Prof. Charles NG Awarded Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation Prize

Prof. Charles NG Wang-Wai, Chair Professor of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was awarded the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation (何梁何利基金) Prize for Scientific and Technological Progress (科學與技術進步獎) 2022. The Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation, which was established in 1994, is a Hong Kong–based NGO that annually bestows prizes upon Chinese scientists. This years prize-giving ceremony, which was held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on 17 February, handed out prizes for 2021 and 2022 to 112 winners for their outstanding work and contribution to their respective fields.

“It’s so wonderful to be finally back in Beijing,” says Prof. Ng. In 2021, he was supposed to come to Beijing to receive another award, but was unable to make the trip because of the COVID pandemic. The current prize is therefore doubly meaningful, as it heralds the emergence of Greater China from the shadows of the pandemic.

A world-renowned leader of geotechnics and geotechnical engineering, Prof. Ng has served as President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) (from 2017 to 2022). For him, winning the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Scientific and Technological Progress holds special significance: It serves as a benchmark and a symbol of mutual recognition between Hong Kong and the Mainland.”

“I’m particularly thrilled by this prize because it presents a great opportunity for us to showcase the calibre and quality of our research to prospective mainland students. Hong Kong’s challenges in recent years have deterred some quality mainland students; their rates of choosing to continue their education in Hong Kong has dropped by as much as 30%. Many of them instead have opted for opportunities in the UK and U.S.. However, as order has returned, we hope to let more prospective students see that Hong Kong also possesses world-class universities, research teams and personnel, facilities, as well as capabilities.”

For over 20 years, Prof. Ng and his team have endeavoured to research the fundamentals of geotechnics. Recently, Prof. Ng has turned his research attention toward sustainable development, and he hopes to leverage new technologies to not only build greener, safer and more environmentally-friendly urban ecologies and cities, but also improve the lives of future generations.

The new unsaturated soil experimental system developed by Prof. Ng and his team has been adopted by nearly 300 research institutes, universities, and government departments worldwide. As people continue to recover from the pandemic, scientific research, academic collaboration as well as intellectual exchange between China and Hong Kong have resumed. Prof. Ng is confident that the theory and application of unsaturated soil will continue to grow and become an increasingly important field.

Our heartfelt congratulations to Prof. Ng!

What to read next