The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology held the second inauguration ceremony of named professorships today to honor 4 outstanding faculty members and their donors.
“I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to the donors and for their generosity in creating the named professorships,” President Prof Tony F Chan said. “The named professorship appointments ensure the University will maintain excellence in education and research by giving due recognition to our exceptional faculty. HKUST will continue its relentless pursuit for innovation in education and research, in addition to garnering support from society and recruiting talents for the good of the University and the community.”
“The professorship holders all excel in a diverse range of disciplines encompassing science, engineering, business, and others,” President Prof Tony F Chan added. “Their education and research accomplishments have constantly been placed at the forefront of international scholarship, helping the University develop into a world-class research university. The honorees’ passion for teaching and research also sets an inspiring example for students’ learning and personal development.”
The professorships were made possible by donations given to HKUST from four long-standing contributors to higher education. They are: Jebsen Educational Foundation, Wong Check She Charitable Foundation, The Swire Group Charitable Trust, and Li & Fung. “Hong Kong is indeed fortunate to be able to attract individuals who, thanks to their world-class caliber, will take our community to new heights,” said Mr Hans Michael Jebsen, Chairman of Jebsen Group. Ms Laura Lau, Head of Philanthropy of The Swire Group Charitable Trust, remarked that, “we have established the Swire Professorship in Aerospace Engineering to help HKUST build its first ever degree course in aerospace engineering into a world-class program that will strengthen the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s aviation sector and increase career options and opportunities for Hong Kong students.”
The appointed professors are:
Prof Jitendra V Singh, Michael Jebsen Professor of Business
The Dean of the School of Business and Management, Prof Singh received an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and his PhD from Stanford University. His research interests include organizational change and evolution, as well as Indian business leadership. Prof Singh is eager to create a diverse and international learning environment that will equip students for an interconnected world, teaching them the best business practice appropriate to the different situations they may encounter around the globe. Prior to his HKUST appointment, Prof Singh was an invaluable member of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he has played a number of significant roles in boosting the school’s global presence. Among Prof Singh’s many professional achievements is the success of his book “The India Way”, focusing on Indian management practices; now he is based in Greater China, Prof Singh has it in mind to research and produce “The China Way”, with help from colleagues and research students at HKUST.
Prof Qiang Yang, New Bright Professor of Engineering
The Head and Chair Professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Prof Yang began his academic career specializing in astrophysics, but switched to computer science, at a very exciting time in the field. He has BSc and MSc in Astrophysics from Peking University and University of Maryland, respectively, and MSc and PhD in Computer Science, both from Maryland, and joined HKUST in 2001, after professorships at University of Waterloo and Simon Fraser University in Canada. Prof Yang’s focus is on pushing frontiers in the areas of big data, data mining and artificial intelligence, particularly when it comes to making a difference to everyday life. In 2012, Prof Yang set up the Huawei Noah’s Ark Lab, which conducts state-of-the-art research in data mining, machine learning and artificial intelligence by exploring theories and building intelligent systems. His other area involves working with smart cities and the healthcare industry to build intelligent systems to provide better services, such as emergency alert systems for the elderly.
Prof Xin Zhang, Swire Professor of Aerospace Engineering
The Chair Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Prof Zhang is a graduate of the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he gained a BEng in aerospace engineering, then won a scholarship to the University of Cambridge, where he completed his PhD in fluid mechanics. The expertise of Prof Zhang lies in two research areas: aircraft aerodynamics and aeroacoustics, and racing car aerodynamics and performance. His role at HKUST is to develop the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as a center of excellence for aerospace engineering. The reduction of aircraft noise will be one of the key aspects of research. HKUST is supporting research in sustainable aviation, aerodynamics, and aeroacoustics with the establishment of a modern aeroacoustics research tunnel, a unique “wind tunnel” for aerodynamics and noise technology, set to open in September 2016. This unique world-class facility will play a major role in developing new noise reduction methods and technology.
Prof Xiuli Chao, Fung Visiting Professor of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management
A Visiting Professor from the University of Michigan, Prof Chao’s undergraduate and graduate majors are in operations research; he received his PhD from Columbia University in 1989. His work has focused on optimal resource allocation and efficient design of systems. His research on service networks provides the analytical structure for a class of stochastic models, and it allows not only performance analysis for such systems but also their control and optimization. The Lekin scheduling system, co-developed by Prof Chao with the Stern School of Business, New York University, has been adopted in the teaching of scheduling in many universities around the world and it is also used in industry. The desire to understand and improve the operations process lies at the heart of Prof Chao’s research, which requires the analysis of flows of materials, information, and cash, with queueing, financial engineering and inventory management, all part of the study of the supply and demand process.
(From left,second row) Prof Xiuli Chao, Prof Xin Zhang, Prof Joseph Lee, President Prof Tony Chan, Prof Wei Shyy, Dr Eden Woon, ProfJitendra V Singh, Prof Qiang Yangand donors for the named professors: (from Left, front row) Ms Laura Lau of The Swire Group Charitable Trust, Prof Lap-chee Tsui of Victor and William Fung Foundation, Mr Hans Michael Jebsen of Jebsen Group and Ms Gemma Wong and Mr M K Lee of Wong Check She Charitable Foundation at the inauguration ceremony.