On 16-17 December 2022, the 2022 UK-China Universities Consortium on Engineering Education and Research (UKCEER) – Net Zero Engineering Center Forum, jointly hosted by China Electrotechnical Society (CES) and the UKCEFR, was successfully held in Nanjing and Birmingham, attracting 23,000 plus attendants from home and abroad through virtual or in-person events.
At the opening ceremony, Prof Jon Frampton, Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Birmingham, Prof Litao Sun, Vice President of Southeast University, Prof Chris Johnson, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast, Mrs. Meifang Zhang, Consul General of Belfast, and Mrs. Lei Shi, Education Director of British Council in China, delivered welcome and congratulation speeches. Prof Litao Sun and Chris Johnson jointly announced the launch of the UK-China Consortium on Net Zero Engineering. The new consortium aims at accelerating the zero-carbon process, supporting the leading role of universities in China and the UK on the zero-carbon economy regarding scientifical innovation, technological transformation and young-talent training, deepening the integration of Industry-University-Research-Application, and bringing out the advantages of each member alliance. The ceremony was hosted by Prof Yulong Ding of the University of Birmingham, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Following the opening ceremony, 11 invited keynote talks were addressed by world-reputed scholars, including Prof Yusheng Xue, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Prof Martin Freer of the University of Birmingham, Prof Colin Snape of University of Nottingham, Prof James Yu of SP Energy Network, Prof Qinghua Wu of South China University of Technology, Prof Jianzhong Wu of Cardiff University, Prof Wenpeng Luan of Tianjin University, Prof Ping Zheng of Harbin Institute of Technology, Prof David Rooney of Queen's University Belfast, Prof Peter Taylor of Leeds University, and Professor Joseph Yan of Liverpool University.
Next, scholars from the UK held two in-person forums on the theme of "Advanced Carbon Capture Technology", addressing two special issues on "Accelerating the Low-carbon Energy Transition" and "Zero-carbon Hybrid Energy Storage". Invited speakers were Prof Tim Coombs of Cambridge University, Prof Xiaoping Zhang of the University of Birmingham, Prof Kang Li of Leeds University, Dr. Chenghong Gu of Bath University, Prof Yulong Ding and Prof Zhibing Yu of the University of Glasgow, Prof Xin Tu of Liverpool University, and Dr. Chunping Xie of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The closing ceremony hosted by Prof Wei Gu, Associate Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering at Southeast University, was held on 17 December. Prof Kang Li of Leeds University and Prof Keqi Xu of Southeast University, representing the UK and China sides, were invited to deliver conclusion speeches, expressing strong confidence in future multi-dimensional substantive collaborations, and interest in the official launch of the Net Zero Engineering Center Forum next year. The success of this forum marks a new stage of in-depth cooperation between China and the UK. In the near future, alliance universities will further work closely, focusing on conducting carbon-neutrality research, cultivating world-class innovative talents, and building a high-end international academic exchange platform under the continuous traction of the global dual-carbon strategy.