VTech Innovation and Sustainability Award 2022/23
30 Jan, 2024

We are pleased to announce that five students in the MAE Department have been awarded the VTech Innovation and Sustainability Award 2022/23 for their outstanding final year projects with elements of “Innovation” and “Sustainability”.

Congratulations to all awardees!

The VTech Innovation and Sustainability Award is the initiative of VTech Group of Companies (VTech) to promote innovation and awareness of sustainability. The Award is open to final-year undergraduate students studying Energy and Environmental Engineering (EEEN) or Mechanical and Automation Engineering (MAEG) in the academic year 2022/23.

With a generous donation from VTech, the Award recognizes and rewards students for their final year projects which demonstrate excellence in developing innovative technology for sustainable development of the world.

The five students were nominated to give a presentation and attend the award presentation ceremony at the VTech Office on 30 June 2023. The judging panel consisted of representatives from VTech and MAE Department, namely Dr. Allan Wong (Chairman and Group CEO of VTech), Dr. King Pang (Group President of VTech), Mr. Andy Leung (CEO of Contract Manufacturing Services of VTech), Prof. Weizhao Zhang (Assistant Professor of MAE Department) and Prof. Xi Chen (Research Assistant Professor of MAE Department).

We would like to thank VTech for their effort to promote innovation and awareness of sustainability in CUHK.

Awardees’ Sharing

“I would like to express my gratitude to the MAE Department and Dr. HAN Dongkun for their support during my participation in the VTech Innovation and Sustainability Award. It is an honor to have been awarded the Champion in this competition. My project focuses on building an IoT platform for an aquaponics system. Sensors are installed to collect water quality parameters for analysis. If the received data is suboptimal, signals are sent to the actuators to facilitate fish feeding and heating. The system operates in three modes: automation, emergency, and voice control. As a result, we have reduced manual operations and minimized fish loss, thereby enhancing the overall sustainability of the system.”

CHEN Zhenxi (EEEN)

“It was a great and precious opportunity to participate in the VTech Innovation and Sustainability Award during my final year as an engineering student at CUHK. My project is the E-platform Construction for the Aquaponics System in CUHK Smart Garden. Its objective is to develop an aquaponics system that integrates irrigation, monitoring, and automation to achieve a sustainable food supply within an urban environment, without the use of chemical fertilizers. The innovative design of the irrigation pipe and fish feeder creates a livable environment for both the fishes and the plants, thus helping us to accomplish our goals.”

LEE Man Lai (EEEN)

“I would like to express my gratitude to the MAE Department and Prof. ZHANG Weizhao for their invaluable support during my participation in the VTech Innovation and Sustainability Award, where I am honored to receive the Second Runner-up position. My project aims to investigate the reversibility of carbon fiber reinforced polymers when exposed to seawater, with the goal of achieving sustainability in water turbine applications. These materials are known for their exceptional properties, including a high strength-to-weight ratio, fatigue resistance, stiffness, and low thermal conductivity. However, their matrix is vulnerable to water diffusion, which can lead to hydrothermal stress and plasticization, resulting in degradation of the matrix-fiber interface. By utilizing the reversibility of carbon fiber reinforced polymers, my project aims to enhance their durability and maintain their high-power generation efficiency. The project involves various stages, including fabrication, mechanical tensile testing, and RVE modeling of carbon fiber reinforced polymers. The results show that the carbon fiber reinforced polymers can be dried before reaching the thresholds of debonding. After wet-dry cycling they can retain most of their original strength and achieve substantial improvement.”


“Electricity is a fundamental aspect of urban life; however, our dependence on it risks future energy crises. As a result, integrating renewables with energy storage systems into our current utility grid is an increasingly appealing option. However, these established algorithms are often complex and raise questions about the marginal pricing of electricity, as we will face uncertainty in the demand and supply of our grids. This project, under the supervision of Prof. CHEN Yue, is an excellent opportunity to explore how stochastic optimization can be used to solve this complicated problem, addressing equal and accessible energy in line with UN SDG 7.”

KOO Kin Yee (EEEN)

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Prof. CHEN Xi for his guidance and support throughout my final year project. His expertise and mentorship have been invaluable in helping me develop my ideas, refine my approach, and produce a high-quality final year project report that has earned recognition from VTech. My project focuses on establishing urban-specific microclimate data of the Ho Man Tin area and exploring the solar potential of a building using the Rhino BIM platform. Prof. CHEN Xi’s guidance has enabled me to gain a deep understanding of these complex topics and develop my skills in building modeling and visual programming, which will greatly facilitate my career in the engineering industry. Once again, I would like to thank VTech for presenting this Award to CUHK students.”