Academics from the University of Birmingham have received honours from their counterparts at the University of Science & Technology Beijing (USTB). 

During a visit to USTB, Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, and Professor Martin Freer, Director of Birmingham Energy Institute, were awarded an Honorary Professorship and a Visiting Professorship respectively. 


The awards follow the two universities joining forces to set up the Joint Centre for Energy & Environment Research and Education (CEERE). 

CEERE was established a year ago and the partnership has seen staff and students exchanges, joint grants applications, joint research publications, and the development of student degree programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  

Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Schofield said: “The University of Birmingham is very pleased that we have over the years built a close collaborative relationship with yet another strong Chinese partner based on complementary strengths. 

“USTB is a research-intensive, engineering focused prestigious Chinese university, and a national leader in energy studies and energy saving technologies. We look forward to growing our collaboration through the platform of CEERE, to producing more research and education outcomes in energy studies and other mutually interested fields for both universities.” 

Professor Xin-Xin Zhang, President of USTB, commented: “Developing mutually beneficial collaboration with world famous institutions around the globe is a key part of USTB’s internationalisation strategy. It is great to see the growth of our relationship with University of Birmingham in the past year through joint activities at CEERE. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that the strong teams at the CEERE will achieve greater success in the years to come, by developing productive joint research programmes, student and staff exchange programmes and other joint academic activities.” 

Professor Freer added: “I am delighted to visit USTB again after we signed the agreement to form CEERE last year. I am optimistic that, as the past year has shown, our joint centre will develop into a truly win-win partnership that would enable us to make a bigger contribution in the development of advanced energy, environmental science and engineering in both China and the UK." 

  • 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 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB) was founded in 1952 following the amalgamation of the best departments in related fields of five eminent universities as a result of a nationwide reorganization of the higher education system. It has developed into one of the most influential key national universities sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education. USTB is renowned for its study of metallurgy and materials science. Its main focus is on engineering, whilst maintaining a balanced programme of science, management, humanities, economics and law.