Three recent PhD graduates have received the School of Engineering PhD Research Excellence Awards 2014-15 for their outstanding work while at HKUST. The honorees were Dr Feng Xuan, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, a member of Prof I-Ming Hsing’s research group, Dr Yanjiao Chen, Computer Science and Engineering, who worked in Prof Qian Zhang’s team, and Dr Shu Yang, Electronic and Computer Engineering, part of Prof Kevin Chen’s research group.
Dr Xuan, now a postdoctoral researcher at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, developed a series of strategies to realize “immobilization-free” electrochemical nucleic acid sensing with high sensitivity and selectivity while at HKUST. This work led to several high-impact publications, with his work cited 130 times in the past three years. His research team received two General Research Fund grants totaling HK$2 million based on his PhD thesis work and he has filed two patents, demonstrating the commercial potential of his work.
The focus of Dr Chen’s work was the interdisciplinary field combining wireless networks and microeconomics. She investigated non-cooperative, competitive interactions among different parties in wireless networks through game theory and optimization models and solutions. Dr Chen has published more than 20 papers in IEEE journals and conferences, and at present is a member of the iQua Research Group at the University of Toronto.
Dr Yang’s research explored next-generation energy-efficient power conversion systems. She developed a technology to provide enhanced wide bandgap gallium nitride semiconductor device stability and reliability, and authored and co-authored more than 40 papers. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at HKUST.