Research Grants

RGC Theme-based Research Scheme

The objective of the Theme-based Research Scheme (TRS) is to focus academic research efforts of the institutions on themes of strategic importance to the long-term development of Hong Kong. The funded projects led by the Engineering Faculty Members are shown below:

Smart Solar Energy Harvesting, Storage, and Utilization 
(TRS, HK$ 60.33M) Participating Institutions: CUHK, POLYU, HKUST, HKU
Project Coordinator: Prof C.P. Wong

Prof. Wong Ching-ping, Dean of Engineering, and his team members study the new technology in energy harvesting, storage and utilization in this project. To sustainably utilize solar energy, intelligent power distribution grids need to be locally developed for solar energy generation, storage, and utilization at affordable cost and with enhanced security of supply through flexible transition between grid interconnected and islanded operating modes. All of these issues are in line with the strategic objectives on sustainable development outlined by the Hong Kong Government in 2005.

They will develop high-performance vacuum deposited thin-film photovoltaics (PV) devices and modules which will make low-cost, high-throughput, and large-area PV production possible. They will explore new materials and processing approaches for high energy-density batteries and supercapacitors, so as to realize a hybrid storage system. They will also formulate strategies to integrate, manage, and control various subsystems to enhance the efficiency and security in energy utilization.

Image-guided Automatic Robotic Surgery 
(TRS, HK$ 47.341M) Participating Institutions: CityU, CUHK, HKU
Project Coordinator: Prof Yunhui Liu
Robotics is widely considered to be one of the key technological drivers of economic growth and competitiveness. It therefore is important for Hong Kong to develop its own robotics technology. The challenge lies in where to position Hong Kong in this extremely broad interdisciplinary area. Since Hong Kong has the best healthcare system in the region, developing robotics technology for healthcare is an obvious strategy, which will build upon our existing strengths.

The objective of this project is to establish a world-class research center in surgical robotics in Hong Kong by forming an interdisciplinary team with the necessary expertise in engineering and medicine from local universities, and collaborating with internationally-respected institutions such as Intuitive Surgical Inc., Imperial College London, and Johns Hopkins University. Existing surgical robots work in a remote control mode in which a surgeon tele-controls the robots with full attention. It is widely considered that such remote-controlled robots will be replaced by next-generation ones that will assist surgeons with high-level intelligence, and automatically perform particular steps of surgical procedures. The development of such intelligent surgical robots presents several big scientific challenges including (1) how to efficiently and reliably sense surgical objects/fields; (2) how to automatically carry out pre-operative (pre-op) surgical planning and navigate the robots in the highly dynamic and individual-dependent environment; (3) how to control the actions of surgical robots safely and accurately; (4) how to equip surgical robots with high-level intelligence, e.g., the abilities of situation awareness and reasoning. By combining the expertise and experiences in the different areas, we aim to develop innovative solutions to those challenges, which include (1) novel systems and algorithms for real-time sensing of 3D geometry, force, and biomechanical properties of surgical objects; (2) data-driven surgical planning and navigation by using the huge image data of robotic surgery at the Prince of Wales Hospital (PWH) and Intuitive Surgical Inc.; (3) visually servoed controllers for robots interacting with soft tissues; and (4) robotic surgery intelligence based on deep learning. The technologies will be integrated into a prototype of image-guided surgical robots that is able to automatically assist surgeons and perform a single surgical step or several connected steps of surgical procedures. We will use the total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH) as the example to validate the system by ex-vivo experiments, and if approved, by clinical trials and pilot applications.


RGC General Research Fund and Early Career Scheme 2018/19 received by Engineering Faculty Members
Principal InvestigatorProject TitleAmount (HK$)
Prof. AU Kwok Wai, SamuelSafe Robotic Organ Retraction System with Force Sensing and Semi-automatic Retraction Capability632,421
Prof. BIAN LimingMolecularly-tailored Hydrogels Containing Unfoldable Cross-linkers of Single Chain Nanoparticles (SCNP) with Biomimetic Energy Dissipation Behavior632,421
Prof. BLU ThierryLocal All-pass Parametric Image Registration700,000
Prof. BOGDANOV AndrejApproximate Degree for Low-complexity Functions651,618
Prof. CAI LeizhenTools for Designing FPT Algorithms: From Random Separation to Indirect Certificate693,000
Prof. CHAN Siu OnConic Optimization: Derandomization and Combinatorial Analysis539,510
Prof. CHEN ChunInvestigation of the Air Resistance of Nanofiber Window Screens for Reducing Indoor Exposure to PM2.5 of Outdoor Origin750,000
Prof. CHEN Lian KuanHigh-speed Solar-Panel/Image-Sensor based VLC for Smart Cities: Design Challenges and Advanced  Signal Processing583,333
Prof. CHEN NanDynamic Portfolio Selection and Option Pricing with Market Frictions632,421
Prof. CHEN Shih ChiHigh-throughput 3-D Nano-fabrication based on Two-photon Polymerization632,421
Prof. CHEN YongshengEffect of CO2 Adsorption on Catalyst Deactivation in Dry Reforming of Methane336,865
Prof. CHENG HongModeling and Inferring Relation across Multiple Information Networks: A Deep Graph Learning Approach693,000
Prof. CHENG Kwok Keung, MichaelBroadband High Efficiency Doherty Power Amplifier Design for Advanced Wireless Systems330,057
Prof. CHENG Sheung Chak, JamesAn Efficient Distributed Framework for Solving Subgraph-centric Problems693,000
Prof. CHOI Chung Hang, JonathanBio-nano Interactions Between Hydrocarbyl-terminated Nanoparticles and the Cell: Endocytosis, Trafficking, and Exocytosis336,865
Prof. CHOW Sze MingPassword-hardening Services -- Key Encapsulation, Anonymous Rate-limiting, Multiple Servers, and More875,000
Prof. CHOY Chiu Sing, OliverReliable Early Epilepsy Seizure Detection Based on Both Temporal and Spatial Information on EEG Using Convolutional Neural Network330,057
Prof. FU Chi WingComputational Design of LEGO Technic Assembly for 3D Fabrication Applications490,400
Prof. GONG XitingManaging Hybrid Manufacturing/remanufacturing Inventory Systems with Different Lead Times632,421
Prof. HE XuedongAsset Management with First-loss Capital632,421
Prof. HUANG JieFrom Purely Decentralized Control to Fully Distributed Control for Complex Multi-agent Systems790,526
Prof. JAGGI SidharthGroup Testing: Non-linear Estimation Problems304,301
Prof. LAM WaiSemantic-based Knowledge-rich Content Representation and Aspect Discovery for Digesting and Summarizing Text Documents693,000
Prof. LI LingfeiMultidimensional Hilbert Transform and Its Applications in Financial Engineering632,421
Prof. LIN DahuaUnderstanding Visual Stories with a Knowledge Base693,000
Prof. LIU XunyingCompact Deep Language Models For Big Data490,400
Prof. LIU Yun HuiRobotic Deformation Control of Soft Objects Using 3D Image Feedback632,421
Prof. LOK Tat MingMultiuser Relay Networks with Simultaneous Wireless Information and Power Transfer495,086
Prof. LU Yi ChunProbing the Degradation Mechanisms of Water-in-salt Aqueous Lithium-Ion Batteries using Model Electrode-Electrolyte Systems505,298
Prof. MA Wing Kin, KenDeep Learning of Optimization in Model-based Signal Processing700,000
Prof. MENG Mei Ling, HelenAn Investigation of Spoofing and Generalized Countermeasures for Speaker Verification using a Deep Learning Approach875,000
Prof. MENG Qing Hu, MaxDevelopment of Scenario Intelligence for Service Robots with Application in Autonomous Untrained Elevator Operations632,421
Prof. MENG WeiFine-Grained Data-centric Content Protection Policy for Web Applications550,000
Prof. NAIR ChandraTwo New Directions for Some Fundamental Problems in Multiuser Information Theory612,950
Prof. PUN Kong PangA New Class of Continuous-time Delta-sigma Modulators for Low Power and High Performance with Immunities to Circuit Non-idealities583,333
Prof. SO Man Cho, AnthonyTowards Understanding the Convergence Behavior of Second-order Methods for Structured Optimization Problems: An Error Bound-based Approach790,526
Prof. SUN XiankaiInvestigation of Photonic Bound States in the Continuum in Photonic Integrated Circuits875,000
Prof. TONG Kai-yu, RaymondDesign of Synchronized Pairing Peripheral Nerve Stimulation and Cortical Polarization to Promote Post-stoke Neuroplasticity for Hand Function Recovery495,086
Prof. TSANG Hon KiHybrid Integrated Photodetectors for Silicon Nitride Waveguide Based On-Chip Optical Interconnects Using 2-D Materials and Van Der Waals Heterostructures495,086
Prof. VONTOBEL Pascal OlivierReliable Communication Over Quantum Channels with Memory495,086
Prof. WANG XiaogangStructured Multi-modality Deep Learning for Scene Understanding693,000
Prof. WONG Kam FaiDRILLED: A Novel Method For Building Chatbot Using Deep Reinforcement Learning With Limited Data326,933
Prof. XU DongyanEnhancing Thermoelectric Figure of Merit of Bismuth Selenide Nanoribbons by Defect Engineering632,421
Prof. XU JianbinManipulation of Valley-spin Excition-polaritons by Novel Photonic Nanostructures495,086
Prof. XU QiangOn the Attack and Defense of DNN Accelerators693,000
Prof. YANG Ming ChangFulfilling Fast Secure Deletion for Emerging Sequential-write-constrained Storage Devices750,000
Prof. YOUNG Fung YuFast Routability-driven FPGA Placement for Deep Learning Applications693,000
Prof. YU MingMicrowave Passive Device Technologies for 5G and IoS Communication Systems330,057
Prof. YU Xu, JeffreyEfficient SQL-based Graph Processing693,000
Prof. ZHANG KehuanStudies on the Security Implications of Non-digital Components in Computing Systems490,400
Innovation and Technology Fund Received by Engineering Faculty Members in 2017
Principal InvestigatorProject Title Amount (HK$)
Prof. CHEN Shih-ChiTrial: Ultrafast Two-photon 3D Microscope1,993,697
Prof. CHEN Shih-ChiDeep Learning for Next-generation Precision Machine Tools and Manufacturing3,564,350
Prof. CHEN Shih-ChiAdvanced Vision and Sensing System for Next-generation Medical Robots4,477,000
Prof. CHEN Shih-ChiHigh Throughput Organ Tissue Microarray Imaging System1,382,300
Prof. GUO PingVibration Cutting for Structural Coloration of Metallic Surfaces1,349,985
Prof. HENG Pheng AnnTrial: Development of a Virtual Environment for Training Percutaneous Renal Access2,486,300
Prof. LAM WaiIntelligent Email Agent for Apparel Trading Using Natural Language Processing760,778.8
Prof. LI XiangVision-Based Robot Systems for Automatic Soldering of Flexible PCBs and USB Wires1,228,200
Prof. LUI Chi Shing, JohnA Privacy Leakage Detection and Management Platform for Internet-of-Things (IoTs) Systems1,396,000
Prof. TSANG Hon KiIntegrated Spectrometer for Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography1,506,000
Prof. WONG Tien TsinAn Extendable Platform of Visual Sharing for the Colorblind1,400,000
Prof. WONG Wing ShingIntegrated Networked Control for Massively Many IoT Devices3,047,000
Prof. XU JianbinHigh Brightness Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Perovskites Light-Emitting Diodes Based on Size Confinement Effect1,400,000
Prof. ZHANG LiDevelopment of RefluxChip - A Miniature Battery-free Remote Sensing System for Real-Time Monitoring of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease2,511,000
Prof. ZHAO NiDevelopment of a Handheld High-Resolution Short-wave Infrared Spectrometer1,284,550
Prof. ZHOU RenjieHigh-speed Optical Precision Profilometer for Nanostructured Thin-film Metrology1,391,500
Guangdong - Hong Kong Technology Cooperation Funding Scheme  
Prof. BIAN LimingThe Development of Supramolecular Gelatin Hydrogels for the Co-delivery of Chondrogenic Drugs and hSF-MSCs for Articular Cartilage Repair1,379,000
Prof. LI XiangEnabling Technologies for Indoor Renovation Robots1,796,300
General Support Programme  
Prof. WONG Kam FaiInnovation and Technology Student Club 2017540,960
Prof. WONG Kam FaiRobotics, STEM and Green Innovation2,917,228
University-Industry Collaboration Programme  
Prof. LI XiangDevelopment of a Sanding Robot for Wooden and Coated Surfaces387,109