Professor Alan Lau Kin-tak of the Department of Mechanical Engineering was conferred the UGC Teaching Award 2013. The coveted prize was presented to him by UGC Chairman Mr Edward Cheng at a gala dinner held on 5 September 2013.
This prestigious Award honours academics in UGC-funded institutions for their outstanding teaching performance and achievements, as well as their leadership and scholarly contributions to teaching and learning within and across institutions. This year only two teachers were selected for the top honour.
The UGC's Awards Citation described Professor Lau as being "a visionary and adventurous teacher who has crossed many of the boundaries in higher education today to provide students with an exceptionally rich and engaging learning experience which initiates them into the discipline of product and engineering design.
His approach emphasizes real-world engagement, which is realised through an unusually extensive and intensive involvement of the industry in the student learning process. At every stage of their study, students are engaged in an exciting blend of curricular and co-curricular activities in which they interact directly with people from the industry and the community, learning, exchanging ideas, and working together with them on real tasks of real significance. The impact on students has been highly impressive, with many of them emerging as winners in product design competitions and leading a successful career after shortly graduation."
Professor Lau received his PhD from PolyU in 2001. He joined his alma mater as Assistant Professor in 2002 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005 and then Professor in 2010. He is committed to the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning and his effort was recognized at home and abroad. He was awarded PolyU President's Award for Excellence Performance and Achievement in Teaching 2008, Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology at the 20th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning in the US (2009). He is also the winner of the Ernest L. Boyer International Award for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology, at the same Conference and the first scholar outside the US bestowed with this honour.