Student & Researcher Honors, Awards & Achievements

A cross-disciplinary undergraduate team secured first place at the inaugural Fishackathon, held in Hong Kong. The 48-hour hackathon, a public-private partnership involving the US State Department, private sector, and civil society, has been held since 2014 to develop technology solutions to address overfishing. In 2016, the event was held in over 40 cities worldwide, including Hong Kong for the first time. In winning the local competition, Pranesh Balekai, Jainam Mehta, both Electronic and Computer Engineering, Kenta Iwasaki, School of Engineering, Arvind Iyer, Computer Engineering Program, Don Dyu Kim, Mathematics, and Soo Yeon Seo, Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management, developed an integrated software and hardware solution to ease the economic and environmental impact of fishing equipment lost or disposed of in the sea (also known as “ghost gear”).

 Undergraduates Yin Cheung Chan, Kok Ho Lai, Mei Yuk Tsang and Ka Lok Tsui, Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management (IELM), won the championship at the HKSQ Company Based Student Project Competition 2016. The competition, organized by the Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ), gave students the opportunity to gain problem-solving experience on an industry-based case. The 2016 contest was sponsored by LSG Sky Chefs, with participants asked to propose practical solutions to improve the company’s internal delivery procedures. The IELM team first identified problems with the existing system, then suggested the development of a new information system and automated railway system that could reduce manual processes by up to 50%. Judging criteria included approach, effectiveness and practical applicability.

A Civil and Environmental Engineering undergraduate team, comprising Siu Kwan Choi (team leader), Ho Fai Chung, Po Hon Wong and Chi Fai Yuen won the first prize in the Undergraduate Division at the 2015 Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in Schools (IDEERS) competition in Taiwan. Civil and Environmental Engineering postgraduates Nan Zhang (team leader), Chunyang Du, Yang Liu and Cheng Ning Loong received the second prize in the Postgraduate Division and third prize for Best Presentation. The contest was held at the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering in Taipei.

Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management undergraduates Sze Yin Chung, Yiu Wang Ho, Alpha Lai, Ming Ho Li, Ching Man Lo and Chun Sing Yu secured the HKIE-MI Young Engineers Programme 2014/15 championship. After joining the initiative, participants went on a series of technical visits. Teams then had to give a 15-minute presentation on their experiences and how they would inspire future students to join the program. The endeavor is jointly organized by the Manufacturing and Industrial Division of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE-MI) and HKIE Young Members Committee to encourage interest in manufacturing and industrial engineering as a career.

Postdoctoral fellow Dr Youzhe Fan and MPhil students Ji Chen and Chenyang Xia, all Electronic and Computer Engineering, won a Gold Medal at the first 5G Algorithm Innovation Competition. The 5G event, held as part of the InnovateAsia FPGA Design Contest, attracted over 180 teams. The ECE participants were one of only three teams to receive a Gold Medal. The competition was sponsored by Intel, Huawei and Spreadtrum and took place at Xidian University, Xi’an.

Visiting Scholar Dr Wei Han, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, received Innovation and Technology Support Programme funding of HK$1.15 million for his project exploring an “Ionic Liquid Filtration System for Air Purification and Disinfection”. His co-investigators are Prof King Lun Yeung, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Prof Joseph K C Kwan, Director of HKUST’s Health, Safety and Environment Office.

MSc students Lixie Hu, Xiaoyang Liu and Hao Lu, all Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, received the Global Youth Innovator Award at the 2016 iCAN Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, US, for their De-snore invention. The students’ innovative system uses a low-cost MEMS microphone to collect audio signals from people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. The smart sensor system can detect the severity of the disease, monitor sleep quality, and send email and SMS alerts to sufferers should dangerous obstructive sleep apnea situations be tracked. It was the second year that School of Engineering students won this award.

Three papers by Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE) PhD students and other members of ECE were given at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), the premier forum for presentations on advances in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip. The papers were titled “A 4.2μs-Settling-Time 3rd-Order 2.1GHz Phase-Noise-Rejection PLL Using a Cascaded Time-Amplified Clock-Skew Sub-Sampling DLL” by PhD student Zhiqiang Huang and Prof Howard Luong, “An 86.0GHz-94.3GHz Transmitter with 15.3-dBm Output Power and 9.6% Efficiency in 65nm CMOS” by PhD alumnus Yue Chao and Prof Luong, and “A 6.78MHz 6W Wireless Power Receiver with a 3-Level 1X/½X/0X Reconfigurable Resonant Regulating Rectifier” by PhD student Lin Cheng, computer engineers Yat To Wong, Tak Sang Yim, Prof Wing Hung Ki and Prof Chi Ying Tsui.

PhD student Wei Jiang, Electronic and Computer Engineering, received the Best Paper Award at the Fourteenth Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Conference in San Francisco. The paper, co-authored by Prof Weichuan Yu, focused on “Power Estimation and Sample Size Determination for Replication Studies of Genome Wide Association Studies”. The conference is the leading annual gathering for international research, development and novel applications in bioinformatics.

PhD student Liwen Jing, Electronic and Computer Engineering, won first place at the 2016 IEEE MTT-S International Wireless Symposium Student Paper Competition for her paper on “Fabrication and Measurement of Millimeter-Wave On-Chip MIMO Antenna for CMOS RFIC’s”. The symposium takes place annually in China providing a platform for the latest technical accomplishments in microwave circuits, hardware and radio frequency (RF) systems focused on physical layer aspects of current and emerging wireless systems.

PhD student Yu Li, Electronic and Computer Engineering, won the Best Paper Award at the Asia Communications and Photonics Conference in Hong Kong. Her winning paper, supervised by Prof Andrew Poon, was titled “Actively Stabilized Silicon Microrings Integrated with Surface-State-Absorption Photomonitors at 1310nm Using a Slope-Detection Method”. The significance of Yu’s work saw the award upgraded from Best Student Paper to Best Paper. The conference is the largest in the region on optical communication, photonics, and relevant technologies.

Undergraduates Anny Hiu Yan Mok, Mick Hon Ming Tse, both Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Eddie Wing Tai Yeung, Electronic and Computer Engineering, won the championship at the Pit Crew Challenge – Intercollegiate Speed Engine Assembly and Disassembly Competition. The contest was one of the activities at Hong Kong Classic 2015, a weekend festival focused on vintage cars and motorbikes at Central Harbourfront Event Space. The competition, which drew 16 student teams from HKUST, University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, required students to put together and take apart a motorcycle engine within a set time limit, demanding speed, accuracy and efficient teamwork. The students are all members of the HKUST Solar Car Team.

PhD student Saber Soltani, Electronic and Computer Engineering, received a Computer Simulation Technology (CST) University Publication Award 2015. His award-winning paper was entitled “A Compact Planar Printed MIMO Antenna Design” and co-authored by supervisor Prof Ross Murch. The article appeared in IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation in March 2015 and became the journal’s most downloaded paper that month. The award provides an annual grant for researchers exploring the application of 3D electromagnetic field simulation.

MPhil student Zhenfei Yang, Electronic and Computer Engineering, received the Best Theoretical Paper Award at the 2015 IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics. The symposium took place at Purdue University, Indiana, US. Zhenfei’s winning paper, co-authored by Prof Shaojie Shen, explored “Monocular Visual-Inertial Fusion with Online Initialization and Camera-IMU Calibration”. The forum seeks cutting-edge papers on the theory and practice of robotics and automation for all types of safety-related applications.

HKUST Aeronautics Interest Group achieved a place in the top 25 at the prestigious international 2016 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Design/Build/Fly Competition. The HKUST students ranked second in Asia and first in Hong Kong. The contest, held in Kansas, US, attracted 80 teams from around the world, including many elite universities. Students were required to design and build two radio-controlled aircraft – a manufacturing support aircraft and production aircraft – that could complete different tasks (see also Ms & Mr Young Engineers).

A School of Engineering student team won the Energy Efficient Design Award at the New Energy New Generation Solar Car Competition. The contest was organized by the Hong Kong government’s Environment Bureau and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. Eight teams from local institutions participated in the tertiary education section. Each team had to design and build an environmentally friendly and innovative solar car. The competition sought to raise students’ interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency and to take their ideas from drawing board to practical prototype (see also Ms & Mr Young Engineers).