PolyU recognises six young researchers with the Young Innovative Researcher Award
The young generation is spearheading a new wave of innovations and technologies, as a growing force that will also change our perception of the future society. With the aim of encouraging and nurturing young scholars, PolyU held its first Young Innovative Researcher Award (YIRA) in 2022. In 2023, we honoured six outstanding young researchers with the YIRA Award as a tribute to their exceptional efforts and passion for scientific research.
The six young researchers are dedicated to scientific exploration to advance technology. Their innovative mindsets have expanded the research horizons in various fields, including renewable green energy, wearable medical rehabilitation devices, nanotechnology, soft materials in aid of visually impaired individuals, human-machine collaborative manufacturing system and information networks.
The results of their research contribute to building a sustainable future and improving people’s lives, demonstrating PolyU’s academic and research excellence in effectively meeting societal demands and implementing practical solutions.
“Their remarkable work showcases novelty, contributes to technological advancements, and drives transformational innovation towards solutions for addressing societal problems, with a vision for a positive future. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our exceptional awardees and express my pride in having them as valued members of the PolyU community.” Professor Christopher Chao, PolyU Vice President (Research and Innovation), said.
Since its inception in 2022, the YIRA for PolyU researchers under the age of 35 has received exceptional submissions and become a platform for innovators to showcase their talents.
|YIRA 2023 Panel Committee|
Professor Christopher Chao, Vice President (Research and Innovation)
Professor Christina Wong, Director of Research and Innovation
Professor Fu Xiaowen, Professor and Head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Professor Sylvia Chen, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Science
Professor Chai Yang, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science
Dr Cai Songhua
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Physics
Research Focus: Towards next-generation halide perovskites: in situ STEM characterizations assisted structure engineering
This project aims to improve the lifespan and efficiency of perovskite solar cells by revealing the microscopic mechanisms that cause perovskite solar cell performance degradation in the working environment. The research results are expected to equip the industry with the necessary experience for promoting the practical application of perovskite solar cells.
We are thrilled to contribute to a cleaner world through solar energy. Our explorations will pave the way for a sustainable future.
Dr Kelvin Heung Ho-lam
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Building and Real Estate
Research Focus: Robot-assisted recovery system for survivors with stroke
The project focuses on developing a lightweight, wearable, easy-to-use medical-grade rehabilitation robotic exoskeleton. The system is designed to detect the movement intent of users and provide adaptive assistive force to empower joint movement. Regular use during rehabilitation training can aid reorganising the brain cortex and recovery of mobility.
Dr Heung is the co-founder of Fleming MedLab, which was named in "Forbes Asia 100 to Watch 2023".
Our wearable robotics help patients with daily activities, aiming to help restore their mobility and independence. We aim to significantly impact the lives of stroke patients and their families, providing hope and a path to a better quality of life.
Dr Kathy Leng Kai
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Physics
Research Focus: Scalable growth of 2D hybrid perovskite film
A set of nanotechnology tools and methods has been developed for the molecularly thin 2D hybrid perovskite, including preparation, materials transfer, atomic characterization, and nano-device fabrication. Her team currently focuses on achieving scalable growth for hybrid 2D perovskite monolayers and their integration into large-scale devices, to further enable the realisation of their grand-scale applications.
Currently, my team focuses on wafer scale growth of hybrid 2D perovskite monolayers and their largescale device integration. The achievement of largescale growth will enable our grand-scale application.
Dr Ma Yuan
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Research Focus: Flexible surface haptics technology for aiding the visually impaired population
To help individuals with visual impairment interact with digital devices and the digital world more easily, this project aims to develop a novel touch feedback technology on soft materials that can generate various touch sensations. Advanced haptic technologies and artificial intelligence algorithms will be combined to create a more efficient and userfriendly experience.
Driven by the potential of surface haptic technology to revolutionise human-machine interactions, I am committed to advancing this field by developing a cost-effective haptic feedback system, specifically designed to aid the visually impaired.
Dr Zhang Shuowen
Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Research Focus: Smart and reconfigurable 6G wireless networks aided by intelligent reflecting surface
With the rise of mobile data traffic and the emergence of mobile applications like virtual reality, this research focuses on intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRS) as a pivotal technology to achieve high data rates in 6G wireless communication networks. This project also aims to devise efficient IRS phase shift optimisation algorithms, thereby approaching the data rate limits of IRS-aided 6G networks in practice.
I am extremely grateful for the enormous support received from the university, faculty, and department for developing my research. In the future, I hope to make further contributions in 6G.
Ir Dr Zheng Pai
Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Research Focus: Towards futuristic humanmachine symbiotic manufacturing system
This project aims to establish a holistic humanmachine symbiotic manufacturing environment by exploring manufacturing system technologies, immersive human-robot interaction mechanisms and robot learning methods. The environment will enable humans and machines/ robotics to more effectively and efficiently co-exist, collaborate and evolve together through improved collaborative intelligence.
Being selected as one of the YIRA awardees is a great honour to me and our RAIDS team. I will dedicate to the futuristic human-machine symbiotic manufacturing systems/technologies development.
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