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Industrial Development and Business in CityU

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 Industrial Development and Business in CityU                              and we have been receiving donations from them ever since. This
                                                                           project has been more successful than all my other projects in terms
It is my honor to be invited to write an article about industrial          of business revenue. With the recent advancement and intensive
development and business. This topic is difficult for me since the         research of Prof KM Luk, Prof CH Chan, Prof Edward Yung and
word “academia” seems to be in conflict with the term “business”.          Dr. KW Leung, I believe that it will not be too long before our existing
In fact, I always fight hard with myself asking why I have been            commercial antennas can be replaced by their new antennas. Because
doing all these commercial and industrial tasks. I have puzzles and        of our dedication in the past, I am pleased to announce to colleagues
questions lodged in my mind. Should I devote more effort in basic          that we were invited by Hutchison to build a 3G test-bed (the first if
research or should I spend more time on industrial development, which      not the only pilot site amongst tertiary institutions) on our campus
might potentially lead to successful business? What is the demarcation     and we shall have the 3G services very soon. By making use of the
between basic research and applied research? How should I position         mobile network, Prof. Tommy Chow and myself are working together
myself as an academic staff in the EE department? In a respectable         to improve the network traffic by applying some of our developed
department like the EE department, its excellent research                  models into the network. I hope that this joint collaboration will bring
performance sometimes gives me the feeling of “suffocation”                about more research.
because I understand that I cannot sit on two boats at the same time.
I have contemplated the question and have thought hard about the           I would also like to share with colleagues my recent experience. I
way forward. After a bit of relaxation, I concluded that if I could        have already developed two systems, namely the mobile security
come up with some systems with commercial value and yet be able            system and the wireless automation system in which both the
to consolidate important ideas into journal papers and perhaps write a     hardware and software including the protocol have been completed.
book that would enrich my own life. Moreover, I would be able to           Such systems allow users to secure properties, access and control
honor the EE department, without whose support such dreams would           appliances within offices or homes. The protocol developed is probably
not be possible. I have been working persistently with enthusiasm          the first of its kind in the market with patents to be filed shortly.
and hoping to bring about “impact”, to the EE department, the City         These systems have been examined by an Israeli company, RFWaves,
University of Hong Kong, associated colleagues and hopefully myself.       who specializes in RF chipset design. We will shortly make a joint
I might not have the strength to work solely on myself but at least I      public announcement of this collaboration. In China, the collaborator
am heading in such a direction. “Money” will be of second priority if      is the prestigious Tsing Hua University and in Hong Kong it is going
I have to choose between “impact” and “profit”. In fact, I earned          to be associated with the CityU. I hope that by doing so, the image of
more than a million Hong Kong dollars three years ago with my              CityU will be boosted immeasurably and students will be motivated
company but still I did not have a penny going into my pocket; and         towards a better morale. I have enclosed below some of the
then last year I lost money in my business. I did not regret this at all   collaboration details.
because through these up-and-down cycles, I earned so much
experience that would be invaluable for the rest of my life. I praise      Dr K F Tsang, an Associate Professor in the Department of Elec-
the open and respectable system and policy of CityU that allows            tronic Engineering at the City University of Hong Kong and also the
staff to work towards their dream and that they can endeavor to            Managing Director of Citycom, has launched a project called Mobile
progress in the best-fit environment.                                      Multi-Media Monitoring (MMMM). This system connects multime-
                                                                           dia mobile phones and security devices in homes and offices through
Regarding project development, I am honored to assist Prof. Edward         wireless means.
Yung in establishing the Mobile Integrated Radio System (MIRS). I
initiated this idea around 1995 and gained the support from Prof.          “People can use their multimedia mobile phones virtually anywhere
Yung and we started the first design for an indoor mobile network.         and at any time. The mobile phones can control the operation of
This network was led and implemented by Smartone. After the                security system and monitor events at offices and homes.” said Dr
network was constructed, all mobile operators joined the network           WS Chan, the Senior Technical Advisor of Citycom.




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    “RFWaves is excited to partner with Citycom Technology Ltd. of
    City University of Hong Kong in developing new and innovating
    short range concepts and applications” said Avner Divon, Chairman                             EE Student Mentoring Scheme

    and CEO of RFWaves. “RFWaves offers robust 2.4GHz spread
    spectrum digital wireless solutions with market leading ultra low         The EE student mentoring scheme was launched by the Department
    power consumption at very competitive costs. We believe that              since 1999 in order to help the freshmen to quickly adapt to univer-
    Citycom Technology’s innovation would maximize the benefits of            sity life and the new learning environment at CityU. As EE mentors,
    these solutions and will enable many products to become wireless,         they provide advice for the mentees to devise their study plans and
    providing their users with a significantly better user experience”        choose courses including the out-of-discipline courses in their first
                                                                              semester. As a good tradition of EE mentors, the mentors also ac-
    With the RFWaves DSSS technology, devices can be linked up within         tively help the department to organize the activities such as Student
    typically a 100-metre radius, eliminating the need for cables. The        Induction Day and CityU Information Day.
    RFWaves chipset is people-friendly which allows users to connect
    with a wide range of appliances using wireless links, eliminating the     In the last academic year, we had several new initiatives aiming at
    need to purchase and connect cables,                                      broadening the mentors’horizon. At the end of May, we co-organized
                                                                              a “Hiking + BBQ” with the Department of Accountancy (AC). This
    “Commands can also be delivered via the Internet. Appliances at           was a welcoming activity for the new EE mentors who through this
    office can be controlled through any gateway connected to the World       activity could build a new team and also learned valuable experiences
    Wide Web. It is convenient and easy to operate,” said Prof. Edward        from the old mentors of EE and AC departments. Another initiative
    Yung, Chief Technical Advisor of Citycom. “Users can operate the          was the “Abee” Mentor Training Camp, which was organized in mid
    system, for example, within a 100-metre distance in the vicinity of       June by the departments of Electronic Engineering, Accountancy,
    RFWaves’ DSSS chipset or at a remote distance by using a mobile           Economics & Finance and Biology & Chemistry. This was a two-
    phone. Such system will benefit most people.”                             day one-night event and had over one hundred participants. It was a
                                                                              very good opportunity for the EE mentors to get acquainted with
    With the developed protocol from Citycom and RFWaves, typically           mentors from other departments and faculties. The camp consisted
    200 devices are able to communicate with a master radio, simulta-         of different elements such as talks, singing, sharing, playing and group
    neously within 100-300 metres. All data transmitted by the system         work. Through the camp, mentors learned the role of being a mentor
    can be encrypted to ensure safe transmission of information.              and the needs of the freshmen, made more new friends and had a
                                                                              good time.
    The reliability issue and EMC issue will be tackled after the incorpo-    Another initiative was the first mentor-mentee meeting, which was
    ration of the expert opinion from Prof Y C Chan and Dr. SW Leung          held on 15 August 2003. The purpose was to give new EE students a
    respectively. I do feel proud that the EE department is equipped          warm welcome at the time they just got CityU admission offer and
    with all sorts of facilities, not to mention the experts. With the sup-   might feel frustrated adapting to the new university environment:
    port of manufacturers, Dr Tsang expects that the MMMM will soon           new campus, credit unit system, programmes, course selection, etc.
    be installed in most offices and homes.                                   The programmes in the event included a talk on “tips for smooth
                                                                              transition from secondary school to university”, campus tour, sharing
    With the talented intellectuals in the EE department and the              from mentors about university life, drama on “what challenges the
    support from CityU, I trust we shall continue to gain prominence.         freshmen will face in university study” and games. There were about
                                                                              two hundred participants in this event including the freshmen, mentors
    KF Tsang                                                                  and academic staff. From the feedback collected at the end of the
                                                                              event, the freshmen said that through this event they made many
                                                                              friends, understood and felt prepared for the challenges ahead and
                                                                              had a lot of fun.


                                                                              Eric Wong and Andrew Leung




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posted:11/17/2011
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