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PolyU wins six prizes at Geneva Inventions Expo

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has excelled in this year’s online special edition of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (Geneva Inventions Expo) - Special Edition 2021 Inventions Geneva Evaluation Days – Virtual Event. The exhibition is regarded as one of the important annual events in the world devoted exclusively to inventions. PolyU garnered a total of six awards this year, including three Gold Medals and three Silver Medals. Numerous activities around the globe have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the daunting challenges, PolyU’s researchers have continued their efforts in research and development as well as in translating research into impactful innovations and applications. Among the six projects the University presented to the judges, two have already been commercialised through PolyU-supported start-ups led by our researchers. The awards won by the University at this event not only demonstrate the professionalism and strength of PolyU’s researchers, but also motivate them to further excel in their academic and scientific pursuits, enabling PolyU to push the boundaries of technological innovation and to generate a far-reaching impact on our community and the world. The winning projects of PolyU cover a wide range of applications, including healthcare, environmental monitoring, smart cities, and automotive safety, thus showcasing the University’s distinguished capabilities and accomplishments in innovation and technology. The six projects are (project details in Appendix):   Project Principal Investigator Awards CareCoatexTM: A Biomaterial-based Core-Shell Particles for Safe and Effective Antibacterial and Antiviral Applications Prof. Pauline Pei LI, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, Co-founder of Grand Rise Technology Limited (a PolyU-supported startup) Gold Medal Smart City Platform: A Comprehensive System for Spatial Data Infrastructure Prof. John Wenzhong SHI, Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics Gold Medal Smart Monitoring System for Urban Tree Management Sr Dr Charles Man-sing WONG, Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics Gold Medal Liverscan: Palm-sized Real-time B-mode Ultrasound Imaging Guided System for Liver Fibrosis Assessment Ir Prof. Yongping ZHENG, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Founder of Eieling Technology Limited (a PolyU-supported startup) Silver Medal A Smart All-electric Antilock Braking System (ABS) Prof. Eric Ka-wai CHENG, Department of Electrical Engineering Silver Medal Biomimicking Photocrosslinkable Nanocomposite Bone Graft Dr Xin ZHAO, Department of Biomedical Engineering Silver Medal   The Inventions Geneva Evaluation Days – Virtual Event, held from 10 to 14 March, attracted about 600 exhibitors from more than 20 countries/regions. It was organised under the patronage of the Swiss Federal Government, the State and the City of Geneva as well as the World Intellectual Property Organisation. For details, please visit the event organiser’s official website:

24 Mar, 2021


AAE Undergraduate Student is awarded the Outstanding Student Award of Faculty of Engineering 2020

Mr SIN Ka Yin, a fourth-year undergraduate studying Aviation Engineering at the Interdisciplinary Division of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering (AAE), is awarded the “Outstanding Student Award of Faculty of Engineering 2020”. Each year, PolyU presents the Outstanding Student Awards to students who excelled in both academic and non-academic pursuits during their studies. Under the Award Scheme, each academic department under the purview of a faculty will select an excellent student to receive the “Outstanding Student Award of Department” and the same student is to compete with the other departmental awardees of the same faculty for the “Outstanding Student Award of Faculty”. [From Interdisciplinary Division of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering]   Related News Articles: 理大生志當機師  疫下「轉跑道」續追夢 [星島日報(Sing Tao Daily)] 理大生「一份堅持」 誓圓酒店航空夢  無懼業界「疫境」 盼進修汲經驗再入行 [經濟日報(Hong Kong Economic Times)] 飛機迷理大生獲頒卓越學生獎 [東方日報(Oriental Daily News)]

18 Mar, 2021


PolyU E-Formula Racing Team demonstrates creativity and perseverance designing and building their own race car

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, members of the PolyU E-Formula Racing Team, led by 2020 Season team captain Brian Tam, have demonstrated their creativity and perseverance designing and building their own race car for the Formula Student Electric China (FSEC) competition. To ensure the car-building process could continue amid the pandemic, members outside Hong Kong switched to small-scale assembling at home using components ordered online, posting the finished parts to the PolyU campus or bringing them with them when they later flew back to Hong Kong. Members in Hong Kong took turns doing the fabrication work in small groups because of the ban on large gatherings, often working late into the night. Although the team was not able to take part in the 2020 competition, they successfully organised a virtual rollout ceremony to showcase their car in January 2021. The PolyU E-Formula Racing Team, established in 2015 by nine mechanical engineering students, is the first racing team formed by university students in Hong Kong to participate in the FSEC competition. The team currently comprises more than 40 students from various disciplines, including engineering, computing, business and design. It has gained support not only from the University’s Faculty of Engineering and the Industrial Centre, but also from advisors from motorsport industries and various sponsors. [From PolyU All Recent Focus]  

24 Feb, 2021


A research team led by Dr Andy Cheng from RS and Department of Computing at PolyU has established the “Smart Work Injury Management System” (SWIM)

A research team of Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Department of Computing at PolyU has established the “Smart Work Injury Management System” (SWIM) to accurately predict with AI and big data the length of sick leaves and return-to-work trajectory in the cases of injuries at work. Dr Andy Cheng, Associate Professor of RS, said they fed the system with around 90,000 cases collected from 68 insurance companies for building up analytic models through machine-learning. With the basic information such as age, job nature, salary, injured area and cause of injury, SWIM is able to predict the severity of a case, what treatment should be taken, the possibility of resumption of work, and the amount of insurance claim costs etc. SWIM’s prediction reaches 70% and 60% in accuracy to assess disability level and number of days of sick leave respectively, both outperforming estimations conducted by humans. Dr Cheng said they hope SWIM’s prediction can be used as a reference for stakeholders like employers, injured workers and insurance companies to acquire a more comprehensive information so as to develop better rehabilitation plans and reduce the chances of work-related injuries. Six insurance companies have already expressed their interest in SWIM. Dr Cheng said they expect to launch a 6-month trial run for these companies earliest by March, and put SWIM to use by the insurance and healthcare industries next year. Online coverage: HK01 - Oriental Daily News - Ming Pao Daily News - Hong Kong Economic Times - Sing Tao Daily - am730 - Sky Post - Ta Kung Pao - Wen Wei Po - Economic Digest - U Lifestyle - Bastille Post - 6do News - [From Department of Rehabilitation Sciences]   Related News Articles: 理大研智能系統 推動工傷復康 [東方日報(Oriental Daily News)] 智能評估工傷 賠償批假更準 [文匯報(Wen Wei Po)] 理大研智能工傷管理系統 大數據預測病假 [大公報(Ta Kung Po)] 復工之路 理大研智能工傷管理系統 助評估病假及傷殘程度 [am730] 理大AI估算工傷病假復康進程 準過人手 [明報(Ming Pao Daily News)] 理大AI工傷管理系統 助保險理賠 [經濟日報(Hong Kong Economic Times)]

28 Jan, 2021


PolyU awarded funding from the Areas of Excellence Scheme of the Research Grants Council

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is pleased to be awarded funding from the Areas of Excellence (AoE) Scheme 2020/21 (Ninth Round) of the Research Grants Council (RGC). The “Meta-optics, Meta-acoustics and Meta-devices” project, led by PolyU, is one of the four projects receiving funding from the RGC. The approved budget of this project is HK$70 million with HK$65 million to be funded by the RGC and the remaining amount to be contributed by PolyU and the respective collaborating universities. The “Meta-optics, Meta-acoustics and Meta-devices” project, spearheaded by Professor TSAI Din-Ping, Chair Professor of Nanophotonics and Head of Department of Electronic and Information Engineering of PolyU, aims at developing novel meta-materials and meta-devices that can control and manipulate electromagnetic and acoustic waves for improving the quality of human daily life. These new meta-devices are to be designed and manufactured for novel applications in various areas such as imaging, sensing, energy, communications, biomedicine, industrial manufacturing, artificial intelligence technology and quantum technology. Professor Tsai said, “We expect that this project will generate a new platform for intelligent artificial materials and devices which are of low energy consumption and compatible with advanced manufacturing in micro- and nano-electronics industrial techniques for wearable or portable innovations. The intellectual properties and innovations of the meta-devices will also be transferred to the industry and business sectors. We believe the new knowledge will strategically transform and upgrade Hong Kong’s hi-tech industries.” Professor Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU, said, “I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of the University for the RGC’s strong support to our research. At PolyU, we are committed to leveraging our academic strength, research expertise and global network to transform research breakthroughs and innovations into real-world solutions and applications. Through our interdisciplinary research, we are dedicated to expanding human knowledge, addressing societal needs and making a positive impact on the world.” PolyU will also participate in two other projects, namely “Aging, Skeletal Degeneration and Regeneration” and “2D Materials Research: Fundamentals Towards Emerging Technologies” led by The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong respectively. The AoE Scheme was launched in 1998. The objective of the Scheme is to support the University Grants Committee-funded universities to build upon their existing strengths and develop them into areas of excellence. A total of 24 AoE projects from various disciplines have been funded in the past eight rounds of the Scheme. The total budget of all four selected projects in the ninth round of funding exceeds HK$304 million. [From PolyU Media Release]   Related News Articles: 理大項目獲研資局第九輪撥款 [文匯報(Wen Wei Po)] 理大研超構元件 獲研資局撥6500萬 [明報(Ming Pao Daily News)]

6 Jan, 2021


PolyU-made space instruments complete lunar sampling for Chang’e 5

In support of the Nation’s first lunar sample return mission, a research team at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) developed and manufactured one of the key systems for this historic undertaking, namely the “Surface Sampling and Packing System”, in collaboration with the China Academy of Space Technology. The PolyU-developed system accomplished the tasks of automatic sample collection and packaging on the lunar surface following the soft landing of the Chang’e 5 probe on 1 December 2020. The vehicle carrying the samples is currently on course back to Earth, and is expected to touch down in China’s Inner Mongolia region next week. Chang'e-5 is the world’s first lunar-sample return mission in more than 40 years, aiming to bring back a large amount of lunar samples of up to two kilograms via robotic means. The probe adopts two methods of moon surface sampling: one uses a robotic arm for multiple-point surface sample collections, and the other is to drill underground. The team led by Professor YUNG Kai-leung, Sir Sze-yuen Chung Professor in Precision Engineering, Chair Professor of Precision Engineering and Associate Head of Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, PolyU, was tasked in 2011 to develop the “Surface Sampling and Packing System”, a comprehensive system for lunar surface sampling, packaging and sealing. Dr LAM Tai-fai, Chairman of Council, PolyU, remarked, “The collection of lunar samples is a landmark occasion in the history of our Nation’s space exploration programme. It is a great testament to our University’s cutting-edge research capability that PolyU was the only tertiary institution in Hong Kong to contribute to the Chang'e 5 mission. Furthermore, the fact that Hong Kong-based scientists at PolyU developed some of the most critical components for the project is a fantastic accomplishment for the whole city, proving that Hong Kong can play an important role in supporting our Nation in making significant strides in the fields of space exploration and science.” Mr Alfred SIT, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, said, “Over the years, PolyU has actively participated in our Nation's space exploration projects by developing highly sophisticated space instruments for our country. In the Chang'e 5 lunar exploration project, PolyU fully demonstrated its rich experience accumulated in national and international space projects, its cutting-edge technology as well as its innovative thinking. PolyU's efforts in research are in line with and complementary to the Government's goal of developing Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub.” Professor Jin-Guang TENG, PolyU President, said, “The Chang'e 5 lunar mission has been watched closely by the entire world, since it will help the scientific community uncover some of the Moon’s secrets and mysteries. I am immensely proud that PolyU researchers developed the pioneering ‘Surface Sampling and Packing System’ to facilitate the success of this milestone mission. By contributing to such a sophisticated national space project, the University has demonstrated its substantial research competence and commitment to producing breakthrough solutions that push forward the frontiers of technology and science. PolyU will continue to devote itself to the pursuit of research excellence and the creation of innovations that benefit Hong Kong, the Nation and our world.” Professor Yung expressed the pride he and his team felt to be part of this ground-breaking accomplishment. He said, “Collecting a large amount of lunar samples via robotic means was unprecedented. From research, through design to manufacturing, the development of this system has required a very high level of innovation, precision and reliability. A small glitch anywhere in the complex chain of necessary tasks could have instantly negated all the costly efforts made by those involved in the mission. Thanks to the support of the Nation, the University and the experts at PolyU Industrial Centre, we were able to produce this cutting-edge space-qualified instrument that has successfully acquired samples from the lunar surface. We are indebted to the Nation in entrusting such a critical responsibility to PolyU.” Consisting of two samplers for collecting loose and sticky forms of lunar regolith, two near-field cameras, as well as a packaging and sealing system, the “Surface Sampling and Packing System” has more than 400 components constructed in different materials including titanium alloy, aluminum alloy and stainless steel, which make the instruments light in weight but at the same time durable and strong enough to withstand the harsh space environment. Talking about the challenges of the project, Professor Yung said, “As our system needed to operate on the sun-facing side of the Moon where the ground temperatures could be as high as 110 degree Celsius, this innovation had to be highly sophisticated and capable of functioning under extremely high temperatures. It also needed to withstand the extreme space environment during travel to and landing on the Moon which meant enduring impact and shock during lift-offs and landings, high vacuum on the moon, exposure to solar wind and cosmic rays, as well as high-speed re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere.” “To meet the limited payload requirement, we had to be innovative in our mechanism design and be stringent in weight control. For example, the two samplers are more than a tool to acquire lunar regolith. They are also used to pick up and move the sample container from the lander to the ascender atop,” Professor Yung continued. Features of the Surface Sampling and Packing System: Sampler A – Around 35 cm in length, Sampler A, in the shape of a shovel, is specifically engineered for collecting loose regolith. The vibration and impact during the closing of the sampler is an elaborate design to dislodge excessive debris, chisel away large pieces of regolith, tightly enclose the samples and precisely deposit the selected samples into the container without contaminating the surrounding. Sampler B – Around 30 cm in length, Sampler B is used for collecting sticky samples by coring into the ground with teeth-like metal flaps when opened. It captures the targeted samples through the closing of these metal flaps. The piston inside the sampler pushes the sticky samples into the container during depositing of the sample when the flaps gradually open. Near-field Cameras – Heat resistant up to 130 degree Celsius, a near-field camera is attached to each sampler. This camera provides a monitoring and vision guidance function to help select scientifically valuable lunar samples. The vision guidance function also enables the sampler to deposit the samples into the container, grip the container and transfer it into the ascender precisely. Sealing and Packaging System – Weighing 1.5 kilograms, of which the sample container weighs only 360 grams and is used to seal and store the lunar samples for retuning to Earth, this system includes deployment of a funnel to protect the sample container from contamination when the lunar regolith is deposited and a sweeping action to brush away excessive sample to ensure the container lid can be closed properly. Being the only tertiary institution in Hong Kong that possesses international deep space qualification experience, PolyU has been contributing to the Nation’s space projects since 2010. As part of the Nation’s lunar exploration programme, Professor Yung collaborated with the China Academy of Space Technology to develop a “Camera Pointing System” for Chang’e 3 in 2013 and for Chang’e 4’s historic landing on the lunar far side in 2019, and a Mars Camera for Tianwen 1 in 2020. The “Surface Sampling and Packing System” will be used for the Chang’e 6 mission as well. PolyU has actively participated in other space exploration projects, designing and manufacturing a number of sophisticated space tools in the past decade. These include the “Mars Rock Corer” for the European Space Agency’s 2003 Mars Express Mission and the “Soil Preparation System” for the Sino-Russian Space Mission in 2011. [From PolyU Media Release]   Related News Articles: 助力「嫦五」採月壤 支援「嫦六」探南極 容啟亮:嫦七有約 月球尋水 [大公報(Ta Kung Po)] 香港科技助力「嫦娥五號」成功 [文匯報(Wen Wei Po)] 探月背後的香港科學家容啟亮: 讓珍貴月壤「一顆不撒」 [文匯報(Wen Wei Po)] 理大冀分得月壤參與研究 [文匯報(Wen Wei Po)] 港理大研製機械臂 [信報(Hong Kong Economic Journal)] 理大研發採樣裝置 冀獲月球土壤 [蘋果日報(Apple Daily)] 「嫦五」任務完成 團隊深感光榮 容亮盼理大可參與月壤研究 [大公報(Ta Kung Po)] 理大助研發採樣封裝克服難關 [東方日報(Oriental Daily News)] 理大擬向國家申請 部分月土供港科研 [星島日報(Sing Tao Daily)] Hong Kong-made space device plays key role in Chang'e-5 lunar mission [中國日報香港版(China Daily Hong Kong Edition )] 嫦五採樣功臣 助港青圓航天夢 [經濟日報(Hong Kong Economic Times)] 參與「探火」理大學者:啟蒙學生認識航天好機會 [文匯報(Wen Wei Po)]

9 Dec, 2020


PolyU develops space instruments for the Nation’s first lunar sample return mission

Researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have developed and manufactured the “Surface Sampling and Packing System”, specifically designed for Chang’e 5, the Nation’s first lunar sample return mission. Following the successful launch of Chang’e 5 by the Long March 5 rocket today (24 November), the Surface Sampling and Packing System is scheduled to commence lunar sampling in early December. Joining this historic mission is the team led by Professor YUNG Kai-leung, Sir Sze-yuen Chung Professor in Precision Engineering, Chair Professor of Precision Engineering and Associate Head of Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, PolyU. Dr Robert W.M. TAM, Interim Director of PolyU’s Industrial Centre, is one of the team’s key members. Chang'e 5, the third phase of the Nation’s lunar exploration project, is China’s first space mission to collect and return two kilogram samples of lunar regolith. The Chang'e 5 spacecraft comprises four modules: an orbiter, an ascender, a lander and a return vehicle. Transported on the Chang’e 5 lander, the PolyU-developed Surface Sampling and Packing System includes two samplers that can withstand 200 °C for collecting samples of lunar regolith in loose and sticky form, two heat-resistant nearfield cameras for vision guidance during sample acquisition, and a packaging and sealing system for sealing the samples in a container. Upon completion of sample acquisition on the lunar surface by the PolyU samplers, the robot arm will, through vision guidance, lift the PolyU designed and made container and place it into the ascender. The ascender will then lift off into lunar orbit, dock with the orbiter and transfer the sample container to the return vehicle for the journey back to Earth. “Over the years, PolyU has been honoured to participate in the national space exploration programmes and to contribute to the development of highly sophisticated space instruments for the Nation,” said PolyU President Professor Jin-Guang TENG. “In the Chang'e 5 lunar exploration project, PolyU's research team has developed one of the key sets of sampling instruments and made a breakthrough in lunar surface sampling by leveraging its valuable experience in international space projects, its innovative thinking and its cutting-edge technology. In achieving its motto - ‘to learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind’, through rigorous scientific study and research excellence, PolyU will continue to make important contributions to Chang'e 6 and other national space missions.” Building on their previous study of the lunar environment and a wealth of experience from several lunar missions, Professor YUNG Kai-leung and his team started researching and developing the Surface Sampling and Packing System in 2011 and completed the project in 2017. Professor YUNG Kai-leung said, “The return of samples from the moon is technically complex. It takes more than six prototype productions through various stages of space qualification procedures in order to complete the project, not to mention the pre-production research, system design, discussions and meetings in collaboration with the China Academy of Space Technology.” “The Surface Sampling and Packing System is one of the most critical components of the Chang’e 5 mission. We are truly thankful for being entrusted with such an important and challenging task for this historic space project.” Professor YUNG said. In addition to the System itself, the innovative techniques for high-precision high-resolution 3D mapping and geomorphologic analysis of the landing region developed by Professor Bo WU from PolyU’s Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics are important for characterisation of the landing region, in order to support decision-making for selecting the final landing site for Chang’e 5. Being the only tertiary institution in Hong Kong that possesses international space qualification experience, PolyU has been contributing to the Nation’s space projects since 2010. As part of the Nation’s lunar exploration programme, Professor YUNG collaborated with the China Academy of Space Technology to develop a “Camera Pointing System” for Chang’e 3 in 2013 and for Chang’e 4’s historic landing on lunar far side in 2019, and a Mars Camera for Tianwen 1 in 2020. The “Surface Sampling and Packing System” will be used for the Chang’e 6 mission as well. PolyU has actively participated in other space exploration projects, designing and manufacturing a number of sophisticated space tools in the past decade. These include the “Mars Rock Corer” for the European Space Agency’s 2003 Mars Express Mission and the “Soil Preparation System” for the Sino-Russian Space Mission in 2011. [From PolyU Media Release]   Related News Articles: 香港理工大學四位學者獲2020年度國家優秀青年科學基金項目資助 [香港新聞網 (Hong Kong China News Agency)] 理大4位青年科學家獲2020年度國家優秀青年科學基金 [香港商報 (Hong Kong Commercial Daily)] 香港理工大学四位学者获2020年度国家优秀青年科学基金项目资助 [中国新闻网 (]--> Related News Articles: 港理大擔重任 研採樣裝置 [文匯報(Wen Wei Po)] 理大太空儀器 隨嫦娥五號月球採樣 [明報(Ming Pao Daily News)] 理大研太空儀器登月採樣返地球 [星島日報(Sing Tao Daily)] 理大月球採樣器搭嫦娥五號升空 [東方日報(Oriental Daily News)]

25 Nov, 2020


培訓本地機師 航空業疫後再起飛

經濟日報網站 (Hong Kong Economic Times)

25 Nov, 2020


PolyU wins three TechConnect Global Innovation Awards

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) won three "Global Innovation Awards" at the TechConnect Business Virtual Summit and Showcase 2020 (TechConnect). It is the fourth year that PolyU research teams snatched the prestigious awards at the world's largest multi-sector event for fostering development and commercialisation of innovations. The TechConnect Global Innovation Awards identify the top 15% of submitted technologies based on their potential positive impact on a specific industry sector. Over 400 submissions were received this year including those from global top-notch universities and technology enterprises. Only 13 were presented with the global awards designated for non-US-funded innovations across the world; and PolyU received three of them. Other awardees include global-renowned institutes such as The University of Melbourne and The University of British Columbia. PolyU’s three award-winning innovations are: (1) “Water Dispersible Autofluorescent Polymer Dots Comprising of Non-Conjugated Polymers” by Professor LI Pei, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology This new type of photoluminescent nanoparticles uses inexpensive nonconjugated polymers as building blocks, and has the ability to display ultra-bright and multi-colour fluorescence upon excitations in both water and dry states. It also has excellent water dispersibility, low toxicity, high absorptivity, good photostability, and high quantum yield. This innovation has various potential applications, including serving as: bioimaging markers for in vitro cell imaging, autofluorescent nano-carriers for image-guided therapy, nanofillers in plastics for LED diffuser applications, fluorescent ink in anti-counterfeiting applications, chemosensors for heavy metal detection and structural health monitoring. (2) “PolyUStimulator – Ultrasound Driven Piezoelectric Stimulator for Neuromusculoskeletal Rehabilitation” by Professor Yong-ping ZHENG and Dr Monzurul ALAM, Department of Biomedical Engineering As existing electroceutical stimulators are bulky with a limited life span and pose transmission efficacy and safety concerns, wireless power delivery to electrical implants deep inside the body remains a critical challenge. The PolyUStimulator presents a battery-free, ultrasonically-powered, piezoelectric stimulator for functional muscles, nerves and bones. Ultrasound can reach deep into the body where conventional inductive energy cannot reach safely; it is also safe from radio frequency interference and is fully MRI and X-ray compatible. This innovation can treat patients, ranging from neurological to orthopedic conditions, whom are paralysed or suffering from non-union bone fractures or neuromusculoskeletal pain. (3) “A Time-dependent Machine-Learning-based Prediction System for Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis” by Mr Toby LI and Mr Justin CHAN, MPhil students under the supervision of Dr Chunyi WEN, Department of Biomedical Engineering (submission made under CLAIRE Clinical AI Research) Early detection of knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is critical for early intervention to prevent disease progression and to reduce the need for salvage joint replacement surgery. However, there remains a lack of a reliable prediction method for disease progression and a user-friendly platform for patient self-management. As such, an artificial intelligence based KOA screening system has been developed which predicts the risk of KOA progression at different time points in the future. This innovation leverages multiple modalities of medical data, including tabular electronic health records and knee radiographic images for a comprehensive analysis which could aid clinical practitioners to perform efficient triage and construct personalised treatment plans. Moreover, a mobile application is being developed to measure and record relevant physiological data of the patients regularly, facilitating continuous tracking and self-management of the disease. Dr Terence LAU, Interim Associate Vice President (Innovation and Technology Development) of PolyU, congratulated the teams and remarked, “We feel very proud to learn that our PolyU research teams have once again been recognised by the prestigious Global Innovation Awards. These award-winning technologies span from benefiting human health to various industrial applications. Our efforts in research, development and innovation at PolyU not only sparks a fundamental scientific understanding of the world, but also focuses at shaping the world by addressing global unmet needs through innovation. These awards reassure us about the strategic direction of our research and innovation and our goal of being a world-class research university.” PolyU is currently showcasing its latest innovative technologies, including the three award-winning innovations, at the virtual summit. During the online event, PolyU participants are taking the opportunity to explore research and collaboration opportunities with major industry end-users, top multinational companies and academic institutions to apply the innovations and generate a positive impact to the global community. For more details, please refer to the official website of the TechConnect Business Virtual Summit and Showcase 2020 ( and the list of awardees ( [From PolyU Media Release]   Related News Articles: 理大三科研成果 獲全球創新獎 [星島日報(Sing Tao Daily)] 理大三科研成果奪「TechConnect全球創新獎」 [大公報(Ta Kung Po)] 理大研壓電刺激器 助脊髓受損者活動 [明報(Ming Pao Daily News)] 理大研電流刺激器 毋須手術植入紓痛症 [經濟日報(Hong Kong Economic Times)] 理大研植入式刺激器 助紓神經痛治癱瘓 [星島日報(Sing Tao Daily)] 治療痛症 理大研超聲波神經刺激器 僅3毫米 毋須手術植入 [am730] 理大研非創傷性電流剌激器 助脊髓受損癱瘓人士重新走路 Related News Articles: 香港理工大學四位學者獲2020年度國家優秀青年科學基金項目資助 [香港新聞網 (Hong Kong China News Agency)] 理大4位青年科學家獲2020年度國家優秀青年科學基金 [香港商報 (Hong Kong Commercial Daily)] 香港理工大学四位学者获2020年度国家优秀青年科学基金项目资助 [中国新闻网 (]-->  

19 Nov, 2020


A Quantum leap forward in Computing

From Silicon Valley in California to Shenzhen, China, leading IT companies across the world have been looking for the key that will take quantum computing to the next level. Now, a team of Chinese researchers led by Professor Tsai Din-Ping, Chair Professor and Head of PolyU’s Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, have developed an approach that promises to unlock the full potential of this exciting new technology. Although still in the early development stages, quantum computing has been widely heralded as the most significant advance in computer technology since the invention of the transistor. Once this technology has matured, it could lead to major breakthroughs in the quest for new life-saving drugs, alternative forms of energy, hacker- proof data encryption, and so much more. But what exactly is quantum computing? Essentially, it is a form of computing that harnesses particles such as electrons and photons to perform highly complex calculations. Quantum computers are so powerful, in fact, that they can solve lengthy mathematical problems in less than one second rather than the thousands of years needed by an ordinary computer. Governments and companies like Google, IBM and Microsoft understand that quantum computing is the future and are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars to perfect the technology. Yet getting there will require overcoming a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges. For one, the results are not always reliable. Qubits are famously unstable, as even the tiniest amount of vibration or a slight change in temperature can throw off its calculations. Quantum computers also generate tremendous amounts of heat, so in order to perform accurately, they must be operated in room-size freezers at temperatures many times colder than deep space. These challenges may be daunting but they could soon be resolved thanks to an innovative new approach developed by Professor Tsai and his team. How quantum computers work their magic In a traditional computer, all information is based on a “bit” (or binary digit), which can be either 0 or 1. That email you wrote, the TikTok video your kids uploaded, or the online newspaper you read this morning, all come down to the 1s and 0s that make up the long streams of binary data your computer depends on. Quantum computers, on the other hand, run on “qubits” (or quantum bits), which are derived from the quantum state of sub-atomic particles. Unlike ordinary bits, they can be both 1 and 0 — or anywhere in between — simultaneously (known as “superposition”). This is accompanied by “entanglement”, a somewhat enigmatic phenomenon in physics where two particles share information about each another. When two particles such as photons (the basic unit of light) are linked this way, they can perform a vast number of calculations far beyond the capability of today’s most powerful supercomputers. A qubit can be both 1 and 0, or anywhere in between, at the same time. Let there be light The concept behind their approach is based on a series of miniature “meta-lenses” composed of extremely fine antennae for capturing photons from a laser beam and focusing them on the same point. “The design principle is very simple,” says Professor Tsai. “We made very small antennae and placed them on a surface made of gallium nitride, a semiconductor material known for its excellent optical quality. “We made each antenna as ‘nano’ as possible, because that gives you the precise ability to control light at a very fine level.” A typical nano antenna developed by the team measures 45 nanometres (width) x 80 nanometres (length) x 800 nanometres (height). More than 250,000 of these tiny antennae went into the composition of one lens, which measures 100 microns in diameter, about the size of a human hair. To demonstrate how their approach works, the team designed and fabricated a 1mm x 1mm optical chip with an array of 10 x 10 lenses containing a total of 25 million antennae, each in a different size, dimension and orientation, and all integrated with a nonlinear crystal , which can polarise incoming light. When a laser beam is focused at the centre of the nonlinear crystal, each meta-lens on the chip will generate two photons from one photon. In a series of experiments, the team demonstrated that the multi-photon pairs are superimposed and correlated with each other. The high-dimensional quantum entangled optical chip that resulted from this exercise is the first in the world, opening the way for further advances in quantum computing. Zooming in to reveal the antennae in the chip Did you know? 1 millimetre = 1,000 micrometres (microns) 1 micron = 1,000 nanometres Power to the nth degree Entangled photons are critical for quantum information as they are capable of generating millions more bits than a traditional computer. In the past, however, this was extremely difficult to achieve with quantum computing. “Before, when people attempted to make a high dimensional quantum chip this way they had to do it with a laser beam that split many different times through different crystals,” says Professor Tsai. “It was almost impossible for them as the laser light died down every time it went through the crystals. And the setup is bulky. “But we were able to do it with one crystal in one tiny chip — a world first.” Why is this so significant? Mainly because the number of bits generated is high dimensional (an extremely large number of dimensions, d plus 1). “We now have traditional style computers of 64 bits,” says Professor Tsai. “Their computational power is 264, but with our 10 x 10 array meta-lens, it is much more than 2100. Even more promising, we believe our approach can easily achieve even greater computational power.” What’s more, during trial runs Professor Tsai’s team was able to obtain a fidelity rate of nearly 98.4%, which confirmed the feasibility of their quantum entangled optical chip. In addition to this, the chip can operate at room temperatures, eliminating the need for liquid helium or nitrogen cooling systems and ultra-high vacuum facilities. Schematic of the high-dimensional quantum entangled meta-lens array optical chip A breakthrough with revolutionary potential The cutting-edge research carried out by Professor Tsai’s team was done in collaboration with Nanjing University, University of Science and Technology of China, National Taiwan University, Academia Sinica, East China Normal University, and National United University. Although the chip is still in the development phase, its revolutionary potential was recognised by one of the world’s top scientific journals, Science, which published a paper co-authored by the team, “Metalens-array–based high-dimensional and multiphoton quantum source”, in June 2020. This recognition was highly encouraging for Professor Tsai and his team, who believe commercial applications for this compact and reliable chip may not be far off. “Our research will help quantum information science realise many applications in our daily life in the future,” Professor Tsai says. “One example is cashless payments. At the moment, when you make a transaction, a security code is generated randomly with 2 bit computing (1s and 0s). The current maximum would be 4 or 5 digits. With quantum computing, the code generated would be much longer and virtually impossible to break.” A workable quantum computer, however, is not likely to replace your smartphone anytime soon. Yet because of the advances made by the PolyU team, commercial applications may be closer than previously thought. “The revolution comes from here, with our chip,” says Professor Tsai. “It truly is a technical breakthrough.” Wu Yongfeng (rightmost) and Liu Xiaoyuan are excited to assist in Professor Tsai's research. [From excel@PolyU]   Related News Articles: 超級量子芯片 加快電腦運算 理大參與研究 有助日常應用 令通訊更保密 [大公報(Ta Kung Po)]

17 Nov, 2020

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