Graduates honoured in IEE Paper Contest

Fanny Ho

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Vinci Chang Wan-si and Teresa Mak Ka-ming, fresh graduates from City University of Hong Kong’s Department of Electronic Engineering, have been recognized for their outstanding research work in wireless communication.


Vinci clinched the championship and Teresa won a merit award in the Undergraduate Section of the IEE Hong Kong YMS (Younger Members Section) Paper Contest 2005. Their achievements once again demonstrate that CityU excels in both teaching and applied research.


Wireless communication systems generally send out electromagnetic signals in the form of radiation. This not only results in severe power wastage, affecting the signal transmission distance, but also makes it impossible to send a message to a single target, which would safeguard data security. However, according to Vinci Chang’s prize-winning research paper, “Retrodirective Array for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Microwave Tracking Beacon Applications”, these problems can be overcome by a much-improved retrodirective array sub-system (RDA).


Vinci’s RDA is capable of tracing the source of a signal and automatically transmitting a signal response to the source, making sure no messages will be sent to a third party.  Preliminary tests show that the system can make energy savings of up to 75 per cent and increase the transmission distance by 1.5 times. Its simple structure also helps to reduce production costs. The new RDA is applicable to the RFID system for large-scale stocktaking at container terminals or logistics centres. It can also be applied in military communications and intelligent transport systems.


Vinci expressed her gratitude to Professor Chan Chi-hou, Chair Professor at the Department of Electronic Engineering, for his role in supervising her final-year project. “As the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and a chair professor, Professor Chan has to deal with mountains of administrative work and yet enthusiastically devotes himself to teaching. He is very concerned about the growth and development of his students. With his encouragement, I was able to remain undeterred by consecutive failures and continue doing experiments until satisfactory results were obtained,” Vinci said. She is now a hardware engineer with a technology company, which focuses on the development and design of wireless portable products.


Teresa’s final-year project, “Design of High Gain Microstrip Antenna Arrays”, also won plaudits from the judges. She has developed a patch base station antenna, which is only two millimetres thick. This is only a quarter of the size of a conventional parabolic antenna, but it has an equally good transmission performance. The compact size of Teresa’s innovative design allows for easy mass production of the antenna.


Teresa said she gained much valuable experience in using CityU’s cutting-edge equipment to conduct her research. “In the process of putting theory into practice, I have learned the skills to solve problems and have developed a keen interest in conducting research,” she said. Teresa also thanked her supervisor, Professor Luk Kwai-man, Head and Chair Professor of the Department of Electronic Engineering, who attached great importance to realizing students’ full potential under his supervision. Teresa has become a research assistant at CityU to contribute to the University’s applied research.


The IEE Hong Kong YMS Paper Contest provides an opportunity for science and engineering university students in Hong Kong and Macau to demonstrate their skills and innovative thinking through a presentation of their research papers and projects. By recognizing their efforts and achievements, the contest helps to promote local research in science and engineering disciplines. 



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