Professor Timothy W. Tong Takes Office as PolyU President

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) begins a new era this year in welcoming Professor Timothy W. Tong as new President with effect from 1 January 2009.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) begins a new era this year in welcoming Professor Timothy W. Tong as new President with effect from 1 January 2009. Prior to his current appointment, Prof. Tong was Dean of School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at The George Washington University in the United States.

In his greeting message to the PolyU community, Prof. Tong said, "Thanks to my predecessors, the wise counsel of all past and present Chairmen and Members of the University Council and Court, and to our staff members, students and alumni, PolyU has established an excellent reputation as the pioneer and leader in offering quality professional education in Hong Kong."

"I will work closely with my colleagues towards the goal of fostering holistic education, so that our students can make the most of their university education, and in turn contribute their knowledge and skills to better serve the community as proud graduates of PolyU," added Prof. Tong.

Prof. Tong was born and raised in Hong Kong. After completing his secondary education at Hong Kong Christian College, he pursued further studies in the US where he received his B.S degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University in 1976; M.S. and PhD in the same discipline from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978 and 1980. He completed his doctoral study under the supervision of the late prominent educator Prof. Tien Chang-Lin.

A well accomplished academic in the field of mechanical engineering, Prof. Tong has authored/co-authored seven books and conference proceedings and published more than 80 technical articles in international journals. Many of his publications are highly cited internationally. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of International Thermal Conductivity Conference.

He started his academic career in 1980 at the University of Kentucky and served in different capacities at Arizona State University, Sandia National Laboratories and National Science Foundation. Before joining The George Washington University, he served as Professor and Head of Mechanical Engineering Department at the Colorado State University.

He was voted, for three consecutive years from 1994 to 1996, as Teacher of the Year by the Arizona State University Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma, and received the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers in recognition of his teaching innovation.

During the eight years when he served as Dean of SEAS, the School has grown from strength to strength. The School, with an annual revenue of about US$50 million, has 230 full-time and part-time faculty members and approximately 2,500 students -- almost 80 per cent are postgraduate students. Under his Deanship, SEAS substantially boosted the number of its student enrollment as well as their quality and thus significantly improved its financial situation. Furthermore, the School's annual external research funding also increased by about 40 per cent, and more than US$50 million donation was raised. In 2004, the School ranked 16th on the number of master's degrees awarded in engineering. It ranked first in the percentage of engineering doctoral degrees awarded to women in the US.

Prof. Tong substantially expanded the School's internship initiative so that all students would graduate with appropriate work experience. He also established a Council on Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer and Commercialization to create an entrepreneurial culture among students, faculty and alumni.

He also provided consultancy services to many major corporations and research institutions such as Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, Motorola, FMC and Oakridge National Laboratory, etc. He was Program Director of the US National Science Foundation where he established a jointly funded programme by the Foundation and Sandia National Laboratories. He was Acting Director of Center for Energy Systems Research at Arizona State University.

Prof. Tong has been actively involved in the work of many academic and professional organizations. Major organizations he has served or is still serving include the US National Science Foundation Engineering Advisory Committee and the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, the School of Engineering Advisory Committee and Mechanical Engineering Advisory Committee of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Heat Transfer Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Prof. Tong has been collaborating with universities in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland and thus understands well the higher education landscapes in the region. He has also been very active in fostering academic collaboration internationally.

Press Contact    :     Ms Florence Chan            
            Acting Director of Communications and Public Affairs    
Tel        :     2766 5219

Press Contact    :     Mr Wilfred Lai            
            Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs    
Tel        :     2766 5218


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Regina Yu
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
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