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PolyU Research Postgraduate Info Session 2022

The Graduate School (GS) organised the RPg Info Session via Zoom on 9 September 2022 to provide all prospective students with a thorough understanding of PhD and MPhil studies at PolyU. With overwhelming registrations, GS held two consecutive sessions that catered to more than 1,700 participants. The President, Professor Jin-Guang Teng, and Vice President (Research and Innovation), Professor Christopher Chao, warmly welcomed our prospective research students and illustrated the vision and recent development of the University. The Dean of GS, Professor Jiannong Cao, then delivered an introduction to research studies at PolyU as well as an overview of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS), followed by Professor Qingyan Chen, Director of PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR), who showcased the research excellence and focuses of PAIR. We also invited current students to share the application tips, first-hand experience and overseas learning opportunities with the participants. Professor Louise Cummings, Associate Dean of GS, wrapped up the first half of the Info Session with an enlightening Q&A session. During the second half of the Info Session, representatives of different Faculties and Schools presented in a parallel session in which participants could choose to attend different breakout rooms freely according to their area of interest. The video recording of the Info Session is now available here. The application deadline for Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme is 1 December 2022. Do not miss the opportunity and join us now!

15 Sep, 2022

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Graduate School Departmental Retreat 2022

The Graduate School (GS) organised a departmental retreat on 9 August 2022, with over 20 staff members joining the event. Despite the stormy weather, the meeting room was in a warm and harmonious atmosphere. Professor Jiannong Cao, Dean of GS, kicked off the day by delivering an opening speech and welcomed Professor Louise Cummings, who would be the Associate Dean of GS starting from 1 September 2022. Dr Kelly Chan, the School Secretary, went on to illustrate the concept of “Operation by Function”, followed by group presentations on reviewing current functional processes and tasks involved.  In the afternoon session, Professor Cao led the discussion on strategic planning. Colleagues worked in groups to identify key results of different focus areas and actions to be implemented to achieve the objectives. Professor Cao wrapped up the day by reiterating the goal and mission of GS. The retreat was a fruitful experience and laid the foundation for the strategic directions of the School in the year ahead.

17 Aug, 2022

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Research Student Gathering

The first research student gathering organised by the Graduate School (GS) was held on 29 July 2022, serving as a platform for peer communication among research students from diverse backgrounds to share their research interests and challenges. On that day, Professor Jiannong Cao, Dean of GS, kicked off the session, with GS colleagues introducing their roles and the support available to students in their study lifecycle. Participants also mingled to get acquainted with each other in a relaxing atmosphere on the top floor of the newly-renovated library. Receiving positive feedback from the participants, GS will continue to facilitate students’ learning journeys through different initiatives and activities.

1 Aug, 2022

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Research Postgraduate Summer School 2022

The Research Postgraduate Summer School 2022 was held during 13 – 27 July 2022. A total of 50 joiners in undergraduate senior years and master’s studies from universities around the world gathered online to gain a taste of PhD study and get familiar with the support that PolyU would offer. Preliminary admissions were offered to outstanding participants after the Summer School.  The President, Professor Jin-Guang Teng, and the Vice President (Research and Innovation), Professor Christopher Chao, warmly welcomed the participants at the opening. The Dean of Graduate School then kick-started this summer journey by briefly introducing research postgraduate education. Research Excellence Showcase Representatives from six faculties and three schools showcased their research while leading researchers from the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR) introduced the research focuses of Research Institutes (RIs) and Research Centres (RCs). Participants thereby got a glimpse of the novel and frontier projects, which allowed them to pin the direction of preparing their research proposal and study plan. Furthermore, our researchers went through a virtual tour of the Industrial Centre, a unique feature of PolyU, with the participants, and demonstrated how to make use of the facilities to realise their research ideas. Knowledge Enrichment A series of activities were arranged, such as a panel discussion and workshops on academic writing, mental wellness, entrepreneurship, etc., to prime participants for their future studies and career planning. PolyU’s outstanding scholars, Prof. Yang Chai from Applied Physics and Dr Franco Leung from Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, delivered two distinguished lectures respectively. They generously offered insights and research experience to our participants, and ignited their passion for PhD study.  Alumni and Student Sharing We also invited remarkable research postgraduate alumni from different sectors including entrepreneurs, industry experts and leading researchers in academia to share their paths to success.   On top of that, current PhD students shared their first-hand experience at PolyU and application tips for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS). These sharings gave a clear picture of what lies ahead of prospective PhD students. Consultation with PolyU Faculty Members Being the highlight of the programme, all joiners had the opportunity to meet and consult professors in their interested research areas and seek advice. Individual meetings with potential supervisors were arranged for more in-depth discussion. Project Presentation At the end of the Summer School, participants presented their research proposals to reflect on what they had learnt in this journey and showcased their potential in research studies. This first edition of the Research Postgraduate Summer School was concluded successfully by bringing prospective students together and deepening their understanding of PhD studies. We look forward to meeting them again at PolyU in the near future.

29 Jul, 2022

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Outstanding Research Postgraduate Alumni Award Result Announcement

While this year 2022 marks the 85th Anniversary of PolyU, the Graduate School organises the 1st PolyU Graduate School Outstanding Research Postgraduate Alumni Award to publicly recognise our distinguished research postgraduate alumni’s distinctive accomplishments and impactful contributions to the professions, research and entrepreneurship. Let’s give a big round of applause to the awardees! Outstanding Research Postgraduate Alumni Award     Dr HO Wai-ming Goman Arup Fellow and Director of Innovation, Arup Group Doctor of Philosophy 1992 Being a world-renowned expert in tall building design, Dr Ho is behind many of the most challenging and innovative skyscrapers in Asia, including the 283m tall Cheung Kong Center in Hong Kong and the 528m tall CITIC Tower in Beijing. He is the first Chinese Structural Engineer who is awarded the Arup Fellow worldwide. One of his patents, the Hybrid Outrigger System, won the Hong Kong CIC Innovation Award in 2017 and the Hong Kong Innovation Award in 2020. Ten of his projects, ranging from ambitious structures to green buildings, have received a total of 18 awards from Hong Kong and international professional institutions.   Professor LIN Zhouchen Professor, School of Artificial Intelligence, Peking University Master of Philosophy 1998 Prof. Lin is a world-recognised researcher in computer vision and machine learning. He has published four monographs and over 210 papers on top journals and conferences, receiving over 24,000 Google Scholar citations. He has been the Area Chairs of top AI conferences many times, including CVPR, ICCV, NIPS/NeurIPS, AAAI, IJCAI, ICLR and ICML. He has also been the Programme Co-chair of ICPR 2022 and Senior Area Chairs of ICML 2022 and NeurIPS 2022. He won the First Prize of China Computer Federation Natural Science Award in 2020 for his work on low-rank models. He is a Fellow of the CSIG, IAPR and IEEE.   Mr LUO Weidong Chris Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, Aurora Mobile Limited Master of Philosophy 2007 Mr Luo co-founded Aurora Mobile Limited in 2011 while managing to attract multiple world-renowned investors like IDG, Fidelity and Goldman Sachs to invest in the company with a series of funding. Aurora Mobile listed on the Nasdaq (NASDAQ: JG) in 2018 with a market value of more than USD1 billion, is the first company of its kind to be listed on the US Stock Exchange. It is the leading mobile app developer service platform in China and has worked with more than 648K developers on over 1.8M types of mobile apps. The company currently has over 500 employees in five locations in China.   Ir Professor ZHENG Yongping Chair Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Henry G. Leong Professor in Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Doctor of Philosophy 1997 Prof. Zheng is the founding Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the founding Director of the Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub and the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for Smart Ageing. His project on Palm-sized 3D Ultrasound Imaging System for Radiation-free Scoliosis Assessment has won the Grand Award, Gold Medal and Special Merit Award at the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. He also owns more than 50 patents and has published over 280 journal papers, and was rated as the top 2% citation scholar in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing in a survey conducted by Stanford University in 2021. Outstanding Early Career Research Postgraduate Alumni Award Dr LI Siyang Liam Co-founder and CEO, Goal Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd Doctor of Philosophy 2019 Dr Li is the co-founder of Goal Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd which specialises in producing high-precision manufacturing equipment and motors. The company had an initial start-up value of RMB10M and the sales reached RMB30M in 2021 with a team of 60 employees in two office locations in China. He was selected by Forbes China 2020 as one of the 300 elite entrepreneurs and leaders for its “30 Under 30” list in the “Industry, Manufacturing, Energy and Environmental Protection” category.

23 Jun, 2022

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Distinguished Speaker Series- Safety Challenge of Cyber-Physical Systems under Machine Learning

In the second seminar of the Distinguished Speaker Series on 12 May 2022, Professor Lui Sha, Chair Professor in Computer Science of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) delivered his percipient sharing on the safety importance of cyber-physical systems under machine learning, with around 300 attendees. Machine learning is the usage of data and algorithms to imitate human intelligence. In its applications of unmanned aerial vehicles, self-driving cars, and even in the healthcare sector, there is a common development concern for safety and reliability. By adopting an approach of Physics, cyber-physical systems become simple to model and verify, while learning on their jobs. With the design principles to control complexity, attention was next diverted to the safety perception driven by risks, where the allocation of risk resources needs to be decided. Participants also came to learn in an interdisciplinary manner, in which artificial intelligence is also deployed in medical operation and dosage, and as a preventative measure for errors, especially in the intensive care domain. Professor Sha stressed that knowledge does not only appear in the form of depiction, but in a superior form of creating it. To learn and to apply, research methodology is to be invented to redefine the wisdom of men.  

12 May, 2022

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Unified PhD Scholarship Framework Introduction

Since 2021, GS has implemented various communication sessions with research committees at faculty and department levels of PolyU for enhancing the quality of admitted PhD students and the overall admission success rate. Collaboration and active feedback were highly observed across parties. This year, the Graduate School launched the Unified PhD Scholarship Framework (UPSF), to develop a consolidated and streamlined recruitment process for funding schemes, with clear criteria and guidelines on the submission and selection process. Two introductory sessions were conducted in April upon UPSF’s announcement to elaborate on details and address enquiries. This framework also encourages the use of research grants for RPg student recruitment. Our vision connects the bringing of a recruitment mechanism of efficacy, striving to excel through time.

26 Apr, 2022

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Collaborative PhD Training Programme Info Session with EIT

How do we enjoy cross-border research and personal development brought by the best of both worlds? A group of prospective and current students of the Collaborative PhD Training Programme probably knew the answer after attending the info session co-hosted by PolyU and the Eastern Institute of Technology (tentative, named as EIT hereby) on 20 April 2022. The Collaborative PhD Training Programme of PolyU with EIT offers a collaborative research opportunity in Hong Kong and Ningbo in science, engineering, information technology and business. PhD students would spend two years with a supervisor at PolyU and EIT each. Eventually, they may obtain a PhD degree from PolyU and a certificate of completion from EIT. In the info session, the institution's objectives and positioning were demonstrated by the Provost and Executive Vice President of EIT, Professor Zhang Dongxiao, with a roadmap to attain iconic recognition in its specialised disciplines. Vice President, Professor Chunmiao Zheng, also shared attractive student testimonials and motivation to join the programme. Dean of Graduate School, Professor Jiannong Cao, as the representative of PolyU illustrated the aim and aspiration of PhD studies, research facilities and the nearby environment of the University. He also presented PolyU’s research excellence through worldwide university rankings. Around 20 invited supervisors from both institutions moved on to introduce their research background and expertise. The session did not end here but with a Q&A session between potential supervisors and student participants. Some students expressed interest in the research methodology of AI and admissions. To wrap the session up, a current student from the Southern University of Science and Technology, who joined the collaborative training programme, shared her eye-widening experience at PolyU with fellow participants to leave a lively impression.

20 Apr, 2022

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CURI Residential College Seminar – “Pursuing RPg Studies: Why & How?”

In the Seminar Series of the College of Undergraduate Researchers and Innovators Residential College (CURI RC), Professor Jiannong Cao, Dean of Graduate School, was invited to deliver an online talk on “Pursuing Research Postgraduate Studies: Why & How?” on 30 March 2022 to promote the platform for future researchers to bloom their research ideas. Nearly 90 CURI residents across multiple disciplines joined the talk in the evening.  PhD degree holds the highest level of education which unleashes intellectual potential, empowers students with comprehensive and transferable skillsets, unlocks academic and entrepreneurship careers, and fosters global networking and collaborations. During the talk, Professor Cao employed interesting illustrations and wisdom quotes from renowned scholars and PolyU distinguished alumni to ignite research passion and guide study preparation. A popular Q&A session also addressed enquiries about approaching and communicating with a potential supervisor, choosing an interdisciplinary research subject matter, seeking postdoctoral fellowships, developing time management skills, etc. To understand more about research postgraduate education at PolyU, recommendations were highlighted to join the RPg Summer School (deadline on 18 April 2022) and read the inaugural newsletter.

30 Mar, 2022

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Interview with the First PolyU PhD Alumnus, Dr Goman Ho

The interview with our first PhD graduate from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Dr Goman Ho, has been rewarding. There were sparks in his eyes when we touched topics of research aspiration and shaping the world with an innovative vision. Goman is an Arup Fellow and a seasoned director at Arup, a global architecture and engineering firm. He joined the firm after his PhD with expertise in high-rise buildings accumulating a height above nine kilometres. He has participated in mega projects, mapping especially the East Asia Region, best known for the Cheung Kong Centre in Hong Kong, National Stadium (the Bird’s Nest), National Aquatics Centre (the Water Cube), CCTV Headquarters and Capital International Airport Terminal 3, in Beijing. Goman also held adjunct professorships at PolyU and HKU, with over 30 technical papers and three books published. He is an active member in academia, research and charity work. Q1. As our first PhD alumnus in Structural Engineering, how would you relate your work achievement to your past research study at PolyU? PhD study opened my mind to innovation, seeking the best solution in complexity. After obtaining my Diploma in Structural Engineering at PolyU in 1984, I returned to my alma mater and finished my PhD degree in 1992. I am passionate in learning and am grateful to have met my supervisor, Professor S. L. Chan (Chair Professor of Computational Structural Engineering), who had shared a same interest in the research area of “semi-rigid connection” at that time. Research postgraduate study focuses on reaching your set objective through researching existing solutions. With critical thinking, you either improve the established method or formulate a new way to handle the same problem. My working and research projects both hinge on novelty. I applied what I learnt from my research postgraduate study in finding new solutions to these projects even in distinctive parameters. With the skills and experience in reading technical papers, I continuously update myself with new knowledge, skills and technology. Q2. How would you describe your research journey during the time? It was an unforgettable research experience at PolyU! Among our group of research students, there were different research disciplines, but peer learning was valuable. Back in the days when the speed of technology was comparatively slow, all our system codes were optimised by ourselves to reduce crunching time with limited hardware memory. We used many floppy disks for storing massive research data and findings. Q3. What do you regard as your biggest takeaway from your research learning experience? There were so many key takeaways. Instead, I would like to share a little story. My supervisor and I were at the stage of preparing a research methodology. I had a few failed attempts despite efforts based on what was shared, but I was hesitant to inform my supervisor of the unsuccessful result. I finally spent around three to four months in coming up with a new proposal and informed my supervisor. My supervisor and I revisited the problem together with an open mind, and we finally solved it. It was the interaction between the supervisor and research student that came foremost. There is a need to develop a critical eye and be able to filter information through experience gained. Q4. What advice would you be sharing with our prospective and current research students? PhD student is more of the role of a researcher than a student. It is crucial to be curious and ask questions, and further define your research aim. We have to make choices throughout our lives, weighing the pros and cons for improvement or accommodation, and demonstrating our critical thinking and open-mindedness. Research is a training of thinking and innovation, and is way beyond a degree. Q5. Under extreme climate change in the 21st century, what is regarded as a sustainable building? At the geographical level, many regions express the pressing need of energy saving and controlling carbon emission footprint. Indeed, energy efficiency is taken in comparison, and the answer would be different when we compare that in the unit of a building and the overall unit. The total energy demand of a dense city with high-rises is less than that in a sparse city given the same population. With the consideration of culture, population and land resources, tall buildings are more apparent in Asia. Having said that, tall buildings could also be energy efficient on their own. For example, the Jockey Club Innovation Tower at PolyU, with building geometry as a bird, is an art embodiment of energy efficiency and innovative design. It was awarded the BEAM Plus Gold award from the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC). Q6. Following your current research on Structural Skills Network and Modular Construction, would you explain more about your research vision with us? I envision the innovation of a disciplined mass production to address the challenges faced by Hong Kong today, such as labour shortage and sustainability for the construction industry. It is to bring along production efficiency and advancement of their working condition, and balance the needs of different sectors in society such as hospitals and offices. When we talk about Industry 4.0 for the world, building construction also needs further industrialisation. Modular construction would be the future for Hong Kong. The quote from Goman, “Even with the same materials and tools, we can still design and create breakthroughs using our imagination”, perfectly concluded the interview. We were fascinated to learn Goman’s planted seeds of passion and tenacity for lifetime research and contributions, in the unwavering pursuit of an advanced built environment.

18 Mar, 2022

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