The School of Engineering is proud to witness the establishment of two Hong Kong branches of Chinese National Engineering Research Centers (CNERC), namely the Hong Kong Branch of CNERC for Control and Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution led by Prof Guanghao Chen from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Hong Kong Branch of CNERC for Tissue Restoration and Reconstruction led by Prof Benzhong Tang, Stephen Kam Chuen Cheong Professor of Science and Chair Professor of the Department of Chemistry. Each of the centers will receive an annual funding of up to HK$5 million from the Innovation and Technology Commission.
Under the leadership of Prof Chen, the Hong Kong Branch of CNERC for Control and Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution will seek to address increasing national demand for clean water supply with its research on economic and sustainable alternative water resources, energy-saving sewage treatment and optimization of water system. Prof Chen and his team have won multiple awards for their various novel technologies on wastewater treatment over the past decade. That includes the sulphate reduction, autotrophic denitrification and nitrification integrated (SANI) process – a sewage treatment method that minimizes sludge production at effective saving of treatment space and cost, as demonstrated by the large-scale trial project at the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works.
The approval of the two new research centers, on top of the two Partner State Key Laboratories – one on molecular neuroscience and another on advanced displays and optoelectronics technologies – have brought the number of national research facilities at HKUST to a total of four. President Prof Tony F Chan said the approval of the two CNERC branches manifested the recognition of the University’s research achievements. “HKUST strives to boost technological advancement in the region by fostering cooperation between academia, research and industry in Hong Kong and Mainland China,” Prof Chan said. “The addition of two new national research centers is bound to add momentum to scientific collaboration across the border as well as our pursuit of research excellence, I am happy that HKUST is able to play a role in the scientific and technological development of both HK and Mainland China.”