Using Tech to Make a Difference

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Using Tech to Make a Difference

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(From left) PhD student Melody Chung Jin-Teng and alumnus Chong Bor-Hung.
(From left) PhD student Melody Chung Jin-Teng and alumnus Chong Bor-Hung. [Download Photo]

A university education is sure to help pave the way for your future success by taking your interests to ever-higher levels. In the third part of this year’s Why HKUST? series, two Malaysians detail how their HKUST courses have enabled them to transform their academic interests into meaningful professional achievements.

CHONG Bor-Hung (Class of 2015, Dual Degree Program in Technology and Management) first became interested in entrepreneurship while still at high school. Though he had never previously studied commerce, he elected to write a business plan for his grade-10 personal project. 

“I asked a business teacher to mentor me on my project which involved pitching the opening of a suit store in a nearby shopping mall,” says Bor-Hung. His teacher was subsequently amazed by the in-depth and articulate nature of his research and strategic thinking.

“HKUST is a young university that highlights curiosity-driven learning, and its interdisciplinary approach to study is just my cup of tea” 

“I’ve always loved looking at technological solutions to real-life problems. When I considered where to pursue my undergraduate degree, I learned that HKUST was a young university which highlighted curiosity-driven learning. Its interdisciplinary approach to study also sounded like it was just my cup of tea,” he says. 

During his studies, Bor-Hung benefited from not only comprehensive training across key technological and business managerial disciplines, but also invaluable industry and international exposure.

“I had the opportunity to fly to Taiwan to present a business proposal to the senior management of a Taiwan-based notebook computer manufacturer. In my second year, I participated in a marketing internship with an American technology conglomerate in its Shanghai office,” he says. “Such experiences ended up giving me a real edge in the job market.”
Bor-Hung embarked on his personal career journey in his final year after one of his course lecturers referred him for a part-time job writing business plans for a solar energy start-up. “While I also received several interesting job offers from multinational corporations, this particular company’s CEO was a fellow HKUST alumnus who encouraged me to focus on a career in start-ups,” he says.

Still only 28, Bor-Hung has already advanced to become the company’s Managing Director for Malaysia and Regional Head of Business Development. The latter job involves expanding his employer’s renewable energy business across markets such as Mainland China, Taiwan, and Malaysia itself. He also helped the business to successfully pitch for new contracts from international corporates. Other early career landmarks include helping his homeland to deliver on its commitment to achieving its 2050 carbon neutrality target by completing its largest-ever commercial solar power purchase agreement. 

“HKUST taught me that science is also about transforming knowledge into applications that benefit society, that requires both design thinking skills and market insights”

Melody CHUNG Jin-Teng is another young Malaysian at HKUST who, like Bor-Hung, is eagerly eyeing R&D opportunities. Now in the final year of her PhD in Bioengineering, Melody is currently busy commercializing her hydrogel research into a more effective drug delivery platform. 

“My time at HKUST has taught me that science is not just about discoveries, but also about transforming knowledge into applications that benefit society. This requires both design thinking skills and market insights,” says Melody. She and her team are also taking full advantage of the different workshops, investor matching events and entrepreneurship competitions via which the University enables young visionaries to evolve their creative ideas into marketable realities.

Since arriving at HKUST in 2013 as an undergraduate majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Melody’s wealth of practical experience has helped enrich and energize her youthful vision at every stage. Membership of our Student Innovation for Global Health Technology (SIGHT) program, for example, gave her the scope she needed to help pioneer an affordable and effective mobile drug dispensary box. The finished product is now enabling Cambodian doctors and nurses to better care for their disadvantaged fellow citizens. 

A six-month research exchange experience at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne in Switzerland, and her participation in HKUST’s signature Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) added further strings to Melody’s bow. Her subsequent carrying out of serious research under the guidance of senior faculty members has also been vital for her career development. 

Both Bor-Hung and Melody agree that HKUST is the perfect launch pad for youngsters wishing to soar.

“Putting yourself at the heart of the Greater Bay Area will give you unlimited possibilities to consolidate your future in Hong Kong, Asia and beyond”

“HKUST is more than just a place where one can learn and create knowledge. Given the R&D capabilities and technological infrastructure that Hong Kong offers as a truly international city, studying here will equip you with both excellent skills and a platform from which to build a professional network,” says Bor-Hung. “Putting yourself at the heart of the Greater Bay Area, one of the world’s fastest growing innovation and technological hubs, so early in your career will also give you unlimited possibilities to consolidate your future in Hong Kong, Asia and beyond.”

To learn more about how HKUST’s programs and resources will enable you to unlock your full potential, please watch our admission talk video.

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