HKUST celebrates its 25th congregation

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A Powerhouse for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and An Exemplar of Best-in-Class Standards, Practices and Operations

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 November, 2017, 10:59am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 November, 2017, 10:59am

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A Powerhouse for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

One of HKUST’s main objectives is to become a leading institution for research and postgraduate study, and collaborate closely with industry to translate cutting edge research into great innovations. Today, our research and innovation has made a profound impact on the global communities, and we continue our efforts to extend our entrepreneurial culture to benefit society at large.

Bringing innovation to Belt and Road Countries and Beyond

Air pollution is a major obstacle in the socio-economic development of China and many Belt and Road countries. To that end, Prof Yeung King-lun, Associate Dean of Engineering (Research and Graduate Studies), spearheaded a project that turned research findings into an air purification system that removes up to 99.999 per cent of airborne bacteria and viruses, including influenza (H1N1, H3N2), EV71 and MERS-Cov (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus). This innovative technology can be incorporated into a wide range of products and applies to areas such as the purification of sewage, providing a novel solution to environmental challenges on a global scale.

In addition, the Nano Confined Catalytic Oxidation (NCCO) air purification technology developed by the University has been successfully brought into commercialization by HKUST alumus Cathy Jim. The technology is now widely employed in landfill data collection centers, public restrooms in MTR stations and shopping malls, and hospital pathology wards.

Another influential research project was led by Prof Charles Ng, CLP Holdings Professor of Sustainability, Associate Vice-President (Research and Graduate Studies) and Chair Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research team has developed a system against rapid debris flow which can be deployed in Hong Kong and countries in the Belt and Road Initiative. Prof Ng was elected the next President of International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering for the period 2017 – 2021, becoming the first ever Chinese chief of the society since 1936 and striving to elevate engineering education and groom talent in the Belt and Road countries.

Promoting Innovation Exchanges in Greater China

2017 saw HKUST leveraging fully on available opportunities and resources to expand its sphere of impact to Mainland China and the world. The establishment of HKUST’s “Blue Bay Incubator” in Qianhai, provides a great platform for young innovative minds in both HK and China to join force to produce results of value to the economy and society.

The inauguration of the France-HKUST Innovation Hub in March aims to provide a one-stop platform to enhance partnerships and strengthen the linkage between French and Hong Kong innovation partners in education, science and technology, and is poised to serve as an incubator of ideas, opportunities and innovation, promoting aspiration for excellence in innovative projects.

Nurturing and Growing Hong Kong Entrepreneurial Talent

In 2017, HKUST continues to provide a robust environment for students to develop their own ideas and turn them into real and practical business ideas.

Prof Li Zexiang of the Department of Electrical Engineering cofounded Hong Kong X-Tech, a brand new start-up funding platform, which gave 6 local start-ups funding in August and aims to groom them into Hong Kong’s next unicorns.

“VOID”, an app developed by HKUST students that aims to help users release stress, improve sleeping quality and concentration by easy games and audio instructions of regulating breathing, won the 2017 Hong Kong Information and Communication Technology Award (ICT) and has been downloaded more than 2,300 times since launch.

The 7th edition of the One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition, the HKUST hackathon, and a brand new in-flight TravelTech hackathon “Hack Horizon” were organized to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs and all took place to wide acclaim.

An Exemplar of Best-in-Class Standards, Practices, and Operations

World-class talents and future leaders require a first-rate administrative and management system and state-of-the-art facilities to provide them with an inspirational and sustainable environment for work and study. With the naturally embedded “can-do” culture in the community, HKUST strives to showcase our best practices as an agile and effective organization in nurturing a high-performance culture.

New Facilities to Meet Holistic Campus Development

Early this year, HKUST Jockey Club Hall – a new residential building at Tseung Kwan O that provides 512 bed spaces for undergraduate students – opened to promote holistic education and eco-friendliness. The opening of the nine-story hostel, which has incorporated many green features such as motion and daylight sensors for lighting control in corridors and lift lobbies, recycling of rainwater for irrigation, and solar powered landscape lighting, is a prelude to the implementation of several large-scale facility developments to fulfill academic and student needs. Construction work of the Indoor Sports Center and Water Sports Centre, as well as the enhancement of the University’s waterfront has already commenced as part of the plan and are set to be completed in the first quarter of 2018. To enhance dining experiences for students, faculty and staff, HKUST has also spearheaded a Catering Master Plan to upgrade several on-campus catering outlets and bring in more food choices to meet the diverse needs of the University community. Two restaurants will reopen this month after the makeover. 

Sustainability is Key to the World’s Future

HKUST is committed to sustainability by transforming our campus into a living laboratory for eco-advancement and awareness. Late last year, HKUST won the 2016 Energy Project of the Year Award for the Asia Pacific Region conferred by the Association of Energy Engineers. The award is a recognition of our project that upgrades the University’s central chiller plant into a district cooling system saving millions of dollars in costs and over 20 percent of energy consumption. HKUST has a history of promoting energy conservation. It was the first institute to introduce energy-saving performance contract in Southeast Asia back in 1997 – the brand new concept at the time allows the University to share with the contractor any proceeds from electricity tariff that the latter managed to cut. Looking ahead, HKUST is committed to reducing energy consumption by 10 per cent in 2020 over the base year of 2014/15. The University will strive to meet the goals in reducing energy, waste and greenhouse gases as pledged in the HKUST 2020 Sustainability Challenge.

On the waste reduction front, HKUST has recently launched a campaign to free the campus from disposable bottled water from all vending machines, canteens, and the Conference Lodge. Fourteen new water fountains with bottle-filling capabilities are being installed, and temporary water filling stations will be provided for large-scale events. To encourage the usage of water fountains on campus, all first year students were provided with free reusable water bottles on their first day at HKUST in September.