HKUST Commended for Research Excellence with Launch of Three JC STEM Labs | The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

January 24, 2024

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has received a generous donation of HK$30 million from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (the Trust) to establish three Jockey Club STEM Labs. She said, “We deeply appreciate the invaluable support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), enabling us to establish three JC STEM Labs, which will further expand HKUST’s innovation and community impact. Prof. Zhou, who is also Otto Poon Professor of Engineering, will lead the JC STEM Lab of Data Science Foundations. The “JC STEM Lab” initiative was launched by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to help establish laboratories for scholars receiving awards under the Government-initiated Global STEM Professorship Scheme. About The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyThe Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (https://hkust.edu.hk/) is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, engineering and business as well as humanities and social science.

HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP (sixth right), Head of Charities (Positive Ageing and Elderly Care) of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Mr. Bryan WONG (fifth left), HKUST Provost Prof. GUO Yike (fourth left), and other senior management of HKUST inaugurate the three JC STEM Labs with three HKUST Global STEM Professors, namely Prof. ZHOU Xiaofang, Prof. XIE Ting and Prof. SU Hui (fifth to third right).

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has received a generous donation of HK$30 million from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (the Trust) to establish three Jockey Club STEM Labs. Led by three HKUST Global STEM Professors, these Labs are committed to pushing the boundaries of knowledge in the fields of data science, regenerative biology, and climate change.

The University held an inauguration ceremony today to express gratitude and appreciation to the Trust. Officiating at the ceremony were HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP, HKUST Provost Prof. Yike GUO, and Head of Charities (Positive Ageing and Elderly Care) of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Mr. Bryan WONG.

In her welcome remarks, Prof. Ip expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Trust. She said, “We deeply appreciate the invaluable support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), enabling us to establish three JC STEM Labs, which will further expand HKUST’s innovation and community impact. The HKJC’s unwavering dedication to philanthropy and education is truly admirable. We are honored to have HKJC as our long-standing partner in nurturing STEM talent and advancing education, and science and technology development in Hong Kong.”

Mr. Wong said at the ceremony, “Talent & Sector Development is one of the focus areas of the Club’s charity strategy. Hong Kong students consistently rank among the best in the world in mathematics and science. We believe that the Jockey Club STEM Labs will help promote scientific research and technological innovation, laying a solid foundation for the professional development of our future leaders. As such they embody the Club's purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of society.”

At the ceremony, the three HKUST Global STEM Professors, Prof. ZHOU Xiaofang, Chair Professor and Head of HKUST Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Prof. XIE Ting, Chair Professor of HKUST Division of Life Science, and Prof. SU Hui, Professor of HKUST Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering introduced their research focuses and the development plans of the JC STEM Labs that they will respectively run.

Prof. Zhou, who is also Otto Poon Professor of Engineering, will lead the JC STEM Lab of Data Science Foundations. The Lab will conduct research on fundamental issues surrounding data science, develop algorithms, practical tools and deployable systems for data quality management and advanced data analytics, as well as apply research results in various fields including intelligent transportation systems, clean energy, and e-health to solve real-world problems. 

Prof. Xie, who is also Kerry Holdings Professor of Science, will head the JC STEM Lab of Regenerative Biology. The Lab will specialize in studying stem cell-niche interactions and establishing artificial niches for tissue regeneration and anti-aging as well as developing gene and stem cell therapies for retinal neuronal degenerative diseases by uncovering their underlying causes and expanding human retinal stem cells. 

Prof. Su will be in charge of the JC STEM Lab of Convection and Precipitation, which seeks to enhance the understanding and predicative capabilities of extreme precipitation. By conducting data analysis and model simulations, the Lab will improve model representation of convection and precipitation processes, enabling more accurate precipitation predictions to aid decision-makers for better extreme weather response, thus contributing to the socioeconomic development in Hong Kong and surrounding regions. 

The “JC STEM Lab” initiative was launched by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to help establish laboratories for scholars receiving awards under the Government-initiated Global STEM Professorship Scheme. Together with the STEM Professorship Scheme, these laboratories will help nurture STEM talent and strengthen the capacity of Hong Kong universities with respect to basic research, applied research and the application of new science and technology for social good.

About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (https://hkust.edu.hk/) is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, engineering and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 2nd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2023, and our graduates were ranked 29th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking 2023. As of September 2023, HKUST members have founded 1,747 active start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 13 exits (IPO or M&A), generating economic impact worth over HK$ 400 billion. InvestHK cited QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 to demonstrate the performance of five world’s top 100 local universities in several innovation-centric areas, among which HKUST ranked top in four engineering and materials science subjects.

The source of this news is from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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