The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) today celebrated the opening of the HKUST Energy Institute, and the Institute's first forum on sustainable energy. The forum featured 16 leading scientists and energy experts from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan and the United States, who spoke on some of the world's most pressing energy issues.
The establishment of the Institute manifests HKUST's commitment to securing an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy future. The Institute is dedicated to providing a multi-disciplinary platform for fostering energy-related research and curricular programs that gather talent, coalitions and partnerships from across HKUST and beyond.
Dr Christine Loh, Under Secretary for Environment of HKSAR, delivered the keynote speech "Energy and Hong Kong - An Evolving Picture" at the two-day forum. Prior to that, Commission for Innovation and Technology Ms Janet Wong, HKUST President Prof Tony Chan, and the Institute's Director Tianshou Zhao unveiled a plaque to mark the opening ceremony. Other officiating guests included Prof Wei Shyy, HKUST Executive Vice-President and Provost, and Prof Joseph Lee, HKUST Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies.
HKUST President Prof Tony Chan said the Institute was established to meet the needs of the society and energy research development. "The Institute is to engage in emerging energy research that will have a long-term, transformative effect on Hong Kong and the nation's energy future. It will provide a multi-disciplinary platform for integrating, facilitating and enabling university-wide programs in energy-related research and education," he said.
Prof Tianshou Zhao, Director of the Institute, said the Institute is well-positioned to tackle the world's two biggest energy problems - imbalanced energy supply and demand and pollution caused by the use of fossil fuel. "These are problems which require a multi-faceted approach, and our strong research team which comprises over 90 HKUST faculty members from areas including energy generation, energy storage and distribution, energy efficiency and energy policy-making, can influence and help to formulate strategies to address such concerns."
Apart from being a platform for collaboration among scientists of different backgrounds, the Institute will also assist in coordinating energy programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students. With HKUST's strong background in energy research, especially in the area of solar cells, fuel cells, solid state lighting and thermal energy technologies, the Institute sought to come up with cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions for the world's pressing energy issues.
Last year, Prof Zhao's pioneering work on Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells brought him and his researchers the State Natural Science Award (Second Class) - one of the most prestigious awards in science and technology. He said his dream was to build a net zero energy community -where all energy demand is self-sustainable and does not rely on power from the grid.
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