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27 / 10 / 2017
Four More SENG Faculty Received Named Professorships
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Four leading faculty members of the School of Engineering were recognized with prestigious named professorships at HKUST’s fourth inauguration ceremony for such honors today. They were among a group of 15 outstanding academics across the University to receive named professorships.

Officiating at the ceremony, HKUST Council Chairman Mr Andrew Cheung-sing Liao said, “My heartfelt gratitude goes to our donors for their generous giving that made possible the establishment of the named professorships today. Our donors’ unfailing support has allowed the University to recruit as well as retain, the best talents in education and research from around the globe, empowering us to endeavor in the advancement of knowledge and innovation to meet challenges of the society ahead.”

HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan congratulated the appointed faculty members and thanked the donors’ generosity. “I am delighted to see our vision of the scheme of named professorships is beginning to bear fruit. The number of named professorships has risen from under 10 in 2009 to almost 40 today. This is a testimony to the concerted effort of many – our donors, who recognize the importance of these professorships for advancing the mission of the University; and our distinguished Chair holders, for their achievements which help lay the foundation for HKUST to become a world-class research university,” he said.

The professorships were made possible by generous donations rendered to HKUST from long-standing contributors to higher education. The four engineering-related ones are (in alphabetical order): Chinese Estates Holdings Limited, CLP Holdings Limited, Elman Family Foundation, and Stephen Kam Chuen Cheong Education Fund.

Among the officiating guests at the inauguration ceremony were HKUST Council Chairman Mr Liao, President Prof Chan and other senior management. Donors, corporate sponsors and their representatives were also present at the ceremony to celebrate the inauguration.

The appointed professors from the School of Engineering are:

Chinese Estates Professor of Engineering
Prof Mohamed Ghidaoui
Chair Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Fluid mechanics expert Prof Ghidaoui is now leading a top international interdisciplinary research team in the exciting Smart Urban Water Supply System theme-based project that is seeking to deliver a world-first diagnostic technology in Hong Kong to tackle the complex, huge and pressing global problem of urban water wastage from leakages and inefficiencies in pipelines. He is a recipient of the Arthur Thomas Ippen Award, the most prestigious prize presented by the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and the first non-European- or US-based editor of the IAHR’s flagship Journal of Hydraulic Research.

Elman Family Professor of Engineering and Public Policy
Prof Joseph Hun-wei Lee
Chair Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Prof Lee is renowned for his world-leading research in environmental hydraulics – prediction and control of water quality, water management and emergency preparedness. He has been deeply involved in Hong Kong’s multi-billion dollar Harbour Area Treatment Scheme, urban and drainage flooding schemes, beach water quality and red tide forecasting. He was the first Asia-based academic to receive the eminent Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award and a recipient of a State Scientific and Technological Progress Award, Second Class. Prof Lee also now chairs the Assessment Panel for the Hong Kong Public Policy Research Scheme and recently spearheaded the first joint Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE)-HKAES independent policy study on innovation and technology development in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta.

CLP Holdings Professor of Sustainability
Prof Charles Ng
Chair Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Associate Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies

Prof Ng is a global authority on advanced unsaturated soils mechanics and eco-friendly green slope engineering and a frontier explorer of geo-energy and geo-environmental engineering. In the past 20 years, he has made numerous theoretical breakthroughs, invented patented and internationally adopted engineering research tools, and pioneered innovative applications, including using the “natural engineering capabilities” of plants as slope stabilizers. Prof Ng is currently leading a large-scale research project on debris flow damage and sustainable mitigation as extreme weather events multiply landslide hazards. The project has won two major awards already. Prof Ng is also a recipient of a State Scientific and Technological Progress Award, Second Class, an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences. He recently became the first Chinese person to be elected President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (2017-2021) since its establishment in 1936.

Cheong Ying Chan Professor of Engineering and Environment
Prof Tianshou Zhao
Chair Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Director, HKUST Energy Institute

Solving the pressing global challenge of finding truly practical alternative technologies to fossil fuels is Prof Zhao’s research goal. This has led to seminal contributions to renewable energy storage devices, including direct fuel cells, flow batteries and lithium-air batteries, and now an innovative e-fuel storage system, which is the focus of a theme-based research project funded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council. Prof Zhao has received two State Natural Science Awards in consecutive years, a Croucher Senior Research Fellowship, and a Thomson Reuters’ highly cited researcher listing (2014, 2015 and 2016). Under his leadership, the HKUST Energy Institute is also powering ahead on next-generation solar cells, energy policy and energy-efficient smart green buildings, and will launch Hong Kong’s first bachelor program in sustainable energy engineering in 2018.

With four newly appointed named professors, there are currently 11 named professors at School of Engineering. The seven existing named professors are:

Prof Guillermo Gallego, Crown Worldwide Professor of Engineering
Chair Professor and Head, Department of Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management

Prof Hoi-Sing Kwok, Dr William M W Mong Professor of Nanotechnology
Chair Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering

Prof Kei May Lau, Fang Professor of Engineering
Chair Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering

Prof Qiang Yang, New Bright Professor of Engineering
Chair Professor and Head, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Prof Qian Zhang, Tencent Professor of Engineering
Chair Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Prof Xin Zhang, Swire Professor of Aerospace Engineering
Chair Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Prof Matthew McKay, Hari Harilela Associate Professor of Electronic and Computer Engineering
Associate Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering

These professorships were created with generous donation from Crown Worldwide Group, Shun Hing Education and Charity Fund, Fang Brothers Group, Wong Check She Charitable Foundation, Tencent Charity Foundation Limited, The Swire Group Charitable Trust, and Dr Hari & Mrs Padma Harilela respectively.

Related Link(s)
HKUST press release
Named Professorships at HKUST
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