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Recent major developments in mechanical engineering

Jul 10, 2021 Excavator blog

MAY 2021 – Department of Mechanical Engineering

A novel bamboo-processing technique called “super bamboo”, developed by Prof LU Yang‘s research team won the Gold Medal Award at the virtual Inventions Geneva Evaluation Days 2021. The technique includes both mechanical and chemical treatments for densifying natural bamboo without destroying the key internal microstructures that are critical for superior mechanical performance. Prof LU was invited to attend the ceremony “Hong Kong Winners 2021” officiated by the Chief Executive of HKSAR on 17 May to celebrate the outstanding research achievements of Hong Kong.

APR 2021 – Dr. XU Wanghuai received the RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Award 2021/22

This fellowship provides a stipend for a three years full-time appointment and also allowances for conference and research-related activities. Dr. XU and Prof. WANG will work on the project titled “Slippery bulk-effect electricity generator for water kinetic energy harvesting: from fundamental understanding to practical applications”.

MAR 2021 – Department of Mechanical Engineering

The work by Prof WANG Zuankai‘s research team on droplet-based electricity generator received the bronze prize of the Hong Kong Best Science News Reporting 2020 organised by the Newspaper Society of Hong Kong. The research work was also selected as the Top 10 Hong Kong Innovation and Technology News.

MAR 2021 – Department of Mechanical Engineering

The paper entitled “Fluids – An Inspirational Bounce”, published by Prof WANG Zuankai‘s research group, was selected by Nature Physics’ editors as one of the favourite papers over the 15 years’ publication of Nature Physics.

FEB 2021 – Announcement for Chun Wo Innovation Student Awards 2020 (CWISA)

A MNE student team ( 2 PhD students LING Chen & YAO Xiaoxue and BEngM.E student WONG Yat Hei) has won two awards: 1) The Gold Award and 2) The Merit Award – The Best Engineering Solution Award in Chun Wo Innovation Student Awards 2020 (CWISA). This year, more than 70 teams from different universities participated in this innovation competition.

This project “The Fog-based Self-powered System (FSS)” co-supervised by Dr. Steven WANG and Prof. WANG Zuankai is inspired to utilize the abundant and free fog resources in Hong Kong to supply power charging for IOT devices or smart illumination in harsh & remote locations and at the same time provide freshwater for agricultural irrigation and domestic use.

The team will receive a cash prize of HK$106,000 and be invited to participate in a round-campus exhibition between May – Sept 2021. In addition to the cash award, Chun Wo will assist the team to execute their business idea through providing resources or investments.


JAN 2021 – Prof. WANG Zuankai was awarded with RGC fund of HK$4,800,000

Prof. WANG Zuankai was awarded with RGC fund of HK$4,800,000 for his Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) project entitled “ A universal solid/liquid based framework for efficient water energy harvesting”.


JAN 2021 – Albacastor Technology Limited won the Community Engagement Award in the Blue Innovation Challenge 2020

Albacastor Technology Limited, a start-up under the Student Early Entrepreneurship Development Scheme of CityU and founded by three 2018 graduates of the Department, CHAN Tsz Lung Hugo, CHEUNG Wing Hong Peter and LAM Wah Shing Henry, won the Community Engagement Award in the Blue Innovation Challenge 2020. The start-up was co-funded by CityU and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. The goal is to build an intelligent, high-efficient, and safe healthcare environment by developing automated robots.



1 JAN 2021- Dr. LU Yang, Dr. HU Alice and their team published a paper in Science

Dr. LU Yang, Dr. HU Alice and their team published a paper titled “Achieving large uniform tensile elasticity in microfabricated diamond” in Science. This is another remarkable paper of Dr. LU Yang and his team regarding the properties of diamond in micro/nano scale.

Breakthrough research heralds a new diamond age
Achieving large uniform tensile elasticity in microfabricated diamond





22 DEC 2020 – PhD Graduate CAO Ke (now Assoicate Professor at Xidian University) won the 2020 中國新銳科技人物突出成就獎

PhD Graduate CAO Ke (now Assoicate Professor at Xidian University) won the 2020 中國新銳科技人物突出成就獎 on his outstanding research achievements on graphene mechanics.

2020中國新銳科技人物評選結果揭曉!
又一重要結果揭曉:清華北大南大中科大浙大等多所高校學者入選!
Graphene’s ultimate stretchability and ‘realistic’ strength discovered





5 DEC 2020 – MNE 2018 PhD Graduate Dr. LI Jing receievd the HKIS – Towngas 2019 Hong Kong Young Scientist Award

Dr. LI Jing, a recent PhD graduate under the supervision of Prof. WANG Zuankai from Department of Mechanical Engineering at the City University of Hong Kong, received the Hong Kong Young Scientist Award at the 27th Annual Conference of the Hong Kong Institution of Science (HKIS).

This prestigious award was established to reward young scientists in Hong Kong who exhibit great promise in their field of study. The award is open to all postgraduate research students who are pursuing M.Phil. or Ph.D. degree in any of the tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, as well as those who have graduated recently (within 2 years of graduation). Each year, HKIS will confer three winners, which are in the fields of Physical/Mathematical Science, Life Science and Engineering Science, respectively. Dr. LI Jing is the winner in the field of Engineering Science this year.  Each award winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and a certificate of recognition. Currently, Dr. LI Jing is a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Pennsylvania.

The HKIS – Towngas 2019 Hong Kong Young Scientist Award

NOV 2020 – China Nuclear Power Technology Research Institute Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Huantek Technology Co., Ltd. and City University of Hong Kong signed the research agreement on setting up the Nuclear Research Center in Guangdong Province

China Nuclear Power Technology Research Institute Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Huantek Technology Co., Ltd. and City University of Hong Kong signed the research agreement on setting up the Nuclear Research Center in Guangdong Province. The center aims at development of advanced nuclear energy systems with cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR).

11 NOV 2020 – Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Outstanding Doctoral Research Award 2020

PhD graduate Dr. XU Wanghuai received Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Outstanding Doctoral Research Award 2020. His thesis “High-performance Droplet-based Electricity Generator” supervised by Prof. WANG Zuankai focused on the research to harvest water kinetic energy with high electric output and high durability.

Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Outstanding Doctoral Research Award

25 SEP 2020 – Prof. WANG Zuankai is awarded the XPLORE PRIZE for RMB 3,000,000 (600,000 a year) for 5 years period

Prof. WANG Zuankai is awarded the XPLORE PRIZE for RMB 3,000,000 (600,000 a year) for 5 years.
There are 50 awardees selected from about 1200 applicants and there are only three awardees from Hong Kong. Prof. WANG Zuankai is the sole awardee from CityU.

第二屆“科學探索獎”揭曉

17 SEP 2020 – Research on “White graphene: high defect tolerance and elasticity unveiled by CityU nanomechanics experts”

Over the past three years, the research team led by Dr. LU Yang, Associate Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (MNE) at CityU worked tirelessly with another team from Tsinghua University to develop the world’s very first quantitative in-situ tensile testing technique for free-standing 2D materials. The related research about nanomechanics of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) has been published by Cell Reports Physical Science.

White graphene: high defect tolerance and elasticity unveiled by CityU nanomechanics experts
探索二維物料再下一城 首次展示「白色石墨烯」的高彈性和抗缺陷能力
Large Elastic Deformation and Defect Tolerance of Hexagonal Boron Nitride Monolayers [Cell Reports Physical Science]

Outside reports:
White graphene: high defect tolerance and elasticity unveiled by nanomechanics experts
White graphene: high defect tolerance and elasticity unveiled by CityU nanomechanics experts

15 OCT 2020 – Research on “Saving lives through early detection of gastric cancer cells”

Led by  Prof. LI Wen Jung  of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Provost (Institutional Initiatives – recently updated to Resources Planning), with collaborators from the Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and First Hospital of China Medical University (FHCMU), the research has recently been published in Science Advances.
The focus of the research aims “to reduce the number of deaths due to gastric cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide,” said Prof. LI, a co-contact author on the publication titled “Detection and isolation of free cancer cells from ascites and peritoneal lavages using optically induced electrokinetics (OEK)”.

Saving lives through early detection of gastric cancer cells

17 AUG 2020 – Dr. LU Yang’s work on high-entropy alloy (HEA) catalyst published in Nature Communications

In collaboration with PolyU, Dr. LU Yang and his PhD student FENG Xiaobin (co-first author) published their new research about using surface restructured FeCoCrNi high-entropy alloy (HEA) as catalyst for high-performance water electrolysis in journal “Nature Communications”.

Selected press coverage:
(19 Aug 2020) 柴扬&陆洋Nature子刊:高价金属位促进水氧化的晶格氧活化[WEMP]
(16 Aug 2020) 陆洋副教授课题组Nature子刊:高价金属位促进水氧化的晶格氧活化[科学材料站]
(14 Aug 2020) Nature Communications:高价金属位激活晶格氧以促进水氧化[纳米人]
(13 Aug 2020) Lattice oxygen activation enabled by high-valence metal sites for enhanced water oxidation[Nature Communications]

5 AUG 2020 – Poster Award in Teaching and Learning Innovation Expo 2019/2020

To enhance the learning experience of CityU students, Dr. LUK B. L. in collaboration with three CIO colleagues including Dr. WONG Crusher, Ms. LU Angel and Ms. LAM Kayla, has developed a set of tailor-made Flipped Learning materials on Wind Energy for GE Course 2301 – Science and Technology: From Past to Future.
Students of GE2301 were required to take a virtual reality (VR) field trip to LAMMA WINDS, the first commercial-scale wind turbine in Tai Ling built by HK Electric, to better understand how electricity can be produced from wind energy. This flipped classroom activity facilitated the understanding of the complex mechanism of the wind turbine drive train for electricity generation.

The production recently won a Poster Award in Teaching and Learning Innovation Expo 2019/2020. This flipped classroom approach was adopted in a Gateway Education course of Science & Technology from the support of cross-university UGC project fund. It is the first VR course to reveal the internal structure of the 46-meter Electric Wind Turbine in Hong Kong. Our IT officer had to undergo a full-day training to pass the Construction Industry Safety Training Test before shooting any aerial footage with the drone and capturing 360∘photos. Only green safety card holders were permitted to enter the structure as it was considered a dangerous construction site. VR Tour: Flipped Learning: Virtual Reality for Gateway Education Course
View: CUHK Expo 2019/20: Poster
View: CUHK Expo 2019/20: Video

14 JUL 2020 – The appointment of Prof. PAN Chin as CLP Power Chair Professor in Nuclear Engineering

The University has appointed Prof. PAN Chin to the CLP Power Chair Professorship in Nuclear Engineering with effect from July 1 2020 in recognition of his commitment to excellence in research and professional education of nuclear engineering to the university and society.

10 JUL 2020 – Dr. LU Yang received the RGC Research Fellow Scheme Award

Dr. LU Yang received the Research Fellowship grant of HK$5,155,380 for a 5-year fellowship period from RGC.

RGC’s Research Fellow Scheme (RFS) and Senior Research Fellow Scheme (SRFS) on a regular yearly basis provide sustained support to exceptionally outstanding academics in UGC-funded universities to facilitate their research efforts and promote research excellence. Every year, RFS and SRFS will each provide research funding support to 10 awardees for a period of 60 months for teaching and administrative duty relief.

8 JUL 2020 – Dr. WANG Steven received an ITC grant for the prevention and control of COVID-19

Dr. WANG Steven has received a grant of HK$1,975,320 for the project “A fast-track vented enclosure for COVID-19 patients in hospitals” under the Public Sector Trial Scheme for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in Hong Kong from ITC of HKSAR.

Public Sector Trial Scheme – ITF Projects aims to provide funding support for production of prototypes/samples and/or conducting of trials in the public sector to facilitate and promote the realisation and commercialisation of research and development (R&D) results under ITF projects.

JUN 2020 – College of Engineering – E-Bulletin

Mr. CHUI Mang Yin under the supervision of Dr. WONG Janet of the Imperial College London has contributed to a paper as the second author during his overseas internship at Imperial College.

Paper title: Interactions between organic friction modifier additives
Authors: Benjamin M. Fry, CHUI Mang Yin, Gareth Moody, Janet S. S. Wong
Journal: Tribology International

APR 2020 – College of Engineering – E-Bulletin

We are pleased to receive the notice from Research Grants Council (RGC) for the offer of the RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Award to Dr. ZHANG Shiwei. This fellowship provides a stipend for a three years full-time appointment and also allowances for conference and research-related activities. Dr. ZHANG and his Project Investigator, Prof. PAN Chin, will work on developing rationally engineered surfaces with hybrid micromeshes to achieve unprecedented boiling capacity.
This project may enable more efficient phase-change heat transfer for various energy systems and thermal management of high-power electronics.
Congratulations to Dr. ZHANG and Prof. PAN.

FEB 2020 – Graphene’s ultimate stretchability and ‘realistic’ strength discovered [CityU NewsCentre]

NC paper Yang LU

We are pleased to share that Dr. LU Yang‘s work on graphene mechanics was recently published in Nature Communications. Dr. LU Yang and his team has demonstrated ultimate stretchability and ‘realistic’ strength of free-standing monolater graphene. The study will promote the engineering applications of graphene in various areas such as ultrastrong composites and flexible electronics. This paper was highlighted in “Editors’ Choice” in the 21 February 2020 issue of Science.

Selected press coverage:
(11 Mar 2020) Graphene’s ultimate stretchability and ‘realistic’ strength discovered[Nanowerk]
(11 Mar 2020) GRAPHENE’S ULTIMATE STRETCHABILITY AND ‘REALISTIC’ STRENGTH DISCOVERED[The Graphene Council]
(9 Mar 2020) 城大首展石墨烯「真實」強度[Hong Kong Commercial Daily]
(9 Mar 2020) 城大測出石墨烯「真實」強度[Wen Wei Po]
(8 Mar 2020) 城大新方法測出石墨稀抗拉強度極限 全球首次發現[On.cc]
(21 Feb 2020) Editors’ Choice[Science]
(7 Feb 2020) 中国研究人员在单层石墨烯力学性质研究中取得进展 [新华网]
(7 Feb 2020) 香港城大聯合清華研究單層石墨烯力學性質取得關鍵進展 [文匯報]
(15 Jan 2020) Elastic straining of free-standing monolayer graphene[Nature Communications]

FEB 2020 – CityU new droplet-based electricity generator: A drop of water lights up 100 small LED bulbs [CityU NewsCentre]

CityU new droplet-based electricity generator

A research team led by scientists from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has recently developed a new form of droplet-based electricity generator (DEG). It features a field-effect transistor (FET)-like structure that allows for high energy-conversion efficiency, and its instantaneous power density is increased by thousands of times compared to its counterparts without FET-like structure. This groundbreaking achievement can help to advance scientific research into water energy generation and tackle the energy crisis. The research was led by Prof. WANG Zuankai from CityU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering; Prof. ZENG Xiaocheng from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, US; and Prof. WANG Zhonglin, Founding Director and Chief Scientist at the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Their findings were published in the latest issue of the highly prestigious scientific journal Nature under the title “A droplet-based electricity generator with high instantaneous power density”. (Read more)

Selected press coverage:
(7 Feb 2020) 城大研新發電機 一滴水亮百盞燈 [Hong Kong Commercial Daily]
(7 Feb 2020) 城大新發電機 一滴水點亮百盞燈 [Wen Wei Po]
(7 Feb 2020) 城大研發電 1滴水燃亮百LED [Lion Rock Daily]
(7 Feb 2020) 城大研水滴發電機 一滴點亮百燈 [Oriental Daily]
(7 Feb 2020) 城大研發新水滴發電機 功率增數千倍 [Sing Tao Daily]
(7 Feb 2020) Power players get drop on field [The Standard]
(6 Feb 2020) 最新Nature: 基于液滴的高效发电器件 [材料牛]
(6 Feb 2020) Nature :试试用“一滴水”点亮100盏灯 [WEMP]