4 November 2014

CUHK Mechanical and Automation Engineering Celebrates 20 Years of Teaching and Research Excellence
Outstanding Members Earn International Acclaim



Established in 1994, the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering (MAE) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Over the years, the academics of the Department have been striving for the highest standards in teaching and research. They have been making strenuous efforts to develop innovative technology to improve people’s lives.  The challenges of the 21st century for engineering have demanded that the MAE Department diversify and focus on new research areas in biomedical instrumentation and systems, microelectromechanical systems, micro/nanotechnology, as well as launch a new undergraduate programme – Energy Engineering.  Among the over 1,000 graduates the MAE Department has nurtured, many have now distinguished themselves in the profession.  Recently, two members of the Department, Prof. Wang Jun and Prof. Wong Tak Sing have each received a prestigious award for their remarkable achievement. 

Prof. Wang Jun Received IEEE Neural Networks Pioneer Award 

Prof. Wang Jun, Professor of the MAE Department, received the ‘Neural Networks Pioneer Award’ at the biennial IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) World Congress on Computational Intelligence from the IEEE President-elect for his outstanding achievements on neurodynamic optimization. Started in 1991, the ‘Neural Networks Pioneer Award’ is considered as the highest honour recognizing outstanding contributions of prominent scientists in the field of neural networks. Professor Wang is the second Chinese and third Asian to receive this honor. 

Professor Wang has been working on the theory and applications of neural networks since the late 1980s.  He has made significant contributions in neurodynamic optimization and its applications by developing a complete framework for theoretical analysis and model design which can be applied in scientific computing, data and signal processing, intelligent robots, intelligent control, network flow optimization, and associative memories.  Professor Wang received the Research Excellence Award from CUHK in 2008-2009, the Natural Science Award (first class) from Shanghai Municipal Government in 2009, the Outstanding Achievement Award from Asia Pacific Neural Network Assembly, and the First-class award in Natural Sciences from the Ministry of Education (MoE) in 2011.  He is an IEEE Fellow and currently serving as the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics. 

Distinguished alumnus named one of the world's top 35 innovators by MIT Technology Review  

Prof. Wong Tak Sing, a distinguished alumnus from the MAE Department, has recently been selected as one of the world's top 35 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review. Previous awardees included Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook; Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google; and Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple.  Professor Wong is currently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at The Pennsylvania State University.  He received a bachelor's degree from the MAE Department, CUHK (formally known as the Department of Automation and Computer-aided Engineering) in 2003 and a PhD degree from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2009.  He was a Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.  Professor Wong is recognized for his achievement in ‘inventing one of today’s most intriguing and potentially useful new materials’ called SLIPS, for ‘slippery liquid–infused porous surface’.  It repels any type of liquid, from oil to water to blood, and prevents bacteria from contaminating the human body. In addition to the great potential medical application, the materials could also be used to coat a ship to prevent barnacles from sticking to the surface. 

Professor Wong said, ‘I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous support from my former mentors and colleagues at CUHK, UCLA, and Harvard, as well as my current research group at The Pennsylvania State University.  I also want to thank my parents and older siblings who have been my role models, and  taught me the importance of hard-work and perseverance in life. The encouragement from my parents to pursue my career based on my interests has been instrumental.  I hope my example will inspire the younger generations in Hong Kong to pursue a career based on their interests.’ 

Professor Wong's research focuses on micro/nanoengineering, interfacial phenomena, and biologically inspired engineering with applications in materials science, water, health, and energy.  Professor Wong is also among the 20 distinguished alumni selected by the MAE Department, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, in recognition of his contributions to the academia.

Prof. Wang Jun, MAE Department, CUHK (left) received the ‘Neural Networks Pioneer Award’ at the biennial IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence.
Prof. Wang Jun, MAE Department, CUHK (left) received the ‘Neural Networks Pioneer Award’ at the biennial IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence.

Prof. Wong Tak Sing, an alumnus of CUHK MAE Department, has been selected as one of the world's top 35 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review.
Prof. Wong Tak Sing, an alumnus of CUHK MAE Department, has been selected as one of the world's top 35 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review.