A New Journey Takes Off – SSC 7th round of research projects awarded

After rounds of fierce discussions and selections, 4 out of 24 prospective SSC proposals were finally awarded in April 2024. Congratulations to all awarded teams!

Co-led by the Sustainability/Net-Zero Office and the GREAT Smart Cities Institute, the Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab (SSC) is an initiative focusing on sustainability-related research, education and outreach on campus. Over the past years, SSC has worked closely with different faculty members, staff, alumni and students to develop numerous innovative projects implemented on campus. Some recent projects which you may have experienced including the Aquaponics system at Unibar, sleeping pods in the new student centre, Blockcerts for issuing graduation certificates, SmART sound project with soothing nature sound inside washrooms near lift 17-18, and the colourful SmART steps paintings you pass by every day at the stairs near lifts 13-15, 25-26 and lift 3.

Echoes with the newly launched campus EV charging infrastructures this year, the awarded “Green Parking with Edge AI Camera for Carpoolers and Electric Vehicle Drivers” led by Prof. Gary Chan from the Department of Computer Science & Engineering aims to bring a revolutionary change in car parking practice of USTers. The novel smart car parking system based on edge AI camera will enhance the efficiency of EV driver in looking for available EV chargers on campus through integrating the system into the existing HKUST staff app. It will also encourage carpooling practice by introducing priority parking lots to car-poolers.

Another highly anticipated awarded project – “Interactive UST map + Amazing Sustainability Race: Art-Tech for a better interactive Sustainable HKUST Campus” co-led by Prof. Changying Xiang from Division of Integrative Systems and Design, Prof. Wei Xue from Division of Emerging Interdisciplinary Areas and Prof. Mark Young from the Department of Management focuses on sustainability education on campus. Through introducing the interactive 5D map installation which fuses 3D mapping with multimedia such as videos and soundscapes, participants will go through different checkpoints on campus and learn about the University’s sustainability projects in a fun and multi-sensory setting.

“Smart Building Façade Inspection with Thermographic Images Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)” led by Prof. Shenghan Zhang from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering aims to improve the long-existing tile aging problem by introducing UAVs integrated with thermographic cameras in building façade inspection. If this is proved to be feasible, it is possible that this technology could replace the traditional manual “tile-tapping” test which requires scaffolding.

Another highlight is the first-ever awarded marine-based project, “Sustainable Smart Marine Grid (SSMG) - Solar-powered base stations for continuous underwater surveying and trash cleaning” led by Prof. Sai-Kit Yeung from Division of Integrative Systems and Design. As the University located along the shoreline, we have the geographical privilege in marine-related research. This project will introduce a pair of robots - unmanned surface vehicle and unmanned underwater vehicle in which they are equipped with underwater GPS and multiple sensors to scan the underwater environment and eliminate any debris on the seafloor. We hope this project serves as the starting point for a larger-scale marine surveying efforts in Hong Kong in the future.

If you are interested to learn more about the awarded projects, please feel free to connect with us at ssc@ust.hk. You may also check out our website here: https://ssc.hkust.edu.hk/ 

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