Research Collaboration Fostered in Discussion Forum between Peking University and HKUST
Fourteen faculty members from the College of Engineering of Peking University (PKU), together with 18 from School of Engineering of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), participated in a three-day discussion forum at HKUST on February 17-19, 2017 to explore opportunities of building collaborative research initiatives between the two engineering schools. The PKU faculty members were led by Prof Feng Chen, Associate Dean of College of Engineering, Prof Huiling Duan, Chair of Department of Mechanics and Engineering Science, and Prof Anyuan Cao, Chair of Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
The forum was proposed by Prof Tim Cheng, Dean of School of Engineering, HKUST, and Prof Dongxiao Zhang, Dean of College of Engineering, PKU, after their bilateral visits last year. It aimed to strengthen ties between the faculty members of the two institutions and promote research collaboration in three initially identified areas, namely materials, bioengineering, and aerospace engineering. Prof Ping Gao of HKUST and Prof Huiling Duan of PKU served as the organizing committee chairs of the forum. The PKU faculty members were mainly from the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanics and Engineering Science, and Materials Science and Engineering. The HKUST faculty members were mostly from the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
The forum got underway with welcome speeches by Prof Tim Cheng and Prof Tongxi Yu, who is Senior Advisor to the President and former Acting Dean of Engineering, HKUST. These were followed by opening remarks by Prof Feng Chen. Faculty members of both institutions then took turns to present their research in parallel sessions of seminars, focusing on areas of advanced materials, bioengineering and bioinformatics, and fluid dynamics and aeronautics. They also engaged in a panel discussion and visited labs in aerospace engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, and the Materials Characterization and Preparation Facility. With these fruitful exchanges, a number of faculty members have identified mutual research interests after the forum and would seek to develop joint research programs in the future.
To sustain collaboration, joint research workshops will be organized alternately by the two universities as a platform for faculty interaction. It is hoped that the workshops will foster cross-institutional research collaboration and in particular facilitate the integration of junior faculty through joining with senior faculty of the other side in research publications and activities. Future workshops may be extended to other research areas.