Volume 15 Issue 4 - September 17, 2010 PDF
University of Bath :
Visit by Taiwan Top University R&D Delegation
Professor and Dean
Department of Electrical Engineering
College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
National Cheng Kung University
Tainan, Taiwan
[July 13, 2010]
This article first appeared in EECS NCKU
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Hosting Delegation:
  1. Professor Bernie Morley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) (b.j.morley@bath.ac.uk)
  2. Ms. Virginia Irwin, Deputy Head, International Office (v.irwin@bath.ac.uk)
  3. Professor J. Gary Hawley, Dean & Medlock Chair of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & Design; Professor of Automotive Engineering, Powertrain & Vehicle Research Center (j.g.hawley@bath.ac.uk)
  4. Dr. Richard Hooley, Head of Department of Biology & Biochemistry (bssrah@bath.ac.uk, www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci)
  5. Dr. Gareth J. Price, Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, Head of Department of Chemistry (g.j.price@bath.ac.uk)
  6. Professor Geof Wood, Prof. of Economics and International Development (g.d.wood@bath.ac.uk)
  7. Professor Richard Hooley, Head of Department, Biology & Biosciences (r.a.hooley@bath.ac.uk)

Taiwan Delegation:
Prof. Si-Chen Lee
Prof. Ching-Ray Chang
Ms. Cheng-Tung Tao
Prof. Ji-Wang Chern
Prof. Chao-Tsen Chen
Prof. Yonhua Tzeng
Prof. Yeng-Horng Perng
Prof. Chen-Yi Lee
Prof. Tsun-Yee Chiu
Prof. Yen-Hsyang Chu
Prof. Chuan-Mu Chen
Mr. Hsin-Yuan Lai
Ms. Pei-Yi Chen
Mr. Ching-An Chuang

Taiwan top university R&D delegation led by President S.C. Lee of NTU arrived at City of Bath around noon time on July 13, 2010.  Bath is a historical city famous for its Roman spa of natural warm spring water at a constant temperature of about 46˚C and containing special minerals that are thought to be good for curing certain diseases.  Universities UK Office arranged for a one-hour guided walking tour of the City for the Taiwan delegation before the meeting with officers of University of Bath convened at 2pm.  Well preserved ancient buildings and vivid story telling by the tour guide made our time slip back by thousand years.  The ancient living environments and daily activities were almost clearly reconstructed in our mind.
A bridge with shops on a beautiful river in the City of Bath.
City scene of the City of Bath.
An expensive residential building overlooking an open green field around a circular road in the City of Bath.
The delegation arrived at University of Bath (http://www.bath.ac.uk) around 2pm and was welcome by Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), Professor Bernie Morley.  The delegation met with Professor Gary Hawley, Dean of Faculty of Design & Engineering;  Professor Gareth Price, Head of Department of Chemistry; Professor Richard Hooley, Head of Department of Biology & Biosciences; and Professor Geof Wood, former Dean of Faculty of Humanities & Social Science. After welcoming and appreciation remarks by Pro-Vice-Chancellor Morley and President Lee, brief self introduction was given by everyone and the hosting delegation took turns to introduce the overall University of Bath and the specific strengths of each discipline as well as open discussion of opportunities for mutual collaboration.

University of Bath roots in the Bristol Trade School 1856 and the Bath School of Pharmacy 1907 and was established under Royal Charter in 1966 as University of Bath.  University of Bath has 13000 students and four faculties/schools including Science, Engineering & Design, Humanities & Social Sciences, and School of Management.  Bath has a portfolio of external funding, over £100M, including new grants of about £30M each year.  Bath currently ranks the 201st – 302nd in the world by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University World University Rankings and ranks the 144th by Times Higher Education World Rankings.

Chemistry is University of Bath’s research strength and ranks 51-75th in the world.  Among 32 academic staff, ten are in top 1% of cited chemists, two are RCUK and two are Royal Society Research Fellows.  About 70% of 400 undergraduates spend 1 yr in industry or overseas.  Major research activities in chemistry include (1) DTC in Sustainable Chemical Technologies (2009) - £16.5M total with 12 industrial partners to train up to 70 PhD students; (2) SUPERGEN Projects - £M’s UK consortia in renewable energy - Excitonic Solar Cells; Photovoltaic Materials for the 21st Century; Energy Storage Materials; and Sustainable Hydrogen Energy Consortium; (3) EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Grant - £3.4M , one of 12 grants in the UK; (4) Current EPSRC Portfolio for Chemistry is more than £10M.

Among universities in UK, the University has the following research strengths according to Guardian Ranking UK:  (i) Pharmacology & Pharmacy (UK 2); (ii) Engineering (UK 3); (iii) (Europe) Business (UK 4) ; (iv) Biosciences (UK 7); (v) Tourism & Sports (UK 8); (vi) Politics (UK 10); (vii) Computer Science (UK 15);  (viii) Psychology (UK 15); and (ix) Economics (UK 15).
A corner view of the meeting room showing (from left to right) Director Chao of British Council in Taipei, Professor Geof Wood, Mrs. Virginia Irwin, Dean Gary Hawley, Professor Richard Hooley, Professor Gareth Price, and Associate Research Fellow Tao of NSC, Taiwan.
From left to right, Dean Chu of NCU, Dean Chern of NTU, Director General Chang of NSC, President Lee of NTU, who, along with other Taiwan delegation, met with Pro-Vice-Chancellor Morley and his colleagues of U of Bath.
University of Bath also has a strong research program in advanced manufacturing science and technology.  The research programme is divided into four complementary themes: (i) constraint-based design and optimization, (ii) design information and knowledge, (iii) advanced machining processes and systems, and (iv) metrology and assembly systems and technologies.

Bath is involved in the following 6 out of 13 programs of the Sustainable Power Generation and Supply (SUPERGEN) Multidisciplinary research consortia managed by the Research Councils UK and the Carbon Trust to help the UK meet its environmental emissions through radical improvement in the sustainability of power generation and supply: (i) Sustainable Hydrogen Energy Consortium, (ii) PV materials for the 21st century, (iii) Highly distributed power systems, (iv) Future network technologies, (v) Energy storage, and (vi) Excitonic solar cells.  Other green projects being undertaken at Bath include (i) Green packaging, (ii) Low carbon building materials, (iii) Low carbon IC engines, and (iv) Crops to combustion–a biodiesel focus.

There should be plenty of opportunities for the Institute of Manufacturing Information and System and the Energy Research Center at NCKU as well as a variety of research teams in all universities in Taiwan to collaborate with Univ. of Bath in their active research areas.

Interdisciplinary Bioscience Research (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/) in Bath spans six departments: (1) Biology & Biochemistry, (2) Chemistry, (3) Mathematical Sciences, (4) Pharmacy & Pharmacology, (5) Chemical Engineering, and (6) Sport Health & Exercise Science.  The main research themes are (1) Food Security, (2) Bioenergy & Industrial Biotechnology, (3) Health & Regenerative Medicine, and (4) Evolutionary Genomics.

Professor Richard Hooley is studying a special species of microalgae growing in the special warm spring water in Bath for CO2 capture & biodiesel production.  He believes that this species of microalgae probably will not grow in other environments and should not cause contamination to other water resources.  It is not clear whether growing microalgae in special warm spring water at 46˚C in Bath is economically viable; but, the choice of a species of microalgae which might not have adverse effects on environments is an interesting consideration.  A number of Taiwanese students have studied or are studying biosciences in University of Bath.
Roman spa in the City of Bath (left) and a researcher collecting microalgae growing in the hot spring water (right) (photo taken from U of Bath’s presentation)

Design & Layout : Ivan Tarn, The Banyan Editorial Office
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