Blended / Experiential Learning

HKUST prides itself on its pioneering efforts in pedagogical developments, among which blended learning and experiential learning have been widely adopted in the School of Engineering.

Blended Learning 

A blend of online and face-to-face teaching, Blended Learning (BL) encourages students to acquire fundamental knowledge online and then apply it through a series of carefully designed in-class activities. Such an approach maximizes the benefits of both online and face-to-face interaction, as it provides students with a steeper learning curve and enables them to achieve much more during the process.


A blended-learning version of the following courses is being offered by the corresponding professors.

Course Code 

Course Title 


CENG 1000 

Introduction to Chemical and Biological Engineering 

Prof. Ying CHAU 

CENG 2210 

Chemical and Biological Engineering Thermodynamics 

Prof. Henry LAM 

CIVL 3310 

Structural Analysis 


COMP 1001 

Exploring Multimedia and Internet Computing 

Prof. Kenneth LEUNG 

COMP 1022P 

Introduction to Computing with Java 

Prof. T. C. PONG 

COMP 3111

Software Engineering

Prof. Kenneth LEUNG 

ELEC 1200 

A System View of Communications: From Signals to Packets 

Prof. Khaled Ben LETAIEF 

ELEC 2100 / 2100H 

Signals and Systems 

Prof. Albert K S WONG 

Prof. Levent YOBAS 

ELEC 5810 

Introduction to Bioinformatics Algorithms 

Prof. Weichuan YU 

ENGG 2990I 

Engineering Approach for Airship Design 

Prof. T. C. PONG 

Prof. Ben CHAN 

IEDA 2510 

Engineering Probability and Statistics 

Prof. Jiheng ZHANG 

IEDA 3270 

Quality Engineering 

Prof. Fugee TSUNG 

MECH 1901 

Automotive Engineering 

Prof. Kai TANG 

MECH 2520 

Design and Manufacturing I 

Prof. Michael WANG  

Prof. Robin MA 

MECH 3830 


Prof. Huihe QIU 

Experiential Learning 

Learning Through Making - Makes Students Learn 


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CENG 1800 Introduction to Food Science and Technology [3 Credits]

It is an experiential learning course offered by CBE Department starting from Summer 2017.  In addition to lectures (food chemistry, nutrition, processing, additives, safety, regulations, genetically modified foods and healthy foods, etc.), the course covers experiment and design project, which provide opportunities for students to gain hands-on experiences on food processing (yogurt, wine, bread, biscuit, sugar, jelly, etc.).  Through this course, students may explore secrets and look into rumors or controversies behind food production, let alone enjoy the fun of making food in the lab by themselves. 

CENG 4000G Chemical and Biological Engineering Competition Project [3 Credits]

This course is a platform for entry-level engineer students to participate student competition for chemical engineers. The objective of this course is to develop the ability to control chemical reactions, and to obtain hands-on experience on a practical engineering project, especially in chemical engineering field. Students will be given the opportunity to interact with each other, to integrate the learning experience to design and build a device / product / process, a business entity or other forms. Students will have chance to prepare for starting their future career in engineering. It is a student-led project, designed to motivate students for engineers. Enrollment in the project course require instructor's approval. 

CIVL 1120 Exploring Earthquake Engineering [3 Credits]

This course intends to facilitate student’s exploration in earthquake engineering through hands-on experiments. Students are grouped to design and build scaled building models using wood, glue, strings and rubber bands, which are loaded and tested on a shake table under simulated earthquake ground motion. Through the design, build and test process, students can observe the effect of different design variables and details on the test result. Students are then guided to interpret the observations, identify possible issues, explore relevant knowledge, and propose viable options for improvement. Students need to reflect what they have learned on a revised building model and contest other groups in a final competition. Exclusion(s): CIVL 2120, MECH 2040 Prerequisite(s): Level 3 or above in HKDSE 1 / 2x OR in HKDSE 1x Physics, OR a passing grade in HKCEE Physics.

CIVL 1140 Environmental Quality Control and Improvement [3 Credits]

Introduction to up-to-date environmental issues in both local and global scales; providing essential physical, chemical, biological and societal concepts required to understand the nature of pollution and environmental problems; applying science, engineering, management and social science approaches to solutions to environmental issues that affect our water, air, land, eco-systems, living environment, and sustainable development. The objective of this course is to equip our next generation leaders in different disciplines with enhanced environmental awareness and knowledge of tools and solutions to environmental issues. They will therefore be able to make responsible decisions and actions, with due consideration of the environment and sustainability. Each lesson is divided into two parts. The first part is the introduction and discussion of essential concepts and environmental issues and debates of these issues and will be delivered and guided by the instructor. The second part involves presentations of projects, focus studies, or service learning activities of new, emerging environmental issues selected by student groups, with emphases on solutions to the issues. 

COMP 1943  Creative Sound Design [3 Credits]

An experiential common core course in creative sound design. In the lab assignments, students will create short soundtracks for computer games and short videos with strong emotional characters. The course will introduce techniques in sound and music manipulation and development, including sound effects and simple music composition and arrangement techniques. A strong emphasis on music emotion, where students build each soundtrack based on emotional descriptions such as those given by film directors and computer game designers. No background in music or computer programming required.

COMP 4441  Computer Music [3 Credits]

This experiential project course will provide hands-on experiences in creating music and soundtracks with a wide range of emotional characteristics for a variety of situations in computer games and videos. The course is structured as if at an LA film school for sound designers, and contrasting in style and content from other UST courses, where the primary focus includes emotional not just technical control. This course will provide a creative outlet for applying problem-solving in a deep and engaging way to music. Whether students have music background or not, this course will provide them a chance to explore music almost like a composer. Students will share their musical creations and learn from one another, and create music that modulates the moods of listeners.

ELEC 1100  Introduction to Electro-Robot Design  [4 Credits]

The course introduces the fundamental knowledge on the design, implementation and evaluation of a robot and its sub-systems. It covers the basic principles of analog and digital circuits as well as robot sensing and control mechanisms. Students have to apply the knowledge and principles learned to design and build a functional robot by the end of the course. Students who have completed ELEC 2200, ELEC 2400, ELEC 2410, or ELEC 2420, must obtain instructor's approval to take this course. 

ENGG 1100  First Year Cornerstone Engineering Design Project Course  [3 Credits]

This project course is designed specifically for first year engineering students. This course aims at providing engineering students experiential learning experience through exposing students to knowledge and skills from different SENG disciplines before making decision on their majors. Students in this course will be divided into design teams. Each team will use the acquired knowledge and skills to design and build an engineering artifact, e.g. an airship. In order to offer the course at scale, the technical components will be offered online and students would be engaged in experiential learning through working on team projects. For First year Engineering students only. 

ENGG 1200 Engineering Team Design Experience: Airship [3 Credits]

The Engineering Team Airship Competition allows students to explore various areas of engineering in order to design and build a remote controlled airship, culminating in the final competition before the end of the term. Students will use these specific project requirements as an opportunity to explore activities in which managers / engineers of various disciplines are involved. Specifically, they will build an airship that uses helium balloons for lift, has motors and propellers for propulsion and control, and is controlled remotely using an Android device. Students in this course will be divided into design teams with a common goal: construct an airship at the end of the term. Each team will then undergo half-a-term training on airship construction, mobile phone programming and hardware communication. Team members work together to obtain the skills needed to design their airship. Finally, the teams compile an airship and contest other teams in a competition. 

Course Intended Learning Outcomes: 

  1. Analyze and describe the design of DC and logic circuits as used in the operation of a microcontroller and create programs in Java for use on Android devices starting with increasing complexity and for use in the class project

  1. Describe, calculate, and quantify the action of forces and other physical quantities on systems similar that used in the class project

  1. Apply an engineering design approach to: generate ideas, model, analyze, predict and build an innovative object of engineering interest taking into consideration both societal and economic impact 

  1. Demonstrate appropriate knowledge and behavior for effective and ethical membership on a technical team 

  1. Communicate effectively with others orally, in writing and by use of sketches / drawings 

  1. Explore possible innovative engineering solutions via peer learning and self-initiated learning processes

ENGG 2990K  Cornerstone Engineering Design Project Course [3 Credits]

This course aims at providing students experiential learning experience through exposing students to knowledge and skills from different engineering disciplines. Students in this course will be divided into design teams. Each team will use the acquired knowledge and skills to design and build an engineering artifact. In order to account for students with different technical background, the technical components will be offered online and students would be engaged in experiential learning through working on team projects. Exclusion(s): ENGG 1100, ENGG 1200. 

ENGG 3960 Robotics Special Project [1-4 Credit(s)]

A robotics-related special project supervised by one or a group of faculty members. Normally, a project proposal and a final report are required. May be repeated for credits if the projects have different emphases or cover different topics. Enrollment in the project course may require instructor's approval. May be graded by letter or P / F for different offering. May be graded PP. 

Course Intended Learning Outcomes: 

  1. To recognize the need for, and demonstrate the ability to, engage in life-long learning 

  1. To participate the teams work with idea exchange and cooperation between different tiers

  1. To describe various methods used to manage and schedule projects 

  1. To Identify, formulate solutions for, and solve engineering technology problems using engineering design processes 

  1. To apply knowledge of mathematics, science and technology to solve robotic engineering technology problems 

  1. To participate in and / or conduct design reviews 

  1. To collect, analyze and interpret data 

There are three types of existing Engineering Special Projects, MATE ROV, ABU Robocon and Intelligent Car Racing, available for students. These experiential learning project-based courses shall provide our undergraduate students an opportunity to work with their peers from multi-disciplinary as a team, to design and build a robot to tackle missions. Please see below for more information about the projects and competitions:  

Engineering Special Project -  MATE ROV

The MATE ROV Competition challenges K-12, community college, and university students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after real-life scenarios from the marine environment. The student team has to design a waterproof robot with manual control. 

The MATE competition requires students to think of themselves as “entrepreneurs” and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market, and sell products. In addition to engineering their ROVs, the students are required to prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges.

Engineering Special Project -  ABU Robocon

ABU Robocon is an Asia-Pacific based university level robotics competition, founded in 2002 by Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. The contest aims to create friendship among young people with similar interests who will lead their countries in the 21st century, as well as help advance engineering and broadcasting technologies in the region.  Each year the competition has different topics, but generally speaking two or more robots must be used to complete the tasks. One of the robots would be manual control while the others are automatic. To build the robots, contestants, who are restricted to be undergraduate students, must possess rich knowledge in programming, mechanical design and electronic circuit design. 

Engineering Special Project -  Intelligent Car Racing

“Freescale Cup” Intelligent Car Racing has been organized by the semiconductor company, Freescale, in China since 2006. Over the years, it became a popular robotics event in mainland China and aroused attention from students in related disciplines. It aimed to encourage students to apply circuit design, mechanics knowledge, embedded software programming, and control theories in smart model car racing. The fastest car to complete the track without derailing wins the competition. According to the sensors used, teams were divided into three categories: Optical Group, Electro-magnetic Group and Camera Balance Group. Teams from the Optical Group were required to identify the track by processing analog data obtained from linear CCD's, while those from the Camera Balance Group relied on image processing through a camera with an extra requirement – standing up and racing with only two wheels. Finally, teams from the Electro-Magnetic Group used wireless sensors to detect the location of a signal wire located underneath the racetrack. The student team has to design a fully-automated racing car in this design contest. 

IEDA 2100E  Computing in Industrial Applications [3 Credits]

This course is an experiential learning version of IEDA 2100. Students would be given an opportunity to enhance their learning through projects based on real scenario from the industry. Students would be able to achieve the same learning outcomes as IEDA 2100 by taking project, attending traditional lectures plus self-paced videos and lab exercises. 

IEDA 2145  Design Studio  [4 Credits]

This course will introduce students to the practical skills needed to translate engineering product ideas into three dimensional functional prototype models. Topics covered include understanding the framework for developing prototype models, selecting appropriate scale, working to time frames, and use of various architectural model-building materials. The course will be hands-on with lectures to teach the basic principles of model making. Instructor's approval required. 

IEDA 4320  Design Thinking [3 Credits]

This course introduces important aspects of modern day "product" design integrating technology, art, business and innovation. The course will focus on how to elicit needs of customers, structure problems, create ideas, evaluate alternatives and then construct aesthetically pleasing and functional prototypes. Emphasis will be on creating concepts and taking them through uncertainties to achieve realistic and working prototypes. Instructor's approval is required for enrollment in the course. 

MECH 4000B  Experiential Learning – Solar Car Design Competition  [3 Credits]

The goal of this course is to encourage students developing their own project idea (Engineering related) and / or extending their knowledge and skills to participate non-campus activities, i.e. competition. Students will form in teams, preferably with teammates across different disciplines or schools, to identify the needs for their proposed project, thereby developing students problem-solving, communication, interpersonal, project management skills, etc. via the entire experiential learning approach (project-based). The course will be initially led by faculty and then self-directed by students with faculty retreating as coaches or advisors. Students must obtain prior approval from course coordinator for enrolling in the course. 

MECH 4000D  Experiential Learning in Robotics Technologies [3 Credits]

This course will provide an Experiential Learning in Robotics Technologies through 1) student-initiated designing and manufacturing of a practical Powered Wheelchair for an athlete with disability; and 2) active participation in an international competition, namely Cybathlon 2016. The goal is to develop and nurture skills in problem-solving, communication, interpersonal interaction, project and time management, etc. via experiential learning. The course will initially be led by faculty and then self-directed by students with faculty retreating as coaches or advisors. Instructor’s approval is required. 

MECH 4000F  Design, Build and Test an Electrical Vehicle (EV) [3 Credits]

The core of the course will be taught by demonstrating how a scaled down EV is made and unfolding its design concepts one by one. For that, we will first design and build an EV before the course starts. This demo EV will be developed together with an experienced technician who will be helping to collect EV performance data, compile the BOM, and manufacture or outsource EV components, assemble the whole EV frame incorporating with an electromechanical motor system for transmission, test and debug the EV on the road. Instructor's approval is required. 

MECH 4000I  Introduction to Nanosatellite Engineering [3 Credits]

This course will introduce the fundamental concepts of CubeSat – a class of nanosatellite with standardized unit size of 10x10x10 cm. As an experiential course, a number of labs have been prepared with a different focus on orbits dynamics, analysis of control and thermal subsystems. Every student should finish fundamental labs (~2 weeks each) individually, and organize a group, select and complete two advanced lab topics (~3 weeks each). The course shall offer students with both hands-on experience software simulation and hardware implementation. The topics in this course are introduced with mathematical derivations and case studies. After taking this course, we hope students will understand the fundamentals of satellite engineering and grasp the usage of common engineering design tools, such as MATLAB Aerospace blockset and CubeSat IMU hardware; and therefore gain the capability to attend astronautics related international competitions, such as GTOC in the near future. Prerequisite(s): (MECH 3610 OR ELEC 3200) AND (ELEC 2420 OR PHYS  1112) AND (MATH 2011 OR MATH 2111 OR MATH 2351) 

MECH 4100  Experiential Projects in Aerospace Engineering [3 Credits]

This course takes an experiential approach to aerospace engineering through (i) a series of seminars and workshops delivered by faculty and industry professionals, (ii) student-initiated tutorials on aerospace-related topics, and (iii) participation in an international aerospace competition. As well as giving students the opportunity to apply theoretical classroom knowledge to real-world engineering problems, this course will nurture skills in technical communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, and project management. This course will initially be led by faculty and then self-directed by students with faculty retreating as coaches. Students should seek approval from the course instructor prior to enrolling. 

Fei Chi En Dream Team Open Lab (DTOL)

Managed by the School of Engineering, Fei Chi En Dream Team Open Lab (DTOL) - an iconic facility situated opposite to the Engineering Commons at the academic building. DTOL is a maker-space facilitating student teams to turn their innovative ideas into projects or prototypes for entering competitions. Serving as the incubator for developing ideas, the Fei Chi En Dream Team Open Lab is where students make their dreams come true! 

Apart from offering our student teams a conducive workspace, the Fei Chi En Dream Team Open Lab also provides basic equipment for students to work on projects of different areas. Students across different schools and disciplines can collaborate, work and learn together under this platform. 

Undergraduate Student-initiated Experiential Learning (USEL) 

In order to encourage students to develop their own project ideas, the School of Engineering is providing student-driven practicum opportunities to UG students through the Undergraduate Student-initiated Experiential Learning Program. Each student may initiate a project that suits his or her interests under the guidance of a faculty member of the School of Engineering.