Prof. Lionel NI appointed as Founding President of HKUST

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) announced today that the HKUST Council and the Governing Board of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) (HKUST(GZ)), have unanimously approved the appointment of Prof. Lionel NI Ming-Shuan as the Founding President of HKUST(GZ), effective after the official approval of the Ministry of Education for the formal establishment of HKUST(GZ).

Prof. Lionel Ni
Prof. Lionel Ni

Prof. Ni is a highly accomplished scholar in computer science and engineering with broad research interests and wide international recognition. He received, among others, the esteemed Overseas Outstanding Contribution Award from China Computer Federation in 2009 and is honored the Second Class Award in Natural Science for Research Excellence by the State Council, China, 2011. He was also appointed as the Chief Scientist of the renowned National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) under the Ministry of Science and Technology in Mainland China between 2006 and 2011.

First joining the University in 2002 as Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Prof. Ni was later promoted to the Dean of HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School and Special Assistant to the President between 2010 and 2014. He was also the director of several research institutes between 2006 and 2014. During 2015 to 2019, Prof. Ni was appointed as the Vice Rector (Academic Affairs) of the University of Macau. He rejoined HKUST as Provost in 2019.

During the past two years, Prof. Ni has been actively leading different academic initiatives and new developments with forward-looking pedagogy and innovative technology to suit changing needs and situations. Under Prof. Ni’s leadership, the development process of the HKUST(GZ) campus is running on full steam with substantial progress made on many fronts, ranging from academic and research development, campus planning and design development, faculty and staff recruitment, to student admission for the Guangzhou pilot scheme, all against the target of opening the campus in September 2022.

Mr. Andrew LIAO Cheung-Sing, Chairman of the HKUST Council, was pleased about the new appointment. “Prof. Ni has been instrumental in spearheading HKUST’s innovative teaching and learning, especially during the past two years when the University was struck by the global pandemic amid other challenges. Given his seasoned administrative experience and passion in driving excellence, I am confident that he will steer well the establishment of HKUST(GZ) in nurturing global innovative talents in the Greater Bay Area and contribute to the technological development and advancement in the region and beyond.”

Prof. Wei SHYY, Chairman of the HKUST(GZ) Governing Board and President of HKUST, also extended his warm congratulations to Prof. Ni. “Given his first-hand knowledge and experience at HKUST, Prof. Ni is the most qualified candidate to lead HKUST(GZ) in fulfilling our vision for the “Unified HKUST, Complementary Campuses” framework. With his longstanding dedication and leadership, the HKUST community will render Lionel enthusiastic support as he leads the new endeavor.”

Prof. Ni earned his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University in the US and served as the Microelectronic Systems Architecture Program Director at US National Science Foundation from 1995 to 1996. He was a full Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University in the US until 2002 prior to joining HKUST.

With the above new appointment at HKUST(GZ), Prof. Ni will resign from his current position as the Provost of HKUST with effect from June 1, 2021. HKUST will conduct a global search for his replacement.

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