Professor Zhibing Zhang is the Deputy Director of the China Institute and has worked with the Univeristy to create long-term collaborations in research with Chinese partners.
Over the last 30 years or so, China has adopted "Reform and Opening Up" Policies, which include sending a large number of students and scholars to other countries, particularly western countries to receive training and to undertake research, and increasing spending on scientific research and innovation. This has presented a very good opportunity to recruit quality students and scholars from China to carry out research in Birmingham, and to collaborate with prominent Chinese scholars whose research was well funded by Chinese government.
Since 1996, I have been awarded 4 'The Royal Society - K C Wong Fellowships' and 3 grants for research exchanges with China by the Royal Academy of Engineering/ Newton Fund to host 7 Chinese academic visitors to undertake research in my group. We've also obtained funding from international companies to sponsor 10 Chinese students to do PhD projects at Birmingham. Moreover, 2 academic scholars visited the research group for a year, funded by China government.
The collaborative research has resulted in less than 20 academic papers published in top quality journals, which has significantly enhanced my academic reputation in China. I have been serving as Overseas Assessor of the China Academy of Sciences (CAS) since 2000, and Research Assessor of Shanghai Jiao-Tong University since 2012. In 2012, I was elected as Chairman of the Organizing Committee to host the 4th Global Chemical Engineers Symposium at Birmingham.
The collaboration with prominent Chinese researchers is expected to be long-term, and can potentially generate a significant impact on academia, both in the UK and China.