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2011 Newly Elected Hong Kong Members of Chinese Academy of Sciences
All from HKUST
(From left) Prof Tongyi Zhang, Prof Ping Cheng and Prof Mingjie Zhang at the ceremony

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) elected three Hong Kong scholars to become members. All of them are HKUST faculty members. Membership in CAS is the highest academic title conferred by the Chinese government for achievements in science and technology research. The election of CAS members takes place biennially, with the total number of new members kept under 60 each time.

HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan states that the excellent quality of the HKUST faculty is among the key factors for its rise to a top-notch international research university in just 20 years.

The three new members are:


Prof Mingjie Zhang,
Chair Professor of the Division of Life Sciences

  • Prof Zhang’s research area embraces molecular mechanism governing the neuronal signal transduction and molecular basis of protein complexes regulating cell polarity establishment and maintenance;
  • His study has heightened the understanding of several fundamental issues in biology such as synaptic signal transduction complex organization and dynamics of various signaling complex assemblies, and has paved the way towards the theoretical understanding of the pathogenesis of various neurological diseases including stroke, neurological disorders and hereditary deaf-and-blindness;
  • This year, his exciting discovery concerning the visual systems of animals detecting light was selected as the cover article of Cell, following his breakthrough discoveries published earlier this year and in 2009 in Science and Cell respectively on how myosin VII and VI lead to hereditary deaf-and-blindness;
  • He had won the Outstanding Overseas Young Scientist Award by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship, the Second Prize of the State Natural Science Award , and the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation Science and Technology Advancement Award;
  • He received his BSc in Chemistry from Fudan University, PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Calgary, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute of Canada before joining HKUST in 1995.


Prof Tongyi Zhang,
Chair Professor from the Department of Mechanical Engineering

  • Prof Zhang is primarily engaged in research on hydrogen embrittlement, fracture and failure of multi-field coupling materials and micro/nanomechanics among other areas. In recent years he has proposed surface eigenstress and eigendisplacement models, leading to the nonlinear scaling law for the thickness-dependent Young's modulus under tension, compression and bending; 
  • He is a two-time recipient of the State Natural Science Awards, Second Class, and was presented with the National Award for Young Scientists by the China Association for Science and Technology. He was elected Fellow of the American Society of Materials International (ASM International) and awarded the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship;
  • He received his PhD from the University of Science and Technology Beijing, and headed to the University of Gottingen where he worked as a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Rochester and was Associate Research Scientist at Yale University. He joined HKUST's Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1993.


Prof Ping Cheng,
Professor Emeritus from the Department of Mechanical Engineering

  • Prof Cheng is a world-renowned researcher in the field of heat transfer with great and far-reaching contributions;
  • He was elected Fellow of ASME and Fellow of AIAA. He has received numerous awards including the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, the AIAA Thermophysics Award, and the ASME/AIChE Max-Jakob Memorial Award, considered the highest international honor in the field of heat transfer; and the ASME Heat Transfer Classic Paper Award. He won the Shanghai Science and Technology Award, First Class, and the State Natural Science Award, Second Class;
  • He obtained his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University, his MS degree from MIT and his PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. He was appointed the second Head of Mechanical Engineering Department at HKUST from 1995 to 2002 and became Professor Emeritus in 2003. He is currently Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of Center for Microfluidics and Thermal Control at Shanghai Jiaotong University.