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Recognition for Research Excellence

HKUST Engineering Achieves Outstanding Results in Research Assessment Exercise 2020

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The School of Engineering has attained remarkable results in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020.
The School of Engineering has attained remarkable results in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020. [Download Photo]

HKUST School of Engineering (SENG) has achieved outstanding results with world-leading performance in multiple disciplines, in recognition of its strong commitment to pursuing research excellence, in the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2020 by the University Grants Committee (UGC). Nearly 160 eligible academic staff of SENG were involved in this assessment with their submissions of research outputs and impact cases.

SENG ranks first amongst all universities in Hong Kong in three out of five Units of Assessment (UoA) involving engineering disciplines, in terms of the proportions of “4* World Leading” research activities. The strength of the School in Chemical & Biological Engineering (CBE), Civil & Environmental Engineering (CIVL), and Electronic & Computer Engineering (ECE) is evident in the assessment results of these top-ranked UoAs, namely “Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Other Technologies & Marine Engineering”, “Civil Engineering & Building Technology” and “Electrical & Electronic Engineering”.

Of the four broader Panels relevant to engineering disciplines, the School is the best performer among all local universities, with the highest percentage of “4* World Leading” research work in two of them – “Built Environment” and “Electrical & Electronic Engineering”, reaffirming SENG’s performance in the areas of CIVL and ECE.

Meanwhile, 100% of SENG research impact cases are assessed as top-rated, having either “4* Outstanding” or “3* Considerable” impact in terms of their reach and significance, reflecting its efforts in transferring research to innovative solutions, and bringing substantial benefits to society. Research impact is one of the new elements introduced by the UGC in the recent assessment exercise, in addition to research outputs, with a view to encourage research of broader social relevance with high economic and social benefits.

SENG submitted a total of 12 impact cases for assessment, showcasing the School’s local, regional and global research impact in respective disciplines. Some examples include a smart antimicrobial coating for surface disinfection and air filtration, which is commercialized in an industrial partnership and used in diverse premises in the city, such as hospitals, schools, elderly homes and households; a novel sewage treatment technology SANI Process which has been locally adopted by the Drainage Services Department, and transferred to other coastal cities; an indoor localization technology deployed in leading malls in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou; as well as green technologies for mitigating urban landslide risks; innovative algorithm and motion control systems of industrial robot; intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) sensing and analysis technologies in healthcare applications; and advanced materials and systems for smart green buildings.

Dean of Engineering Prof. Tim CHENG thanked faculty members for their dedication in innovations and knowledge transfer. “The results of the RAE reinforce our vision in bringing positive and far-reaching impacts to society, driven by our world-class faculty and research excellence. Looking ahead, the School will continue to serve as an indispensable supporter and facilitator of interdisciplinary research aiming to make endless discoveries,” he said.

The RAE is part of the UGC’s commitment to assess the performance of UGC-funded universities in research, by using international benchmarks to delineate their areas of relative strength. The latest 2020 assessment covers research outputs completed during October 2013 to September 2019.

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