Prof Tianshou Zhao, Chair Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, gave a thought-provoking keynote lecture, titled “Innovating Energy Technologies through an Interdisciplinary Approach”, as the recipient of the School of Engineering’s Distinguished Research Excellence Award 2014. Prof Zhao, who is also the Director of the HKUST Energy Institute and a Senior Fellow of the HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study, is a world-leading researcher in clean energy generation and energy storage devices.
The School’s excellence award recognizes an eminent faculty member with outstanding research achievements of global and local impact. It is the School’s highest award and the invitation to give a public keynote lecture forms a significant part of the accolade.
In his keynote, Prof Zhao highlighted the complexity of adjusting our established patterns of energy production, and the crucial need for us to do so through the adoption of renewables. He introduced his findings on fuel cell technologies and redox flow battery storage research, achieved through an innovative interdisciplinary approach combining thermofluids science and electrochemistry. Issues and practicalities related to these fuel cells and advanced batteries were explored and collaborative ways of moving forward emphasized.
During his 20 years at HKUST, Prof Zhao has made further global contributions in multi-scale multiphase heat and mass transport with electrochemical reactions, and computational modeling. He is a recipient of two State Natural Science Awards, the ASME Fellowship Award, and a Croucher Senior Research Fellowship Award. He was named a Highly Cited Researcher in Engineering by Thomson Reuters in both 2014 and 2015.
The keynote attracted an audience of 150, including academics of other institutions, government representatives, industry members, faculty members and students.