Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNEWS & EVENTS
21 Apr 2017
MAE project wins huge ITC grant of HK $10M in 2016-17
In the 2016/17 the Innovation Technology Commission (ITC)’s funding exercise, the R & D project, led by Prof. Yi-Kuen Lee, has received funding through the Innovation and Technology Support Programme (ITSP) totaling HK$ 10 million under the HKUST MIT Alliance platform. The funded project entitled “Smart Adaptive Control/ Monitoring System for Energy Efficient Buildings with Low Carbon Footprint and CMOS MEMS Sensors and Smart Actuators”, was co-investigated by Prof. Christopher Chao in MAE Department; Prof Lei Chen in Computer Science and Engineering Department of HKUST; Prof. Nicholas Fang in the Mechanical Engineering Department of MIT; Prof Leon Glicksman in Mechanical Engineering and Building Technology of MIT; Prof Gregory Wornell and Prof Lizhong Zheng in Electrical and Computer Science Engineering of MIT; Prof Jane Weizhen Lu in Architecture Engineering and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong. 

In this joint HKUST-MIT project, the team will conduct collaborative research to develop key IoT technologies, techniques and tools for energy-efficient building with low carbon footprint. It will also provide outreach to Hong Kong’s building industry to upgrade the existing technology, as well as educate the next generation of scientists and engineers to work on highly interdisciplinary research in energy-efficient building. The team will integrate smart sensors, actuators and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to develop a new smart HVAC control system to significantly reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings. The smart sensors to be developed include low-cost CMOS MEMS thermal flow sensor/temperature sensor/energy sensor with integrated microelectronics using commercial CMOS MEMS foundry. The actuators include low-cost smart windows, personalized ventilation (PV) systems with integrated sensors. The smart HVAC controller will incorporate the advanced building modeling and Artificial Intelligence algorithms.

The team is working with HKUST’s Facility Management Office (FMO) to develop a working prototype of the proposed system in a demo room of the University towards the end of the project. In addition, they plan to promote the technology to government office buildings and industries in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

The HKUST MIT Research Alliance Consortium is an innovative world-class University-Industry collaborative research platform that attracts global top talents to develop the next breakthrough pre-competitive technologies in four research areas: (1) Internet-of-Things (IoT) for Intelligent Buildings & Transportation; (2) Data Science & E-learning Research; (3) Advanced Manufacturing and (4) Biomedical Systems. In the field of Internet-of-Things (IoT) for Intelligent Buildings and Transportation, the funded MAE project was one of which highly recommended for submission as ITSP among 11 proposals submitted by local universities in Hong Kong.