Postgraduate Programs 2017/18
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy  in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Program Short Name

MPhil(CBME)
PhD(CBME)

Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

MPhil
Full-time : 2 years
Part-time : 4 years

PhD
Full-time : 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (with a bachelor’s degree only)
Part-time : 6 years

Program Advisor

PG Programs Coordinator:
Prof Minhua SHAO, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Enquiry

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Program aims to strengthen students’ fundamental knowledge of Chemical Engineering, with specialization in the areas of chemical processing, materials, environment, energy and bioengineering. Students will be exposed to relevant issues involved in the scientific research, technology development and commercial applications in the field. A candidate for an MPhil degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program aims to instill in students the skills needed to identify research issues in Chemical Engineering, formulate an original research plan, and develop creative and innovative solutions that address the research issue. A candidate for a PhD degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.

The programs are offered by the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering with the following research foci and state-of-the-art facilities, providing students with an ideal environment for research.
 

Research Foci

Chemical and Biological Engineering is a highly diversified engineering and science discipline. The Department’s research can be classified into five major areas:
 

Advanced Materials
Nanomaterials, graphene, 2D materials, zeolites, novel polymers, polymer composites, DNA self-assembly process, polymer interfaces and surfaces as well as polymer/ceramic membranes. In-depth studies are being carried out in: nanomaterial synthesis and characterization, rheology, non-Newtonian flow, heat and mass transport, and process control associated with the injection-molding process.
 

Biomolecular Engineering
Molecular-level design and engineering of nature-derived and artificial materials for regenerative medicine, drug deliveries and therapeutics, novel sensing strategies and diagnostic platform for point of care, synthetic and systems biology, omics technology and bioinformatics.
 

Energy Technologies
Energy storage and conversion technologies including fuel cells, advanced batteries, solar cells, electrolyzers, and supercapacitors. Main research activities include optimization of energy systems, development of advanced materials and critical components, understanding reaction mechanisms, and modelling/ simulation.
 

Environmental Engineering
Air pollution formation and abatement, deodorization of indoor air, catalytic and advanced oxidation, electrocoagulation and electrooxidation, advanced methods for wastewater treatment, hazardous wastes and micro-contamination, waste minimization and cleaner technologies.
 

Product and Process Design
Design optimization, chemical processes, biochemical processes, environmental fate and transport, and surface phenomena and effects. The design of high value-added products, such as, food additives and pharmaceuticals, is also an active research area.
 

Facilities

The Department has state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation, including a high-performance liquid chromatograph, gas chromatographs with a mass selective detector, flame ionization detector, inductively coupled plasma spectrometer, organic carbon analyzer, UV/ visible spectrophotometer, Raman and FTIR spectrometers, differential scanning calorimeter, capillary rheometer and universal testing machine. In addition, each area of research has specific facilities available to it.

The University’s central facilities provide relevant supports, including an electronic support shop, instrumentation pool, machine shop and the Design and Manufacturing Services Facility. There are also advanced computing facilities, including a massive parallel processing computer.

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

 

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;

  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:
 

Proficiency Test Minimum Scores
TOEFL-iBT 80
TOEFL-pBT 550
IELTS (Academic Module) Overall score: 6.0 and All sub-scores: 5.5


Applicants don't need to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

    MPhil: 12 credits
    PhD: 18 credits
     

  2. Credit Transfer 

    PhD students entering with a master’s or equivalent degree in Engineering or related discipline from outside the Department may be granted credit transfer of up to 9 credits by the Department Head and PG Coordinator. Students entering with a master’s degree from the Department will be granted credit transfer of up to 12 credits, subject to the approval of the Department Head and PG Coordinator.
     

  3. Required Courses

    MPhil: 12 credits of postgraduate courses, with at least 6 credits in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
    PhD: 18 credits of postgraduate courses, with at least 9 credits in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

    PhD students entering without a degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering are encouraged to take some CENG undergraduate core courses, subject to the approval of their thesis supervisor.
     

  4. School Requirements on PhD Programs

    In addition to the program requirements, all full-time and part-time PhD students are required to complete the school requirements, which aim to help students gain a wider exposure to multidisciplinary areas, and attain all-rounded learning by broadening their knowledge base.

    PhD students are required to take at least a 3-credit course at 5000-level or above outside their programs offered by the School of Engineering. The 3 credits may be satisfied by courses from other Schools upon approval.

    In some exceptional cases where students can provide sufficient justifications and obtain prior approval from their supervisors, PG Coordinators, and Heads of Department/Program Directors or designees, they are allowed to take the 3-credit course within their home departments/programs but the course must be in areas outside their specialty.

    Details of the requirements are available on the website of the School of Engineering.
     

  5. Professional Development Course Requirement

PDEV 6770


Students are required to complete PDEV 6770.  The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.  

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval of the School.

 

  1. English Language Requirement

LANG 5001


Full-time students must complete LANG 5001. Students may be exempted from taking LANG 5001 with the agreement of the Department Head and PG Coordinator. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5001 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

 

  1. Postgraduate Seminar

CENG 6800


MPhil:
Full-time students, including students entering with the HKUST Master of Science degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, must take and pass CENG 6800 at least twice.  Part-time students must take and pass CENG 6800 at least once.  All students must present at least one seminar during their study, counting the oral defense of their MPhil thesis. 

PhD:
Full-time students must take CENG 6800 at least four times, pass at least twice, and present at least two seminars during their study, counting the oral defense of their PhD thesis.  Part-time students and students entering with the HKUST MPhil degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering must take CENG 6800 at least twice, pass at least once, and present at least one seminar during their study, counting the oral defense of their PhD thesis.

 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

To become a doctoral candidate, the student must pass a qualifying examination within the first 1.5 years of study. The qualifying examination consists of an oral examination given by the Thesis Supervision Committee. The purpose of the oral examination is to establish the student’s ability to formulate and conduct original research in the chosen discipline.
 

  1. Thesis Research

CENG 6990
CENG 7990

 

MPhil: 

  1. Registration in CENG 6990; and

  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis. 

PhD: 

  1. Registration in CENG 7990; and

  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis. 


If an MPhil student participates in an industrial project and writes a thesis on a work-related topic, the thesis will be supervised jointly by a faculty member of the Department and a representative from the participating company.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017

  1. Energy Technology Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Energy Technology concentration are required to:
 

  1. Take one ENEG course.
     

  2. Complete ENEG 6010 for one term. They can use ENEG 6010 to replace one term of registration of CENG 6800.
     

ENEG 6010

 

  1. Conduct research in energy area.

 

  1. Nanotechnology Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Nanotechnology concentration are required to:
 

  1. Take one NANO course.
     

  2. Complete NANO 6010 for one term. They can use NANO 6010 to replace one term of registration of CENG 6800.
     

NANO 6010

 

  1. Conduct research in nano area.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017