In the midst of the social unrest in 2019 and the global upheaval due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering (MAE) upholds its spirit to improvise, adapt to new norms and overcome unprecedented challenges. I am proud to state that, with perseverance and concerted efforts of all MAE members, the Department has outshone in both education and research amid the adversity.
The MAE Department aims at nurturing future technological leaders and talents, and strives to excel at conducting research in Mechanical and Automation Engineering, as well as Energy and Environmental Engineering (EEEN). The Department has grown over the years with a current total of 26 faculty members and over 100 undergraduates graduating from MAEG and EEEN Programmes in 2021. With the expertise of our world-class faculty members and strong international collaborations, the Department is consistently making significant advancement in research areas of Design and Manufacturing, Energy/Building/Environmental Technologies, Intelligent Systems, MEMS/Nano/Material Technologies, Robotics and Automation, Systems and Control.
Throughout the past two years, our faculty members, students and alumni have won prestigious awards and recognitions locally and worldwide, including Top 10 Winner of Falling Walls 2020 (Engineering and Technology), ASME 2020 Adaptive Structures and Material Systems Award, First Prize at the International Bionic Innovation Competition 2019, Winner of 2019 UGC Teaching Award, 2021 SME Geoff Boothroyd Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, Champions in Robocon 2019 and 2021 Hong Kong Contest, Asia-Pacific Robot Contest 2019 – Mongolia, Gold Medals in International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva 2021, First Prize in the Hong Kong University Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, to list just a few.
Among many achievements, it is worth noting that in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2020, 100% of our impact cases achieved the highest rating 4*, meaning “outstanding impacts in terms of their reach and significance”. What’s more, the overall quality in mechanical and production engineering of CUHK is the highest, up to 94%, among all universities in Hong Kong by adding both categories of 4* (world leading) and 3* (internationally excellent). In addition, our faculty members take part in three Inno Centres, namely Hong Kong Centre for Logistics Robotics (HKCLR), Multi-Scale Medical Robotics Center (MRC), and Centre for Perceptual and Interactive Intelligence (CPII), which are funded by Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) under the InnoHK programme initiated by HKSAR Government to develop Hong Kong as the hub for global research collaboration. Two MAE faculty members are serving as Director of HKCLR and Co-Director of MRC, respectively.
I am pleased to say that the MAE Department is now in a very strong position with our strengths echoing well with the key areas addressed in the University’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025 (CUHK 2025), including Research and Innovation, Student Experience, Alumni Engagement, Talent Attraction, and Global Engagement. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to all faculty members and staff for taking the Department to new heights over the years. It is my strong belief that our Department will continue to flourish in the years to come with all MAE members working together, turning opportunities into successes!