From left: Caitin Dobson (India Institute), Professor Peter Brocklehurst, Andrew Fleming, Shruti Doshi and Wenwei Wu (India Institute), Dr Martin Toms, and Dr Sohini Chakrabortee.


A top UK government diplomat in India visited the University of Birmingham recently to discover how research experts might work with policymakers and partners in the country’s south-eastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Deputy high commissioner Hyderabad Andrew Fleming visited the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education to find out more about the university’s world-renowned railway research into areas such as metro and high-speed rail.

Hosted by the university’s India Institute, he also toured the Birmingham Energy Institute, viewing a number of world firsts, including the cryogenic energy storage unit and the first engine to run on liquid air- the Dearman engine.

Fleming viewed the ground-breaking technology as part of a briefing on the development of ‘clean cold’ logistics chains, which are an important priority in India and globally in meeting the demand for sustainable cooling.

The deputy high commissioner also visited the Institute of Translational Medicine and Queen Elizabeth Hospital to learn about the university’s work as part of the National Institute for Health Research. He met academics leading the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery.

He also toured the university’s sport and fitness centre with the director of sports Zena Wooldridge OBE and Dr Martin Toms, discovering more about Birmingham’s work with elite athletes in India.

Fleming commented, “this was a truly inspiring day at the University of Birmingham hosted by the India Institute, which highlighted the immense potential for collaboration with our partners in the Telugu Region and beyond. There is much to follow up on.”

Andrew Fleming joined the British Civil Service in 1986 and has held a wide variety of positions in both the home ministry and the foreign service. He has served substantively in Uganda, Ghana and most recently Nigeria but has worked on international policy issues in many parts of the world including South Asia.

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham, said, “we’re delighted to welcome Deputy High Commissioner Andrew Fleming to the University of Birmingham, as part of our long-standing engagement with India.

“As a civic university with a global outlook, our India Institute affirms the university’s deep and continued commitment to the country, and our aim to contribute to Indian society, as our researchers forge links with counterparts to change millions of lives for the better.”