Winner of the President's Award for Excellent Performance and Achievement in Teaching 2007/08

  Dr Alan K.T. Lau

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Dr Alan K.T. Lau, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), who joined PolyU in September 2000, is awarded the President’s Award for Excellent Performance and Achievement in Teaching.

Dr Lau has made tremendous contribution in the enhancement of the teaching and learning activities of the Department through adopting innovative teaching approaches and having successfully secured over HK$4M donations from the industry to support the development of such activities and related facilities. He has participated actively in various student development projects and organized different types of out-of-class activities to enhance students’ learning experience. In addition to developing web-based laboratory sessions which enable students to conduct experiments at home, Dr Lau has conducted many seminars for students on up-to-date technologies and knowledge in their field. He has also organized overseas study tours and local factory visits, in order to provide students with better understanding of the process in product design and manufacturing, and to groom them to become readily-employable graduates for the industry.

Dr Lau encourages and supervises students to participate in various internal and external product design competitions. Since becoming an academic staff member of the Department in 2002, he has supervised 26 final-year student projects. Under his supervision, his students have won numerous competitions over the past years and have been granted two patents on their designed products. The awards received by his students include the PolyU-IDT Innovative Entrepreneur Contest Award, the Jardine Engineering Corporation Outstanding Engineering Project Award, as well as awards from The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the Fong’s Industrial Design Competition. In 2006, his students were the Champion, 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner-up of the Hong Kong Design Technology Competition, which is one of the biggest design competitions supported by the HKSAR government and the product design industry in Hong Kong. Through these competitions, his students have developed and practised social, presentation and marketing skills in promoting their design and products.

Dr Lau’s research performance is also impressive. His publications have over 880 citations and an h-index of 14 since 2002. Three of his articles were among those in the top 1% of the most cited articles within his field in 2006 and 2007 by THOMSON, according to Essential Science IndicatorsSM. His good research work has made him an expert in his area of teaching.

Dr Lau has received very positive student feedback and has consistently obtained high SFQ scores for the classes that he has taught. His excellent teaching has also been well recognized through his students’ achievements. This fits into the saying that “An accomplished disciple owes his accomplishments to his great teacher”.