The University of Birmingham has signed a cooperation agreement on railway research and education with the Chinese rolling stock manufacturer, CSR Sifang.

Reflecting the University of Birmingham’s position as a global leader in railway science and education and CSR Sifang’s status as one of the world’s largest manufacturer of high-speed rolling stock, the two parties have agreed to cooperate to develop new technologies through cutting edge research. The two institutions also hope to promote Anglo-Chinese understanding and exchanges through education.

The agreement sets out plans to commission research undertaken through the Birmingham International Railway Academy (BIRA), which promotes both international relationships across the railway world and international comparisons for shared learning. The BIRA is part of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham, which offers the largest academic research and education capability for railways in the UK.


The planned research between Birmingham and CSR Sifang will also involve many non-railway specific disciplines, such as developments in air conditioning and energy system integration. In addition, there will be a significant increase in the already impressive number of Chinese engineers being taught and graduating in Railway Engineering and Risk Management at the University

Professor Clive Roberts, Director of the BCRRE said:

‘I am delighted to be starting this collaboration which builds on the University’s existing contacts with China and its established reputation in railway research and education’.

Professor Michael Whitby, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham and Mr Sansan Ding, Director of CSR Sifang Technology Centre, CSR Sifang signed the Memorandum of Understanding today (Tuesday 12 May) at the Railtex 2015 exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK.

CSR Sifang are expanding their activities across the world and have recently established a strategic partnership with the Technical University of Dresden and Stuttgart University, both in Germany. The agreement with Birmingham is one of three academic relationships currently being established by CSR Sifang in the UK.


Notes to Editors

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  • The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) brings together a multidisciplinary team from across the University to tackle fundamental railway engineering problems. The team actively engage with industry, other universities – through the Rail Research UK Association – and international partners.
  • The University’s aims with China include developing joint research, promoting education and engagement. To this end the University has established a centre in Guangzhou to host its activities in China, and the China Institute at the University of Birmingham to gather together their wide-ranging research activities with Chinese partners and concerning China more generally.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries.
  • Based in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, CSR Sifang is a major centre for the manufacture of high-speed trains, a leading enterprise in railway design and a state-accredited manufacturer of domestic subway and light rail cars.