Academic Staff

LAU Kin Tak, Alan (Prof)
Alex Wong Siu Wah Gigi Wong Fook Chi Endowed Professor in Product Design Engineering; Associate Dean (Industrial Relations) of the Faculty of Engineering
BEng; MEng (RMIT); PhD (HK PolyU); CEng; CPEng; RPE; FIEAust; FIMechE; FIMMM; FIED; FHKIE; FRAeS
FG 607
Area of Specialization

Product design and development; Aerospace composites; Smart materials and structures; Nanocomposites; Aerospace and aircraft engineering; Eco-materials and green composites


In 1987, Dr Lau joined the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd (HAECO) where he was employed as a craft apprentice in the aircraft maintenance division for 4 years. He received his Bachelor and Master degrees of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University, Australia) in 1996 and 1997, respectively. Within that period, he also worked for General Aviation Maintenance Pty Ltd, Australia, as an Engineer Trainee, and for the Corporative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS) Australia, as a Research Assistant designing a repair scheme for composite performs. He received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2001. Thereafter, he was appointed Assistant Professor in 2002 and promoted to Associate Professor and Professor in 2005 and 2010, respectively. Currently, he is also Professor and Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence in Engineered Fibre Composites (CEEFC), University of Southern Queensland, Australia, and Visiting Professor of the London South Bank University, UK for the subject “Qualitative Research Approaches, Techniques and Methods in Business” for its Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme.

Since 2005, he has served as Adjunct Professor of the University of New Orleans (USA), Lanzhou University, Ocean University of China, Shanghai Maritime University and Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China. He has also been selected as one of the key Professors in the Hundred Scholars Scheme in HIT and Chonbuk National University (under the World Class University Programme of Korea. The funding support is over US$ 12,500,000/year for 2009-2014).

Based on his outstanding research performance in the fields of advanced composites, FRP for infrastructure applications, smart structures and nano-materials, he has received numerous awards (for both research and teaching) including: The Best Paper Awards on Materials (1998), The Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship Award (2000), Young Scientist Award (2002), Young Engineer of the Year Award (2004), Faculty Outstanding Award for Research and Scholarly Activities (2005), Award for Outstanding Research in Nanocomposites for Space Applications, USA (2006), Chemical Physics Letters, Most Cited Paper 2003- 2007 Award, President Award in Teaching 2008, Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology at the 20th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, USA (2009). He is also the Winner of the Ernest L. Boyer International Award for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology, in the same Conference (the first scholar outside the United States to receive this honour) and the Most Cited Paper Awards in Composites Part B: Engineering (issued by Elsevier Science). In 2011, Dr. Lau received the Outstanding International Researcher Award and the Outstanding International Research Leader Award from the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMR). This marks the first time that anyone has received both the awards making his achievement quite exceptional. In 2013, he was also awarded The University Grant Committee (UGC) Award for Teaching Excellence.

Due to his significant contribution to the field of science and engineering, he was elected as a Member of the European Academy of Sciences in 2007, with the citation “For profound contributions to materials science and fundamental developments in the field of composite materials”, and was the first scholar in Hong Kong to receive this honor. Three of his articles published in Composites Part B: Engineering; Composites Science and Technology; and Chemical Physics Letters were ranked in the TOP 1% MOST CITED ARTICLES within their field in 2006 and 2007, according to Essential Science IndicatorsSM. Six of his papers have been ranked among the top 25 hottest articles in Composites Part B: Engineering, issued by ScienceDirect, Elsevier (two of them were ranked No. 1 in 2007). In 2010, Dr Lau published a research paper in Progress in Polymer Science, which is the top-ranked journal in the SCI list (impact factor > 24).

Since 2002, Dr Lau has edited 5 books and published over 190 scientific and engineering articles and his publications have been cited over 2600 times (with an h-index of 26; over 2500 times for non-self-cited articles. He is the first author of most of his highly cited articles). He has also successfully converted his research findings into real-life practical tools and has been granted seven patents. To date, Dr Lau has conducted over 40 industrial-based consultancy projects with different governmental agencies and the private sector. He has also been involved in many industrial-based collaborative projects, which have helped to transform local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from their traditional OEM basis into high value-added product design manufacturing mode. He has also been active in organising local and international activities for academic organizations and industry. Currently, he serves more than 40 local and international professional bodies as Chairman, Committee Member, Editor and Key Officer to promote the engineering profession to the public. In 2007, Dr Lau was elected as a Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust), The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM), a Fellow of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (FHKIE) and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Designers (FIED). He has also held the position of Chair of The Institution of Engineering Designers (IED, UK), Hong Kong Chapter since 2007, and was the President of Engineers Australia, Hong Kong Chapter (2008-09) and Vice-Chair of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Hong Kong Section (2008-09). He has served as the Chairman of many international conferences and also the Founding Chairman of the 1st International Conference on Multi-functional Materials and Structures, 2008.

Selected Research Project / Teaching & Learning Project
  • Development of High Strength Biodegradable Polymer Composites by using Natural Fibre (ITF)
  • Development of a High-strength Nanoclay Reinforced Advanced Composite Material for Product and Engineering Applications (ITF)
  • Development of a Silk Pelade/PLA Bio-degradable and Bio-resorbable Composite for Bone Fixation (PolyU).
  • Development of a Silk Pelade/PLA Bio-degradable and Bio-resorbable Composite for Bone Fixation (PolyU).
  • Active Composite Materials With Novel SMA Actuators (CERG).
  • Smart Composites Wing (Boeing R&D).
  • Delamination detection of composite structures using acousto-ultrasonic and embedded fibre-optic sensor mapping technology (CERG).
  • Smart Composites Wind Turbine by using Embedded Sensor and Actuator Technology (NASA Glenn Centre);
  • Nanotubes (Straight, Coiled and Nanoclay-supported) /Polymer Composites (CERG).
Teaching Projects
  • Elderly Product Development (HSBC Foundation, HK$ 552,000);
  • Product Design for University Students (Funkutomi Company Ltd (HK$ 300,000);
  • Cultivation of New Generation of Preferred PolyU's Graduates in Green Product Design and Development (King’s Flair Company Limited, HK$1,000,000)
  • Cultivation of Students’ Working Ability in the Product Design and Development Industry (Bunhoi Group, HK$ 640,000)
  • Saving our Planet: Promotion of Environmental Protection Starting from the Young Generation (Heng Seng Bank, HK$ 2,000,000)
  • Establishment of James Hsioung Lee Product Testing and Analysis Centre (HSBC Trust - James Hsioung Lee Second Foundation), HK$ 1,000,000)