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Prof LI Gang

PolyU researchers achieve record 19.31% efficiency with organic solar cells

Researchers from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have achieved a breakthrough power-conversion efficiency (PCE) of 19.31% with organic solar cells (OSCs), also known as polymer solar cells. This remarkable binary OSC efficiency will help enhance applications of these advanced solar energy devices. The PCE, a measure of the power generated from a given solar irradiation, is considered a significant benchmark for the performance of photovoltaics (PVs), or solar panels, in power generation. The improved efficiency of over 19% that was achieved by the PolyU researchers constitutes a record for binary OSCs, which have one donor and one acceptor in the photo-active layer. Led by Prof. LI Gang, Chair Professor of Energy Conversion Technology and Sir Sze-Yen Chung Endowed Professor in Renewable Energy at PolyU, the research team invented a novel OSC morphology-regulating technique by using 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene as a crystallisation regulator. This new technique boosts OSC efficiency and stability. The team developed a non-monotonic intermediated state manipulation (ISM) strategy to manipulate the bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) OSC morphology and simultaneously optimise the crystallisation dynamics and energy loss of non-fullerene OSCs. Unlike the strategy of using traditional solvent additives, which is based on excessive molecular aggregation in films, the ISM strategy promotes the formation of more ordered molecular stacking and favourable molecular aggregation. As a result, the PCE was considerably increased and the undesirable non-radiative recombination loss was reduced. Notably, non-radiative recombination lowers the light generation efficiency and increases the heat loss. The research team’s findings are described in the study “19.3% Binary Organic Solar Cell and Low Non-Radiative Recombination Enabled by Non-Monotonic Intermediate State Transition” published in Nature Communications . The conversion of solar energy to electricity is an essential technology for achieving a sustainable environment. Although OSCs are promising devices that harness solar energy cost-effectively, their efficiency must be improved if they are to be used widely in practical applications. Prof. Li said, “Challenges in research came from the existing additive-based benchmark morphology control methods, which suffer from non-radiative recombination loss, thus lowering the open-circuit voltage due to excessive aggregation.” The research team took about two years to devise a non-monotonic ISM strategy for increasing the OSC efficiency and lowering the non-radiative recombination loss. The publication of the study promises to galvanise OSC research. Prof. Li said, “The new finding will make OSC research an exciting field, and this will likely create tremendous opportunities in applications like portable electronics and building-integrated PVs.” The new door will open when low cost single-junction OSCs can achieve a PCE of over 20%, along with more stable performance and other unique advantages such as flexibility, transparency, stretchability, low weight and tuneable colour. Prof. Li has been recognised as a Highly Cited Researcher 9 years in a row since 2014, which testifies to his significant impact on global research. His pioneering contributions to research on polymer solar cells since 2005 have brought sustainable influence on printable solar energy development with global recognition. Prof. Li said, “The latest study shows a record low non-radiative recombination loss of 0.168 eV in a binary OSC with a PCE of over 19%. This is a very encouraging result for the long-standing research on OSCs that I have conducted over the past two decades. We have already achieved better OSC efficiency, and this will subsequently help accelerate the applications of solar energy.” ***END***

29 May, 2023

Research & Innovation Department of Electronic and Information Engineering


Dr Ho Kwon Ping Inducted into School of Hotel and Tourism Management Gallery of Honour

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is privileged to announce that Dr HO Kwon Ping, Founder and Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd, was inducted into the SHTM Gallery of Honour on 22 May 2023, the same day he was bestowed the prestigious SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala dinner held in his honour. At the ceremony, Prof. Wing-tak WONG, Deputy President and Provost of PolyU, said, “Dr Ho is a visionary entrepreneur and innovator in the hospitality industry, a respected industry leader, and a passionate advocate for sustainable tourism. He is a stellar role model for all SHTM students, and, indeed, all hospitality students around the world.” Expressing his heartfelt congratulations to Dr Ho on receiving the honour, Prof. Kaye CHON, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter and Wendy Kwok Family Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, said, “A pioneer and an inspirational role model, Dr Ho’s exemplary accomplishments have not only played an important role in raising the level of the regional and global hospitality business but also helped transform it through a distinctively Asian focus. A firm believer in education, he is an ardent supporter of hospitality and tourism education. Dr Ho is a longstanding partner of the SHTM and a truly deserving recipient of this award.” Dr Ho remarked, “I am deeply honoured and humbled to be conferred the SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award. Ironically, it was long ago, during my tenure as Chairman of the SHTM International Advisory Board that I suggested the creation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, so that we could honour the pioneers of hospitality in Asia. The initial awardees were truly giants of our industry and inspired people of my generation. To join their ranks is truly an honour I could not have possibly envisaged.” “Under the long and visionary leadership of Dean Chon, the SHTM has become clearly the most prestigious tertiary hospitality school in Asia, and among the top few in the world. An entire generation of Asian hospitality leaders owe many of their achievements to the education which Dean Chon and his colleagues provided them,” he continued. Dr Ho Kwon Ping is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and Laguna Resorts and Hotels, and Executive Chairman of Thai Wah Public Company. All three family-owned companies are listed in Singapore and Thailand. Dr Ho was the founding Chairman of Singapore Management University and has also chaired Singapore Power and MediaCorp Singapore. He has served on the boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Diageo, Singapore Airlines and GIC. Among various awards, Dr Ho has received the London Business School Entrepreneurship Award; CEO of the Year at the Singapore Corporate Awards; CNBC Travel Business Leader Award; Distinguished Alumnus Award from the National University of Singapore; and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Creativity Association, China Hotel Investment Summit and Australia Hotel Investment Summit. Honoured for his contributions and accomplishments in the hotel industry in the Asia Pacific region and globally, Dr Ho is the only two-time recipient of the awards bestowed by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific – Innovation Award (2003) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2019) – in its 30-year establishment. For his services to the country, he has been decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal and Distinguished Service Order by the Singapore government. Dr Ho has also been conferred honorary doctorates by Johnson & Wales University and PolyU. “The SHTM prides itself as a leading force in world hospitality, and tourism research and education,” said Dean Chon. “Our commitment to excellence is well supported by industry heavyweights and visionaries such as Dr Ho Kwon Ping. With steadfast support from our industry partners, our School is committed to nurturing the bright minds who will become future leaders of this very exciting global industry.” The Gallery of Honour is located in the SHTM lobby. It displays portraits of the outstanding recipients of the Award, individuals who represent the world's most successful hospitality organisations and recognisable brands. The School established this award to honour outstanding personalities who have contributed substantially to the development of hospitality and tourism in Hong Kong, the region and the world, recognising the true leaders who have helped define the global hospitality landscape and advance the industry.   ***END***

23 May, 2023

Achievements School of Hotel and Tourism Management


PolyU and Wenzhou government sign agreement to drive the establishment of a joint technology and innovation research institute

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the Wenzhou Municipal People’s Government have reached an agreement to drive the formation of the PolyU-Wenzhou Technology and Innovation Research Institute, with the aim of promoting Wenzhou to become a key innovation and technology hub for entrepreneurs and talents. Through this innovation platform which is the result of government-academia collaboration, both sides will partner in the research of core technologies in various fields including new energy, advanced materials, intelligent wearable devices, maritime engineering equipment, offshore wind power, blockchain, and fashion design. PolyU will leverage its research excellence to support Wenzhou’s development into a top-notch technology innovation base, through fostering the city’s translational research and commercialisation of research and innovation. Both sides will also join hands to nurture innovative and entrepreneurial talents who are knowledgeable about critical technologies of the future and possess a global outlook. The framework agreement was signed on PolyU’s campus on 22 May 2023 by Prof. Christopher CHAO, PolyU’s Vice President (Research and Innovation) and Mr WANG Zhenyong, Vice Mayor of Wenzhou. The signing was witnessed by Dr LAM Tai-fai, Council Chairman of PolyU; Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU; Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President of PolyU; together with Mr LIU Xiaotao, Standing Committee Member of the Zhejiang Provincial Communist Party Committee and the Party Secretary of Wenzhou; Mr WANG Jun, Secretary General of the Wenzhou Municipal Communist Party Committee; and Mr WANG Chi, Head of the United Front Work Department of the Wenzhou Party Committee. PolyU has established strong partnerships with universities and research institutes in the Mainland. The University also collaborates with Mainland businesses and local authorities in the promotion of translational research and knowledge transfer, while actively encouraging its students to learn about the development trends and opportunities in the Mainland. Recently, PolyU has engaged numerous local governments to discuss establishing joint technology and innovation research institutes, which connect PolyU’s capabilities and achievements in basic research to the needs of local industries. These collaborations would contribute to the Nation’s self-reliance in its pursuit of technological advancement and benefit the development of local manufacturing sectors.   ***END***

23 May, 2023

Events Research and Innovation Office


PolyU and CUHK jointly develop ABarginase, the first-in-class drug for multiple obesity-related metabolic diseases

Researchers from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have jointly made a groundbreaking drug discovery in treating multiple metabolic diseases related to obesity and insulin resistance like diabetes and fatty liver disease. The new drug, ABarginase, opens a new path for safe, long-lasting cures to multiple obesity related diseases simultaneously through an ingenious treatment mechanism – arginine starvation. Currently, patients often have to take multiple medications for these inter-related diseases, and are hence more prone to the potential risks of polypharmacy. ABarginase shows promise for the effective treatment of multiple metabolic diseases including prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The fabrication process of ABarginase is inexpensive and highly efficient, making it affordable and widely adoptable for clinical applications. The research is led by Prof. Thomas LEUNG Yun-chung, Professor of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology and Lo Ka Chung Charitable Foundation Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences of PolyU, and Prof. Alisa SHUM Sau-wun, Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK. Obesity is not just about being fat. It is associated with many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, hypertension and cancer. The PolyU-CUHK research team discovered that a low level of arginine (a semi-essential amino acid) in the blood can suppress fat synthesis, promote fat breakdown and sensitise cells to insulin. Native arginase can break down arginine, but it has a short circulatory half-life of less than 30 minutes. Prof. Thomas Leung said, “By using an advanced fusion protein strategy, our research team developed a long-lasting recombinant human arginase, ABarginase, that contains an albumin-binding domain, which enables it to bind with the stable and abundant albumin in the blood stream to extend its half-life by about 200 folds. ABarginase exhibits strong catabolic activity and it would only require one dose of ABarginase a week to maintain circulating arginine at low levels to achieve arginine starvation.” In preclinical studies, diet-induced obese mice were injected with ABarginase once a week, while control mice were injected with saline. Researchers found that within eight weeks of treatment with ABarginase, the treatment group’s body weight, fat mass, fatty liver and characteristic features of diabetes such as high blood glucose, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance were entirely reversed. Prof. Alisa Shum said, “The promising results show that ABarginase has great potential in safely and effectively treating multiple metabolic diseases related to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and most importantly nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which has no FDA-approved drug so far. We may have found the one drug that can cure them all.” Patent applications for this invention were filed in multiple countries. The research team is now scaling up the production for manufacturing ABarginase at Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) grade in preparation for conducting clinical trials. Prof. Leung and Prof. Shum further added, “As scientists, we dream of building a better world. The successful development of ABarginase is an important step towards realising our dream.” In an affirmation of its potential benefit to patients and positive impact on global health, as well as a testament to the research excellence of inter-university collaboration, ABarginase recently won one of the two prestigious Grand Prizes awarded to Hong Kong in this year’s International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva – the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations (IFIA) Best Invention Award. Obesity is generally recognised as a global health problem. According to the latest data of the World Health Organization, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight and over 650 million adults were obese in 2016, accounting for 39% and 13% of the world’s adult population. While in Hong Kong, about one in two adults are considered to be overweight or obese. The joint research project is supported by the Lo Ka Chung Charitable Foundation Limited, the Health and Medical Research Fund of the Health Bureau and the State Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery of PolyU.   ***END***

22 May, 2023

Research & Innovation Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology


PolyU and China Harbour establish joint research centre to promote land development research

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd (CHEC) have collaborated to establish the China Harbour–PolyU Joint Research Centre for Land Development (JRC) to promote sustainable land development, develop a green, low-carbon economy and improve the urban living environment. The Centre inauguration ceremony was held on the PolyU campus on 17 May. The establishment of the research centre symbolises a joint effort between PolyU and CHEC to boost practical research into land development. The Ceremony was attended by Mr TSE Chin-wan, Secretary for Environment and Ecology; Mr Shuiqiu YE, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Educational, Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR; Mr Ka Sing KWONG, Head of Project Strategy and Governance Office of the Development Bureau of the HKSAR; Ir Aaron Kwok Ming BOK, President of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; Mr Hoi Shan HSU, Director of the Beijing–Hong Kong Academic Exchange Centre; Mr Hang LIANG, Vice General Manager of the Greater Bay Area Branch of the China Communications Construction Company Ltd ; Mr Heming JIANG, Deputy Manager of CHEC (Hong Kong), Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU; Prof. Qingyan CHEN, Director of the PolyU Academy of Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR); and Prof. Xiaoli DING, Director of the PolyU Research Institute of Land and Space (RILS). The collaboration agreement on the establishment of the JRC was signed by Prof. Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU and Mr Yong XUE, Managing Director of CHEC (Hong Kong). Mr Tse Chin-wan, Secretary for Environment and Ecology said, “The JRC provides an excellent platform for both basic and applied research in the field of green land development and construction. I look forward to important new research results from the Centre that will contribute to green land development and construction in Hong Kong and help Hong Kong achieve its target of carbon neutrality, making it a more livable and sustainable city.” Prof. Teng, President of PolyU said, “The CHEC–PolyU Joint Research Centre for Land Development will effectively combine PolyU’s strong scientific research capabilities with CHEC’s extensive experience in project implementation. Through close cooperation between the two parties, the Centre will propose innovative ideas and advanced technologies, and, through knowledge transfer, the research outcomes can be applied to land development projects in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, the Nation and other parts of the world, hence improving livelihoods and contributing to societal sustainability.” Mr Yong Xue, Managing Director of CHEC (Hong Kong) said, “The global vision, project experience and outstanding research strengths of the combined team will boost research and development in advanced new technologies, in particular for green, low-carbon and sustainable land development and construction. We aim to promote the findings of the JRC to benefit the entire industry and society as a whole by enhancing the efficiency, safety, cost-effectiveness and environmental protection in the process of land development and construction.” The JRC is the first joint research centre established by the China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), parent company of CHEC, in partnership with a Hong Kong higher educational institution. The JRC will harness CHEC’s abundant resources and experience in implementing projects and applying technologies in Hong Kong and other parts of the world, with PolyU’s solid research strengths in land and infrastructure development. The JRC will be jointly operated by RILS and CHEC under the leadership of inaugural Co-Directors, Prof. Jianguo DAI, Management Committee Member of RILS, PolyU and Mr Hualei SUN, General Manager of Administration Department of CHEC (Hong Kong). The Centre will initially focus on research innovation, knowledge transfer and talent cultivation in the following areas:   • Technologies for marine engineering and construction of immersed tunnels to connect islands;   • Technologies for innovative prefabricated building, smart harbour and smart airport projects, facilitating the efficient use of land;   • Solutions for municipal and marine solid waste treatment, contributing to the realisation of carbon neutrality, and better recycling and reuse of municipal and marine solid wastes;   • Fibre-reinforced polymer composite materials and green high-performance concrete for marine engineering; and   • Life-cycle technologies for marine infrastructures and development, and application of innovative AI-based spatial information technologies for construction projects. Mr Ming LIN, Chief Scientist of CCCC and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said, “CCCC attaches great importance to technological innovation and application. As the first joint construction industry-university research centre in Hong Kong, CCCC will fully support the operation of the JRC, striving to create a better development blueprint for Hong Kong, contributing to the implementation of national development strategies for transportation, marine construction, and supporting major development projects in Hong Kong and the GBA.”   ***END***

19 May, 2023

Events PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research


PolyU JUPAS Consultation Day 2023: Admissions Strategies” coming soon, offering one-stop consultation with important programme information

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) will hold the “PolyU JUPAS Consultation Day 2023: Admissions Strategies” in the afternoon of 20 May 2023 (1-5pm, Saturday). During the event, Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) applicants will obtain the latest updates on PolyU’s programmes. This will prepare them to re-evaluate and finalise their programme choices by late July. Registration for the Consultation Day is now open at On the event day, the Academic Registry will host a thematic seminar on “admissions strategies and interview skills” to introduce the latest admissions arrangements while current PolyU students will share their interview experiences and give useful tips for planning to study at PolyU. Academic units will also organise a series of programme information seminars, programme consultations, guided tours, and workshops in order for students to learn more about entrance requirements, programme curricula and features, as well as the learning journey of their preferred disciplines/programmes. Students may also have the opportunity to experience a one-on-one AI-generated admission interview for better interview preparation. In addition, an online chatbot, Academic Registry Virtual Trainee, has been designed to provide students with first-hand information regarding the latest score calculation method and past admission figures. Starting from the 2023/24 academic year, PolyU will further optimise some of its departmental scheme-based admissions programmes to address societal needs. With the aim of nurturing leaders of tomorrow equipped with the knowledge and skills that are essential in our modern society, two programme elements, namely “Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis” (AIDA) and “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” (IE), have been incorporated into the General University Requirements since the last academic year. Students can opt for a secondary Major or a Minor in AIDA and IE. PolyU will continue to adopt flexible arrangements with regard to the minimum entrance requirements for JUPAS applicants in the 2023/24 academic year. Applicants who fall slightly short of the general entrance requirements for degree programmes, i.e. “3-3-2-2-3-3” (level 3 in both languages and level 2 in Mathematics and Liberal Studies together with level 3 in two additional electives) but meet the following conditions will be given special consideration for admission: •      one HKDSE subject result is one level below the required level “3-3-2-2-3-3” with a total score in their best five subjects (any five subjects without subject weighting) at least one point higher than the scheme-based average score for the best five DSE subjects of the last admission exercise (for details, please refer to; and •      they have selected PolyU’s degree programmes as their Band A choices, i.e. their first three priorities, in JUPAS. After the event day, Academic Registry will further provide online Consultation Sessions during 3-5pm, 23-25 and 29-30 May to answer enquiries from JUPAS applicants regarding admissions matters. For details, please refer to For enquiries about the event, please call 2333-0600 or email to   ***END***

17 May, 2023

Events Academic Registry

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PolyU scholars win ZPRIZE for ground-breaking Web3 technology in zero-knowledge cryptography

Computer science scholars from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have won the ZPRIZE in the Plonk-DIZK GPU Acceleration prize category for innovative solutions in empowering zero-knowledge cryptography. Led by Prof. Allen AU from the University’s Department of Computing and Research Assistant Professor Dr Xingye LU, the research team was awarded a cash prize of US$550,000. Zero-knowledge cryptography, also known as zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), allows a “prover” to convince a person of the validity of a computation without leaking any information; it is hence referred to as zero-knowledge cryptography. It is seen as a breakthrough technology impacting Web3, a decentralised online ecosystem based on blockchain, because it enables data privacy protection, efficiency improvement and scalability of transparent systems such as blockchain. Zero-knowledge cryptography is important to foster trust and promote widespread adoption of decentralised applications, which in turn is crucial for the growth of Web3. It also facilitates the development of innovative solutions for privacy-preserving data sharing and collaborative computation. A variety of industries including financial services, healthcare and supply chain management would benefit from the application of this technology. Christopher CHAO, PolyU Vice President (Research and Innovation), said, “We take great pride in our scholars’ remarkable achievements in winning the ZPRIZE. It showcases PolyU’s unwavering commitment to advancing blockchain technology and revolutionizing Web3 through innovative research and transformative solutions.” A major challenge for real-world adoption of ZKPs, particularly for applications at scale, is the high computation cost. In addressing this issue, the research team focused on enhancing the efficiency and scalability of Plonk, a popular ZKP system. The team delivered this achievement by leveraging GPU acceleration to achieve computation speedup and distributing the workload evenly across multiple servers to improve scalability. Prof. Au said, “This is crucial because generating these proofs can be computationally intensive, and so a faster and more efficient method could enable the use of zero-knowledge cryptographic in a wider range of applications.” This new implementation can generate a proof in less than one hour for a circuit of size 228 gates, which is the largest circuit with reported successful plonk proof generation. The research team’s solution has achieved a significant computation speedup of over 40% on a single machine. With the new distribution approach, the team was able to improve the overall proof generation process by a factor of 10 compared with existing method. The Plonk-DIZK GPU Acceleration Prize falls under the open division category of the ZPRIZE for general public interests. ZPRIZE is a collaborative effort across the blockchain industry that involves over 32 global partners and sponsors who contribute time, effort and resources to this industry-wide competition, with the aim of increasing the practicality and awareness of this technology. Dr Lu said, “Our submission will become open-source libraries for the benefit of the community. We hope this new technology can support the next generation of decentralized protocols and applications to enable secure, interoperable and scalable applications for the next-generation web.” ***END***

17 May, 2023

Achievements Department of Computing


PolyU CubeSat Mission enhances secondary school students’ STEAM skills

Working closely with secondary schools in Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has been promoting science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) education. To further develop students’ STEAM skills, the University offers opportunities for them to participate in various research projects and activities. PolyU has been deeply involved in space technology research and promoting space science education. The Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering (AAE) partnered with the Orion Astropreneur Space Academy (OASA) to launch the PolyU CubeSat Mission – Space Debris Removal competition. This was the first competition in Hong Kong with the theme of STEAM and space technology aiming to cultivate secondary school students’ interest in space science and technology research and development. The competition attracted about 100 students from different secondary schools. To strengthen students' understanding of CubeSats (microsatellites) and the functionalities of satellites, space science principles and their practical applications, PolyU and OASA provided three-month training programmes for them to learn about and design a CubeSat that can remove space debris. Participating students also had the opportunities to attend lectures and visit PolyU space science research laboratories and other facilities, including the Aerodynamics Laboratory, Aviation Engineering Laboratory and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory to enhance their knowledge and gain design inspiration. AAE doctoral students also joined the hands-on workshops hosted by OASA instructors to provide guidance and assistance to students to build and programme their CubeSats. Following participating students’ hard work and dedication, the programme was concluded with a final presentation held in PolyU on April 29. The Judging Panel comprising PolyU scholars and OASA Global Council carefully discussed and selected the best performing teams. Award Teams Champion St. Paul’s College First Runners-up Sha Tin College - Team 1 Second Runners-up King’s College Merit Sha Tin College – Team 2 Merit Maryknoll Convent School (Secondary Section) The champion team from St. Paul’s College created a video that elaborated on their notion of launching a 6U* CubeSat into space, orbiting to locate debris and deploying 1U of the CubeSat and a graphene net to capture objects with the help of AI. Their meticulous design also proposed how the CubeSat would de-orbit and return to Earth while the debris burned up in the atmosphere. Prof. Chih-Yung WEN, Head of Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering and Chair Professor of Aeronautical Engineering, PolyU said, “This competition was an excellent opportunity for secondary school students to showcase their incredible skills and incomparable creativity in a STEAM-based project. We were impressed by the students’ astonishingly high-level engineering ability and talents. AAE hopes that through this competition, more students will be motivated to engage in space-related research, including those on satellite. We see limitless potential in these students to become future youth scientists and look forward to having such talents in our research teams.” Prof. Gregg LI, President and Executive Director of OASA, remarked, “All of the participants demonstrated excellent work and enthusiasm towards the need to understand the latest space technologies. We hope that this competition inspires students to pursue further education or careers in space science, technology and engineering, and become the next generation of astropreneurs and astronautical engineering experts.” Apart from receiving internships opportunities and free student memberships provided by OASA, the winning teams will also be awarded grants by PolyU as an incentive to help promote STEAM education at their schools. Secondary schools are encouraged to nominate students who have participated in the competition to apply for admittance to PolyU through the School Principal’s Nominations and the School Nominations Direct Admission Scheme, which may enhance students’ chances of enrolling at the University. *“U” stands for a unit for measuring the CubeSat’s size, with 1U being a cube with a length, width, and height of 10 cm.   ***END***

12 May, 2023

Events Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering

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PolyU and NGOs develop innovative and effective intervention services to help families cope with adversity

To help families cope with stress and adversity, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), with the support of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, has partnered with Hong Kong Children and Youth Services, Hong Kong Family Welfare Society, The Salvation Army, and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals to deliver a three–year project ‘Jockey Club “Promoting Family Resilience” Project’ (the Project). Since 2021, the Project has launched various programmes including an e-learning training course on family resilience and community-based family intervention services to help families respond to changes and disruptions brought about by the pandemic and adapt to the constantly changing social environment. Family resilience is the ability of a family to cope with and adapt to challenging situations and external threats; it includes family cohesion and flexibility, open family communication, and a shared sense of purpose and positive outlook. By developing family resilience, families can better navigate difficult circumstances and maintain a sense of stability, mutual support and positive communication even in the face of adversity. The e-learning training course is a 12-hour tailor-made e-learning program from which parents can learn about the concepts of family resilience, reflect on their own family situation and capacity, and apply family resilience strategies in their daily life. Eight months after the launch of the training course, there have been over 5,000 beneficiaries. Prof. Daniel SHEK, Associate Vice President (Undergraduate Programme), Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences, and Li and Fung Professor in Service Leadership Education of PolyU, said over 97% of the participants reported that they acquired the concepts of family resilience and had a better understanding of their own family characteristics, and 95% found that they face adversity more positively and were more willing to shoulder the burdens of other family members. Moreover, those participants who had completed the 12-hour modules showed a decrease in personal stress, anxiety and depression, and an increase in family resilience including more positive family values and stronger optimistic beliefs, more cohesion and flexibility among family members, and better family communication and problem-solving capabilities. The project team also conducted a quasi-experimental study to assess the effectiveness of the training course by comparing an experimental group (i.e., those who had completed the e-learning course) and a comparison group (i.e., those who had not joined the course). The experimental group reported a decrease in anxiety and depressive symptoms, and an increase in family resilience after participating in the programmes, when compared with the comparison group. What also makes the Project unique are the community-based family intervention programmes which also aim to enhance family resilience in the community. Over the past two years, over 7,000 families have joined these programmes. Four such programmes have been developed jointly by the collaborating NGOs and PolyU, and implemented by the NGOs. They incorporate different programme designs and concepts of family resilience: 1) family adventure-based training; 2) family-based art workshops; 3) family photo albums; and 4) mindful journeys for families. The programmes comprise six-sessions and include group sessions and outdoor activities, with entire families invited to participate. Nearly 900 families have joined these programmes in the past two years. Dr Janet LEUNG, Associate Professor of Applied Social Sciences of PolyU, said programme evaluation showed that 97% of participants reported that they were more optimistic in facing adversity, communicated better and developed mutual support among their family members. Furthermore, participants showed a decrease of mental health symptoms (stress, anxiety and depression) among family members, and an increase in family resilience (positive family beliefs, family flexibility and cohesion, and family communication and collaborative problem-solving). Moreover, results of a quasi-experimental study indicated that an experimental group (i.e., those families that joined the programmes) showed a decrease in anxiety, an increase in family resilience and better marital satisfaction after participation, when compared with the comparison group (i.e., those families that did not join our programmes). Families in Hong Kong still face different challenges and difficulties during the post-pandemic stage. The prolonged pandemic has taken a significant toll on individual and family mental health. The unpredictable economic condition with high inflation has also created worries within families. Moreover, when schools resume normal, families may need to adjust to new routines again and, in managing learning loss, parents and children are anxious to catch up, which can cause significant stress. In facing the challenges ahead, it is clear that family-based programmes that effectively promote family resilience are essential. The Project will help Hong Kong families better understand and enhance their resilience. It also hopes to train professionals including social workers and psychologists to further optimise intervention services to help families cope with adversity. Jockey Club “Promoting Family Resilience” Project Website: Facebook: ***END***

11 May, 2023

Research & Innovation Department of Applied Social Sciences


PolyU constructs student hostel at Kowloon Tong to promote students’ whole-person development

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has created an innovative, research-focused environment for students and faculty members, reflecting our excellent reputation for quality teaching and research that addresses societal needs. To help enrich the learning experience for our students and ease the shortfall of student residential places, PolyU will construct four multi-storey student hostels at Tat Hong Avenue in Kowloon Tong, providing an additional 1,680 student hostel places and outdoor recreational space for students. The new student hostel will attract outstanding non-local students to study in Hong Kong, thus helping to broaden the horizons of our local students. The hostel is targeted for completion by 2028. The hostel groundbreaking ceremony was officiated by Dr LAM Tai-fai, Council Chairman of PolyU; Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, President; together with members of the Council and the management. Prof. Jin-Guang Teng hopes that, with the completion of the student hostels at Kowloon Tong and Ho Man Tin, students will be given an opportunity to experience two years of hostel accommodation during the four-year period of their studies. He said, “Hostel life is an essential part of higher education and students’ holistic development. Apart from academic studies and extra-curricular activities, we hope our students will have a more fruitful university life through a wide range of group residential activities. Through bringing together students with same interest, hostel life can also help nurture research talents and young people who are excellent in sports, art and culture, leadership and community services and STEM.” The Kowloon Tong student hostel will be located on a slope on Tat Hong Avenue, with the four multi-storey buildings set to have nine to 15 stories with a total gross floor area of around 50,200 square metres. Pedestrian passageways, parking lots and student recreational facilities will mainly be located from the ground floor to the fourth floor; a public corridor connecting each building, shared spaces and some dormitory units on the fifth floor; and the remaining student dormitories on the sixth floor or above.   ***END***

9 May, 2023

Events Campus Development Office

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