To unravel the genetic jigsaw of hereditary deaf-and-blindness, to invent low-frequency sound absorbing ultrathin materials that turn the traditional mass density law of transmission on its own head, to spearhead Asian management case studies that are conspicuously absent in the mainstream academic discourses――such is a cross section of the richness of ideas brewing in the minds of HKUST researchers.
Research has definitely been the brightest gem in HKUST, a focused elite research university. True to its founding ethos, HKUST’s thoughtful emphasis on both basic and applied research has pioneered today’s globally recognized research culture among its sister institutions and rendered a powerful evocation of all that science and technology can give to nourishing society and humanity.
Honoring the tenet that ‘small is beautiful’, HKUST devotes sophisticated thought to its research priorities. Nano-science and nano-technology, life science and biotechnology, electronics, wireless and information technology, environment and sustainable development, energy, management education and research are among some of the University’s main research provinces with a great impact on our lives. Keen to push the envelope of knowledge creation, the University also extends its innovation to other areas, such as traditional Chinese medicine, Asian business and management and South China studies. This thoughtful focus has ensured intensity of our intellectual endeavours and an ongoing highest success rate in Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund Competitions among all universities in Hong Kong.
The complexity of the critical areas to which HKUST dedicates itself entails a completely new paradigm in doing research. An interdisciplinary approach connecting researchers of different disciplines is the University’s answer to the increasingly intertwined subject matters in today’s world. Drawing talents from the whole knowledge universe, interdisciplinary studies enable researchers to cut across departmental boundaries and come up with novel technologies amplifying insights from separate subjects. Such cross-fertilization of ideas and expertise is also facilitated on an infrastructural level, with over 60 Research Institutes and Research Centers ranging across applied genomics, space science, Asian financial markets and Chinese studies giving full support to eclectic innovation attempts.
Research at HKUST, however, is not insulated from education. What the University actively seeks to do is to groom research talents from their early days and infuse its education with a strong research focus. Its first-of-its-kind and tailor-made Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and International Research Opportunities Program (IROP) are put in place with a precise aim at inspiring interest and inculcating ability among our young generation in research. Mentored by our brilliant faculty, students would get their first taste of research from as early as their undergraduate days, or even go overseas to learn from the most gifted hailing from top-notch research centers and institutes.
The passion for research, universally shared by faculty and students, are what shapes HKUST into an international research university.