Materials engineering focuses on characterizing and processing new materials, developing processes for controlling their properties and their economical production, generating engineering data necessary for design, and predicting the performance of products. Research topics include: smart materials; biomaterials; thin films; composites; fracture and fatigue; residual life assessment; materials issues in electronic packaging; materials recycling; plastics flow in injection molding; advanced powder processing; desktop manufacturing; and instrumentation and measurement techniques.
A research team led by Professor Shi-Wei Ricky Lee of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering successfully developed High Brightness Light Emitting Diodes (HB-LEDs) array modules to help the MTR Corporation to be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly on their trains. This again reflects UST's key role in the development of Hong Kong by forging partnerships with business and industry.
Solid state lighting using HB-LEDs consumes less electricity than conventional fluorescent light tubes used in households. HB-LEDs generate 'cold light', which has no heat radiation, resulting in savings on air-conditioning costs. They also have a useful life of more than 10 years which is at least six times longer than fluorescent lighting, resulting in less replacement costs and less waste being generated.