HKIAS Distinguished Lecture series present innovative ideas for human betterment

Education | 4 Dec 2020

Dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary research and innovative solutions for addressing real-world problems, the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has evolved over the past five years into a renowned center of scientific advancement in Hong Kong and globally.

Since its establishment in 2015, HKIAS aspires to be a platform for scientific discussion that facilitates intellectual exchange and collaboration across interdisciplinary fields by bringing together a team of world-renowned scholars and researchers.

At the start of HKIAS, there were just 10 Senior Fellows, but the numbers have rapidly grown to 35 today, with three Nobel Laureates and most members of national academies or equivalent statures.

Recently, HKIAS is pleased to welcome three notable female scholars joining the team as Senior Fellows, viz, Professor Alison Noble, Technikos Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oxford, UK; Professor Evelyn Hu, a Tarr-Coyne Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University, USA; and Professor Jihong Yu, Director of International Center of Future Science at Jilin University, China.

With their vast store of experience, insight, and knowledge, the top-notch HKIAS Senior Fellows add an exciting new dimension to CityU’s academic community. They share their latest research findings through various formats, including international conferences, symposiums, workshops, and giving Distinguished Lectures, contributing to the frontiers of science, engineering, and technology. 



Benefactors endorse HKIAS mission

In recognition of the effort HKIAS has made to create a better world, benefactors have offered extraordinary gifts to support its operation and future development.

The estate of one of Hong Kong’s most influential figures, the late Dr. Chung Sze-yuen, GBM, JP (1917-2018), has made a significant donation of HK$15 million to HKIAS this year. In addition, HKIAS has also received another generous donation of HK$5 million from the Kwang Hua Educational Foundation Limited.


HKIAS Distinguished Lecture series

In the first semester of the Academic Year 2020-21, HKIAS has presented four distinguished virtual lectures focusing on reliability science, materials science, and mathematics, attracting over 1,200 scholars and guests to attend via the video conferencing platform Zoom.

Kicking off the HKIAS Distinguished Lecture series was Professor Way Kuo, President and University Distinguished Professor of CityU and Senior Fellow of HKIAS, who presented a lecture titled ‘Data-Driven Global Pandemic Management’ on 30 September 2020.


Preventing global disasters by data analysis

Well-known for his work in design for reliability of electronics systems and energy, President Kuo first examined the impact of global disasters by comparing the fatality rate and economic loss of pandemic outbreaks, nuclear accidents, air pollution, and traffic accidents. He pointed out that data was critical for analyzing a crisis during the early stage.

CityU was the first university in the world to replace face-to-face classes with online teaching after Hong Kong recorded its first positive Covid-19 case on 19 January. “We made our decision based on data, not by guessing,” said Kuo. “People thought that we were overreacting, but later they found CityU was right.”

President Kuo also introduced an ideal surveillance-response system – C3I, referring to communication, command, control, and intelligence, to prevent major global disasters.


The future technology - Additive manufacturing

Professor Jian Lu, Senior Fellow of HKIAS, delivered an online lecture titled ‘Progress in Additive Manufacturing: From 2D Printing to 4D Printing of Structural Materials and Functional Devices’ on 6 October 2020.

As a world-renowned material scientist, Professor Lu discussed the applications, major challenges, and future developments of the trending technologies, 3D and 4D printing. To tackle the challenges of 3D printing, Professor Lu presented two composites, which are supra-nanostructured materials and nanostructured dual-phase (glass-nanocrystal), allowing more complex and new shape components to be developed.

He said 3D and 4D printing have various advantages with a wide application in different aspects, such as the space industry, as it can tailor-make radiation absorption structure for space shuttles and astronauts. “4D printing allows us to edit or reshape an object, but its structure is always 3D printing,” he explained. 


Application of Nonlinear Korn Inequalities

Renowned as a top-notch mathematician, Professor Philippe G. Ciarlet, University Distinguished Professor of CityU and Senior Fellow of HKIAS, presented an online lecture titled ‘Nonlinear Korn Inequalities on a Surface’ on 5 November 2020.

In his lecture, Professor Ciarlet first reviewed the continuity results obtained from the past decade, discussed the fundamental forms of a surface, and answered the questions by examining the non-linear inequalities on a surface with potential applications such as the intrinsic approach to nonlinear shell theory. 

Having published more than 200 research papers, Professor Ciarlet has written 16 books with famous texts such as The Finite Element Method For Elliptic Problems, and Linear and Nonlinear Functional Analysis with Applications, making significant contributions to the mathematical field.


Creating new structural materials at high temperatures

Wrapping up the HKIAS Distinguished Lecture series was Professor Chain Tsuan Liu, University Distinguished Professor of CityU and Senior Fellow of HKIAS.

In his lecture titled ‘Alloy Design of Structural Materials from Simple Disordered to Complex Ordered Material Systems’ on 25 November 2020, Professor Liu introduced the development of new structural materials based on ordered intermetallic materials for high-temperature applications. 

Through introducing the development and structures of the metallic materials, he presented four advanced alloys, viz, Ir-base alloys for spacecraft system applications at ultra-high temperature; intermetallic alloys for applications at elevated temperatures; nanostructured steels for structural application at ambient temperatures; and high-entropy alloys (HEAs) for structural applications at all temperatures.


Upcoming events of HKIAS 

Going forward, HKIAS will continue to organize scientific events with an emphasis on Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Materials Science, and Biomedical Science. A range of academic seminars and public events will now be available to audiences around the world in real-time. In the next Semester in 2021, a new series titled ‘HKIAS Distinguished Series on Chemistry’ will be presented by three renowned scholars at CityU. For more information about HKIAS upcoming events, please visit:


Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study

City University of Hong Kong

Tel: 3442 6611





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