In Focus - Issue 35 (Spring 2023)

At the forefront of change elcome to the latest issue of In Focus and my rst column as Dean of the HKUST School of Engineering (SENG). As commences, we move forward into a new and exciting year where the COVID- pandemic may nally recede from centerstage and fresh horizons beckon. As a specialist in smart transportation, I see this as a propitious sign for the start of my own new journey as I take up the great honor and responsibilities of the deanship. Since joining the then Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (now Civil and Environmental Engineering) in the mid- s, not long a er HKUST was established in , I have been fortunate to witness and contribute to SENG’s rapid rise to global prominence through diverse roles in education, research, and administration at the University and my active participation in the academic world and wider community beyond the campus. High global rankings are one indication of SENG’s leading achievements. However, I believe the number one reason for the School’s distinctive character is our community of hardworking, high-achieving, self-motivated faculty, students, sta , and alumni. It is their passion to work at the highest levels of engineering education, research, and the profession, along with a growing drive for knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship, and social impact, that creates such an inspiring environment across the many elds the School embraces. Established and emerging research areas cover an extensive range: advanced materials; aging & healthcare; AI; autonomous systems & robotics; communications; data science; design thinking & entrepreneurship; energy & sustainability; microelectronics; and smart cities. On the education front, the School has helped advance massive open online courses (MOOCs) and continuously explores novel engineering pedagogies. As Dean, I will be seeking to extend the School’s reach by enhancing our capabilities and platforms to tackle large-scale and complex interdisciplinary projects. In particular, we will strive to address the grand challenges and sustainable development goals that must be solved worldwide to improve the lives of the generations to come – energy, climate change, health and well-being, industry, innovation, and infrastructure, to name but a few. In this quest, I see the complementary strength of colleagues at HKUST’s cross-disciplinary-oriented Guangzhou campus, which opened in September , and collaborative ventures with national and international partners as being highly productive to scaling up our capabilities. Further priorities are to proactively recruit top faculty and students from around the world to sustain and advance SENG’s dynamic environment; strengthen the School’s connections with industry to build mutual understanding of research and technology transfer needs and challenges; and deepen engagement with alumni. Engineers create and deliver the technologies that shape the world. At SENG, we strive to be at the forefront of such forward moves. With the Hong Kong government’s focus on transforming the city into a global innovation and technology hub, and the Greater Bay Area development plan bringing a host of opportunities regionally, it is certainly a prime time to connect up and be part of the SENG community. Prof. Hong K. LO Dean of Engineering 03 IN FOCUS Dean’s View W