|The recipients of the School of Engineering Research Excellence Awards 2014 were announced in April, with two outstanding faculty members receiving recognition for their accomplishments. The School-wide awards encompassing all six departments seek to recognize exceptional faculty members who are at different stages of their career.
The winner of the Distinguished Research Excellence Award for 2014 was Prof Tianshou Zhao, Chair Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Director of the HKUST Energy Institute, and Senior Fellow of the HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study. This award honors a faculty member with exceptional research achievements and significant impact at the local and global levels and is the most prestigious award among the categories.
Prof Zhao has spent 19 years at HKUST, making seminal contributions to the energy field through his commitment to clean energy production and storage devices to boost sustainable living. His research and technological innovation have impacted many areas, including fuel cells, flow batteries, multi-scale multiphase heat and mass transport with electrochemical reactions, and computational modeling. He has been a prolific sharer of his discoveries and knowledge through four edited books, 10 book chapters and over 50 keynote lectures at international conferences. He has also published more than 200 papers in prestigious journals, which have received over 6,500 citations, and has an h-index of 47 (Web of Science). More recently, Prof Zhao has been named a Highly Cited Researcher 2014 and a World’s Most Influential Scientific Mind 2014 by Thomson Reuters.
His work has been recognized at the highest levels, leading to two State Natural Science Awards, ASME Fellowship, and a Croucher Senior Research Fellowship, among others. He also plays a significant role in international journals, currently serving as editor-in-chief of Advances in Fuel Cells, regional editor for Applied Thermal Engineering and editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Energy and Environment Series.
The Research Excellence Award was collected by Prof Hong K Lo, Associate Dean of Engineering (Undergraduate Studies) and Chair Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The honor recognizes the efforts of a leading faculty member with a proven record of research excellence. He has focused his research efforts on studies related to transportation, including dynamic traffic assignment, dynamic traffic control, and reliability, achieving world renown for his work.
Prof Lo's research standing is illustrated by his selection in the preliminary list of Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers in Engineering in 2013.
He has published 10 book chapters and 146 journal papers, and in terms of papers published from 2003-2013 in the top three transportation journals (Transportation Research Part B, Transportation Research Part A, and Transportation Science), his productivity is ranked seventh globally. Prof Lo has received prestigious research honors, including the triennial World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR) Award, serves as managing editor of the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems and editor-in-chief of Transportmetrica B: Transport Dynamics, and is a member of the Transport Advisory Committee, advising Hong Kong’s Chief Executive in Council on city-wide transport policies.
Dean of Engineering Prof Khaled Ben Letaief said the School was proud of faculty members’ research record. Criteria for the awards include originality of research output, impact on society and the field, research training provision for students, and leadership in national and international collaborative research partnerships.