Published Date
Thumbnail Title
Maximizing Joint Supervision Opportunities for Engineering PhD Students

HKUST and University of Toronto Establish International Doctoral Cluster in Engineering

Content Banner
Prof Tony F Chan (right), President of HKUST, and Prof Meric Gertler, President of U of T, signed a memorandum of agreement for an international doctoral cluster in engineering on November 28, 2017.
Prof Tony F Chan (right), President of HKUST, and Prof Meric Gertler, President of U of T, signed a memorandum of agreement for an international doctoral cluster in engineering on November 28, 2017. [Download Photo]

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the University of Toronto (U of T), the top-ranked university in Canada, have established joint educational placements which aim to maximize the opportunities for joint supervision of PhD students and further facilitate engineering related research collaboration between HKUST’s School of Engineering (SENG) and U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering (FASE).

Prof Tony F CHAN, President of HKUST, and Prof Meric GERTLER, President of U of T, signed a memorandum of agreement for an International Doctoral Cluster (IDC) in engineering on November 28, 2017. This initiative further strengthens the long-existing partnership between SENG and FASE. Based on the promise of broader collaborative potential, both parties subsequently signed a memorandum of understanding for enhanced cooperation in 2013.

Under the agreement, doctoral students will be expected to spend up to four academic terms at each institution through joint educational placements to benefit from the complementary strengths of U of T and HKUST. Every student will have two faculty advisors, one from each university, to receive joint supervision. Upon completion of their doctoral program, students will receive a parchment and become alumni of both institutions.

The two institutions will recruit up to 10 students every academic year and the first cohort of students could be admitted as early as Fall 2018. Students must satisfy the program requirements of both institutions but only need to prepare one thesis and one thesis defense.

The first HKUST – U of T collaboration under the IDC will bring together researchers from two of the world’s leading engineering faculties to kick-start the development of next-generation power semiconductor devices and integrated circuits. As the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, there will be a growing dependency on electrical energy. This will require technology which enables the efficient delivery, conversion and utilization of electricity through advanced power electronics, which HKUST and U of T researchers aspire to develop through this collaboration and with the support of some of the brightest doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. It is anticipated that both parties will continue to explore further collaboration opportunities under the IDC in other engineering areas riding on the research strengths of both sides.

This partnership between two of the leading engineering faculties in the world around a critical global environmental challenge aims to attract top students from Hong Kong, Canada and beyond to participate in this strategic alliance, which will afford students an opportunity to work with leading scientists, gain global exposure and graduate from HKUST and U of T.

Over the past years, SENG has actively sought partnerships with top institutions outside Hong Kong and strengthened ongoing ones with existing partners to build the multicultural nature of its postgraduate community. Such partnerships enhance the School’s drive for excellence and its endeavor to lead the way globally in the postgraduate educational experience it provides.

About the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research university focusing on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. HKUST attained the highest proportion of internationally excellent research work in the Research Assessment Exercise 2014 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee, and is the world’s second in the latest QS’ Top 50 under 50 ranking. Its graduates were ranked 12th worldwide and top in Greater China in Global Employability University Survey 2017.

About the University of Toronto 
Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto is one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning, renowned nationally and internationally for groundbreaking research and innovative teaching, which drive economic growth and promote social well-being around the globe. U of T’s network is truly global. Few universities in the world can rival the international diversity of U of T alumni and student populations, while on the research front, U of T faculty collaborate with scholars around the globe. Today U of T alumni live, work and contribute to civil society in more than 190 countries and territories. The University is also one of the largest academic research entities in the world in terms of research output. U of T is one of two Canadian universities on the list of the world’s most innovative institutions, and one of the top 20 universities on the planet to be working with the world’s most innovative companies. U of T is also ranked among the top 25 institutions in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings (2018) and among the top 15 institutions in the Global University Employability Ranking (2017).


Related link: