President’s Newsletter for Alumni
July 2021


Dear Alumni

I am pleased to share with you some good news we have received over the past few months relating to recognition of our University’s world-class education and research, encouraging us as we plan ahead in pursuit of further academic excellence.

We are particularly proud that we have had the opportunity not only to contribute to the Nation’s first Mars exploration project Tianwen-1, but also to co-organise a series of events on space technology when the delegation of national space technology experts came to Hong Kong recently. Our contributions to national space missions were extensively reported by the media during the period.

Our triennial Planning Exercise Proposal, which was submitted to the University Grants Committee in March, has received very positive comments.

The University has also performed very well in securing research grants from the General Research Fund and the Early Career Scheme of the Research Grants Council in the latest round. In all, 213 projects were supported with total funding of $157.81 million, representing an increase of around 37% in both the number of grants and the amount of funding granted. In terms of both parameters, this was a record achievement in the history of PolyU and the University came third among the eight UGC-funded universities.

Furthermore, we received high ratings in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 conducted by the University Grants Committee, affirming the quality and impact of our research work. In all, 70% of our research was rated as either world-leading or internationally excellent, placing us in the 4th place among the eight UGC-funded universities.

Our achievements are also recognised by university rankings. PolyU is now ranked 66th in the world, according to the recently released QS World University Rankings 2022.

The University’s success is the outcome of concerted efforts of the entire PolyU community. I sincerely thank all PolyU members for their contributions and support in our endeavours.

With all the hard work, we will reach an important milestone: the 85th anniversary of our institution in 2022, and we are calling for proposals for anniversary activities from the PolyU community. Our alumni have undoubtedly played a vital role in our different stages of development, and ‘Alumni Homecoming’ will be an emphasis for the activities. We count on your continued support!

Yours sincerely

Jin-Guang Teng




PolyU Contributes to Nation’s First Mars Mission and Welcomes the Delegation of Space Technology Experts

PolyU contributed to the Nation’s first Mars exploration project Tianwen-1. Our research teams helped identify possible landing regions with advanced topographic mapping and geomorphological analysis technologies. What is more, they developed a sophisticated space instrument, the ‘Mars Landing Surveillance Camera’, for capturing images of the surroundings of the Red Planet and monitoring the status of the Zhurong Mars rover.

In recognition of the University’s research achievements, especially in the realm of deep space exploration, PolyU was invited to be one of the co-organisers in the series of events on Space Technology, themed “航天科學家團隊進校園暨當代傑出華人科學家公開講座活動”. The series included three sharing sessions by distinguished experts and a salon to explore future collaborative opportunities, which were hosted on the PolyU campus on 23 and 24 June. Additionally, an exhibition was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Space Technology, where PolyU’s achievements were also featured.



High Ratings in UGC’s Research Assessment Exercise

In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2020 conducted by the University Grants Committee (UGC), PolyU has received high ratings in many research areas. The Assessment not only examined the quality of research outputs between 2013 and 2019, but also the impact of the work and the research environment. The percentage of our research rated 4* (World Leading) together with that rated 3* (Internationally Excellent) serves as a good indicator of our research quality and impact.

I am pleased that PolyU achieved 70% in this regard, which is the same as the sector average. I am particularly pleased that the impact of our research was highly rated across a wide range of disciplines, reflecting the success of the University in pursuing world-class research excellence for societal impact.





Planning Exercise Proposal for 2022/23 to 2024/25 Triennium

While our years of hard work have borne fruit in many areas, we need to plan ahead in response to the changing education landscape. During these past few months, the University’s Task Force on Planning Exercise Proposal (PEP) has dedicated enormous efforts to the development of our PEP for the 2022/23-2024/25 triennium, as required by UGC. The exercise offered an important opportunity for the University to revamp its educational and research programmes, with a view to providing the best holistic education and engaging in impactful research to meet the changing needs of society.

Following the submission of our PEP in March, the President, together with members of the Central Management Team, attended an online focus group meeting with UGC on 16 June. A feedback session was held on 30 June at which we received very positive comments from UGC.



PolyU Ranked 66th among World’s Leading Universities

In the recently released QS World University Rankings 2022, PolyU has climbed nine places to achieve an overall ranking of 66th place globally.

The University is also placed 23rd in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2021, and 12th in the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2021, which ranks the world’s universities that are 50 years old or younger.

In the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021, released by ShanghaiRanking, PolyU achieved high rankings in eight subjects, including:

  • Hospitality & Tourism Management (1st, five years in a row)

  • Transportation Science & Technology (4th)

  • Civil Engineering (5th)

  • Management (5th)

  • Mechanical Engineering (25th)

  • Instruments Science & Technology (29th)

  • Remote Sensing (36th)

  • Computer Science & Engineering (42th)

Furthermore, more than 160 scholars from PolyU have been ranked among the world’s top 2% most-cited scientists, according to an index compiled by Stanford University. Overall, PolyU has the second highest number of scientists included on the list among Hong Kong universities, while it also has the most top 2% scientists in Hong Kong and in the entire world in the fields of Building and Construction, and Civil Engineering.

Obviously, different ranking league tables are based on different criteria and offer different perspectives on our achievements. We reference these rankings and other forms of assessment of our achievements to identify areas for continuous improvement in order to further elevate PolyU’s performance in education, research, knowledge transfer and service to the community.





Establishment of PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research and New Research Institutes

The University has established the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR) (香港理工大學高等研究院) which serves as a central research platform to promote, lead and support interdisciplinary, mission-driven research activities at PolyU. PAIR comprises a significant number of interdisciplinary research institutes and other University-level research units of a similar nature, and works closely with affiliated research units, including the State Key Laboratories and the Hong Kong Branches of Chinese National Engineering Research Centres.

To facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration to address key societal challenges, the University has recently set up seven new Research Institutes and a Research Centre in the following areas where PolyU has significant strategic advantages or a significant strategic interest:



Research Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (RIAM)

Prof. Man Hau-chung

Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence of Things (RIAIoT)

Prof. Cao Jiannong

Research Institute for Future Food (RiFood)

Dr Wong Ka-hing

Research Institute for Intelligent Wearable Systems (RI-IWEAR)

Prof. Tao Xiaoming

Research Institute for Land and Space (RILS)

Prof. Ding Xiaoli

Photonics Research Institute (PRI)

Prof. Lu Chao

Research Institute for Smart Ageing (RISA)

Prof. Zheng Yongping

Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations (RCDSE)

Prof. Yung Kai-leung

These new research units will conduct both basic and applied research, as well as engaging in knowledge transfer activities by working closely with business, industry and governments in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and beyond.



New Senior Staff Appointments

The University has recently announced the following senior staff appointments:

Prof. Christopher Yu-hang Chao will join PolyU in September as Vice President (Research and Innovation), to lead the planning and development of research and innovation at the University. Prof. Chao is an experienced academic leader and a distinguished researcher in the field of thermal and environmental engineering. He is currently Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong.



Prof. Cao Jiannong, Chair Professor in the Department of Computing, was appointed as Dean of Graduate School in May, with a mission to formulate strategies and policies for the University’s research postgraduate (RPg) education and to assist our RPg students to achieve scholarly excellence. Prof. Cao is also Director of the Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence of Things, and Associate Director of the University Research Facility in Big Data Analytics.


With their breadth of knowledge and wealth of experience, these two colleagues will make invaluable contributions to PolyU in its pursuit of excellence in education and research.




Art and Culture on Campus

Art and culture play an integral role in a holistic education, and PolyU has run the Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Programme since 1999. This year, we have invited Dr Liza Wang Ming-chun, a University Fellow and a highly respected, multi-talented performing artist, as our Artist-in-Residence. In addition to an interactive session and a talk with the PolyU community, an exhibition titled “Cantonese Opera: Beyond Tradition” was held on campus in May, as the finale of the AIR Programme 2020/21.

Meanwhile, we are honoured to have Prof. Norman Ko, also a University Fellow and Artist-in-Residence, unveiling his new sculptures “Vision in Unison” on campus (Block X rooftop). Prof. Ko is not only an eminent professor of mechanical engineering, but also a distinguished sculptor, painter and photographer. PolyU is fortunate to be home to some of Prof. Ko’s sculptures, including “Soaring”, “Congregation” and “Wendy”. Many of his other sculptures are also on display around Hong Kong. Recently, Prof. Ko was awarded the HKIE Gold Medal 2021 by The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers. Congratulations!



Design Show 2021

It is again time for the PolyU Design Show 2021, showcasing the works of our graduating students of the School of Design. Themed “Calendar”, the Show includes students’ sharing of their memorable moments during their university study through images and sounds. The Show is now open until 31 July 2021. Dear alumni, you are welcome to join the virtual show, or check out the creative designs in person by joining the guided tours.





PolyU 85th Anniversary Celebrations

The University has established an 85th Anniversary Steering Committee, chaired by the President, with membership comprising the Central Management Team and representatives from a number of administrative units. It will set the themes and direction for major programmes and activities to mark this important anniversary. An Advisory Committee chaired by the Council Chairman will provide advice and recommendations on signature celebratory events.

We have called for ideas and contributions from PolyU staff, students and alumni in relation to the following:

  • Lyrics for an anniversary theme song

  • Designs for anniversary souvenirs

  • Video stories focusing on our research and innovation, teaching innovation, and campus life

  • PolyU memorabilia

The best proposals, selected by the Steering Committee, will receive funding support from the University. Dear alumni, we look forward to your active participation and receiving your entries by 31 July 2021; just send your ideas to our Alumni Affairs and Development Office.



Outstanding PolyU Alumni Award 2022

As a celebratory event for PolyU’s 85th Anniversary, the Outstanding PolyU Alumni Award will be enhanced to recognise our distinguished alumni’s diverse accomplishments and contributions in various areas, including professional, entrepreneurial, scholarly and community service achievement. Special recognition for young alumni awardees will also be added. The Awards will be made at Department, Faculty/School and University level. Please stay tuned for more details.