In Focus - Issue 35 (Spring 2023)

HKUST pacesetters take o ce t has been a time of change at the top of HKUST over recent months, bringing two outstanding University scholar-administrators and one new face – all with links to engineering – to three key leadership positions. In October , globally renowned molecular neuroscientist Prof. Nancy IP took the helm as HKUST’s h President, becoming the rst woman to head one of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee-supported universities. Prof. Ip, who has spent years at HKUST, has played an integral role in instituting the excellence that has powered the University’s rise to a world-leading institution just three decades a er its establishment in . She is an elected member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an international member of the US National Academy of Sciences, among many other eminent recognitions and awards. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Prof. Ip received her PhD in Pharmacology from Harvard University under the tutelage of Prof. Richard ZIGMOND, and later developed a successful career in industry, before joining HKUST in . A highly accomplished researcher, she has made seminal contributions toward the development of diagnostic and prognostic tools for Alzheimer’s disease. She also actively collaborates with renowned researchers from around the world and is passionate about nurturing local talent. Her cross-disciplinary collaborations have led to important breakthroughs, such as the development of imaging technology with faculty at the School of Engineering (SENG), which has shed light on the functions of brain regions that were previously hard to explore. At the start of December, distinguished computer scientist Prof. GUO Yike commenced his appointment as Provost of HKUST. Prof. Guo, most recently Vice-President (Research and Development) and Dean of the Graduate School at Hong Kong Baptist University, had previously spent years at Imperial College London, including receiving his PhD there. Prof. Guo, a Tsinghua University alumnus, is an expert in data mining for large-scale scienti c applications, covering distributed data mining methods, machine learning, and informatics systems in areas ranging from biology to creative design, geophysics to healthcare, nance to social media. In addition to his responsibilities as Provost, Prof. Guo is concurrently a Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. He is also the principal investigator of a HK$ .8 million Theme-based Research Scheme project, focused on AI-based art tech for human-machine symbiotic creation and funded by Hong Kong’s Research Grants Council. In January , Prof. Hong K. LO took o ce as Dean of Engineering. Prof. Lo, Chair Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is a smart transportation specialist and Founder-Director of HKUST’s interdisciplinary GREAT Smart Cities Institute. The Hong Kong-born academic received his PhD in Civil Engineering from Ohio State University, moving on to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, before joining SENG in the mid- s. Prof. Lo has established himself as a driving force in the interdisciplinary transportation eld, steering forward intelligent transportation systems, mobility system resilience, sustainable development, and smart cities. President Prof. Nancy Ip Dean of Engineering Prof. Hong K. Lo Provost Prof. Guo Yike I 04 IN FOCUS In the News