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Milestones
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Milestones
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From its earliest days, HKUST has sought to realize the vision of being a university with significant international impact and strong local commitment through its holistic Education, original Research, and Knowledge Transfer & Societal Impact. Find out more about the University and School of Engineering’s remarkable journey from the late 1980s to today through the milestones below. Key local, national, and global developments under each of the three themes are highlighted by the following colors:
Education

Inspiring the movers and shapers of tomorrow

Research

Bringing together top faculty and facilities to deliver breakthroughs

Knowledge Transfer and Societal Impact

Practically driving change through innovation

Preparing the Ground for HKUST

Preparing the Ground for HKUST

The HKUST Planning Committee was formed in 1986, with one of its major tasks to oversee the building of the campus for the new university. The site chosen was Tai Po Tsai in Clear Water Bay. In 1988, construction matters were taken up by the University Council’s Campus Project Management Committee. Site preparation work started in 1988. Phase I was completed in 1991 and Phase II in 1993.
Nanosystem Fabrication Facility

Nanosystem Fabrication Facility

HKUST established the Microelectronics Fabrication Center, now known as the Nanosystem Fabrication Facility, providing the first laboratory of its kind at a tertiary institution in Hong Kong.
New University Era Begins

New University Era Begins

HKUST’s official Opening Ceremony took place.
Hong Kong SuperNet

Hong Kong SuperNet

HKUST’s first business venture was launched to provide low-cost internet services in Hong Kong.
SENG’s First Patent

SENG’s First Patent

The School of Engineering filed its first US patent application for a dual-emitter lateral magnetometer that could cost-effectively enhance the performance of devices such as tape recorders and computer hard disks. The patent was granted in 1996.
Leading the Way on Environmental Research

Leading the Way on Environmental Research

HKUST carried out the first air quality measurements in Hong Kong and installed the first ocean color satellite station in Asia on campus.
PKU-HKUST Shenzhen Hong Kong collaboration initiated

PKU-HKUST Shenzhen-Hong Kong Institution

HKUST, Peking University, and Shenzhen Municipal Government initiated the PKU-HKUST Shenzhen-Hong Kong Institution.
CLP Wind/Wave Tunnel Facility and Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility

CLP Wind/Wave Tunnel Facility and Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility

Two important facilities, the CLP Wind/Wave Tunnel Facility and the Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility, were established at HKUST, both offering the first research tools of their kind in Hong Kong.
HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School

HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School

HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School, funded by the Fok Ying Tung Foundation, was established in Nansha, Guangzhou.
World's First Autonomous Flight Over Mount Everest

World's First Autonomous Flight Over Mount Everest

A HKUST unmanned helicopter made the world's first autonomous flight over the world’s highest mountain through the joint research efforts of Prof. LI Zexiang and Electronic and Computer Engineering MPhil alumnus Mr. WANG Tao. Earlier in 2006, Mr. Wang founded his startup, DJI Innovations, which has gone on to become the world’s leading consumer and commercial drone manufacturer.
The Center for Engineering Education Innovation (E2I)

The Center for Engineering Education Innovation (E2I)

HKUST’s Center for Engineering Education Innovation (E2I) was set up by the School of Engineering to design, deliver, and evaluate innovative learning and teaching experiences for student and faculty development. It also now provides for the advisory needs of undergraduates under the student-centric four-year curriculum, introduced under city-wide education reforms in 2012.
Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 20 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in Engineering and Technology.
QS Rankings

QS Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 1 in the QS Asian University Rankings.
First for Online Courses

First for Online Courses

HKUST started to deliver its courses worldwide by joining major Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platforms Coursera and edX in 2012 and 2013 respectively. At the outset, the University was the first in Asia and only university in Greater China to offer MOOCs via Coursera.
Partner State Key Laboratory of Advanced Displays and Optoelectronics Technologies

Partner State Key Laboratory of Advanced Displays and Optoelectronics Technologies

HKUST, in collaboration with Sun Yat-Sen University, established the Partner State Key Laboratory of Advanced Displays and Optoelectronics Technologies.
Energy Institute

Energy Institute

HKUST launched the Energy Institute, providing a multidisciplinary platform for fostering energy-related research and curricular programs.
CNERC

CNERC

The Hong Kong Branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Control and Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution was established.
Robotics Institute

Robotics Institute

HKUST launched its Robotics Institute as a multidisciplinary platform for integrating, facilitating, and enabling University-wide programs in robotics-related research, development, and education.
Big Data Institute

Big Data Institute

HKUST Big Data Institute was established, bringing together data science and big data research, education, and activities; coordinating collaborative projects with industry and partner institutions; and seeking to develop high-impact solutions to big data-related challenges.
First MATE ROV World Champion Team in Asia

First MATE ROV World Champion Team in Asia

HKUST Robotics Team became the first team in Asia to win the world championship of the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) contest in the US.
HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute

HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute

HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute was established to advance the underlying science and technology for developing Hong Kong and other cities into smart urban centers.
One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition held in Seven Cities

One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition held in Seven Cities

HKUST’s highly popular annual One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition, launched in 2011, expanded further, bringing the total number of cities in China participating in the competition to seven, six within the Greater Bay Area. By 2020, this had risen to eight cities and regions, with the total number of proposals submitted nationally topping 1,800. In its 10th anniversary year in 2021, the number of teams entering the Hong Kong section of the contest reached 185. The increasing scale has not only reinforced collaboration between HKUST and other cities in the Greater Bay Area, but also advanced interaction and promoted creativity among entrepreneurs in China.
Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 1 in THE’s Young University Rankings.
Women in Engineering

Women in Engineering

HKUST hosted the, first in Asia, Rising Stars Women in Engineering Workshop during the Asian Deans’ Forum 2018, nurturing future female academic leaders..
HKUST-BDR Joint Research Institute

HKUST - BDR Joint Research Institute

HKUST - Bright Dream Robotics Joint Research Institute was established with Guangdong Bright Dream Robotics to foster research and education in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).
HKUST-BDR Joint Research IT (GZ)

HKUST - BDR Joint Research IT (GZ)

HKUST signed agreements with the Guangzhou Municipal Government and Guangzhou University to establish HKUST(GZ). The new campus is structured to operate under four interconnected multidisciplinary hubs, with School of Engineering faculty taking a leadership role in the systems and information hubs. The other two focus on function and society respectively.
Sustainable Smart Campus

Sustainable Smart Campus

HKUST launched the University-wide Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab initiative to utilize the campus as a platform for generating, implementing, and showcasing novel ideas and technologies related to sustainability.
HKUST - Academy for Continuing Education

HKUST - Academy for Continuing Education

HKUST - Academy for Continuing Education, under the School of Engineering, was established in Futian District, Shenzhen, to serve as a professional training center for executive education to keep industry and the business community up-to-date on the latest technology and industrial developments.
HKUST - Kaisa Joint Research Institute

HKUST - Kaisa Joint Research Institute

HKUST - Kaisa Joint Research Institute was established to develop know-how and technologies for practical applications and products via platforms of Kaisa Holdings Limited.
HKUST Innovations to Tackle COVID-19

HKUST Innovations to Tackle COVID-19

To assist the local, national, and global communities in combatting COVID-19, a host of HKUST innovations were rolled out and adopted for use. Among others, technologies included a smart antimicrobial sanitizer for large-scale disinfection; smart geo-fencing; quarantine tracking technology; a smart fever screening system; and autonomous delivery vehicles to assist people in lockdowns.
InnoHK Research Clusters Initiative

InnoHK Research Clusters Initiative

Two HKUST Engineering research centers were awarded funding from the Hong Kong government’s InnoHK Research Clusters initiative to advance AI chip design and construction robots respectively.
Contribution to Hong Kong’s Sporting Arena

Contribution to Hong Kong’s Sporting Arena

HKUST Engineering collaborated with the Hong Kong Sports Institute to introduce novel technologies to enhance the performance of the Hong Kong cycling team at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Achievements in Knowledge Transfer

HKUST made record-breaking achievements in its knowledge transfer outcome, reaching the highest number of startup companies, utilized patent/patent applications, new licenses, and the largest amount of IP income in 2021. All such technology transfer indicators had significantly advanced as compared to six years ago, testifying to the University’s commitment to creating societal impact through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Preparing the Ground for HKUST

Preparing the Ground for HKUST

The HKUST Planning Committee was formed in 1986, with one of its major tasks to oversee the building of the campus for the new university. The site chosen was Tai Po Tsai in Clear Water Bay. In 1988, construction matters were taken up by the University Council’s Campus Project Management Committee. Site preparation work started in 1988. Phase I was completed in 1991 and Phase II in 1993.
New University Era Begins

New University Era Begins

HKUST’s official Opening Ceremony took place.
SENG’s First Patent

SENG’s First Patent

The School of Engineering filed its first US patent application for a dual-emitter lateral magnetometer that could cost-effectively enhance the performance of devices such as tape recorders and computer hard disks. The patent was granted in 1996.
PKU-HKUST Shenzhen Hong Kong collaboration initiated

PKU-HKUST Shenzhen-Hong Kong Institution

HKUST, Peking University, and Shenzhen Municipal Government initiated the PKU-HKUST Shenzhen-Hong Kong Institution.
HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School

HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School

HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School, funded by the Fok Ying Tung Foundation, was established in Nansha, Guangzhou.
The Center for Engineering Education Innovation (E2I)

The Center for Engineering Education Innovation (E2I)

HKUST’s Center for Engineering Education Innovation (E2I) was set up by the School of Engineering to design, deliver, and evaluate innovative learning and teaching experiences for student and faculty development. It also now provides for the advisory needs of undergraduates under the student-centric four-year curriculum, introduced under city-wide education reforms in 2012.
QS Rankings

QS Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 1 in the QS Asian University Rankings.
Partner State Key Laboratory of Advanced Displays and Optoelectronics Technologies

Partner State Key Laboratory of Advanced Displays and Optoelectronics Technologies

HKUST, in collaboration with Sun Yat-Sen University, established the Partner State Key Laboratory of Advanced Displays and Optoelectronics Technologies.
CNERC

CNERC

The Hong Kong Branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Control and Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution was established.
Big Data Institute

Big Data Institute

HKUST Big Data Institute was established, bringing together data science and big data research, education, and activities; coordinating collaborative projects with industry and partner institutions; and seeking to develop high-impact solutions to big data-related challenges.
HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute

HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute

HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute was established to advance the underlying science and technology for developing Hong Kong and other cities into smart urban centers.
Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 1 in THE’s Young University Rankings.
HKUST-BDR Joint Research Institute

HKUST - BDR Joint Research Institute

HKUST - Bright Dream Robotics Joint Research Institute was established with Guangdong Bright Dream Robotics to foster research and education in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).
Sustainable Smart Campus

Sustainable Smart Campus

HKUST launched the University-wide Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab initiative to utilize the campus as a platform for generating, implementing, and showcasing novel ideas and technologies related to sustainability.
HKUST - Kaisa Joint Research Institute

HKUST - Kaisa Joint Research Institute

HKUST - Kaisa Joint Research Institute was established to develop know-how and technologies for practical applications and products via platforms of Kaisa Holdings Limited.
InnoHK Research Clusters Initiative

InnoHK Research Clusters Initiative

Two HKUST Engineering research centers were awarded funding from the Hong Kong government’s InnoHK Research Clusters initiative to advance AI chip design and construction robots respectively.

Achievements in Knowledge Transfer

HKUST made record-breaking achievements in its knowledge transfer outcome, reaching the highest number of startup companies, utilized patent/patent applications, new licenses, and the largest amount of IP income in 2021. All such technology transfer indicators had significantly advanced as compared to six years ago, testifying to the University’s commitment to creating societal impact through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Nanosystem Fabrication Facility

Nanosystem Fabrication Facility

HKUST established the Microelectronics Fabrication Center, now known as the Nanosystem Fabrication Facility, providing the first laboratory of its kind at a tertiary institution in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong SuperNet

Hong Kong SuperNet

HKUST’s first business venture was launched to provide low-cost internet services in Hong Kong.
Leading the Way on Environmental Research

Leading the Way on Environmental Research

HKUST carried out the first air quality measurements in Hong Kong and installed the first ocean color satellite station in Asia on campus.
CLP Wind/Wave Tunnel Facility and Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility

CLP Wind/Wave Tunnel Facility and Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility

Two important facilities, the CLP Wind/Wave Tunnel Facility and the Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility, were established at HKUST, both offering the first research tools of their kind in Hong Kong.
World's First Autonomous Flight Over Mount Everest

World's First Autonomous Flight Over Mount Everest

A HKUST unmanned helicopter made the world's first autonomous flight over the world’s highest mountain through the joint research efforts of Prof. LI Zexiang and Electronic and Computer Engineering MPhil alumnus Mr. WANG Tao. Earlier in 2006, Mr. Wang founded his startup, DJI Innovations, which has gone on to become the world’s leading consumer and commercial drone manufacturer.
Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 20 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in Engineering and Technology.
First for Online Courses

First for Online Courses

HKUST started to deliver its courses worldwide by joining major Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platforms Coursera and edX in 2012 and 2013 respectively. At the outset, the University was the first in Asia and only university in Greater China to offer MOOCs via Coursera.
Energy Institute

Energy Institute

HKUST launched the Energy Institute, providing a multidisciplinary platform for fostering energy-related research and curricular programs.
Robotics Institute

Robotics Institute

HKUST launched its Robotics Institute as a multidisciplinary platform for integrating, facilitating, and enabling University-wide programs in robotics-related research, development, and education.
First MATE ROV World Champion Team in Asia

First MATE ROV World Champion Team in Asia

HKUST Robotics Team became the first team in Asia to win the world championship of the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) contest in the US.
One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition held in Seven Cities

One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition held in Seven Cities

HKUST’s highly popular annual One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition, launched in 2011, expanded further, bringing the total number of cities in China participating in the competition to seven, six within the Greater Bay Area. By 2020, this had risen to eight cities and regions, with the total number of proposals submitted nationally topping 1,800. In its 10th anniversary year in 2021, the number of teams entering the Hong Kong section of the contest reached 185. The increasing scale has not only reinforced collaboration between HKUST and other cities in the Greater Bay Area, but also advanced interaction and promoted creativity among entrepreneurs in China.
Women in Engineering

Women in Engineering

HKUST hosted the, first in Asia, Rising Stars Women in Engineering Workshop during the Asian Deans’ Forum 2018, nurturing future female academic leaders..
HKUST-BDR Joint Research IT (GZ)

HKUST - BDR Joint Research IT (GZ)

HKUST signed agreements with the Guangzhou Municipal Government and Guangzhou University to establish HKUST(GZ). The new campus is structured to operate under four interconnected multidisciplinary hubs, with School of Engineering faculty taking a leadership role in the systems and information hubs. The other two focus on function and society respectively.
HKUST - Academy for Continuing Education

HKUST - Academy for Continuing Education

HKUST - Academy for Continuing Education, under the School of Engineering, was established in Futian District, Shenzhen, to serve as a professional training center for executive education to keep industry and the business community up-to-date on the latest technology and industrial developments.
HKUST Innovations to Tackle COVID-19

HKUST Innovations to Tackle COVID-19

To assist the local, national, and global communities in combatting COVID-19, a host of HKUST innovations were rolled out and adopted for use. Among others, technologies included a smart antimicrobial sanitizer for large-scale disinfection; smart geo-fencing; quarantine tracking technology; a smart fever screening system; and autonomous delivery vehicles to assist people in lockdowns.
Contribution to Hong Kong’s Sporting Arena

Contribution to Hong Kong’s Sporting Arena

HKUST Engineering collaborated with the Hong Kong Sports Institute to introduce novel technologies to enhance the performance of the Hong Kong cycling team at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.