Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, this week visited Beijing, China, to be formally admitted into the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in recognition of her contributions to mechanical and aeronautical engineering and the promotion of China-UK engineering collaborations. 

Dame Ann attended a formal induction for new foreign members following an opening speech by President Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China. As part of the induction, Dame Ann delivered a plenary lecture on the lessons she learnt through her research career and how these informed her priorities and approach as President of the Academy.

During the visit to Beijing, Professor Dame Ann Dowling also met with the UK Ambassador to China, Her Excellency Dame Barbara Woodward, to discuss the Academy’s work with the CAE and wider UK research and innovation policy.

Dame Ann said: “It is a wonderful honour to be elected as a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and I look forward to continuing the fruitful collaboration between our national Academies. The Royal Academy of Engineering has worked very closely with the CAE to address global engineering challenges and to highlight the enormous contribution of engineering in society across the world. I hope this leads to a new phase of deeper collaboration between our Academies.”

The visit also saw the Royal Academy of Engineering and the CAE renew their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), continuing their joint commitment to promoting social and economic development and tackling international engineering issues. The MOU was signed during a special ceremony with Professor Zhou Ji, President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering on Monday 28 May.

The MOU between the two academies was last signed in 2012 by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s former President, Sir John Parker GBE FREng, and Professor Zhou Ji of the CAE. During the last six years the Academy and the CAE have collaborated on a number of initiatives covering a wide range of engineering sectors, including advanced manufacturing, sustainable energy and emerging technologies.

The most recent partnership between the two Academies, the Urban Flooding Research Impact Programme, supported by the Newton Fund, aims to increase the impact Chinese and UK research has on urban flooding policy in China and across the world. The programme was developed following the China-UK Urban Flooding Symposium, held in Nanjing, China, which highlighted the need to enhance partnerships between researchers, government and industry to address urban flood management. The Royal Academy of Engineering and the CAE are supporting seven Chinese-UK collaborations between universities and industry to help advance deeper strategic partnerships. 

Professor Zhou Ji, President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said: “We are pleased to renew our MOU with the Royal Academy of Engineering. Our collaboration has brought together leading engineering experts to work on a range of important areas of policy and research.  We hope our partnership will continue to deliver benefits to both China and UK engineering and expertise, particularly as we enter the Golden Era of UK-China collaboration.”

Notes to editors

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have three strategic challenges:
- Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
- Address the engineering skills crisis
- Position engineering at the heart of society

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