Milestones

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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.
Robotics Institute
Photo credit: XU Hao 

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.
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

The 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.
The Academy for Bright Future Young Engineers

The Academy for Bright Future Young Engineers

The Academy for Bright Future Young Engineers (ABFYE) was established in 2016 with the generous support from Prof. Roy CHUNG, aiming to provide an innovative and student-centered platform to engage high school learners in authentic engineering experiences and inspire them to embrace an engineer’s habits of mind.

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) competition in the US.
HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute

GREAT Smart Cities Institute

The 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.
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

The 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).
Signing of Collaboration Agreements to Establish HKUST(GZ)

Signing of Collaboration Agreements to Establish HKUST(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

The 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 Help to Tackle COVID-19

HKUST Innovations Help 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

HKUST’s research centers were awarded funding from the Hong Kong government’s InnoHK Research Clusters initiatives, including two in engineering, to advance research in AI chip design and construction robotics.

Achievement in Research Assessment Exercise

Achievement in Research Assessment Exercise

Over 80% of HKUST research work were rated “internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee.

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.
HKUST-MTR Joint Research Laboratory

HKUST-MTR Joint Research Laboratory

The HKUST-MTR Joint Research Laboratory, the first-ever research laboratory the MTR Corporation has set up with an institution of higher education, aims to explore innovative solutions to bring convenience to the public in daily life and travelling.

Joint Research Lab for Industrial AI and Robotics

Joint Research Lab for Industrial AI and Robotics

HKUST and the Hong Kong Productivity Council launch the Joint Research Lab for Industrial AI and Robotics to foster intelligent and advanced manufacturing and industrial innovation and technology talent development.

The Opening of HKUST(GZ)

The Opening of HKUST(GZ)

Formally opened in September 2022, HKUST(GZ) is the world’s first cross-disciplinary university driving the development of Greater Bay Area and educational collaboration between Hong Kong and Mainland. The campus operates under four interconnected multidisciplinary hubs, with School of Engineering faculty taking an important role in in the systems and information hubs. The other two focus on function and society respectively.

HKUST Installs First Woman President Prof. Nancy Ip at 30th Congregation
HKUST Installs First Woman President Prof. Nancy Ip at 30th Congregation 

HKUST Installs First Woman President Prof. Nancy IP at 30th Congregation

HKUST installed its fifth President and the first woman to head a University Grants Committee-supported institution, Prof. Nancy Ip, at its 30th Congregation in 2022.

QS Rankings

QS Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 1 in Engineering & Technology for 13 consecutive years in Hong Kong in the QS World University Rankings by subject 2023.
Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 1 in Engineering for 12 consecutive years in Hong Kong in Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject 2023.
HKUST–HKSI Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology

HKUST-HKSI Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology

HKUST and the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) has inaugurated the HKUST-HKSI Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology to explore the integration of research and technology into sports, promote innovation in sports science and optimize elite athletes’ performance in international competitions.

HKUST–China Unicom Joint Laboratory on Smart Society

HKUST-China Unicom Joint Laboratory on Smart Society

HKUST-China Unicom Joint Laboratory on Smart Society was established to empower research and development of smart society. The Joint Laboratory is set to initiate projects covering key areas such as smart cities, industrial internet, artificial intelligence (AI) computing power and cybersecurity.

Strong Entrepreneurial Culture

Strong Entrepreneurial Culture

HKUST members have founded 1,645 active start-ups, including 9 unicorns and 11 exits (IPO or M&A), generating economic impact worth over HK$400 billion.
One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition

One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition

The 2023 competition has attracted a record-high of 234 eligible entries from local, Mainland and international teams.
Achievements of HKUST Robotics Team

Achievements of HKUST Robotics Team

HKUST Robotics Team, founded in 2003, has joined competitions, organized community activities, workshops, underwater and ground robot competitions for youths to inspire students who are underprivileged, of ethnic minorities or with special educational needs.

In 2019, they received All-Round Championship for the second time and won the Engineering Presentation Champion in the MATE International ROV Competition, marking their 100th and 101st awards.

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.
Robotics Institute
Photo credit: XU Hao 

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

The 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) competition in the US.
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

The 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

The 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

HKUST’s research centers were awarded funding from the Hong Kong government’s InnoHK Research Clusters initiatives, including two in engineering, to advance research in AI chip design and construction robotics.

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.
HKUST-MTR Joint Research Laboratory

HKUST-MTR Joint Research Laboratory

The HKUST-MTR Joint Research Laboratory, the first-ever research laboratory the MTR Corporation has set up with an institution of higher education, aims to explore innovative solutions to bring convenience to the public in daily life and travelling.

The Opening of HKUST(GZ)

The Opening of HKUST(GZ)

Formally opened in September 2022, HKUST(GZ) is the world’s first cross-disciplinary university driving the development of Greater Bay Area and educational collaboration between Hong Kong and Mainland. The campus operates under four interconnected multidisciplinary hubs, with School of Engineering faculty taking an important role in in the systems and information hubs. The other two focus on function and society respectively.

QS Rankings

QS Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 1 in Engineering & Technology for 13 consecutive years in Hong Kong in the QS World University Rankings by subject 2023.
HKUST–HKSI Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology

HKUST-HKSI Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology

HKUST and the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) has inaugurated the HKUST-HKSI Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology to explore the integration of research and technology into sports, promote innovation in sports science and optimize elite athletes’ performance in international competitions.

Strong Entrepreneurial Culture

Strong Entrepreneurial Culture

HKUST members have founded 1,645 active start-ups, including 9 unicorns and 11 exits (IPO or M&A), generating economic impact worth over HK$400 billion.
Achievements of HKUST Robotics Team

Achievements of HKUST Robotics Team

HKUST Robotics Team, founded in 2003, has joined competitions, organized community activities, workshops, underwater and ground robot competitions for youths to inspire students who are underprivileged, of ethnic minorities or with special educational needs.

In 2019, they received All-Round Championship for the second time and won the Engineering Presentation Champion in the MATE International ROV Competition, marking their 100th and 101st awards.

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.
CNERC

CNERC

The Hong Kong Branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Control and Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution was established.
The Academy for Bright Future Young Engineers

The Academy for Bright Future Young Engineers

The Academy for Bright Future Young Engineers (ABFYE) was established in 2016 with the generous support from Prof. Roy CHUNG, aiming to provide an innovative and student-centered platform to engage high school learners in authentic engineering experiences and inspire them to embrace an engineer’s habits of mind.

HKUST GREAT Smart Cities Institute

GREAT Smart Cities Institute

The 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.
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.
Signing of Collaboration Agreements to Establish HKUST(GZ)

Signing of Collaboration Agreements to Establish HKUST(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 Help to Tackle COVID-19

HKUST Innovations Help 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.
Achievement in Research Assessment Exercise

Achievement in Research Assessment Exercise

Over 80% of HKUST research work were rated “internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee.

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.
Joint Research Lab for Industrial AI and Robotics

Joint Research Lab for Industrial AI and Robotics

HKUST and the Hong Kong Productivity Council launch the Joint Research Lab for Industrial AI and Robotics to foster intelligent and advanced manufacturing and industrial innovation and technology talent development.

HKUST Installs First Woman President Prof. Nancy Ip at 30th Congregation
HKUST Installs First Woman President Prof. Nancy Ip at 30th Congregation 

HKUST Installs First Woman President Prof. Nancy IP at 30th Congregation

HKUST installed its fifth President and the first woman to head a University Grants Committee-supported institution, Prof. Nancy Ip, at its 30th Congregation in 2022.

Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings

HKUST was ranked No. 1 in Engineering for 12 consecutive years in Hong Kong in Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject 2023.
HKUST–China Unicom Joint Laboratory on Smart Society

HKUST-China Unicom Joint Laboratory on Smart Society

HKUST-China Unicom Joint Laboratory on Smart Society was established to empower research and development of smart society. The Joint Laboratory is set to initiate projects covering key areas such as smart cities, industrial internet, artificial intelligence (AI) computing power and cybersecurity.

One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition

One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition

The 2023 competition has attracted a record-high of 234 eligible entries from local, Mainland and international teams.