BA Autumn 2003
p ag 10
THE HONG KONG nk
UNIVERSITY OF in
Fund Raising at UST – 13
Success Reflects Your Support
Since the government launched the Matching Grant Scheme, the various
fund-raising initiatives organized by UST have achieved impressive
results.The total of funds donated far exceeds the government’s own
guaranteed minimum contribution of HK$20 million to each Hong Kong
university. Through the “Give to UST” project alone, our faculty, staff,
students and alumni have already raised HK$2.3 million.
For details please see page 3.
Inside this Issue
New Nano Institute to tap market ........................................ 4
Capitalizing on UV detection ................................................ 5
People power .................................................................... 6, 7
Viewpoint – graduate employability ..................................... 8
New Intelligent Building program ......................................... 9
N E W S L E T T E R SARS prevention work ongoing .......................................... 12
from Prof Paul Ching-Wu Chu
It has been two months since the new academic year started, and one only has to walk through
Chu the Atrium and the Academic Concourse to have a feel of the very vibrant life at HKUST. Yet it
was back in summer that the ball started rolling, and exciting events in July and August
harbingered a rewarding academic year to come.
The university-wide fundraising campaign Give to UST, for instance, was one of the major
events HKUST launched in August. The fundraising campaign, as some of you may know, was
organized to tap the matching fund made available by the government’s matching grant
scheme. Under the scheme, every dollar raised by UGC-funded institutions will be matched by
the fund. HKUST members – from Court and Council members to faculty, staff, students and
alumni – have participated actively and contributed generously. Their generosity clearly
manifests the University's team spirit, in which we can justly take pride. I would also like to
thank all those who have supported the campaign in their own unique capacity.
The HKUST team spirit has also resulted in remarkable accomplishments on the academic front.
These accomplishments are valuable not only to HKUST but also to Hong Kong as a whole. The
latest is the No. 9 worldwide ranking of our Kellogg-HKUST EMBA program according to the
Financial Times survey released in October. Being the highest-ranking Asian-Pacific university on
the list, our success says much about our vision and determination to set the standard for high
quality education by bringing in world-class partners.
To strengthen Hong Kong’s economy, HKUST is also doing its best to tap the benefits of cutting-
edge technology. The Institute of Nanomaterials and Technology, officially opened in early
September, is specifically charged with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s capabilities in
high-end manufacturing. Nanotechnology captures people’s imagination because of its wide
applicability: it allows us to manipulate the properties of raw materials to create high value-
added products at a reasonable cost. One good example is nanocatalysts installed in air-
conditioners or dehumidifiers to purify polluted air. By making nanotechnology accessible and
affordable to local industries, the Institute will empower Hong Kong’s manufacturing industries
with the advanced technologies and materials needed for further development.
Looking ahead, one of the issues that will continue to concer n the HKUST community is the
proposed merger with CUHK. The University Grants Committee’s Institutional Integration
Working Party (IIWP), headed by Professor Niland, met with the University Senate and the
HKUST Reference Group on 19 September. Following the meeting, Dr John C C Chan, Council
Chairman and Chairman of the HKUST Reference Group, reiterated the concerns raised by the
Group over the four issues laid down in the Task Force report, namely the objectives of a
merger, the resource implications arising therefrom, the institutional standards to be attained in
research, and the organizational culture of any new body. Professor Niland will visit HKUST
again in November and the Reference Group will keep all University members informed. Let me
stress again, merger or no merger, our goal is to develop HKUST into a world-class university,
and all decisions should serve the best interests of Hong Kong and the University. We shall not
compromise with any proposition that is not consistent with our goal.
All the achievements and issues raised above testify to the care HKUST members have shown
toward the University. I hope, with a shared sense of commitment, we will be able to bring
about more changes that will drive Hong Kong’s development on all fronts.
Honor Roll of Donors
Sincere thanks to the following donors who
have supported the University’s fundraising
effort to access the Government’s Matching
Grant Scheme (as at 31 October 2003).
The Hon Sir David Akers-Jones
Pulling Together to Shape The Future Dr John C C Chan
Dr Robin Y H Chan
Dr Chow Yei Ching
Under the Matching Grant Scheme launched by the gover nment in July this year, the University Grants Dr the Hon Sir Sze-Yuen Chung
Committee will donate a dollar for every dollar raised by UST. The total amount of subsidy available
Mr Kenneth H Fang
between Hong Kong’s eight tertiary institutions will be HK$1 billion, to be released in two installments.
Dr Hari Harilela
Within a short span of several months, the University community was roused in active response to all
Mr Ho Ting Sik
types of fund-raising initiatives. Across the university community, be it members of the University Court,
Mr Keith Graham Kerr
the University Council, faculty, staff, students or alumni, everyone contributed donations and exerted
themselves for the single objective: to build a better future for UST. Mr Roger King
Mr Leo Kung Lin-Cheng
Council Members and Advisors Take Lead Mr Kuok Khoon-Ean
Members of the University Council and the Court have made generous contributions. Court and Dr Charles Lee Yeh-Kwong
Council member Dr Helmut Sohmen got the ball rolling with a donation of HK$10 million, getting Ms Kai-Yin Lo
fund-raising under the Matching Grant Scheme off to an excellent start. “UST is still a young university. Dr Vincent H S Lo
In its process of maturity, it should enjoy full support from all sections of the community. I believe that Mr Tim Lui Tim-Leung
every dollar donated to UST is a dollar well spent,” Dr Sohmen said. Mr David Teng Pong
Through the agency of other members of the University Council and the Court, the University has Dr Helmut Sohmen
attracted other significant and generous donations, in particular HK$20 million from The Joseph Lau Dr Tsui Tsin-Tong
Luen Hung Charitable Trust and a sum of HK$30 million from Fok Ying Tung Foundation Limited. The Dr Lawrence T Wong
former will be used to provide scholarships for outstanding students, and the latter to support the Mr Wong Ying Wai Wilfred
University’s academic and research development. Ms Marjorie Yang
Dr Geoffrey M T Yeh
A multitude of fundraising initiatives Mr Tony Y H Yen
The University is pursuing a variety of fundraising initiatives, including the Give to UST and Alumni-
Dr Larry Yung Chi Kin
giving Programs, both of which have lent an impetus to university-wide participation in fund-raising.
Mr Zee Kwoh-Kung
Recently, to finance expansion of library stock, the Office of University Development and Public Affairs
joined hands with the Library in launching the “BookmarkMe@UST” program, under which members Corporations and Foundations
of the university and public can dedicate a book and in doing so, have a tasteful inscription plaque with Acron International Technology Ltd
the wording of their choice included in the flyleaf. Advanced Packaging Technology Limited
For the future of Hong Kong and UST Alit (HK) Co Ltd
Arrow Asia Pac Ltd
So far the fund-raising campaign has been a thrilling success. Members of the University will forge
ahead and never relax their efforts. President Prof Paul Chu put it well when he said: “We are currently ASAT Ltd
shaping the brilliant future of UST. This young institution of learning has already contributed many Asia Biotech Corporation
outstanding achievements to society. It is our duty to carry on this tradition and pave the way for the Asia Financial Holdings Ltd
future. Let us make concerted efforts and obtain the maximum benefit from our fundraising Association of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental
initiatives.” Specialists (Hong Kong) Limited
Chan Tseng-Hsi Foundation Ltd
The importance of fundraising, Citigroup Foundation
in our own words: CLP Power Hong Kong Limited
“UST hopes that it will, by increasing the number of CLP Research Institute
scholarship recipients, attract more outstanding The Croucher Foundation
students from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas, DHL International
so as to train more professionals for the economic Ernst & Young
restructuring of Hong Kong.” Esquel Enterprises Ltd
Prof T C Pong, Associate Vice-President for Academic Fok Ying Tung Foundation Ltd
Affairs Fong’s Family Foundation
Geotechnical Consulting Group (Asia) Ltd
“The UST Microelectronics Fabrication Facility has been
Donation Ceremory for the Joseph Lau Luen Hung German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD
Charitable Trust held on 9 September in operation for ten years. This has facilitated entry of
the local chip industry into the high added-value Hang Seng Bank
market. With the rapid advance of technology, we have to keep on raising the technical standards of Hutchison Telephone Co Ltd
the facility. Only thus can we develop the latest technology in conjunction with enterprises in the Jebsen Educational Foundation
region.” The Joseph Lau Luen Hung Charitable Trust
K C Wong Education Foundation
Prof Johnny Sin, Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Director of Microelectronics
Louie Industrial Co Ltd
“UST tries its best to allow students to give full play to their ability. During my three years at the National Natural Science Foundation of China
University, I was fortunate enough to have discovered and developed my potential in archery. Last year, New World Development Co Ltd
I had the opportunity to represent Hong Kong in the Asian Games in Korea. I hope that the public will New World PCS Limited
extend their support to UST and give our junior students more scope for self-development.” Northeastern University
Anna Ng, BBA, Accounting, Class of 2000, Peoples Telephone Company Limited
Record holder, Women’s outdoor 70m Recurve Archery, Hong Kong athlete, 2002 Asian Games PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd
ProNat Company Ltd
Si Yuan Foundation
SUNDAY o/b Mandarin Communications Limited
Synergis Holdings Ltd
Television Broadcasts Limited
HKUST senior management and Chief Executive Mr Tung Chee Hwa
(middle), Commissioner for Innovation and Technology Mr Anthony
Wong (fourth left), Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Science and
Technology Parks Corporation Mr C D Tam (third right), Board members
and the founding Director Prof Che Ting Chan (first right) of the Institute.
New Nano Institute to Tap $1 trillion Market
An exciting event for the future of nanotechnology in Hong Kong
occurred at HKUST on 5 September, when Chief Executive Mr Tung
Chee Hwa officially inaugurated the University’s state-of-the-art
Institute of NanoMaterials and NanoTechnology (INMT).
Established with $100 million in funding contributed by both gover nment and industry,
the INMT will help Hong Kong tap into the global market for nanotech, which
according to HKUST President Prof Paul Ching-Wu Chu will likely be worth over US$1
trillion within a decade.
“Its emphasis on the integration of basic sciences and manufacturing will distinguish
INMT from other competing nanotechnology institutions around the world,”
commented HKUST President, Prof Chu, “and make INMT the major platform that
propels Hong Kong, its universities and businesses, to the forefront of nanotechnology
research and application.”
“The Institute is aimed at giving Hong Kong a headstart in this emerging science,” Mr
Tung told guests during his inauguration address. “It will provide a focus point for our
nanotechnology scientists and researchers to cluster, and facilitate cooperation and
collaboration between Hong Kong’s universities and industry.”
After his speech, Mr Tung was invited to unveil a plaque with President Chu and
declare the new institute open for business. Mr Tung then joined President Chu and
other dignitaries on a tour of the INMT’s facilities, with Mr Tung showing great interest
in both the Photonics & Display Center, and the Carbon Nanotubes Energy Storage
Laboratory. Prof King Lun Yeung
Industrial collaborations will be essential if the full economic benefits of nanotech are to be realized.
According to INMT Director, Prof Che Ting Chan, the Institute will do everything it can to facilitate this
outcome: “In particular, our role is to achieve the critical mid-stream R&D and technology transfer relevant to
Hong Kong’s economic growth. We will target the development of innovative, affordable hi-tech products
and manufacturing technologies, and then collaborate with industry to take these products to market,” Prof
Propelling HK to forefront of nanotech
To achieve this goal quickly, INMT researchers are prioritizing their work in several key areas, including the
development of eco-friendly micro-fuel cells to improve battery efficiency, and nano-electronic displays that
will use less power while delivering improved image quality. The Institute will also focus on technology
transfer related to the production of nanomaterials, aiming to make Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta
area a hub for nanotechnology-based manufacturing.
The nano-hub concept has already begun to take off on the back of several recent HKUST successes. Among
these, Prof King Lun Yeung, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, has developed nanoparticles that
are capable of decontaminating dangerous airborne pollutants like carbon monoxide, even at low
temperatures. These nocatalysts can be integrated into air-conditioners or dehumidifiers at very low cost to
improve indoor air quality, and Prof Yeung is currently working with business partners to commercialize the
For more information about the INMT, please visit www.ust.hk/inmt.
Business Opportunities Abound
with Ultraviolet Detecting Material
A material that detects harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, developed by HKUST in
1999, has led to the development of a number of exciting new products. We take
a look at how local enterprises can benefit from HKUST’s pioneering innovations.
In the past, before the fruits of scientific research could be enjoyed, a prolonged process of study and
development had to be undertaken before a final application was ever released for sale on the market.
However, in a knowledge-based economy, the process of turning knowledge into tangible goods must be
shortened. By achieving this goal, the University can help companies compete in the market. The
commercial application of the UV-detecting material, invented in 1999 by HKUST Associate Professor of
Physics Dr Philip Sou, is a good example of such a success.
As soon as it was revealed to the world, manufacturers approached HKUST to enquire about developing
products that would apply the material. Among them was Latitude Co. Ltd., a locally based, HKUST Students Teach Physics
internationally renowned watchmaker. with UV-detecting Teddy Bear
So it was that at the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair this September, Latitude exhibited an exciting new
timepiece incorporating an ultraviolet radiation detector that war ns wearers if they risk too much During the summer vacation, Carman
exposure from the sun’s harmful rays. Chan and Katherine Mo, two second-
year students from the Department of
High efficiency, low cost Physics, visited a local middle school,
Not only did the University play an important role in developing the watch, HKUST’s all-round strengths taking along with them a very special
extended to providing cost-efficiencies in its manufacture. For instance, by using HKUST’s Zheng Ge Ru teddy bear, a toy that they had
Thin Film Science Laboratory, ten of thousands of the watch’s UV-detector chips can be produced at very created with the help of Dr Sou. Their
low cost. job was to teach the assembled
This economy was particularly attractive to Mr Ricky Law, Business Development Director of Latitude, schoolchildren the dangers of
who said: “The watch-making industry is intensely competitive. Only by providing products with more ultraviolet radiation.
functions can manufacturers maintain a dominant position. People in Europe and America attach great The teaching project began last year
importance to skin cancer caused by excessive exposure to the sun. So we believe that watches capable when Dr Sou invited Katherine and
of detecting ultraviolet radiation will find a good market.” Carman to participate in his research
Dr Sou’s UV-detecting material is a kind of II-VI semi conductor. Not only can it be produced at low cost, to explore a series of applications for
by adjusting the content of the constituent elements, it can also indicate the level of exposur e to a high-tech ultraviolet detector he
different wavelengths of UV radiation. Dr Sou explained: “The material is not subject to inter ference by had developed. The undergraduates
radiation of different wavelengths. For instance, the wavelengths of ultraviolet rays from the subsequently incorporated Dr Sou’s
sun outdoors and a spotlight indoors are different; the levels of exposure detector into a teddy bear, making
causing harm to the human body are also different. If the detector registers the bear the perfect device to warn
only the cumulative level of mixed radiation from the two wavelengths, the children if they are at risk from the
reading would not indicate which type of radiation is causing the most harm. sun’s harmful rays.
Our material removes the risk of that problem.” “We believe this toy bear is unique in
Varied applications the world. It will flash a warning
when its human companion is being
Apart from Latitude, a number of other enterprises have also consulted Dr
exposed to excessive ultraviolet
Sou about cooperation in developing new products, including cosmetics
radiation,”Katherine and Carman
manufacturers who hope to produce UV-detecting gift products for their
customers. What’s more, Dr Sou’s own students have also taken the
ultraviolet detector and designed their own novel devices, including a The undergraduates remarked that
range of innovative toys (see column). teaching the school students had
been a challenging experience. On
Dr Sou is now making a proposal to the government to conceive a low-
one particular day, they not only
cost UV indicator board designed for beaches and large open-air
taught in school but also sat a mid-
spaces. Because the UV index currently released by the Department of
term examination at HKUST. The
Environmental Protection is based on data collected by the
preparation to undertake the
observation station at King’s Park, the information is of little use to
teaching was also quite time-
citizens in other areas.
consuming, they added: “But
The new indicator board will provide the public with an accurate responses from the secondary school
reading of the existing level of local ultraviolet radiation in their students were just great! They were
vicinity, helping the public avoid excessive exposure and thereby fascinated by our toy bear and took
reducing the incidence of skin cancer and cataracts. Dr Sou the issue of skin cancer very seriously.
concluded: “Entrepreneurs in Hong Kong are full of original and We think that the children
new ideas. We are convinced that our ultraviolet detector will appreciated the value of science.
help them with novel designs and enable them to develop even Perhaps now they will want to come
more value-added products.” and study physics at HKUST and
become the inventors of the future!”
over hot summer
This summer, while HKUST basked in the warm sun, various activities
People Power among the student body also cast an energetic glow on campus life!
Debaters leave opposition lost for words
There was action of a different kind when the HKUST Cantonese
debate team took first place at the inter-post-secondary debating
competition. The competition, an annual event co-organized by
RTHK and the Hong Kong Federation of Students, was held in July
and contested by the eight local universities together with Hong
Kong Shue Yan College. The team debated motions such as
ìPolitical reform cannot be delayed any longerî, and each motion
required intensive preparation. Having won all of its matches, this
was the best ever performance by the HKUST Cantonese Debating
Team since its establishment. In addition, team member Ray Yue
Ching Lo was named Hong Kong’s best Cantonese debater.
• HKUST is rated 3rd among the top 10 Chinese universities in the Greater China area and the highest among all Hong Kong
institutions, according to a survey conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in July. The Academic Ranking of World
Universities 2003 rates the academic standing of universities worldwide using inter nationally recognized criteria.
• The results of the 2003-04 Competitive Earmarked Research Grant show that HKUST remains the institution with the highest
success rate for funding of research proposals (62%) for the tenth consecutive year, well above the average of all local institutions
(43%). The University was awarded a total of HK$91.58 million by the Research Grants Council. In terms of funding per capita
(about HK$200,000), HKUST also leads other institutions.
• Dr Charles Ng, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, received the 2002 Mao Yishing Science and Technology (Soil
Mechanics and Foundation Engineering) Youth Award in September. Biannually, only one outstanding scientist or engineer
under 45 years of age in China is elected to receive the Youth Award, in recognition of their significant contribution to soil
Accolades mechanics and foundation engineering.
• Acron International Technology Ltd, a start-up company established under the HKUST Entrepreneurship Program, was among the
11 winners of the Innovative Entrepreneurs of the Year 2003 Award organized by the Hong Kong City Junior Chamber. The
company is a one-stop solution provider for indoor air quality and energy management.
• A paper presented by HKUST Electrical and Electronic Engineering PhD candidate, Hoi Lee, entitled “Active-Feedback Frequency
Compensation for Low-Power Multi-State Amplifiers”, was selected to receive the Conference’s first Best Student Paper Award
at the last IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC). In the paper, Lee provides an innovative solution for designing ideal
amplifiers at low-cost and low power consumption while maintaining high performance.
• PhD candidate Wai Yip Ho has won the Best Graduate Paper Award at the 32nd annual conference of the Association of Muslim
Social Scientists. His paper on transnational Islam in Nanyang history attracted warm praise from delegates. The second and third
place awards went to scholars from leading US universities, Harvard and Indiana, affirmation of the high academic standards
being attained in HKUST’s Division of Social Science.
Business Brains and Youth –
An Enterprising Combination
HKUST’s School of Business and Management (SBM) is recognized as the
best in Asia Pacific according to influential sources including the Financial
Times. However, it appears that business flair is emerging amongst students
from the other schools as well.
We take this opportunity to introduce two young entrepreneurs who
recently set up different enterprises: CareerMatch and TIM ED Platform,
each carving their own niche in their respective market.
Q: Can you introduce yourselves to our readers and explain the nature
of your business?
ML: Hello, I’m Michael Lee, the CEO of CareerMatch and a biochemistry
undergraduate. CareerMatch is a consulting company established by a team
of UST students to enhance Hong Kong students’ skills and employability in
the Mainland. We also provide a job-matching service for Hong Kong
graduates and Mainland employers.
Life’s a beach for handballers JC: And I’m Jacky Chiu, an HKUST graduate in computer science and the
The first Inter-collegiate Beach Handball Invitational Chief Executive of TIM ED Platform. TIM ED is an integrated online education
tournament was held at HKUST’s beach volleyball court. platform. We’re Hong Kong’s leading provider of specialist software that
Both our boys’ and girls’ teams finished 1st runners up helps primary and secondary schools efficiently and cost-effectively automate
in the competition, the boys leading HKU and HKIED their administration, teaching and learning functions.
and the girls, HKU and CUHK.
Q: How has HKUST helped you with starting up your companies?
JC: The University has an excellent and extremely well structured
entrepreneurship program that is run by the HKUST R&D Corporation. R&D
Corp promotes cooperation between the private sector and the University by
providing Hong Kong companies with assistance in areas like applied R&D
support, prototyping, access to state-of-the-art facilities, consulting and
technology licensing. The program was instrumental in getting us off the
ground. It provided us with premises and, most importantly, the expertise of
faculty. Among others, the knowledge and expertise of HKUST Professors
Ping Ko and Helen Shen from the Engineering School were an enormous
benefit to us.
ML: As for CareerMatch, the University’s Student Affairs Office organized the
Mainland Entrepreneur Adventure Program (MEAP) as a substitute to the
usual Mainland summer internship program, which was suspended because
of SARS. We were able to combine our learning about business in China
from MEAP, and our knowledge of the needs of job-seeking students, to
come up with what we hope is an excellent business idea. The University
brought us together, and CareerMatch was born.
Q: How do you foresee the future for your companies?
ML: CareerMatch’s immediate aim is to sort out the formalities of business
registration. We’re aiming to take our first group of students on a Mainland
tour in January to visit firms, practice interview techniques and participate in
Dance team hip-hop to victory resumé writing workshops. Then in April and May we’ll get down to the
HKUST’s alumni dance team Hidden Mad grooved their way business of arranging internships and job-placements that bridge the gap
to victory in both the Knorr and Adidas dance competitions, between mainland employers and potential graduate employees from Hong
two of Hong Kong’s most competitive dance events. The Kong.
alumni team only formed several months ago, and like to JC: There are 1,200 schools in Hong Kong and already around 450 are using
compete as often as possible. Although they don’t only our services. We will continue to expand in the local market, and have
perform hip-hop, their winning routines are often based on already opened an office in the Mainland with a view to really taking off
this US-originated dance style “as it always seems to cheer there. I see us going to IPO in three years, and if we get there, some of our
up the audience,” said spokesperson Iris Ho. success will be down to the infrastructure here at the University, which has
supported us along the way.
If you would like more information about CareerMatch or TIM ED Platform,
please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
HR Development Strategy in
The unemployment rate in Hong Kong is showing signs of relief,
though university graduates’ salaries are still deteriorating and a full
recovery in the job market is yet to come. Will this hold back Hong
Forum Considers Graduates’,
Kong’s economic transition? HKUST economist Professor Francis Lui
puts forward his views on the current job market and education Employers’ Needs
reform. Representatives from the higher
While Hong Kong’s current unemployment rate is still a matter of concern, I do not think it education and commercial sectors and
will have any long-term impact on Hong Kong’s economy. If we compare July’s university students participated in a
unemployment rate with that of the same period last year, we notice that the overall forum on graduate employment on 22
unemployment rate is still higher than last year, but the unemployment rate of degree holders is September, with over 300 delegates
lower. This goes to show that while degree holders must strive hard for a job, they are nevertheless attending.
more competitive than non-degree holders. Entitled “Nurturing Graduates for the
Future”, the forum was commissioned
The impact of a globalized job market on salary by the University Grants Committee,
While the ongoing pay cuts facing university graduates in Hong Kong prove worrying to many,
and organized by the 8 UGC-funded
statistics show that mainland university graduates’ salaries are increasing rapidly, which is a positive
tertiary institutions of Hong Kong.
sign. With globalization, Hong Kong’s job market is not only affected by the local situation. While the
mainland job market is saturated with university graduates, Hong Kong graduates’ salaries will have to In the opening ceremony, HKUST
be scaled down proportionately. However, it can be confidently expected that the pay rises enjoyed by Vice-President for Academic Affairs,
mainland graduates will eventually push up the salaries of their Hong Kong counterparts. Professor Yuk Shee Chan, said: “By
promoting better communication
The challenge occasioned by economic transition among employers, universities and
Graduates’ abilities remain a prime consideration in the job market. The development of a knowledge- graduates, we are confident that we
based society and the economic transition powered by modern technology will usher in changes at a can meet the challenge of economic
faster pace than ever before, and for an extended period. For this reason, employers nowadays look transition and better prepare graduates
for innovation and good professional skills in their employees, and graduates with the necessary for working-life, thereby maintaining
flexibility are much in demand. This presents a challenge to university education. Hong Kong’s competitiveness in a
Today, universities are expected to promote students’ civic awareness, creative and analytic capabilities, knowledge economy.”
and professionalism. Such expectations, which are by no means trivial, pose one question that must be The forum kicked off with the release
answered: how do we inculcate in students those qualities? of results from a survey, which aims to
A good example is provided by my alma mater, Chicago University, whose economics department has reveal graduates’ perceptions of the
earned worldwide recognition for its academic excellence. Core courses in economics can be relevance of university education to
completed within one year, and on top of econometrics courses such as statistics and mathematics, the their career development.
remaining three years are reserved for two types of elective courses. With keynote speakers like Dr Victor
General education courses and liberal education Fung, Chairman of Li & Fung Trading
The first type is “general education”, which aims to broaden students’ horizons, and is also offered by Limited, Dr Sir Gordon Wu, Chairman
universities in Hong Kong. The second type is “liberal education”, translated into Chinese as “broad- of Hopewell Holdings Limited,
based education”, which to my mind is far from accurate, for the Chinese name should, as does its Mr Eddie Ng, External Affairs Director
English original, point to the liberalizing effect of education on the mind. and Chairman of the International
Committee of the Hong Kong Institute
What does it take to train up young people as free thinkers? Well-established universities in the US of Human Resource Management, and
require their students to study systematically classics that range from ancient to modern times, such as Prof Francis Lui, HKUST’s Director of the
the works of Plato, Shakespeare and Marx; students are instructed to read in the original, and not related Center for Economic Development, the
works written by modern scholars. Students are not expected to learn by heart the contents of the two-session forum explored issues
classics, but are encouraged to appreciate through reading how epoch-making personalities came up related to university education and
with their revolutionizing ideas. graduate employment.
Classics can also hone a student’s sense of As stated in the closing
judgment. Writers speak through their works, address by Prof Arthur K C
and readers should consider themselves Li, Secretary for Education
fortunate since they have access to the great and Manpower; “The
minds of different ages. Exposure to the classics essential thing is for the
can help readers emulate and evaluate the universities to prepare our
deeds of great personalities, thereby sharpening students in such a way that
their sense of judgment. they would be ready to deal
Generally speaking, specialized training will with problems and face
guarantee a satisfactory job. Universities should challenges in the real world,
train up young people as leaders and educated Dr Alice Lam, Chairman of the University Grants Committee
in a global setting.”
members of society – young people that (middle), keynote speakers and presidents of the eight local
employers in today’s fast-changing society really tertiary institutions.
New Program to Promote Intelligent Building Technology
HKUST introduces the territory’s first part-time MSc Program to provide engineering and
management professionals with post-graduate training in intelligent building.
Urbanization may be inevitable; its side effects hopefully not. Jammed into this concrete jungle of ours, we are not
only increasingly aware of the problems of building and population congestion, but also increasingly determined to
overcome them. The recent SARS outbreak was just the latest alarm call for us to upgrade the quality of our urban
To achieve this goal HKUST’s new MSc in Intelligent Building Technology and Management is to train up local
professionals in the world’s most advanced intelligent building technologies, which will help secure Hong Kong’s status as
an international metropolis while improving local residents’ quality of life.
According to Dr Christopher Chao, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and coordinator of the new program,
improving building performance promises a more healthy and comfortable living and working environment for every one of
us. “Research results show that productivity hikes with favorable illumination and air quality. Which also means lower
production costs. At the same time, when local offices and convention venues meet ever-demanding international building
requirements, foreign investors and multinationals who care for environmental quality will surely find Hong Kong a more
attractive place to set up their offices.”
Comprehensive program, experienced faculty
Intelligent building technology covers topics from indoor air quality, noise control, energy supply and recycling, safety and
hygiene facilities, use of advanced building materials, to various engineering domains. Its tar get students are working
professionals in the industry, such as mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, building services engineers, civil engineers,
building operations professionals, surveyors and architects.
With equal emphasis on theory and practice, and set to begin next February, the new program will be staffed by professors from
the Mechanical Engineering Department, while professionals from HKUST’s Safety and Environmental Protection Office and local
engineering circles will provide students with the latest on the practice front.
Secondary School Students Show
After joining a year-long School Outreach Program launched by HKUST, students from 11 local
secondary schools announced their study findings on air quality in Hong Kong. The findings also
make a statement about our younger generation’s research creativity and potential.
If you still doubt the research potential of our secondary school students, you must have missed the “Symposium on
Environmental Issues for Schools – Air Quality” on 9 July. Part of the Jockey Club-sponsored Mobile Real-time Air Monitor
Platform (MAP) project, and organized by HKUST’s Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development (IESD) in
conjunction with the Education and Manpower Bureau and the Hong Kong Science Museum, the symposium showcased
the results of a new venture launched by IESD to promote environmental education and research interests among secondary
school students in Hong Kong.
The school outreach program venture kicked off in May 2002, when HKUST’s mobile air monitoring platform started touring
the 11 secondary schools, briefing students on the causes of air pollution and ways to monitor the problem. Thus equipped
with the basics of air quality monitoring, the students were guided by their teachers to design and conduct their own
projects monitoring air quality.
What impressed Dr Arthur Lau, IESD’s Assistant Research Scientist responsible for the outreach
program, was the new researchers’ creativity. “They might not be delivering the most ground-breaking
sort of findings,” he said, “but they were definitely eager to learn, to find out why this and that
didn’t work. To learn from failures, I believe, is an indispensable step in scientific research.”
Deprived of advanced research facilities normally available at universities, the participating students
demonstrated ingenious flexibility in developing their research equipment according to the limited
resources at their disposal. Students of HKMLC Queen Maud Secondary School, for instance,
effectively studied the air quality at public transport terminals.
At the concluding symposium, representatives of the participating schools took turns to present
their findings in the form of drama, role play, multi-media presentation, or any other ways they
thought suitable to underline their interest and creativity.
Professor Ming Fang, Director of IESD, said: “We hope we will have the same outreach program
next year to allow more secondary students to participate in research activities and appreciate
the importance of environmental protection in an active and personal way.”
World Top 10
EMBA Ranks in World Top 10 EMBA Celebrates Five Successful Years
On 20 October the Financial Times released its latest Executive MBA It was a double celebration in October for the
rankings, which place the HKUST-Kellogg EMBA program at number Kellogg-HKUST EMBA program, which, as well as
nine in the world – a staggering success for a program that is only five its World Top 10 ranking from the FT, also
years old. Provided in partnership with Northwestern University’s celebrated its 5th birthday. A party was held at the
Kellogg School of Management, the program scored exceptionally well Conrad Hotel, with over 250 students and
for the quality of its faculty and international students. Hong Kong’s graduates from around the globe joining faculty
Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee-hwa praised the marvelous ranking and staff for this cheerful homecoming event.
achievement at a reception held at Government House on 28 October
to celebrate the EMBA’s success. Acknowledging the hard work and
dedication of faculty and staff at HKUST’s Business School, UST
President, Prof Paul Chu, said: “We live in a truly world-class city and
an indisputable global business hub. We have now demonstrated that
Hong Kong is also a truly international leader in the provision of
New Court Members Take University Tour
During the summer the University was honored to
appoint 11 new Court Members. The Court is the
supreme advisory body of the University and among
its important functions is the consideration of
New Tsinghua President Visits Campus general policy, raising funds and promoting HKUST’s
Continuing HKUST’s excellent links with our interests. During the last few months, new members
mainland counterparts, a high-level delegation of the Court have taken the opportunity to spend
from Beijing’s Tsinghua University visited campus on time on campus and to tour HKUST’s facilities, with
6 August, headed by their new President, the new Institute of Nanotechnology and Materials
renowned physicist, Prof Gu Binglin. HKUST being a particularly popular stop-off point.
President Prof Chu greeted his counterpart, and the
two Universities held a productive meeting.
Prof Gu Binglin then toured campus, and showed
particular interest in HKUST’s Materials
Characterisation and Preparation Facility – our
central facility for the synthesis, study and analysis
of new and advanced materials.
Outreach Day German President
MTMAA Annual Dinner: A Feast of Giving
The Master of Technology Management Alumni Association (MTMAA)
organized a mini auction at their annual dinner on 2 August to raise
funds for the Alumni Giving Campaign. The prize lots, being two copies
of the HKUST 10th Anniversary Commemorative Book autographed by
HKUST President Paul Chu, each fetched a cool HK$20,000 from Mr C M
Wong and Mr Bryan Chan respectively. The MTMAA alumni also
Outreach Day Attracts Thousands
responded enthusiastically to the “Adopt-a-Seat” Project, bringing the
Over 15,000 school children explored all aspects of
total amount raised on the evening to more than HK$130,000 (with the
HKUST during our 2003 Outreach Day, which was held
Government’s Matching Grant).
on 20 September. Temperatures soared on the day,
reaching 34 degrees, but that didn’t deter these
undergraduates of the future. Over 60 seminars were
held to provide information about HKUST’s wide-variety
of courses and campus life. The visitors had an absorbing
and fun-packed day, with many of them declaring
themselves eager to join HKUST next academic year.
Pioneering TCM Agreement with University of Macau
HKUST and the University of Macau (UM) have reached an
exciting agreement to collaborate on the development,
modernization and internationalization of traditional Chinese
medicine (TCM), and the fostering of high-caliber medical
practitioners. HKUST has an established international reputation
for its pharmaceutical technology research, and UM will provide
expertise via its new Institute of Chinese Medicinal Services.
German President Meets Faculty Initially, the universities will work closely in areas such as the
The President of Germany, Johannes Rau, concluded his development of medicinal functional food, medicinal education
official tour of China with a visit to Hong Kong on 16 and medicinal business and management research. The signing
September. Among President Rau’s special guests on a ceremony, held at UM on 5 August, was attended by HKUST
harbor junk trip were HKUST’s Dr Michael Höerner, Program President Prof Paul Chu and the Rector of UM, Prof Vai Pan Iu.
Advisor to the University’s German Center and Visiting
Associate Professor of Biology, and Prof Reinhard
Renneberg, Professor of Chemistry. The pair discussed with
the President science relations between UST and German
institutions. Prof Renneberg was also able to demonstrate
to the President his state-of-the-art, credit card sized heart
attack detection device, called CardioDetect, which is
attracting considerable commercial interest.
Service & SARS Prevention Work
Outreach Continues Apace
As winter approaches, uncertainty lingers as to whether or not there will be a recurrence of the SARS outbreak. To
help the community prepare for any return of the killer disease, HKUST remains committed to a wide range of
HKUST has been closely linked to the fight against SARS, from the earliest days, through the worst days, and then as Hong Kong emerged into a
period of respite. Our specialists continue to apply their expertise across a range of fields including computer science, engineering, economics and
biological hazard control.
Total commitment from day one
To take just a few examples: the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Prof See Chun Kot assisted the World
Health Organization in their investigation of the initial outbreak at Amoy Gardens; subsequently as the virus spread,
the Department of Computer Science installed video-conferencing facilities in local hospitals to facilitate safe
communication between SARS victims and their loved ones; and once the SARS threat had receded in June, Prof K C
Chan, Dean of Business and Management, was appointed to the gover nment’s Economic Relaunch Strategy Group.
Science and Engineering research foci
The Schools of Engineering and Science have been at the forefront of long-term efforts to curb SARS. Dean of
Engineering Prof Philip Chan has sponsored a multitude of projects to study prevention of the disease and to stop it
spreading, particularly in hospitals, through cracked drainage pipes, and in vulnerable parts of the household like the
bathroom and kitchen. “We trust that these projects being undertaken by the School of Engineering will provide
essential scientific data that we can work with to control the SARS virus,” Prof Chan said, “leading to a safer
environment for everyone.”
In a move that also acknowledges the importance of the University’s work in the SARS-field, the Research Grants
Council has provided significant funding for two studies being undertaken in the School of Science; the first, Prof
Chun Liang’s project to develop anti-SARS therapeutics using multiple molecular strategies; and the second, Pr of
Zhihong Guo’s research to identify viral epitopes for immunoglobulins from SARS patients.
Infection control devices
During the outbreak, hospital wards were among the high-risk areas in which SARS was passed from person to
person. The University has therefore placed considerable emphasis on ideas to protect both patients and medical staff
in the clinical environment.
A team of biological hazard control specialists from HKUST’s Safety and Environmental Protection Office (SEPO), led
by SEPO Director Dr Joseph Kwan, has developed a range of negative pressure units that allow medical personnel to
perform essential clinical procedures while safeguarding themselves from the virus.
Patient care, plus clinician safety
Bioaerosols the patient exhales are captured and contained by the device.
Micro-organisms in the contaminated air are removed by the unit, and clean
air, free of biohazardous agents, is released back into the ward.
One of these devices, the Infection Control at Source (ICAS), consists of a
hood that is placed over the patient’s head, and glove ports through which
the patient’s nose and mouth can be accessed. This allows medical staff
to safely perform otherwise hazardous procedures like intubation and
bronchoscopy, simultaneously maintaining patient care standards and
Similar devices have been developed for the single bed isolation of
patients on the ward (the Isotent) and for use by paramedics on
patients being transported by ambulance (the Mini-isotent).
To refine and test their designs, Dr Kwan’s team worked with the
respiratory physicians and infection control teams from Haven of
Hope Hospital and the Chest and AIDS clinic of the Health
Department, as well as the Fire Services Department. Continued
discussions are also being held with the Hospital Authority on
other applications of these units. “The benefit of these devices is
that they are portable, and easy to use and maintain,” said Dr
Kwan. “Using them does not require any modifications be
made to medical service facilities, so they are also cost-effective
solutions to infection control,” he concluded.
The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Website:www.ust.hk
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