The first recipients of the grants initiative involving Ford Motor Company were announced last Fall. A total of 23 Master of Science engineering students have benefited from the Ford-HKUST Conservation and Environmental Research Grants program, with research funding totaling HK$1 million.
The students were honored at a ceremony held in October, with Mr Alan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, on hand to congratulate the students on their winning proposals, along with Prof Wei Shyy, Executive Vice-President and Provost, HKUST.
The initial funding comprises equal donations from both Ford and the University. The grants support recipients' expenditure, including research, field study and laboratory needs. The research is based around environmental sustainability and conservation engineering, with a focus on green motoring and transport. Among the areas covered by the proposals are the optimization of heat management in hybrid-electric vehicles, powering vehicle A/C systems through recycled exhaust heat, and cooling automotive inverters by maximizing lithium-ion batteries and super-capacitor performance with nano-materials. The research was carried out through to May 2014.
"It is truly inspiring to meet these passionate, really smart students and discuss their innovative ideas," said Mr Mulally. "These kinds of conservation solutions are so important to the future sustainability of the environment." Prof Christopher Chao, Associate Dean of Engineering (Research & Graduate Studies) noted that he was confident that the students will make good use of the grants to advance technology that improves people's lives: "The partnership will help support the development of engineering solutions to promote environmental sustainability."