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National Honors for Faculty’s Outstanding Research Output

HKUST Engineering Received Three Natural Science Awards

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(From right) Prof. Vincent LAU and Prof. Lionel NI received the prizes at the award presentation ceremony on June 19, 2019.
(From right) Prof. Vincent LAU and Prof. Lionel NI received the prizes at the award presentation ceremony on June 19, 2019. [Download Photo]
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Three School of Engineering faculty members were honored in the Ministry of Education’s 2018 Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology). These significant national awards recognize leading contributions to scientific discovery and technological innovation carried out in tertiary institutions across China.

The awardees and their winning projects are:

Natural Science Award (Second Class)
Prof. Furong GAO, Chair Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
- Anti-disturbance Model Identification of Industrial Manufacturing Processes and Robust Batch Control


The project is conducted together with Prof. Gao’s past HKUST post-doc Dr. LIU Tao and Dr. WANG Youqing, who are now at Dalian University of Technology and Beijing University of Chemical Technology respectively. This is the second time Prof. Gao received the Natural Science Award after gaining it in 2012.

Natural Science Award (Second Class)
Prof. Vincent LAU, Chair Professor of Electronic and Computer Engineering
- Stochastic Optimization for Next Generation 5G+ Wireless Networks


The project is collaborated with academics from the University of Hong Kong and Zhejiang University. It focuses on the design and optimization of massive MIMO (multiple antenna) systems, cross-layer signal processing and radio resource management as well as content-centric wireless networking for future 5G+ systems.

5G and beyond wireless communication network is a crucial information infrastructure that supports various ubiquitous smart city applications, including smart transportation, smart sensing, smart building and smart health.

More precisely, such next-generation wireless networks not only have to offer ultra-high data capacity and bit rates for high quality content streaming, ultra-low latency access for mission critical applications, but also massive connectivity for IoT sensors.

In view of the multitude of technical challenges posed by these goals, Prof. Lau and his teammates developed various mathematical frameworks and derived efficient algorithms to solve these stochastic optimization problems. Their proposed solution has proved capable of significantly enhancing the spectral efficiency and capacity of future wireless networks.

Natural Science Award (Second Class)
Prof. Lionel NI, HKUST Provost and Chair Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
- Theory and Method of Device-free Wireless Sensing


The project is carried out together with Prof. Ni’s past students Dr. WU Kaishun (2011 PhD in Computer Science and Engineering) and Dr. ZHANG Dian (2010 PhD in Computer Science and Engineering, 2006 MPhil in Computer Science), who are currently at Shenzhen University. They aim to develop a new technique of sensing, which is important in IoT and its related techniques.

Conventional fall detection systems require elderly people to carry a device to facilitate fall detection. The team defined an innovative method which can sense objects and human falls wirelessly by using WiFi’s wireless signals and elderly people do not need to carry any wearable devices.

The team has worked on this project for more than 10 years and are among the earliest scholars who started research on wireless sensing. Their work has opened up a new research area and attracted many follow works. They are also working closely with some companies to bring the technology to application in society.