Professor Huang Mingxin of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has recently secured RMB$11.07 million funding in the second round of the National Key Research & Development Programmes (NKPs) of the PRC’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) that is open for researchers in Hong Kong and Macau.
To encourage cross-region innovation and technology collaboration, since 2019, scholars from Hong Kong and Macau can apply directly to the Ministry’s National Research & Development Program for funds to support research conducted in Hong Kong. This scheme offers substantial funding for key and strategic research technologies.
Professor Huang will lead a team of researchers from HKU, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian University of Technology and Xi’an Jiaotong University with expertise in areas such as metallurgy, mechanics, nuclear technology and ab-initio calculation to develop new nanostructural high entropy alloys that have the potential for application in extremely low temperatures or in nuclear power plants.
Professor Huang has both industrial and academic experience in working with metals and alloys. He has led a Beijing-Hong Kong-Taiwan mechanical engineering team to develop a Super Steel (also called D&P Steel) which addressed the strength-ductility trade-off, and with the material costing just one-fifth of the steel currently being used in aerospace and defence applications. This research breakthrough was published in the prestigious journal Science in 2017 and brought him the Global Innovation Award at TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo in 2018.
“We have always been actively looking for funding opportunities beyond Hong Kong. We are very happy to be awarded the funding and we hope to demonstrate that HKU’s expertise can make important contributions to national Key R&D projects,” Professor Huang said.
Professor Christopher Chao, Dean of HKU Engineering, is pleased to learn of the result, “We have many world-class researchers that are ready to make an impact to the world. Professor Huang’s success in getting this funding will definitely encourage other researchers to be more active in applying for national-level funding.”
About the National Key Research & Development Programmes of the Ministry of Science and Technology
The National Key Research & Development Programmes support research and development in areas of social welfare and people’s livelihood, such as agriculture, energy and resources, environment, and health. They focus in particular on key and strategic technologies, featuring several well-targeted and defined objectives and deliverables to be achieved in a period ranging from three to five years, and reflecting a top-down and industry-university-research cooperation design which integrates basic research, technology application, demonstration and commercialisation.