In light of the success of the Endowed Professorship Scheme, PolyU launched the Endowed Young Scholars Scheme to partner with our donors in supporting and nurturing promising early-career academics in the capacity of an Associate or Assistant Professor. By making donation, donor and the scholar will join hands to drive new discoveries and breakthroughs in the research discipline that they mutually value, leading to collaboration between academics and the industries for positive societal impacts.
Our first Endowed Young Scholar position was donated and set up by our respected mentor and alumnus – Ir Tsui Tack-kong (Picture 1, middle). Ir Tsui has over 60 years of experience in the construction field. He was the first Joint Chairman of Hong Kong Branch of The Institution of Structural Engineers (UK)/Structural Division of The Hong Kong Institute of Engineers in 1979 and was a Council Member of The Hong Kong Institute of Engineers in the early 1980s. Ir Tsui is a keen supporter of his alma mater and has made contribution on multiple fronts. He is a Founding Member of the PolyU Development Foundation and he is now Senior Advisor to the President on various campus development projects, as well as a member of the Governing Committee of PolyU Foundation.
Dr Zhou Chao (Picture 1, right), Assistant Professor of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has been appointed as Tsui Tack Kong Young Scholar in Civil Engineering after a rigorous selection process undertaken by PolyU’s Academic Selection Committee and Advisory Committee. Dr Zhou’s research interests include fundamental thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of saturated and unsaturated soils, theoretical constitutive modelling of soils, energy foundation engineering and pavement engineering. Having published more than 50 SCI (Science Citation Index) papers in leading international journals, he was awarded the Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macau) by the Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Bright Spark Lecture Award by the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.
An appreciation lunch was held on 29 July 2021 to express our gratitude to Ir Tsui’s generous support and to celebrate the appointment of Dr Zhou. The lunch was hosted by Professor Jin-Guang Teng (Picture 1, left), President of PolyU. Prof. Teng extended his heartfelt appreciation to Ir Tsui for his vote of confidence in the University and hoped the donation would set an example and have positive influence on fellow alumni to give back to their alma mater.
Dr Zhou mentioned during his presentation “The Endowed Young Scholars Scheme enables me and my team to engage in more ground-breaking research in the discipline of civil engineering. Such outputs contribute to the improved safety and performance of infrastructures, which are vital to the smooth operation of any modern city.”
Ir Tsui was impressed and he said, “I support PolyU in its pursuit to be a leading university which offers world-class research and education, and that implies the importance of nurturing outstanding young scholars like Dr Zhou. Giving them sustainable support and our trust will be the key to success. I hope my contribution can make a remarkable difference to the University and the industry.”
We thank Ir Tsui again for his generous support and we look forward to more exciting achievements from Dr Zhou that will be made possible by the Endowed Young Scholars Scheme. Please browse the Scheme website for more information of how this Scheme can bring a powerful impact to the University and society.