The launch of a new Joint Doctorate programme in the Built Environment marks the first phase of a significant new partnership between China’s leading institute for built environment research and the University of Salford.
Manchester China Forum, a business-led initiative aimed at increasing Greater Manchester’s commercial connectivity with China, facilitated the new collaboration with China Academy of Building Research (CABR).
The partnership, which was officially signed last month at the University’s THINKLab, will allow the University to expand on its existing and highly regarded research capabilities in the fields of smart cities and building information modelling, big data and e-health, inclusive housing design, and low carbon retrofit.
The Doctorate will be promoted throughout China and will be available to postgraduates in construction and engineering disciplines. Aside from joint supervision of PhD students, the programme will include a research staff exchange and a number of research collaborations.
Those pursuing a PhD will spend half of their time (1.5 years) in Beijing and half in Salford, working with CABR representatives. The programme is expected to award 20 PhDs per year at first.
The Doctorate is the first phase of a larger collaboration between the two institutions to build on existing expertise and skills within the University and thus on behalf of the Manchester city-region.
“Following the recent launch of Manchester’s investment portfolio in Beijing, this is another significant milestone in our continued engagement with China,” said Rhys Whalley, executive director of Manchester China Forum.
“The partnership is especially relevant to Manchester and China’s ongoing dialogue and collaboration in the fields of smart cities and urban regeneration, providing unprecedented access to data and knowledge from one of the world’s leading construction and engineering academies.”
“CABR is China’s top built-environment research institute, and it establishes all of China’s codes of practise, building regulations, and material testing requirements.” As a result, we’re very excited to see how this project develops, as we believe it will help to open up new avenues for collaboration and development.”
“Manchester is rapidly positioning itself in the vanguard of UK-China smart city work,” said Steve Turner, who leads Manchester City Council’s smart city activity. This new initiative will complement our pioneering, Foreign Office-funded work with Greater Manchester’s SMEs through Digital China, as well as our leadership role in the EU China Smart Cities Forum.”
“This is a very important relationship with such a prestigious Chinese Academy and the School of the Built Environment and the School of Computing, Science and Engineering, which are our flagship research centres,” said Professor Martin Hall, vice chancellor at the University of Salford.
“This collaboration will complement the £800 million Manchester Airport City project, on which Beijing Construction and Engineering Group is now the primary contractor.” It is also an exciting opportunity for the University of Salford to form new partnerships, as China currently accounts for more than half of global construction.”