Dr Zhongbei Tian

Dr Zhongbei Tian

Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Assistant Professor in Transport Energy Systems

Contact details

School of Engineering
Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Zhongbei Tian leads the research of transport energy system decarbonisation. Some research interests include transport (railway, road, ship) energy system modelling and analysis, railway traction power supply systems, energy-efficient train control, energy system optimisation, and sustainable transport energy systems integration and management.

Zhongbei has published over 60 high-impact papers. He has been leading on a number of projects funded by EPSRC, Royal Society, Horizon 2020, Network Rail, RSSB, and Innovate UK. His research has been implemented in projects across the world, including Network Rail, Edinburgh Tram in the UK, Madrid Metro in Spain, SMRT in Singapore, Beijing and Guangzhou Metro in China. He was the winner of the prestigious 2016 European Partnership for Railway Energy Settlement Systems (ERESS) Award for Best Energy Efficiency Project for Railways.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2022
  • PhD, Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Birmingham, 2017
  • BEng (1st Hon), Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Birmingham, 2013
  • BEng, Electrical Engineering and Automation, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 2013


Dr Zhongbei Tian received BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Birmingham and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan, China) in 2013, and PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2017.

Dr Tian has been working as a Research Fellow in Railway Power Systems at Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), the University of Birmingham in 2017-2020, delivering the projects funded by EU Horizon 2020, Innovate UK, Network Rail, and SMRT in Singapore.

From 2020-2023, Dr Tian was appointed as a Lecturer in Electrical Energy Systems at the University of Liverpool. He built up the transport electrification group, leading the EPRSC and Royal Society projects as PI. He also led the Network for Innovative Sustainable Transportation Co-Simulation (NIST-CS) funded by N8 Research Partnership.

Dr Tian moved back to the University of Birmingham in 2023, as an Assistant Professor leading the transport energy decarbonisation research. He is developing international leadership in zero-carbon transport energy integration systems research, which is supported by EPSRC, Royal Society, Innovate UK and industry.

Dr Tian has published over 60 high-impact papers in internationally renowned journals including IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on Transport Electrification, Transport Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, etc. He organised a Special Issue as a Guest Editor on the Low Carbon Industrial and Social Economy of Energy-Transportation Nexus at IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics in 2022. He has been the Publicity Chair and Special Session Chair on Electrical Railways Systems at the IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC) since 2020.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Zhongbei Tian is accepting PhD students and visiting scholars who are interested in transport and energy systems.

Please contact with Dr Zhongbei Tian directly to discuss the research topics and PhD scholarship.


Research interests

  • Transport Energy System Modelling and Optimisation
  • Smart Grid and Transport Energy Integration
  • Vehicle Operation and optimisation