HKUST Honors Outstanding Non-academic Staff Members


A group photo of HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP (second left) and awardees Ms. HUI Yu (first right), Manager (Administration), Department of Physics; Ms. Crystal LAI Yuen-Man (second right), Manager (Research Facility), Biosciences Central Research Facility (CWB); and Ms. LEUNG Fung-Yee (first left), Head (Research Administration), Research Office.


HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP spoke at the ceremony, extending her heartfelt gratitude to the awardees for their continuous and staunch support to the University.


HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP (right) presented the award to Ms. HUI Yu.


HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP (right) presented the award to Ms. Crystal LAI Yuen-Man.


HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP (right) presented the award to Ms. LEUNG Fung-Yee.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) yesterday presented its fifth “HKUST President’s Outstanding Service Award” to laud and recognize the outstanding contributions and exemplary performance of dedicated non-academic staff members.

The three award recipients are Ms HUI Yu, Manager (Administration), Department of Physics; Ms LAI Yuen Man Crystal, Manager (Research Facility), Biosciences Central Research Facility (CWB); and Ms LEUNG Fung Yee, Head (Research Administration), Research Office.

HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP extended her heartfelt gratitude to the awardees for their continuous and staunch support to the University. “People are at the very heart of our success. Thanks to the dedicated efforts from everyone in the university community, HKUST has developed a strong foundation of excellence in just 30 years. With the opening of the new campus in Guangzhou, we have now entered a new stage of development that requires the concerted effort of all our talents. The awardees today are role models demonstrating how the outstanding performance of non-academic staff makes an indispensable part for HKUST to move towards its aspiration of being a top global academic and research institution,” she said.

Prof. Ting-Chuen PONG, Vice-President for Administration and Business, and Chairman of the Selection Committee for the awards, said, “I am grateful to the recipients and nominees of the Outstanding Service Award who have worked diligently and devotedly to live up to HKUST’s best-in-class standards, practices and operations. My heartfelt thanks to them for their contribution to the University.”

Profiles of the three awardees:

Ms. HUI Yu, Manager (Administration) of Department of Physics
When COVID hit Hong Kong in the spring of 2020, the Department of Physics was affected in the very early phase of the pandemic. Ms Hui, responsible for the department’s administration, took swift actions upon hearing a confirmed case among her colleagues. She quickly traced potential contacts of the patient and arranged disinfection of facilities. She also offered timely information and advice for faculty, staff and students, regardless they were staying in on- or off-campus accommodation, in or outside of Hong Kong. Her crisis management skills were highly commended by her colleagues. An alumna of the HKUST, she has been serving her alma mater for 16 years. She has also helped the department overcome other challenges, such as streamlining the faculty recruitment process amid a retirement wave in recent years.

Ms LAI Yuen Man Crystal, Manager (Research Facility) of Biosciences Central Research Facility (CWB)
Ms Lai has joined HKUST for 13 years. Over the past several years, Ms Lai leads her team at the BioCRF as an expert in Microscopy. Ms Lai is responsible for drafting all the Standard Operating Procedures and developing individual training program and assessment for each microscope. When COVID hit the city in early 2020, Ms Lai and her team produced videos and moved the equipment training session online, minimizing the effect of the pandemic. Ms Lai has also been the point of contact for internal and external parties in the planning and building of the BioCRF (GZ). The knowledge gleaned from her wide network of internal and external colleagues has allowed HKUST’s BioCRF to grow and keep pace with other world-class core facilities in biological sciences.

Ms LEUNG Fung Yee, Head (Research Administration) of Research Office
Having joined the HKUST for a decade, Ms Leung currently leads the Research Office, a vital unit that helps secure the grants and funds necessary for pushing forward the University’s numerous research projects. She does not just work by the book but always takes one step further, happy to offer extra assistance to faculty and research staff bidding for competitive resources to realize their academic ambitions. She understands what researchers need and often encourages communication between scholars and her administrative colleagues. In her nominator’s words, she has “changed the culture of the Research Office, from an efficient office overseeing grant administration and management to a support unit that facilitates the researchers to get more grants and operate with more freedom to achieve excellence.”


About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology 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 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 30th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking and Survey 2022. As of 2022, HKUST members have founded 1,645 active start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 8 IPO companies, generating economic impact worth over HK$400billion. 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.

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