Dean's Message
Summer 2012  No.22
A Legacy of Excellence and Future Success Stories

Recent months have seen the setting up of memorial funds in honor of two senior academics to help others extend the pioneering work they initiated

Prof Wilson Tang

The Professor Wilson Tang Memorial Fund has been established at HKUST in remembrance of Prof Wilson Tang, former Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and to encourage next-generation innovators. The Fund will provide scholarships and bursaries to both outstanding Civil and Environmental Engineering students and those in need of financial support. The awards will help to recruit future leading engineers, recognize top performance in courses related to uncertainty and risk assessment, which were Prof Tang's major areas of research, and assist students in joining the overseas exchange program. Prof Tang passed away in January after a long illness.

Born in Hong Kong, Prof Tang completed his high school education at La Salle College before moving to the US for Bachelor and Master's studies at MIT and a PhD at Stanford. He taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 27 years before joining HKUST as Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering. He served as Head from 1996 to 2001. Under his leadership, the Department evolved into one of the best in Asia. He enjoyed encouraging younger minds and mentored numerous graduate students and junior colleagues at both universities.

During Prof Tang's significant academic career, he advanced the profession by promoting and pioneering the use of reliability-based methods for risk mitigation and design in various areas, particularly geotechnical engineering. He led and served on several major international boards and committees. Among his many accolades, the Wilson Tang Lecture, a prestigious keynote lecture given at the International Symposium on Geotechnical Safety & Risk series of conferences, was inaugurated in 2009 to recognize and honor his contributions.


Prof Edmond Ko

Prof Edmond Inq Ming Ko, who passed away suddenly at home in April, was a great educator and mentor. As Senior Advisor to the Provost, Director of the Center for Engineering Education Innovation (E²I), and Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, many students, staff and faculty members sought his advice on matters large and small, and he was always willing to give. He was an alumnus of Pui Ching Middle School, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University, and prior to joining HKUST, he taught and played leadership roles at Carnegie-Mellon University and City University of Hong Kong.

Prof Ko was also deeply involved in the formulation and implementation of education policy in Hong Kong. He was Chairman of the Curriculum Development Council and a member of the Quality Assurance Council of the University Grants Committee, Education Commission, Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications and Council of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

He said on numerous occasions that one of his major goals in life was to educate and bring out the best in the younger generation and the Professor Edmond Ko Scholarships for Student Mentoring are dedicated to a key contribution he made in this area. Keenly aware of the value of personal relationships in learning and the impact of mentors at every level of a learner's journey, these awards will recognize and support those who show: unusual commitment and dedication to mentoring their peers; success in supporting the learning and development of other students through their work as mentors; and advances in their own development through mentoring others.


Lawrence Lee

Mr Lawrence Lee, School Administrator (Development) in the Office of the Dean of Engineering, passed away in April after a courageous fight against acute myeloid leukemia. Mr Lee, a Chartered Engineer, joined HKUST in 1993 and made significant contributions to the School during his 19 years at the University. As Head of the Industrial Training Center, he helped to establish practical training provision for students to satisfy the requirements for international engineering professional recognition. He also played a leading role in planning the School's development, particularly in the areas of internship, placement, career and 334 co-curricular activities.


Bobo Kwok

We are also sad to report that Bobo Ka Hung Kwok, Technical Associate of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and HKUST alumnus, died unexpectedly at home in March. Mr Kwok received his Master's degree at the University in 1995 and joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering the same year. His technical skills and knowledge of chemical engineering greatly benefited faculty members and students over the years. He was also a model boat enthusiast and a winner of world championships in this area.