Dean's Message
Summer 2014 No.25
Strategic Partnerships Promote Global Vision
Academic institutions cannot exist in isolation: it is essential that educators and researchers from around the world share their insights and research, because this in turn inspires further exploration and discoveries.
HKUST is very aware of the trend towards increasing collaboration within academia, hence the establishment of the Sponsorship Scheme for Targeted Strategic Partnerships (SSTSP). This university-level scheme cultivates strategic partnerships with like-minded institutions from around the world, often with funding from both sides facilitating research collaborations, faculty and student visits, workshops and conferences. 
The University currently has a handful of strategic partners, among them two from the US and one from Switzerland are involved with the School of Engineering, namely California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Southern California (USC) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), covering collaborative projects encompassing various research areas which reflect HKUST's expertise and strategic focus. 
Under SSTSP, faculty proposals are welcome. Collaborations are encouraged through seed funding from the President's Targets of Opportunity Fund, often with funding from partner universities. The aim is that the collaborations will become full-scale, self-sustaining undertakings in the future. 
Caltech and HKUST's Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering are working together on a project entitled Towards a Theory of Secure Cyber-Physical System. Other Caltech projects involve one with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and two with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering related to the reliability of bio-MEMS technology and the development of novel fuel cell electrodes respectively.
USC's collaboration with the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has already resulted in a workshop entitled Frontiers of Chemical Engineering, held at HKUST. The Department of Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management is working with USC on collaboration related to next-generation manufacturing, particularly nano-manufacturing and additive manufacturing, and has jointly held workshops on 3D printing at both HKUST and USC. The Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering is working with the university partner in California on novel integrated solutions to green computing problems, with a seminar in Hong Kong on Designing Energy-Efficient Information Processing Systems already staged. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering has held a joint workshop on Big Data, as part of the theme of mobile crowdsourcing.
EPFL is working with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering on two projects, namely research on technological hazards related to security of critical infrastructure under explosive/impact loading, and research on energy foundations and geo-environmental engineering, involving faculty and PhD student visits as well as workshops. A new joint project with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering on big data research is being developed, with workshops in both Hong Kong and Switzerland. 
Through these strategic partners, the School of Engineering is developing and nurturing close-knit and fruitful relationships that will bring enormous benefits to undergraduate and postgraduate students and faculty.