Dr Ren Jingzheng, Associate Professor of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), has been selected as the sole winner of the 2022 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE Prize), in recognition of his scientific contribution and commitment to excellence in scientific research and the spirit of cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies under the 2022 ASPIRE Prize theme of “Innovation to achieve economic, environmental, and social goals”.
PolyU is the only higher education institution in Hong Kong to have had two young scientists honoured with this prestigious award in a single decade.
Dr Ren stood out among the 13 remarkable nominees this year and was well recognised by the APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology, and Innovation (PPSTI) representatives. The award ceremony was held on 21 August in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Dr Ren mainly focuses on waste-to-energy, the circular economy, industrial ecology, and process systems engineering. As the originator of the “sustainability-oriented decision-making and optimisation” approach that simultaneously considers economic, environmental and social goals, multiple research outcomes from him and his team have attracted the attention and interest of academia and industry and have been applied in various fields, such as sustainable design and optimisation of complex industrial systems, energy conservation and emissions mitigation of the wastewater treatment processes, valorisation of medical waste and sewage sludge, and converting agricultural waste into energy or value-added products.
“It is my great honour to win this prize. I appreciate the support of my colleagues, my department and PolyU. This good news has heartened me, and I know I should insist on continuing what I am working on using systems thinking to solve energy and environmental problems in industrial systems and using innovative ways to achieve economic, environmental and social sustainability simultaneously.” Dr Ren said.
Besides the broad collaboration with scientists from other APEC member economies, he also plans to promote a new concept proposed by him, “scientific decision-making for the colocalisation of the complex industrial system”, and the waste-to-energy processes to energy-intensive industries and the waste recycling industry of APEC member economies for a more sustainable future, as well as helping to achieve a successful transition to the Bio-Circular-Green economy.
The ASPIRE Prize is an annual award which recognises young scientists who are under the age of 40 and have demonstrated a commitment to both excellence in scientific research, as evidenced by scholarly publications, and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies, including inclusive and interdisciplinary collaboration.
|Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering|