The University has recently been awarded funding from the University Grants Committee (UGC) for five research projects, covering topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic, smart buildings, energy storage, as well as live-cell and animal tissue imaging. The total funding granted exceeds HK$26 million.


One-off Collaborative Research Fund Exercise Group Research


Professor Hao Jianhua

Professor Hao Jianhua

Department of Applied Physics

Multi-level synergistic COVID-19 point-of-care diagnostics based on upconversion luminescence biosensing platform (HK$8,408,102)


A diagnostics platform will be designed and fabricated to enable multi-level analysis of characteristic genes, antigens and antibodies of SARS-CoV-2. The analysis will provide new insights into sensing techniques for SARS-CoV-2 biomarker detection. As a tool to guide clinical treatment, infection control and vaccine development, this platform can facilitate rapid, low-cost and highly accurate diagnosis.


Dr Horace Mui Kwok-wai

Dr Horace Mui Kwok-wai

Department of Building Services Engineering

Effective ventilation strategies for mitigating infection risks in hospitals (HK$4,429,517)


Computational modelling of expiratory droplet dispersion, transportation and deposition will be employed to evaluate the infection risk in hospitals. The risk of exposure to respiratory viruses SARS-CoV-2 and H1N1 will be explored and an exposure assessment indicator will be developed. The findings will help develop strategic ventilation proposals for hospitals, balancing cross-infection risk and energy consumption.


Collaborative Research Fund 2020/21 - Collaborative Research Project Grant


Professor WangShengwei

Professor Wang Shengwei

Department of Building Services Engineering

Development of next-generation key technologies for smart buildings (HK$5,840,000)


On the basis of emerging information technology, data science and distributed real-time optimisation, this project will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to advance building automation technologies for next-generation smart buildings by means of energy system real-time control optimisation and diagnosis as well as IoT-enabled building automation. It will develop advanced technologies and engineering tools that define the next generation of smart buildings, tapping into the potential of a major increase in energy efficiency and distributed intelligence.


Professor Ni Meng

Professor Ni Meng

Department of Building and Real Estate

Durable and high-performance zinc-air flow batteries for energy storage (HK$4,200,000)


This project will investigate the effects of flowing electrolyte on the chemical and physical processes of the zinc electrode and air electrode. Advanced in-situ visualisation techniques and ex-situ characterisations will be applied, and electrochemical tests will be conducted. New electrode materials will also be explored. The project will contribute to the development of high-performance and durable batteries for energy storage.


Collaborative Research Fund 2020/21 - Collaborative Research Equipment Grant


Professor ThomasLeung Yun-chung

Professor Thomas Leung Yun-chung

University Research Facility in Life Sciences

A super-resolution fluorescence microscopy platform for live-cell and animal-tissue imaging (HK$3,577,125)


It is a proposal to acquire a stimulated emission depletion microscope for the University Research Facility in Life Sciences. Its features include multiple depletion lasers to improve fluorescent dye compatibility, time-gated signal detection to improve lateral resolution, and an additional depletion light path to improve axial resolution. This super-resolution microscope will support research in cell and cancer biology, as well as neuroscience and neurological diseases.



Through its interdisciplinary research, PolyU is dedicated to expanding knowledge, addressing societal needs and making a positive impact on the world.