HKU recognised engineering scholars for excellence in teaching and research


(From left) Dr Huang Mingxin, Professor Dennis Leung, Professor Christopher Chao and Dr Dirk Schneider at the HKU Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony.


Congratulations to Dr Dirk Schnieders, Profess Dennis Leung and Dr Huang Mingxin for their outstanding achievements in teaching and research!


The HKU Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony 2018 was held on March 29, at Rayson Huang Theatre, HKU. Dr Dirk Schnieders of the Department of Computer Science was awarded “Early Career Teaching Award” for the outstanding contribution and commitment at an early stage of his teaching careers. Professor Dennis Leung from the Mechanical Engineering Department received “Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award” in recognition for the guidance to his research postgraduate students for pursuing research excellence. The “Outstanding Young Researcher Award” aims to give recognition to young researchers who are demonstrating extremely high quality research and Dr Mingxin of Department of Mechanical Engineering was among eight awardees this year. Dean of Engineering Professor Christopher Chao, family, friends, colleagues and students attended the ceremony to share their joy.


Early Career Teaching Award: Dr Dirk Schnieders of the Department of Computer Science

Dr Dirk Schniders (left) received the Early Career Teaching Award from Professor Paul Tam, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Dr Dirk Schnieders graduated with a Diplom-Informatiker (FH) degree from the Fachhochschule Dortmund (Germany) in 2004 and received his MSc and PhD in Computer Science from The University of Hong Kong in 2007 and 2011. Currently, he is a Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong.



Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award: Professor Dennis Leung of the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Paul Tam (right), Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, presented the Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award to Professor Dennis Leung.

Professor Leung received his BSc(Eng) and PhD degrees from the University of Hong KOng in 1982 and 1988 respectively. He worked in the Hong Kong Electric Company for five years before joining HKU in 1993. Professor Leung is now a full Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


Air dispersion modelling, environmental pollution control, clean fuels and renewable energy are among Professor Leung’s main research fields. He has published more than 460 articles in these areas, has a current h-index of 59, and has more than 14,000 citations. He has been in the top 1% of scientists in his field since 2010 (Essential Science Indicators) and named as a Highly Cited Researches (Clarivate Analytics) since 2017. Professor Leung has delivered more than 50 keynote and invited speeches in many international and national conferences as well as public lectures. He is a chartered engineer and a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Energy Institute. Currently, he serves as a Specialty Chief Editor for Frontiers in Environmental Sciences, Associate Editor for Progress in Energy, as well as an editorial board member of a number of journals including Applied Energy, Applied Sciences, and Energy Conversion and Management. Professor Leung has received numerous awards including the Outstanding Earth Champion Hong Kong award in recognition of his contributions in protecting the environment.


Professor Leung believes that all his postgraduate students are good and capable. His aim in supervision is to guide them in discovering their talents and help them grow and sharpen their skills. He provides direction to lead them to their destination and gives them freedom to develop their own talent. Fully respecting his students and treating them as friends are the norms for Professor Leung when working with his students.



Outstanding Young Researcher Award: Dr Huang Mingxin of Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr Huang Mingxin (left) received Outstanding Young Researcher Award from Professor Andy Hor, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Dr Huang Mingxin received his BEng and MSc degrees in Mechanics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and PhD in Materials Science in 2008 from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. Before joining the University of Hong Kong in 2010, Dr Huang worked as a research engineer at ArcelorMittal, France, on the development of advanced materials for lightweight automobiles. He is now an Associate Professor and Department Associate Head in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


Both experiential and modelling works are involved in Dr Huang’s research, which focuses on the development of lightweight materials for automobiles and the physical metallurgy of high-strength alloys. His research projects have been well funded by external funding bodies such as the Research Grant Council, Innovation and Technology Fund, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and industries from the USA, Europe and China. Recently, the research team led by Dr Huang invented a breakthrough “Super Steel” that circumvents the strength-ductility trade-off. This breakthrough low-cost steel has achieved the unprecedented yield strength of 2.2 GPa and large uniform elongation of 16%, and has demonstrated the best combination of yield strength and uniform elongation among all existing high-strength metallic materials reported in the open literature. This research breakthrough has been published in Science.


Dr Huang believes that academic research and innovation in the field of Engineering can not only make significant contributions to fundamental science, but also generate new technologies that are beneficial to industry and society.

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