HKUST the big winner among Institutions in Hong Kong in China’s State Science and Technology Awards

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) reaped five of the most prestigious awards in science and technology in China – the State Science and Technology Awards (SSTAs) bestowed by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. The University, with the largest number of awards among tertiary institutions in Hong Kong in 2011, won four second-class State Natural Science Awards (SNSA) and one second-class State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (SSTPA) of the year.

HKUST President Tony F Chan was ecstatic about these awards. He congratulated HKUST awardees and wished them further achievements in the future. He reaffirmed that as a world-class research university, HKUST is committed to scientific and technological advancement in various disciplines. With major breakthroughs in a wide range of scientific pursuits, the awards demonstrate HKUST’s outstanding performance in frontier and applied research. Looking towards the future, the University will continue to leverage on its strengths in interdisciplinary studies and contribute to China’s education and research.

The State Science and Technology Awards, China’s most prestigious honor in science and technology, are conferred by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China on outstanding individuals and institutions for their significant contributions to the development of science and technology.

The following is a summary of HKUST’s projects which are conferred the State Science and Technology Awards in 2011

Prof Nancy Ip
Prof Nancy Ip

State Natural Science Awards – Second Class
Prof Nancy IP, Dean of Science, Chair Professor of the Division of Life Science, Director of State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience –
Receptor tyrosine kinase-dependent signaling in synapse development and plasticity

Our cognitive function and behavior are controlled by the nervous system, the development of which is regulated by a plethora of signaling molecules. Aberrant signal transduction between neurons impairs normal functioning of the brain, leading to various neurological disorders. Prof. Nancy Ip has devoted herself to elucidating the signaling mechanisms that control the proper development and functioning of the nervous system. She has demonstrated the important roles of a family of cell surface proteins known as receptor tyrosine kinases, in neuronal communication and brain function. Her findings not only reveal the key molecular basis of learning and memory, but also facilitate the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

(From left), Dr Li Mo, Prof Yunhao Liu, Prof Nancy Ip, Prof Lionel Ni and Dr Zheng Yang.
(From left), Dr Li Mo, Prof Yunhao Liu, Prof Nancy Ip, Prof Lionel Ni and Dr Zheng Yang.

Prof Yunhao Liu; Prof Lionel Ni, Chair Professor; Dr Mo Li and Dr Zheng Yang; Department of Computer Science and Engineering –
Range-free Localization and Localizability for Wireless Network and IOT: Theory and Practice

Due to the uncertainty of wireless communications, large-scale network size, self-organization and high mobility, and large overhead of current measurement techniques, it is difficult to accurately obtain the real-time object locations in a wireless sensor network and the Internet of Things. Since 2000, the team had simulated the most comprehensive conditions for node localizability, and had proposed one of the world’s earliest range-free localization systems using RFID. It overcame the anisotropical problems that used to limit range-free localization schemes. Team members implemented and validated their design and algorithms in pervasive applications including coal mine monitoring and ocean sensing.

Prof Bo Li
Prof Bo Li

Prof Bo Li, Department of Computer Science and Engineering –
Stochastic Models and Performance Optimization for Resource Management in Computer Networks

The Internet has become the foundation of the information age. One of the fundamental issues facing the Internet is the demand for tremendous amount of network resources, due to the sharp increase in the Internet user population and the rapid development of new services. This has also become some of the most important research fields in information science. Through joint research and collaborative projects including the NSFC Young Investigator project over the years, HKUST’s Prof Bo Li and researchers from Tsinghua University, Department of Computer Science and Technology developed a series of methodologies for network resource optimization, which have been commonly used in commercial systems.

Prof Hai Yang
Prof Hai Yang

Prof Hai Yang, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering –
Behavior-based Spatial-temporal Features of Urban Traffic Flow Distribution and Numerical Study

Prof Hai Yang and his collaborators from Beijing Jiaotong University, Beihang University and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University conducted collaborative research for close to two decades. The team made significant contributions to advancing the understanding and numerical analysis of spatial-temporal features of urban traffic flow distribution that has far-reaching impact on transportation theories and practices. Based on an explicit understanding of complex traffic behavior, they established new mathematical models that take into account the spatial-temporal features of traffic flow and proposed highly efficient algorithms for solving various transportation problems in large urban networks. They successfully developed advanced traffic theories that are particularly relevant to cities in Mainland China and to the development of interdisciplinary research, thus enhancing the level of China’s scientific research and its international position in academia.


Prof Shing-chi Cheung
Prof Shing-chi Cheung

State Scientific and Technological Progress Award – Second Class Award
Prof Shing-chi Cheung, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
– Software Technology, Platforms, and Internetware

HKUST’s Prof Shing-chi Cheung and academics from Nanjing University formed a research team which aims at enabling integration of software system, users and their environment to foster a wide range of innovations in Internetware technology and to enhance the autonomy, reliability, response, interactions and synergy among different software. They aimed to foster management of information and development of software designed for specific areas of applications. The team collaborated with government departments and enterprises to enable application of research findings in the government, education, finance, electric power, communications and transportation via integration of industry, education and research to boost efficiency and effectiveness of information operation.

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