University of Birmingham and the University of Liverpool. The China receiving partners were Harbin Institute of Technology; Southeast University; Beijing Institute of Technology; Chongqing University; Tianjin University and the Dalian University of Technology. The visits are effective in: identifying common research areas for collaboration; developing joint research proposals for continuing collaboration; the submission of joint funding applications; and the generation of joint publications. The number of UK participants exceeded the target but not all UK partners participated. Whilst females were encouraged to apply, the number of female participants fell short of the target of 6.

September 2019

3rd Future Engineers’ Leadership and Innovation Academy, Chongqing University

This year’s theme is “Intelligent Medical Diagnosis & Treatment Technology and Equipment” which relates to Chongqing University’s interdisciplinary development and integration of medicine and engineering. The programme is closely associated with artificial intelligence in clinic medicine. A new feature of the programme is the inclusion of a gender workshop, which is delivered by Dr Ioana Latu from Queen’s University Belfast. This includes a discussion of gender inequalities in STEM academia and how implicit bias may contribute to maintaining these inequalities.

October 2019

Presidents’ Forum: 90th Anniversary, Chongqing University

The President’s Forum takes place in Chongqing University and ran alongside their 90th Anniversary celebrations. On behalf of the UK consortium 3 staff from Queen’s University Belfast attend (Professor Mark Price, Professor Stan Scott and Dr Ioana Latu) alongside one member of staff from Warwick University (Professor Pam Thomas ).

November 2019

China Association of Higher Education Conference and Exhibit

On behalf of the Consortium, Professor Stan Scott, gave an invited keynote at the 4th China Higher Education Symposium. The symposium’s theme was “First Class Engineering Education in the new era: quality, ability and innovation”. Professor Scott’s talk was entitled, “Status, Trends and Future Development of Engineering Education in UK”. He also gave an invited talk at Southeast University on “Enhancing the student experience through industrial and international engagement: a UK perspective”.