The University of Birmingham and Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), Thailand, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (18 Jan 2016) to formalise a partnership in education, training and development in railway and vehicle technology research. The signing ceremony was followed by an official gift exchange between Professor Prasart Suebka, Rector of SUT, and Professor Adam Tickell, Provost and Vice Principle, University of Birmingham.
The signing was witnessed by academics from both institutions including A/Professor Flt. Lt. Kontorn Chamniprasart, Dean of Engineering, SUT and Professor Clive Roberts, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, University of Birmingham.
The MOU will serve as a platform for future international collaborations with the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham. It will bring together British and Thai researchers to work on collaborative interdisciplinary projects based in the institutes, therefore, supporting railway, automotive and internal combustion engine and other transport industry developments in Thailand. It will also promote and enable existing and new opportunities for staff and research student mobility between the University of Birmingham and SUT.
Thailand has been considered as a transport hub of Asia, backed by major investment bids from Japanese and Chinese Governments. Significant development of transport infrastructures will need help from many sectors including technical services providers, suppliers, product innovators, etc. This collaboration will not only enhance research and development in railway and transportation, but also bring together business relationships and engineering capability between British and Thai railway and transport industry. It will also offer new opportunities for socio-economic prosperity between both countries.
On signing the MoU, Professor Clive Roberts, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, said:
“I am delighted we are signing this collaboration agreement on behalf of the University of Birmingham. We have already shown that our collaborations can bring about technological change in both the UK and internationally. I look forward to growing our relationship with Suranaree to cover additional research areas.”
Dr Sak Kaewunruen, Senior Lecturer in Railway and Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham, said:
“We are very pleased to welcome senior executives from SUT, who have a strong connection with the Royal Thai Government, State Railway of Thailand, and many other National Agencies. We hope to grow this integral seed of relationship for long-term and mutual gains from future development and translation into practice of railway and transportation research and education.”
· The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education are leaders in railway science and education. The Centre has over 130 academics, researchers and professional support staff, delivering world class research and thought leadership within railways, and offers an expanding portfolio of high-quality education programmes. Close relationships with the rail industry mean that the Centre’s research and teaching draws in real-world situations and prepares graduates for the challenges of the future.
· Suranaree University of Technology was established as the first public autonomous university, outside the civil service system, under the supervision of the Royal Thai Government, promoting administrative proficiency and efficiency in its operations; a scholarly community consisting of the learned and the learners, as well as knowledge in Arts, Sciences and Technology, beneficial to both individuals and society.