Published: 01 July 2014

Surrey shares research knowledge with Tsinghua University

Dr Tao Chen will visit Tsinghua University as part of a long-term collaboration that has included the secondment of PhD students from Tsinghua to Surrey.

An alumna of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, himself – having studied for his BEng and MEng at the university – Dr Chen, a Lecturer in Surrey’s Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, is being funded by the Tsinghua Global Scholars Fellowship Programme for his visit in August.

While there, Dr Chen will give seminars on using mathematical models and informatics to optimise manufacturing processes in terms of design and operation. These methods could have a highly positive impact on the chemical, pharmaceutical and food processing industries, enabling them to increase profits and reduce energy consumption, waste and carbon footprint.

"Through the exchange, we hope to inspire new methods, solutions and even new research areas for the future."

- Dr Chen

Dr Chen’s visit to Tsinghua is his second to the university, and part of a long-term collaboration over the past four years. This has included the secondment of two PhD students from Tsinghua to Surrey for four months, during which they helped to develop and validate new modelling and optimisation techniques, with the results published in leading publications. Following their success, this September will see the arrival of a third PhD student from Tsinghua.

Dr Chen commented, “I was excited and honoured to be invited to visit Tsinghua, which is the best university for engineering in China – particularly as the invitation came from Professor Huang, an extremely well-respected academic in the area of process control. I am very much looking forward to sharing my research with peers and students.”

One of the potential benefits of the collaboration, Dr Chen believes, is that Surrey and Tsinghua are involved in complementary but different application areas.

“While research at Surrey focuses on relatively high value-added manufacturing such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and specialty chemicals, the respective group at Tsinghua has extensive experience in the petrochemical industry,” he explained. “Because of this, the specific modelling methods we use are quite different. Through the exchange, we hope to inspire new methods, solutions and even new research areas for the future.”


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