In Focus - Issue 29 (Spring 2018)

HKUST Life alk into the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE) o ce and you will be struck by the light and airy open space, with glass panels o ering a stunning sea view. Department Head Prof Bertram Shi explains that the new look was spurred by the idea of making connections – between people, and between humans and their environment. This is a concept now central to the ECE discipline. If electronic engineering in the s was all about studying how to control the flow of electrons, today the focus is on facilitating connections between parts of a system, he noted. Prof Shi is an internationally renowned expert in robotics, fascinated by the links between neural networks and circuit design – a direction that combines his interests in biology and electrical engineering. He joined HKUST as a young academic in , a er earning his bachelor and master’s from Stanford University and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He arrived just three years a er HKUST was founded. He has called the campus home ever since. All the right connections HKUST’s scenic setting and collaborative spirit create an inspirational home for engineering academics. Prof Bert Shi is among those who arrived long ago and never wanted to leave 16 IN FOCUS W Prof Bert Shi (second left) builds bonds with and between students.