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PolyU and XJTU collaborate in nurturing engineering talent for Silk Road developments

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 November, 2017, 5:21pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 12:14pm

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) have jointly set up the Silk Road International School of Engineering (SRISE) for fostering cooperation and exchange in research and education among the Belt and Road countries and regions.

Among the series of education, training and exchange initiatives SRISE to be launched next year is its first collaboration project partnering with the Hongkong Electric Company, Limited (HK Electric) and the State Grid Corporation of China (State Grid) to help nurture high-level talents in power and energy field.     

To mark the significance of the university-industry collaboration, SRISE staged a launching ceremony earlier this month (November) on PolyU campus, which was officiated by Mr Patrick Nip Tak-kuen, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs of the HKSAR Government. Other officiating guests were: PolyU Council Chairman Mr Chan Tze-ching, XJTU Vice President Professor Xi Guang, HK Electric Managing Director Mr Wan Chi-tin, and State Grid Division Director Mr Li Ming.

Addressing the ceremony, Mr Chan Tze-ching emphasised that the Belt and Road initiative would have profound impact on Hong Kong and the world. The Hong Kong Government had been actively working with different stakeholders to make best use of the opportunities created, and both PolyU and XJTU were giving a lead by setting up SRISE.

“In collaboration with renowned local and mainland enterprises, we are confident that we can contribute to the country by leveraging our complementary strengths to nurture talent, promote research, and assist in the developments of the Belt and Road region,” he said. 

Professor Xi Guang stressed that education played a pivotal role in driving the Belt and Road developments. He believed that PolyU and XJTU could certainly contribute their strengths towards the nation’s Belt and Road strategies through their close collaboration, in partnership with the industry, in areas like talent cultivation, scientific research and technology transfer.    

University-Industry Collaboration

SRISE’s first university-industry collaborated workshop in power and energy field will be launched in April next year. About 30 hand-picked senior executives and researchers from companies, government units and higher education institutions in Belt and Road countries, such as Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Portugal and the Philippines will be invited. The cross-regional cross-cultural workshop, supported by HK Electric and State Grid, will be the first of its kind in both the mainland and Hong Kong. Similar annual workshop is also planned up to 2020.   

In the two-week workshop to be staged in Jinan, Beijing and Hong Kong, the participants will learn practical knowledge and experiences from veteran academics and professionals from the co-organisers, as well as latest international developments in design, technology and management in the power and energy field. They will also have field-trip study of different urban facilities in power systems, such as HK Electric’s Lamma Power Station and the power distribution system of a densely populated vertical city of Hong Kong Island, as well as State Grid’s power network in different mainland cities.

Mr Wan Chi-tin said HK Electric has been providing safe, reliable and stable power supply for Hong Kong for over 125 years by applying advancing technologies and expertise to overcome the unique mountainous terrain of Hong Kong Island. “We are glad to share with our industry peers, through this workshop, the experiences we have accumulated over the years.”

Professor Man Hau-chung, Dean of PolyU’s Faculty of Engineering, said other than the energy field, SRISE would explore cooperation with more enterprises, organisations and institutions in different spectra for furthering its training and research initiatives. He said the potential areas for developing collaboration would be those catering for the imminent development demands in the Belt and Road region, such as logistics, transportation, infrastructure, communications, etc.

Initiatives in Education, Research, Knowledge Transfer

Elaborating on the future directions of SRISE, Professor Man said it has planned to run international dual-degree programmes up to master’s and doctoral levels to help meet the talent needs of Belt and Road countries, as well as the mainland and Hong Kong. The programmes with global outlook, to be guided by academics from PolyU and XJTU, will initially target mainland students and gradually extend to recruit high-quality students from Belt and Road region.

Among such programmes, the first to be start next spring in Xi’an will be the part-time Master of Science in Information Systems, targeting mainland university graduates and professionals working in the mainland’s western areas. Another dual doctoral degree will be launched next September, in which PolyU and XJTU scholars will jointly guide the candidates in their research. The candidates will be required to divide their study period, usually of four years, between the two universities.

Professor Man said on the platform of SRISE, PolyU and XJTU would also further collaborate in conducting high-quality and impactful scientific research projects. SRISE will also offer on-going high-level training and knowledge transfer programmes for engineering professionals and related enterprises in the Belt and Road region to cope with their development needs.