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Three PolyU scholars awarded under national key programme and 52 young scientists honoured by NSFC

15 Sep 2023

Achievements Research and Innovation Office

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has received outstanding support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) for the year 2023. Three research projects have been awarded under the NSFC’s Key Programme, eight research projects under the General Programme, while two research projects led by young scholars have been bestowed the Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macau). Additionally, 50 researchers have been awarded the Young Scientists Fund.

PolyU's young scientists and innovators have consistently demonstrated unwavering dedication to innovation and the advancement of scientific research. The unprecedented number of awardees and research projects affirms PolyU's commitment to nurturing research talents. PolyU takes pride in its top-class researchers and will continue to contribute to the technological and societal development of Hong Kong and the Nation.

The Key Programme award offered by the NSFC aims to support scientists engaged in research with a sound basis. The three awarded research projects are “Detection of underground water pipe leakage based on multi-temporal PollnSAR technology” led by Prof. Xiaoli DING, Chair Professor of Geomatics; “Flow boiling technology under extremely high-temperature environment: from fundamental mechanisms to vital materials” led by Prof. Zuankai WANG, Associate Vice President (Research and Innovation); and “Low-carbon smart operation of integrated energy system considering multi-energy flow trading mechanism, interaction model and decision-making algorithm under complex time-space coupling environment” led by Prof. Zhao XU, Professor of Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The three research projects have received total funding support of RMB 6.18 million. These esteemed scientists from PolyU possess extensive research experience and profound academic expertise.

Prof. Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, said, “We are delighted that PolyU researchers have been awarded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Our scientific research prowess has been acknowledged, and we take immense pride in this accomplishment. PolyU remains dedicated to fostering a new generation of scientific researchers, attaining impactful scientific research outcomes, and fostering the advancement of innovation and technology in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.”

The Excellent Young Scientists Fund aims to support young scholars who have made significant achievements in fundamental research, enabling them to pursue innovative research and development. Each awardee will receive funding of RMB 2 million to support their scientific research projects in Hong Kong for a period of three years.

PolyU’s scholars have been recognised by the NSFC for their cutting-edge research projects. The two awardees of the Excellent Young Scientist Fund (Hong Kong and Macau) are Dr Xinyan HUANG, Associate Professor of Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering and Dr Kathy K. LENG, Assistant Professor of Department of Applied Physics.

Dr Huang’s awarded research project is titled “Smouldering Wildfire.” The smouldering combustion of decomposed plant litter and organic soils is the largest combustion and fire phenomenon on Earth, resulting in tremendous economic losses, regional haze events and ecological damage. This multi-disciplinary research project, investigating combustion, safety, ecology and geology, aims to control and reduce mega-scale smouldering wildfires. The research project not only provides scientific guidelines to help reduce carbon emissions from smouldering wildfires but also helps reduce the hazards of wildfires in the Belt-and-Road countries, thereby promoting China as a leader in fighting against global climate change.

Dr Leng’s awarded research project is titled “Molecularly Thin 2D Hybrid Perovskite and Innovative Devices.” Molecularly thin 2D hybrid perovskites are a new class of 2D materials characterised by high structural flexibility and interesting optoelectronic properties. The ability to tune the responses of such materials by external stimuli enables applications in intelligent and functional devices. They also serve as new platforms for fundamental physics studies. Dr Leng has published a series of original works in this frontier area, and she will continue her research on the large-scale growth and device applications of these materials.

The outstanding scientific research capabilities of PolyU's young scientists have been highly recognised. A total of 50 young researchers of PolyU have been awarded the Young Scientists Fund which aims to inspire innovative thinking among young scholars to nurture research talent for scientific and technological advancement. These young PolyU researchers come from various faculties and schools including the Faculty of Business, Faculty of Construction and Environment, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Faculty of Science, School of Fashion and Textiles, and School of Hotel and Tourism Management. They cover a wide range of research areas. Thirteen of the awarded research projects were initiated by the Shenzhen Research Institute of PolyU, which serves as an extended campus base of PolyU and is equipped with research units and laboratories.




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