China Engaged Staff

Meet the key members of the China Institute and find out about their work in UK-China engagement.


Professor Jon Frampton headshot

Professor Jon Frampton - Director of the China Institute, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (China) and Professor of Stem Cell Biology - Prof Frampton provides leadership for the China Institute, chairs its board of key China-engaged academics, and is the principal link with the office in Guangzhou. He is also the co-director of the Joint Centre for Translation Medicine Research based at the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, and is a visiting professor of the Zhongshan School of Medicine at Sun Yat-sen University.

Professor Zhibing Zhang Headshot

Professor Zhibing Zhang FREng - Co-Director of the China Institute and Professor of Chemical Engineering - Professor Zhang collaborates with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), a number of Chinese universities, and other companies on joint research projects. He is also involved in training Chinese PhD students and academic scholars, funded by CAS, The Royal Society and Guangzhou Municipal Government, among others. In addition, he helps develop strategies for the institute to engage with China and facilitates relations with strategic Chinese partners.

Tim AlbrechtProfessor Tim Albrecht, Director of Global Engagement, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences - Tim is Professor of Physical Chemistry at the School of Chemistry at UoB. His research interests are in the area of surface electrochemistry, single-molecule biosensing and materials science. He has close links with academic colleagues in China, including at Xiamen and Nanjing Universities. He is currently Director of Global Engagement in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and also Secretary General of the International Society of Electrochemistry, which representation in more than 70 countries and China in particular.

Jamie Alcock headshotJamie Alcock, Professor of Mathematics and Finance: Jamie is Deputy-Dean of the Jinan-Birmingham Joint Institute in Guangzhou.   He has over 40 publications in finance and mathematics and has previously held senior positions at The University of Oxford, The University of Sydney, The University of Cambridge, and The University of Queensland.  Jamie has also taught summer schools at Renmin University in Beijing.   His significant international academic career reflects his long-held passion for international and transnational education.


Professor Moataz Attallah headshot

Professor Moataz Attallah - Director of the Advanced Materials & Processing Laboratory (AMPLab) & Professor of Advanced Materials Processing - Prof Atallah regularly visits China for research collaborations with companies and universities. In 2013, he received funding through the Guangdong Municipal Government for the project ‘Advanced Friction Joining Technologies for the Automotive Sector’. He is involved in EU-China programmes (H2020) on advanced netshape manufacturing using laser additive manufacturing and powder HIPping.


Dr David Boardman headshot

Dr David Boardman - Head of strategic projects (College of Engineering and Physical Sciences) - As Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the Deputy Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute, David works closely with businesses and researchers at the University as well as national and international stakeholders to develop highly ambitious and frequently world leading research and innovation programmes.  David originally studied Civil Engineering at Loughborough University where he went on to develop his research career before discovering a talent for helping others grow their ambitious research portfolios.  Over the last 20 years David has worked within the private sector, higher education and within numerous government funded innovation translation programmes, including for example, Knowledge Transfer Networks. 

Professor John Bryson headshot

Professor John Bryson - The Department of Strategy and International Business - An economic geographer whose research focusses on understanding people and organisations in place and space and the ways in which place-based adaptation occurs including understanding barriers and enablers to adaptation.  Ongoing work on China includes research on Hong Kong’s labour market, business and professional services, platform business models and the establishment of English branded private schools in China. Recent books include Service Management: Theory and Practice (Palgrave, 2020), and Living with Pandemics: People, Place and Policy (Edward Elgar, 2021).

rachel CharmanRachel Charman - The School of Government - Rachel Charman (甘蕾巧) studied Chinese at Oxford and National Taiwan Normal Universities, then became a solicitor and lecturer. She teaches part time in the UoB Law School. She also runs her own business, Rachel Charman English and Law, training Chinese government lawyers and judges in the English Legal System. She is currently researching how UK court judgments are affecting Chinese judicial reform.


May Chu headshotMay Chu - The School of Government - May is a Lecturer in Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV), School of Government. Her main research interests centre on governance and risk regulation. Her current research focuses on regulatory regimes and the globalisation of regulation, especially in the contexts of China and the East Asia and Pacific region.



Professor Heather Flowe - College of Life & Environmental Sciences - Heather’s research is centered on understanding episodic memory, particularly memory for criminal events, using both experimental and applied approaches. This includes interdisciplinary investigations of memory retrieval in police interviews and lineup parades. She develops memory enhancing, broad reach, low-cost procedures that are being integrated into legal systems around the world.

Heather is the Co-Director of the Centre for Crime Justice and Policing (Victims and Trauma), the Lead for Violence Prevention and Humanitarian Protection for the Institute for Global Innovation 21st Century Crime theme, a Fellow of the IGI, a member of the ESRC IAA Management Panel, and an Impact mentor for the ESRC IAA. Heather is a chartered psychologist.


Aleksandra Kavoski headshotProfessor Aleksandra Cavoski - DIrector of Global Engagement, College of Arts and Law - Aleksandra Cavoski is a Professor of Environmental Law and the College of Arts and Law Director for Global Engagement. Our College has several important articulation and collaboration agreements with Chinese partners across different arts and law disciplines such as languages, translation, culture, philosophy and law.


Lei Chen headshotDr Lei Chen - College of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Dr Lei Chen currently leads the international research collaboration at School of Engineering, and he also leads the Future Railway Operation and Control Theme at UKRRIN Digital System Innovation Centre, and Railway Operation Control and Simulation team at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. He qualified with a BEng from Beijing Jiaotong University and a PhD from The University of Birmingham. He is also qualified as a CEng (IRSE/EC). He has been working in the area of railway traffic management and train control since 2005, involved in several significant railway research and development projects in the UK, Europe and China.

Professor KK Cheng Headshot

Professor KK Cheng - Professor of Public Health and Primary Care and Director, Institute of Applied Health Research - KK Cheng (郑家强) has been Professor at the University of Birmingham since 1995. His main interests are in the epidemiology, prevention and control of important non-communicable diseases, and the development of primary care in China.



Professor David Dickinson headshot

Professor David Dickinson - Director of the China Research Cluster (Birmingham Business School) - David has spent most of his academic career at the University of Birmingham. He has been a visiting Professor at Universities in France, Portugal, Japan, China, Russia and Australia. His research interests encompass the banking and financial markets and he has been undertaking research on China for the last 15 years. He has been published widely in journals and books and in  previous roles has been a consultant for the World Bank and GATT.    


Professor Yulong Ding Headshot

Professor Yulong Ding - Director of the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage, School of Chemical Engineering - Professor Ding’s research covers both fundamental (multiphase transport phenomena across length scales) and applied (new energy conversion and storage technologies) aspects. He invented liquid air energy storage technology and led the initial stage of the technology development and validation, which is commercialised by Highview Power. He developed composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage and associated large-scale manufacture technologies, leading to large scale commercial applications with a total installation of 300+ MW / 1.2+ GWh so far. His work on the passive cooling container technology for cold chain transportation has started commercial demonstration. He currently leads a team of 15 research fellows and 20+ PhDs. 

Professor Michael Dobson headshot

Professor Michael Dobson - Director of the Shakespeare Institute & professor of Shakespeare studies - Co-Director of the Shakespeare Centre, China. Prof Dobson specialises in the performance and translation of Shakespeare worldwide. He held a visiting appointment at Peking University in 1999, is a board member of the Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive, and a participant in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s project to produce a theatre-friendly Mandarin translation of Shakespeare’s complete works. Along with Dr Nan Yuan of Yilin Press and Prof Cong Cong of Nanjing University, he is a Co-Director of the Shakespeare Centre, China, established in Nanjing in 2016.

Craig Edwards headshotCraig Edwards - Senior Development Executive (Asia-Pacific), Director, UoB Hong Kong Foundation - Craig leads on working with our alumni in the region, particularly with the University of Birmingham Hong Kong Foundation. He supports the Board with the Foundation’s governance, and identifies funding priorities at Birmingham. Twice a year the Foundation makes grants to the University, to further strengthen and accelerate our activities there, such as scholarships for students from Hong Kong and research that is relevant to Hong Kong and mainland China.

Professor Martin Freer, headshotProfessor Martin Freer - Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute & director of the Birmingham Centre for Nuclear Education & Research - Prof Freer is involved in the development of collaborative research, education and training programmes linked to energy, nuclear energy and nuclear physics with Chinese institutions. His specialism is the Energy Research Accelerator, an interdisciplinary research hub that brings together universities, the British Geological Survey and business partners to transition energy technology to market on a rapid time scale.

Chris Good headshotProfessor Chris Good - Professor of Mathematics, University of Birmingham - Since August 2020, Chris has been Head of School of Mathematics. From 2019 to 2022, Chris was Deputy Dean of the Jinan University-University of Birmingham Joint Institute and he has really enjoyed building this strong and successful partnership with our friends and colleagues at JNU.  He is the author of over 60 research articles in  set-theoretic topology, topological dynamics and mathematical education.  He regularly collaborates with mathematicians around the world, including colleagues from Mexico, New Zealand, Poland and the US, as well as from Oxford.  Chris has a long standing interest in teaching and has played a lead role in the development of the School’s curriculum both for our students studying in Birmingham and our students in Guangzhou.  Chris is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Kelly Hall Head ShotDr Kelly Hall - Department of Social Policy, Sociology & Criminology - Kelly is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy based in the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology. She is the Director of Global Engagement for the School of Social Policy. Her main research interests include ageing, health/social care, migration and the third sector.



Lin Hu HeadshotLin Hu - China-UK Project Manager - Lin Hu was awarded IMechE W. A. Agnew Meritorious/C. N. Goodall Award in 2010, and The Michael K. O’Rourke PhD Publications Award in 2012




Elijah James Headshot

Elijah James - Head of International Student Recruitment - As Head of International Student Recruitment, Elijah oversees the delivery of recruitment activities which support of the University’s strategies relating to global engagement. Elijah's responsibilities includes the oversight of recruitment activities deployed in China along with a range of countries on an ongoing basis.


Dr Bing Liu headshotDr Bing Liu - Head of International Engagement for the Birmingham Energy Institute - Head of International Engagement for Birmingham Energy Institute, and International (Asia) Business Engagement Partner for the University of Birmingham. Bing leads on developing energy and engineering technology research, education and R&D collaborations, with a special focus on the corporate and business side of the University of Birmingham’s strategic links with China and Asian countries.


Tianjie Liu (Alice)Tianjie Liu (Alice) - International Officer, Guild of Students  - Alice is a PGT student in Interntional Business and was elected as the International Officer at Guild. As a speaker of Chinese, English and Portuguese, her main interests are international business and languages. She wants to increase international students' engagement through information support and cultures & languages exchange, and to help students to have the best experience at university.


LeckebuschProfessor Gregor C. Leckebusch, UK Met Office Joint Chair at the University of Birmingham – Gregor is Professor of Meteorology and Climatology at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UoB. His research is focussing on natural variability and anthropogenic changes in extreme events like cyclones and storms and the relation to relevant risk assessments. He has conducted research collaborations with academic and industry partners in China e.g., via the UK Met Office Climate Science for Services Partnership programme (CSSP) China or UKRI-funding.  He organised and hosted i.a. the first workshop to Innovative Insurance Solutions at the interface between science- industry and policy – status quo and recommendations of best practice in Shenzhen 2019. Academic links include e.g., CMA, BCC, Beijing Normal University, Nanjing University, or Southern University of Science and Technology.  

John Lowther headshot

Jason Lowther - Institute of Local Government Studies - A senior fellow and strategic leader, with experience across public sector and private organisations.  His research interests focus on public service reform and the use of "evidence" by public agencies. This includes how managers and practitioners can access the best information on "what works?" in particular policy areas, and how they can generate new evidence through robust evaluation.


Robin Miller HeadShotProfessor Robin Miller - Social work & Social Care - Professor Robin Miller is the Global Engagement Lead for the College of Social Sciences. He is an applied academic of community health and social care with a focus on leadership and implementation. Robin is involved in numerous international collaborations including being the Co-Editor in Chief for the leading journal in the field of integrated care and initiating the development of the U21 Community of Practice for Social Work.


Dr Stephen Minchin headshot

Dr Stephen Minchin - Senior Lecturer for School of Biosciences - Dr Minchin’s main engagement with China is around the development of teaching partnerships with Chinese universities, as he is passionate about providing an education with a global perspective for both home and international students. He is also actively involved in the 2+2 Dual Degree programmes, and aims to develop a purposeful two-way engagement with China.  


Tony Moran Headshot

Tony Moran - International Communications Manager - Tony is a strategic corporate communications specialist with over 15 years’ experience managing external and internal stakeholder relationships in public sector organisations. He is responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of communications activity to raise the University's research profile in key international regions.


Nina Morris headshot

Nina Morris - China Institute Officer, Birmingham Global – Nina Morris holds a pivotal position in planning, running, and developing China Institute activities both in the UK and in China, including partnership management, and the development and management to conclusion of specific projects critical to the continued development of the University’s position within China.



Professor Clive Roberts Headshot

Professor Clive Roberts - Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education - Over the last 14 years, Professor Clive Roberts has developed a broad portfolio of research aimed at improving the performance of railway systems. He leads the University’s contribution in a number of large EPSRC, European Commission and industry funded projects. He works extensively with the railway industry in Britain and overseas. He currently leads a team of 11 research fellows and 16 PhD students.


Tracy Roberts headshotProfessor Tracy Roberts - Institute of Applied Health Research - Professor Tracy Roberts was appointed to the role of Director of Global Engagement for the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at UoB in January 2021.  Tracy is a Professor of Health Economics and Head of the Health Economics Unit and has been working in health economics research for over 25 years.  Tracy is an internationally recognised leader in this field and is currently engaged in the Global Health initiative.


Bernie Sanders headshot

Dr Berny Sèbe - Senior Lecturer in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies Senior Lecturer in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies in the Department of Modern Languages. He has developed partnerships with multiple Chinese institutions, in particular in relation with the English as a Modern Foreign Language programme and the MA programmes in Translation Studies and English-Chinese Interpreting. In terms of research, Dr Sèbe is currently developing with a colleague from Fudan University a project comparing Chinese and British perception of Major General Charles Georges Gordon (1833-1885).

Zongbo Shi headshotProfessor Zongbo Shi - Earth and Environmental Sciences Zongbo Shi is Professor of Atmospheric Biogeochemistry. He has extensive collaboration with leading Chinese Universities and acted as the science coordinator for the China-UK Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in a Chinese Megacity programme. Professor Shi’s team addresses three key areas of research: Sources and emissions of chemical substances to the atmosphere; physical and chemical transformation of aerosol particles and their constituents in the atmosphere; and interaction of atmospheric chemistry with biogeochemistry of ecosystems.

Edd Stewart headshotDr Edd Stewart - Educational Partnership Lead for the School of Engineering Edd is a Senior Lecturer in the school of Engineering, he leads the Smart Monitoring and Autonomous Systems theme in the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network and is the school’s lead for international educational partnerships. Edd has been visiting our international partners since 2008 to give presentations and lectures, to deliver courses, and to explore new relationships. He has led research projects in China in Guangzhou, Hefei, and Beijing.


Simiao Sun headshotDr Simiao Sun - Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences Simiao is a quantitative hydrogeologist based in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES), who integrates a variety of computational techniques including numerical modelling, programming, GIS and database to look into applied and theoretical groundwater problems such as groundwater flow and contaminant transport modelling, environmental software and database development and quantitative water resources management. Simiao’s admin role focuses on improving educational experiences for GEES international students, and educational and research partnerships with China and elsewhere in the world.

Prof Yu Sun headshotProfessor Yu Sun - Cancer and Genomic Sciences Professor Yu Sun is the Co-Deputy Director of the Joint Centre for Biomedical Engineering, which the University of Birmingham and Southeast University formally launched in China. She is also the director of the International Laboratory for Child Medical Imaging Research at UoB and SEU. She is leading the core research team in Intelligent medical Imaging and Brain Science research, through which the two universities will develop and commercialize new innovation in Jiangsu Province.

Luke Wales headshot

Luke Wales - Director of International Strategic Engagement (China and East Asia) - Luke joined the University of Birmingham in June 2015 with a remit to focus on the universities activities in China and East Asia. He supports the board by providing direction for UoB Institutional initiatives in China, providing advice, guidance and support for academic and professional services colleagues engaging with China. as well as developing the overall China strategy to maximise the returns from UoB investments in China.


Yi Wang HeadshotDr Yi Wang - Emerging Device Technology Research Lab - Yi Wang is Academic Lead of the Emerging Device Technology Research Lab and Engineering Cleanroom, Senior Lecturer in RF/Microwave Engineering - Dr Wang collaborates widely with Chinese universities and research institutes in areas related to high-frequency device technologies for communications and sensing. He is also heavily involved in training Chinese research students and visiting scholars.


Richard Williams headshotDr Richard Williams - School of Chemical Engineering - Richard is based in the Healthcare Technologies Institute where he builds and manages R&D, operations and commercial strategies for translating biomaterials from the lab into healthcare products entering human trials. He is also the Co-Deputy Director of the UoB-Southeast University Joint Research Centre for Biomedical Engineering in Suzhou.


Xin Yao Headshot

Professor Xin Yao - Director of the Centre of Excellence for Research in Computational Intelligence and Applications (CERCIA) and Professor of Computer Science - With the support of the University of Birmingham and the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Prof Yao founded the USTC-Birmingham Joint Research Institute in Intelligent Computation and Its Applications (UBRI) in October 2010. The primary aim of UBRI is to strengthen long-term research collaboration and partnership between the two universities.


Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang headshot

Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang - IEEE senior member - Professor Zhang is Chair in Electrical Power Systems, Director of Smart Grid, Birmingham Energy Institute, Co-Director of Birmingham Energy Storage Centre. He is co-founder of the UK-China Strategic Workshop Series on Smart Grid.He is a Fellow of IEEE, IET and Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering. He is a member of the Expert Advisory Group of UK Government’s Offshore Transmission Network Review.

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Yufeng Zhang headshot

Dr Yufeng Zhang - Director of Business Programmes in Engineering, Sciences & Law - Yufeng Zhang’s work aims to help companies cope with complex challenges and opportunities in managing global network operations, engineering innovation and digital transformation. He is a Reader in Operations Management at the Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, Head of Procurement and Operations Management Group (POM), and Deputy Lead of Research and Excellence Framework (REF2021).


Vivian Zheng headshot

Vivian Zheng - Director of operations in China - Vivian’s role is to manage the university’s strategic relationships in China, including those with government, industry and Chinese institutions. She also develops research contacts, identifies funding opportunities and supports delivery of research activities. In addition, she provides market intelligence to support the university’s strategy on China, and helps promote Birmingham to prospective students.

Mingya Zong headshot

Mingya Zong - Country recruitment manager for the University of Birmingham at the China-Britain Business Council - Mingya is based in Shanghai where she implements the university’s recruitment strategy in China.  Mingya develops business partnerships and education programmes with key Chinese institutions, manages the University’s agent network, media and alumni relations, supports the marketing strategy for China, and helps maximise the outcome of student recruitment in China.

To get in touch with any of our team members, or find out more about the work of the China Institute, please contact our office.