Novel Technologies Recognized at National Challenge Cup

A team of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering undergraduates became multiple award-winners at the 14th National Challenge Cup. The nationwide contest, known as “The Olympiad for University Students”, is one of the leading contests for young innovators in China.

Renjing Huang, Po Sang Lo and Chun Ki Yeung received a Grand Prize, First Prize in the new Theme-based Competition focused in its inaugural year on “Smart Green Cities”, and Second Prize in the Hong Kong Regional Competition for their novel “Graphene Membrane for Seawater Desalination” invention. The students were supervised by Prof Zhengtang Luo.

The team’s project involved designing and fabricating graphene-based membranes through filtration-facilitated assembly. Their prototype for desalination also sought to overcome problems associated with other technologies, including biofilm formation and low permeate flux.

The 14th National Challenge Cup attracted 100,000 project entries from around the country, with less than 750 chosen to appear in the Grand Final and only 38 receiving the highest award of Grand Prize. The contest was co-hosted by Guangdong University of Technology and HKUST, the first time a university from Hong Kong had been involved in this way.

Three other HKUST teams received honors in the competition. Undergraduate Xiyuan Liu, Electronic and Computer Engineering, gained a Second Class Award for his “Remotely Operated Vehicle Based on Robot Operating System”, PhD student Zengshun Chen and undergraduate Hoi Yin Yung, Civil and Environmental Engineering, received a Second Class Award for “A New Pressure-Aeroelastic Hybrid Wind Tunnel Test Device and Technique” and undergraduates Xinzhu Liu, Dual Degree Program in Technology and Management, Zhiyu Chen, Finance, Yangyang Duan, Life Science, secured a Third Class Award for “Real-Time Display of Machine Status”.