Faculty KE Award


Application of MGF Artificial Intelligence for Abnormal Detection for Saving Lives

Dr Wilton Fok and team members - Dr YC Wu, Dr XJ Qi, Ms Chen Yingxian, Mr Ng Chak Wai (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

The project team developed an innovative technology called “Artificial Intelligence MGF Network for Anomaly Detection,” which utilized AI and deep learning for video analytics to identify key skeletal points in the human body. Additionally, the use of thermal cameras helped address privacy concerns. The team also introduced the “Magnitude Glance and Focus Network (MGF)” technology, capable of analyzing time sequences in a series of video frames. This technique can detect abnormal postures and movements of individuals, triggering alarms for any identified risky actions such as falls, fights, or drowning. Patents for these technologies have already been filed in the US and China.

The project team proactively applied their technology and collaborated with schools, government departments, NGOs for children and the elderly, and public transportation companies. They also actively participated in local and international knowledge exchange activities. The team’s efforts were further acknowledged through continuous funding, numerous local and international awards, and extensive media coverage.

The Committee commended the project’s accomplishments achieved in a short period, demonstrating knowledge exchange and the application of technologies with broad publicity and global recognition. They believed that this project holds significant potential to improve the quality of life in society and contribute to the development of Hong Kong as a smart city. The Committee anticipates that these technologies will be extensively deployed and benefit a larger number of end users.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


UTEE: A Secure, Efficient, and Portable Distributed Bigdata Computing System on Heterogeneous Trested Execution Devices

Dr Heming Cui (Department of Computer Science)

The project for the award as the nature of the research project is with great potential in cloud computing and data security management. It is a potential underpinning research for the next RAE exercise. The prototype of the UTEE system has already commercialized and become the core Cloud system used by the industry partner, a well-known telecommunication company, in China. The industry partner had awarded Dr Cui with the “Best Collaborating Scientist Award 2021” and sent the recommendation letter to recognize the achievements. In fact, the industry partner had already implemented the system to the market, and some banks and government departments in China had already been using the systems and there are around 3 million customers across 170 countries.

The Committee believed that the project is an underpinning research work with potential in bigdata cloud computing and data security and with great impact across various industries.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


HINCare: A Heterogeneous Information Network for Elderly-Care Helper

Prof Reynold Cheng (Department of Computer Science)

The project team developed a novel "Heterogenous Information Network (HIN) and AI technologies, which helps to match volunteer helpers with the elders in need of elderly-care services.  An intelligent "time banking" system was introduced in a form of a mobile application which offered a flexible platform for future expansion.  This was the first mobile app in the market that built a network database for the elders, volunteer helpers and NGOs.

The team demonstrated its active engagement with the academia, community and partner organisations.  Internally, they had been working with the Department of Social Work & Social Administration at HKU.  Externally, they had collaborated with partners in non-academic sector, such as ASTRI, experts in gerontology, NGOs, and the Government.  The team had also actively outreached to the community to introduce this new initiative and had various media exposures.

The Committee appreciated the project's achivement that was gained in a short period of time and believed that this project had a great potential impact, when the mobile app was further enhanced to serve the end users.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


Direct Thermal Charging Cell for Waste Heat to Electricity Conversion

Dr Shien Ping Tony FENG and team members – Dr Yu Ting HUANG, Miss Xun WANG, Miss Kaiyu MU, Miss Xinya WU, Mr Chunlin PANG (Department of Mechanical Engineering))

In terms of the quality of knowledge, the project was an exciting and unique invention with enormous potential for practical applications in the longer term.  Dr Feng’s team has partnered with esteemed academic institution, such as MIT, and produced high-quality research outputs. Their works have been published in top academic journals, such as Nature Communications and Science.

Despite being in the early stage, Dr Feng’s team has begun to develop impact, and demonstrated the project potentials with substantial engagement locally and internationally. The inventions had received awards in Hong Kong, and the team was also invited to attend the 48th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva to be held in 2021. They have also participated in various roadshows in the Greater Bay Area and reached out to the Middle East region.  The team has demonstrated active engagement with the community, and had wide media exposure. The project achievement was gained in a short period of time, and it is believed that the team was on the right track as a start-up with a structured implementation plan for the delivery of the DTCC project.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) for Buildings of Higher Quality, Productivity and Sustainability in Hong Kong

Dr Wei Pan (Department of Civil Engineering)

The project excels in all the three selection criteria, namely the quality of the knowledge, engagement and impacts achieved. In terms of quality of knowledge, the project of Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) has developed a new approach and provided innovative solutions for policy and research on the delivering high-rise building in Hong Kong with higher quality, productivity and sustainability.  The underpinning grants and research funds were significant in demonstrating its potential. The project has gained strong support and involvement from the Government and the Construction industry.  It has made tremendous contributions to the public, the community and Hong Kong society by establishing a leading role for MiC.  Dr Pan also provided expert advices and support to the new policy of MiC initiative in the Policy Address and produced a MiC strategy paper named “Modularisation for Modernsation: A strategy Paper Rethinking Hong Kong Construction” for the HKSAR Government, which is a proof of the project achievements and the impact of the project towards the society.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


Bioinformatics Algorithms and Next-Generation-Sequencing (NGS) Data Analysis

Professor Tak Wah LAM and team members – Professor David Wai Lok CHEUNG and Dr Ruibang LUO (Department of Computer Science)

The project is underpinned by very strong and quality research on an important topic. It merged the computer science theoretical work on compressed text indexing into bioinformatics applications, and enabling the genomics industry to resolve the major computational bottleneck in analysing high-throughput sequencing data. Professor Lam has actively engaged the industry and government bodies in adopting the technology. The technology has been commercialised through a spin-off company, L3 Bioinformatics, with 60million funding and is applied in the commercial field to boost the Mainland's BioIT, e.g. BGI Online which is one of the most advanced NGS platform. The NGS data analysis is efficient and accurate for biomedical applications and has been applied in the Department of Health and Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital. This project demonstrates that Professor Lam's research output is fully implemented with impacts achieved.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


High-strength Lightweight Steels for Low Emission Automobiles

Dr. Mingxin Huang (Department of Mechanical Engineering

The project is underpinned by high quality research and has developed new advanced high strength steels (AHSS) to provide the automotive industry with strong, light and yet safe car components. The Baosteel Group, the largest steel company in China, has adopted this process for its products. These steels have been used in passenger cars produced by General Motors, Nissan and some Chinese carmakers. The sales of these steels in China, Japan and the USA are expected to be 10,000-15,000 tons in 2017.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


An immersive and interactive virtual reality system – imseCAVE

Dr. Henry Y.K. Lau, team members – Dr. Leith CHAN, Mr. William TAM, Miss DAI Yaqi, and Mr. CHAN Ka Yik ( Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

imseCAVE is an innovative solution for people to see and interact with systems and scenarios through virtual reality. It provides a versatile, flexible and cost saving platform for industry, business and education sectors for training, skill‐evaluation, and system analysis by enabling the creation of lifelike objects and scenarios without the limits of time and space in a cost effective manner. The facilitation of operations training for DHL Central Asia Hub, Cathay Pacific Services Limited, Hong Kong International Terminals Limited and Hong Kong Police Force, to name but a few, are profound evidences of the significant contribution of the project to large enterprises as well as government bodies.

In April 2015, with an earlier version of the system, Dr. Henry Lau and his team won a silver award in the category of Best Digital Entertainment Award (Interaction Design) in the Hong Kong ICT Awards. 

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


RFID-Enabled Real-Time Ubiquitous Manufacturing Platform

Prof. George G.Q. Huang and team members - Dr Ji FANG, Dr Ray Y. ZHONG, and Dr Zhi LI  ( Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

The project was originally funded by THREE major ITF projects totaling around HK$13M since 2007. The research received substantial sponsorship from industrial collaborators who have participated directly in pilot implementations. A new ITF grant was approved in March 2014 to transfer the technology to the construction industry with the total amount of HK$9.5M. 

To the industry field, this project upgrades and transforms the traditional manufacturing workshop practices into a level that is real-time, ubiquitous, and intelligent.  To the economy, this project directly improves the efficiency of manufacturing enterprises so that the overall outputs are increased.  To society, the technology has profound impacts not only within manufacturing industry but also on related activities such as inbound and outbound logistics services.  In terms of technology, the project has pioneered a unique approach to developing and applying Internet of Things (IoT) or Physical Internet in manufacturing and logistics industries. To teaching and learning, deliverables from this project are being put together to form a smart experiential learning environment for supply chain and logistics engineering (SCALE) using Teaching by Examples and Learning by Doing (TELD) pedagogy.


Knowledge Exchange of e-Learning Technology and Pedagogy in Hong Kong and Overseas

Dr. Wilton W.T. Fok  ( Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

The project provides a user-friendly real-time interactive e-learning and e-textbook delivery platform through mobile devices. It has been actively deployed in some schools and training institutions in Hong Kong, Macau, Hangzhou and Shanghai. This project created many good benefits to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment, and quality of life. 


Fighting High-Tech Crime in Cyberspace

Dr. K.P. Chow  ( Department of Computer Science

Cyber criminals are using latest technologies in committing crime in the cyberspace, including cloud-based storage cyberlocker for sharing illegal or copy-righted materials, social media to distribute illegal information, peer-to-peer network to share contraband videos, DDoS attack against public IT infrastructure, etc. Dr. Chow and staffs of Center for Information Security and Cryptography (CISC) of HKU has focused his research effort in research and developing technologies and tools to protect against cyberspace crime in Hong Kong together with local law enforcement agencies. 

In 2012-13, CISC worked closely with HK Police and Customs and Exercise to develop tools to protect against Internet pirates using cyberlockers (Cyberlocker Monitoring System), data theft using P2P Foxy (FoxyMon), and cyberspace safety patrol (lineament IC).


Ventilation for better infection control in hospitals

Prof. Yuguo Li  ( Department of Mechanical Engineering

The project demonstrates how excellence in research at the University can be applied to real problems of importance to the community, in this case how infectious disease such as SARS and influenza might be transmitted through ventilation, and eventually developed into principles and guidelines for ventilation systems in hospital environment settings. Through communication processes that involve extensive interactions with the healthcare sector and medical and engineering professionals, the project has achieved significant and global impact. This is evidenced by the work being awarded the 2010 National Science and Technology Award Second Price, and adaptation of the project findings in two sets of World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, including the 2009 WHO Publications/Guidelines on Natural Ventilation for Infection Control in Health-Care Settings.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"


ebXML Message Gateway Hermes and B2B Connector

Prof. David W.L. Cheung  ( Department of Computer Science )  and The Center for E-Commerce Infrastructure Development (CECID)

Prof. Cheung's project developed into a platform technology that is successfully transferred to the business/industry sector, as evidenced by the support of at least three ITF grants for the project and its installation in government as well as public and private enterprises. Through communication process that includes pilot projects with local and overseas enterprises, licensing to companies and open source distribution, the ebXML system has achieved global impact and penetration with recorded downloads from more than 80 countries. The technology has become the most popular ebXML gateway in the world with proven quality and acceptance in many production systems, establishing the project team at HKU as a key player in ebXML technology.

"Source: Ad Hoc Faculty KE Award Selection Committee"