In 2009, the Royal Society of Chemistry signed a cooperation agreement with the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), a division of the Chinese Government. As part of a wider governmental initiative to enhance the global impact of Chinese science and China’s higher education institutions, the RSC and SAFEA provide funding for a Visiting Researchers Programme. This encourages academics from the UK to visit Chinese universities to share best practice, advise Chinese researchers on presenting their research to an international audience and to stimulate collaboration between UK and Chinese institutions.
 
This blog provides a space for participants to share their experiences and for the RSC to highlight the opportunities that stem from the SAFEA programme.

*The map is reproduced from the United Nations Statistics Division
 

Welcome To Nankai University - Day 2 - 13th September

The end of my first day in China and I am sitting in my very pleasant, large and thankfully air-conditioned rooms in the “Foreigners Guest House” on the campus of Nankai Univeristy. Yesterday I did finally make it onto the plane, though sadly no upgrade! I arrived in Beijing at 10am after a ten hour flight and was met by Rosemary from the RSC’s Beijing office. It was great to see a friendly face, and she briefed me on my schedule before whisking me off to the Taxi rank and a trip to the mainline train station in Beijing. From there I took the impressively fast express train (up to 350 kmph) to Tianjin, which at this speed was just a 30 minute ride away.

My main host in Tianjin for the week is Professor Xian-He Bu at Nankai Univeristy, and I was met at Tianjin station by two senior members of his research group, Drs Tong-Liang Hu and Yong-Fei Zeng . It was at this stage that I got my first experience of Tianjin traffic – an exhilarating mix of aggressively driven cars, scooters and bikes taking seemingly random routes through the wide but congested streets. All this was accompanied by the constant cacophony of car horns. We somewhat miraculously made it to the University without any accidents and I was able to check into my rooms for the week.

After unpacking I set off to the Chemistry Department to meet Professor Bu for the first time. Professor Bu is renowned expert in the area of magnetic materials and Metal Organic Frameworks (or MOFs for short). This is an area in which we ourselves have recently published several articles, so I hope we may be able to initiate some kind of collaboration. He and his group were extremely welcoming and I was given a tour of his well-equipped labs, with the occasional stop for photo-opportunities. Several of us then left the campus for dinner in one of Tianjin’s best restaurants. This was a great experience as not only was the Chinese food delicious, but it also allowed us to get to know each other a bit more informally. Luckily I am familiar with chopsticks and am quite adventurous in my eating which I think helped too! I am now back in my rooms and looking forward to a much needed early night to catch up on sleep and recover from the jet-lag.

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Posted by Rob Davies on Oct 25, 2010 4:04 PM Europe/London

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