Chinese honour awarded to Nottingham Professor

22 May 2009 14:28:00.000

PA 143/09

A University of Nottingham professor has been honoured by one of the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions in China.


Professor Alan Dodson, an expert in the use and development of satellite navigation systems, has been awarded an ‘Advisory Professorship’ by Tongji University in Shanghai. The award will help to foster closer collaboration between the two universities in the future, in areas of mutual research interest.


The honour was presented by Professor Yongsheng Li, Executive Vice President of Tongji University, during a recent visit to China by Professor Dodson.

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Established in 1907, Tongji is one of China’s oldest and most prestigious universities and the nation’s leading institution in the field of civil engineering. Its Department of Surveying, which was established in 1932, is known as the ‘Cradle of Chinese Surveyors’. The former President of Tongji University, Dr Wan Gang, is now the Minister of Science and Technology in the Chinese Government.


Links have existed between The University of Nottingham and Tongji University since 2002, when a Memorandum of Understanding was first signed between the two institutions. Since then a co-operative relationship has been established through a series of joint research projects involving satellite positioning, civil engineering, and transportation.


During his visit to Tongji, Professor Dodson gave technical presentations to students and academics in the College of Civil Engineering. He also visited Tongji’s Medical School and the School of Life Sciences to discuss the universities’ joint interest in research into aspects of traditional Chinese medicine.


Professor Dodson said: “It’s a great honour to be awarded the ‘Tongji Advisory Professorship’.  We have had an excellent working relationship with Tongji University for several years and look forward to continuing fruitful collaborations in the future.”


Professor Dodson delivers research and teaching in the University’s Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG), one of Europe’s leading centres research centres for satellite navigation systems in areas such as mapping, environmental monitoring, engineering, meteorology and archaeology. He is also a Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University, Director of the University’s collaborative research centre in New Zealand, and a Special Professor of the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping.


The University of Nottingham has particularly close links with China — having established a campus in the coastal city of Ningbo in 2005. The University of Nottingham Ningbo was the first foreign higher education institution to be established in China and is now home to 3,600 students from more than 30 countries.


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.


Story credits

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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