Accolades for contributions in applied research

Shirley Lam


On 5 February, the University announced the winners of the Fourth Applied Research Excellence Awards Competition, organized every two years by the Technology Transfer Office, to foster applied research and to recognize staff that excel in this area. Four awards were granted to six CityU researchers in recognition of their significant contributions to the social, industrial, and economic development of Hong Kong.


"Since its establishment, CityU has been advocating applied research for the benefit of the community," said Professor David Tong, Deputy President, and Chairman of the Judging Panel. This will become even more important since CityU received its new role statement from the University Grants Committee (UGC), emphasizing applied research and the maintenance of strong links with business and the community.


The Grand Award went to the team comprising Professor Benjamin T'sou, Mr Tom Lai and Dr Olivia Kwong of the Language Information Sciences Research Centre, for their project titled "Multidimensional applications of corpus linguistics." Corpus linguistics, a new interdisciplinary area of linguistics and computer science, draws on massive bodies of linguistic data and processes them on the basis of pre-set criteria for basic research and practical applications. The Grand Award winners launched the first synchronous corpus, LIVAC, in 1995, which drew on the written texts from six different Chinese speech communities: Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Singapore, Macau, and Hong Kong. The LIVAC database, containing some 110 million Chinese characters (or 0.64 million words) today, is one of only four large and well-known Chinese corpora available.


Grand Award

l          Professor Benjamin T'sou,

l          Mr Tom Lai,

l          Dr Olivia Kwong

Language Information Sciences Research Centre

Certificate of Merit

l          Chair Professor Paul Chu

Department of Physics and Materials Science


l          Chair Professor Michael Hung, MEEM Head

l          Dr Sun Dong

Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management


Three Certificates of Merit were also awarded. The winning project by Professor Paul Chu is about the development and production of advanced switching power supplies for metal cathodic arc plasma sources, physical vapour deposition instruments and other commercial equipment. It aims to develop relatively low cost, high-power switching and automated power supply systems for various industrial applications such as coatings and welding. 


Professor Michael Hung won a certificate with his project "Development of shearography for non-

destructive evaluation of building structures", which aims to develop sonic-shearography for the inspection and assessment of the defects of building structures. Shearography, Professor Hung's invention, is an optical sensing technique that uses lasers to detect flaws. The technique has a broad application in, for instance, aerospace, automotive, and micro-electronic industries for non-destructive testing and quality inspection. He is helping the Hong Kong Housing Authority to further develop sonic-shearography into a practical tool for building inspection.


Another winner of the Certificate of Merit, Dr Sun Dong, is undertaking a project to develop digitized motor control and amplifier products for application in different types of motors. This is particularly useful in the Surface Mount Technology (SMT) manufacturing industry which is fast developing in the Pearl River Delta region. Dr Sun's technology is the first localized and customized version to be developed in Asia. The product is now the flagship product of the award-winning DynaCity Technology (HK) Ltd, established by Dr Sun under the aegis of CityU Enterprises Ltd.


Thirteen applications were received for the fourth round of the competition and were judged by a seven-member panel headed by Professor Tong, and comprising representatives of the business and university sectors. Each winner will receive a cash prize as a token of appreciation for their excellent contributions to research.




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