HKUST Appoints Prof. Lionel NI as Provost

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HKUST Appoints Prof. Lionel NI as Provost

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Prof. Lionel Ni
Prof. Lionel Ni [Download Photo]

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) announced today the appointment of Prof. Lionel NI as the new Provost. Prof. Ni is expected to assume office in the second quarter of this year.

Prof. Ni is a seasoned academic administrator with substantial years of senior management experience and an accomplished scholar in computer science and engineering. He is currently Vice Rector (Academic Affairs) and Chair Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Macau (UM).

Prior to joining the UM in 2015, Prof. Ni had served in senior roles at HKUST for over a decade, having been the Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering from 2002 to 2008; and as the Dean of HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School and Special Assistant to the President from 2010 to 2014.  During his tenure at the University, he held concurrent appointments as Director of a number of research institutes between 2006 and 2014.

A well-respected computer scientist, Prof. Ni is recognized internationally with awards and honors.  He is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) and the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences (HKAES).  He received, among others, the esteemed Overseas Outstanding Contribution Award from China Computer Federation in 2009 and is honored the Second Class Award in Natural Sciences for Research Excellence by the State Council, China, in 2011.  He was also appointed as the Chief Scientist of the renowned National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) under the Ministry of Science and Technology in Mainland China between 2006 and 2011.

The appointment of Prof. Ni is the result of a rigorous global search conducted by the Search Committee for Provost, with the support of an independent executive search firm and guided by the views gathered from stakeholders of the University.

Announcing the appointment, HKUST Council Chairman Mr. Andrew LIAO Cheung-sing said the University is pleased to have Prof. Ni rejoining the community in a leading role. “Prof. Ni is well recognized for his academic accomplishments and administrative experience, his passion in driving excellence in teaching and learning and in promoting cross-disciplinary programs, his willingness and capability of leading change, as well as his appreciation and understanding of the higher education, research and innovation landscape in Hong Kong and the region.  He is no doubt well-positioned and ready to seize the many exciting opportunities facing the University to scale new heights,” Mr. Liao said.

Prof. Wei SHYY, President of HKUST, also extended his warm congratulations to Prof. Ni.  “On behalf of colleagues, I welcome Lionel to return home. I am confident that he will provide vision and leadership in setting the University’s overall academic strategy and priorities, and overseeing HKUST’s core mission in advancing learning and knowledge.  I am sure the entire HKUST community will render him generous support as Lionel takes on the academic lead of the University,” Prof. Shyy said.

Prof. Ni earned his BS degree in electrical engineering from Taiwan University; and his MS and PhD in electrical and computer engineering from Wayne State University and Purdue University in the US respectively.

Prior to joining HKUST in 2002, Prof. Ni was a full Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University in the US.  He served as the Microelectronic Systems Architecture program director at US National Science Foundation from 1995 to 1996.


About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science.  HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking.  HKUST attained the highest proportion of internationally excellent research work in the Research Assessment Exercise 2014 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee, and is ranked as the world’s best young university in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2018.  Its graduates were ranked 16th worldwide and top in Greater China in Global University Employability Survey 2018.

(This news was originally published by the HKUST Public Affairs Office here.)