Meet the Dean
Welcome to the pace-setting School of Engineering (SENG) at HKUST, where I am delighted and honored to serve as Dean after more than 25 years within the SENG community.
HKUST was established in 1991 and I joined SENG as a member of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (now Civil and Environmental Engineering) in 1996. I have thus experienced at first hand much of the School’s remarkable rise to prominence as a global engineering juggernaut (my specialty is smart transportation!) and how it was achieved in only 30-plus years. Highly ranked internationally, the School is a renowned driver of research breakthroughs and holistic engineering education. Today, it is increasingly being recognized for the industry and social impact of its novel technologies and nurturing of entrepreneurship and start-ups, including unicorns.
Spanning six departments and one division ranging across established and emerging engineering fields, the School has flexibly negotiated the enormous changes in engineering teaching, learning, basic research and applications as the digital age and sustainability have become core components of people’s future. Engineers are largely responsible for developing the technologies that shape the world. At SENG, our goal is to be at the forefront of such changes.
Advanced materials, aging and healthcare, autonomous systems and robotics, artificial intelligence, communications, data science, design thinking and entrepreneurship, energy and sustainability, microelectronics, smart cities, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and online teaching tools are just some of the areas where leading work is being carried out at SENG.
During my tenure as Dean, I will be seeking to extend the School’s reach by advancing our capabilities and platforms to tackle large-scale and complex interdisciplinary projects. In particular, we will strive to address the grand challenges and sustainable development goals that must be solved worldwide to improve the lives of the generations to come – energy, climate change, health and well-being, industry, innovation, and infrastructure, to name but a few. This will involve looking beyond individual departments to collaborations with SENG colleagues, those in other Schools at HKUST, the University’s new cross-disciplinary-oriented Guangzhou campus that opened in September 2022, and partners outside the University. Further objectives are to strengthen SENG’s connections with industry to build mutual understanding of research and technology transfer needs and challenges; and to deepen engagement with our alumni.
In doing so, I will be calling upon lessons learned and knowledge gained in my quarter century at HKUST as I have risen from Assistant Professor to Chair Professor and Founding Director of HKUST’s interdisciplinary GREAT Smart Cities Institute; and from earlier administrative roles as Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies) and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. During this time, I have worked with my high-performing faculty colleagues, talented students, loyal alumni, Mainland and international collaborative partners, and as an advisor to various community and government initiatives, relishing opportunities for knowledge transfer to industry and other ventures that can improve people’s lives.
I am also looking forward to building out from such connectivity to share more about the School, HKUST, and Hong Kong with people locally and around the world. This website is one way to learn more about SENG’s energizing environment. But I also strongly encourage you to visit our School or get in touch to find out more. Whether early career or more senior academics, talented undergraduates, postgraduates or postdocs, if you are looking to make a difference in your field, pursue novel areas, work with leading minds, and contribute to solutions for the world’s grand challenges, come and see what SENG has done and is doing to shape the decades ahead. Come and experience its empowering environment. Meanwhile, potential partners from other institutions and industry can explore win-win collaborations.
Combined with the bigger picture of HKUST’s east-west vision and multicultural openness, Hong Kong’s objective to become a global innovation and technology powerhouse, its inclusion within the national Greater Bay Area development plan – covering a population of 86 million – and the strength of the city’s international presence, SENG is an inspiring place to call home.
Professor Hong K. LO
Dean of Engineering
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology