2013 Croucher Senior Research Fellowships

3 April 2013

Four exceptional scholars from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the University of Hong Kong (HKU) were awarded Senior Research Fellowships by the Foundation on 21st March 2013 for their excellent scientific research achievements and contributions to the international scientific community. 

The awards were presented by Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government.

The recipients of this year’s Croucher Senior Research Fellowships are Prof Ron Shu-yuen Hui, Philip KH Wong Wilson KL Wong Professor in Electrical Engineering of Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at HKU, Dr Fuk-yee Kwong, Associate Professor of Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology at PolyU, as well as Prof Vincent Kin-nang Lau, Professor of Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at HKUST. Prof Irene Oi-lin Ng, Chair Professor of Pathology and Head of Department of Pathology of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at HKU was awarded the Senior Medical Research Fellowship.

The fellowship is awarded by the Foundation to local academics who have excelled in scientific research work as judged by leading international scientists invited to provide confidential reviews of candidates nominated in a competitive exercise.

The value of each Senior Research Fellowship is about HK$900,000, which includes a personal grant of HK$60,000 to the recipient for research expenses, and funds to the University to recruit replacement staff to take over the recipient’s duties for the period of the fellowship.

Professor Ron Shu-yuen Hui’s research interests focus on power-electronics-based electrical energy conversion technologies. He has made significant contributions to the development of wireless charging technology, lighting emitting diode system theory and technology, and recently, in the invention of Electric Springs for future power systems with large-scale renewable energy sources. His inventions on wireless charging platform technology underpin key dimensions of the world’s first wireless power standard. He pioneered the photo-electro-thermal theory for LED systems, the first general theory unifying the interactions of light, heat and power, which has been adopted by the Industrial Electronics Handbook.

A pioneering scientist at PolyU, Dr Fuk-yee Kwong is currently the Deputy Principal Investigator for Hong Kong’s team in an on-going collaborative European Commission project – ‘OrganoCATAlytic Approaches towards Easily Synthesized, Economical, and High Yielding Oseltamivir Derivatives’. This is a pharmaceutical project concerning the development of ‘Tamiflu’ drug derivatives using concise and modular synthetic approaches to produce inexpensive drugs for the mutual benefit of pharmaceutical community and society at large. Over the years, Kwong has filed two US patents for his many breakthroughs in new catalyst design and synthetic methodology establishments, and put them to good use.

Professor Vincent Kin-nang Lau has contributed to wireless technologies, including several major developments in the MIMO (Multiple-input and Multiple-output) framework, the mathematical framework for ‘cross-layer optimization’ allowing wireless transmission to adapt dynamically to the environment and a one-way feedback path as a solution to the ‘limited feedback’ problem. His research allows wireless communication systems to support an ever-increasing data capacity in an energy-efficient and cost-efficient manner. On top of positive reception from academia, the research outcomes also blend well with industry standards and are going to be implemented in the next generation of wireless systems like Long-term Evolution.

Professor Irene Ng Oi-lin’s research work focuses on the pathological changes in the formation and progression of liver cancer, identification of liver cancer stem cells and characterization of important genes, cell signaling pathways and microRNAs. Her research team looks into major oncogenic signaling pathways and their co-operation and crosstalk. Significantly, she has established useful pathological and biological parameters with prognostic significance for patient management. The research studies have provided important insight in the understanding of liver cancer development, and are of great help in identifying potential targets for novel cancer therapy.