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A Chinese Manufacturer of Fast Trains Funds an NJIT Research Lab

Donald Sebastian, Senior Vice President for Research & Development at NJIT, signs an agreement with a CSR official to establish an NJIT research lab that will help the Chinese company improve wireless communications on its fast trains.

One of China’s leading manufacturers of fast trains will fund an NJIT research lab that will develop new wireless communication technologies.  These technologies will offer passengers wireless internet connections on the high-speed trains.

The company, CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Research Institute Co., signed an agreement earlier in the week with NJIT to fund the lab, which will be based in the department of electrical and computer engineering (ECE).  Professors in this department, who are national experts in wireless communication, will conduct the research.    

“In brief, we will develop wireless communication and control technologies to allow passengers traveling on high-speed trains to communicate with each other and outside the trains via the Internet,” said NJIT Distinguished Professor Mengchu Zhou.  “We’ll build a simulation platform to examine wireless communication performance issues for high-speed rail systems.  That platform will allow us to create a high-speed network on which passengers can use their laptops and phones to communicate with each other and the outside world.” 

Donald Sebastian, senior vice president for research and development, said he traveled to China in 2010 and met there with Jackie Zhou, ’03.  Zhou, who graduated with a master’s degree in computer science, works in economic development for the Chinese government in Zhuzhou.  She also helped to found a chapter of the NJIT Alumni Association in China.

Zhou put Sebastian in touch with officials from CSR, who were looking for ways to improve their high-speed train technologies.  Sebastian explained to them that NJIT is a nationally-ranked research university with prominent research professors.  In the fall of this year, NJIT President Joel Bloom traveled to China along with Sebastian to meet again with CSR officials.  They were so impressed with Bloom and NJIT’s research prowess that they decided to fund the CSRZIC Laboratory for Rail System Network and Information Technologies at NJIT.

“This new lab will help us innovate and develop the next-generation technologies in wireless communication and information systems,” said Jianghua Feng, vice president and chief engineer for CSR.  “We need to be out front in technology to support our business and NJIT will allow us to do that.”

President Bloom said he was delighted with the agreement and the founding of the new lab, which will allow CSR and NJIT to collaborate in areas of mutual interest.

“Developing international relationships with major companies like CSR is of critical importance to NJIT,” said Bloom.  “I’m delighted that our trips to China resulted in this new partnership with CSR and I look forward to expanding that partnership.”