Prof. Cheah Kok Wai
Department of Physics
Professor Cheah has dedicated himself to research in areas of linear and non-linear optical properties of organic complexes, photonic nano-structures, plasmonics device and materials, and organic LED and organic photodiode. His remarkable publication record includes two books, 114 conference papers and 165 research articles which have appeared in top-tier refereed journals such as Advanced Materials, Physical Review Letters, Nano Letters and Nature Communications. The strong impact of his publications is also evidenced by the exceptionally high citation count on Google Scholar of over 5,800 and an H-index of 38. In collaboration with colleagues in the Faculty of Science, a total of five patents have been granted to date, with a further eight patents filed.
Professor Cheah's excellence in scholarly work is also demonstrated by his distinguished record in securing more than 40 grants from the Research Grants Council, the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC), the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Croucher Foundation and other sources including industry. Of these grants, he received 15 grants amounting to more than HK$32 million from the ITC.
In 2014, Professor Cheah led his research team in setting up a company, Cathay Photonics Limited, under the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities to commercialise their research outputs and facilitate knowledge transfer to the community. The creation of the "Ultra-hard, Anti-scratch Thin Film for portable devices won his team the HKBU Innovationem Award 2015. Since its establishment, the company has attracted increasing investment from large ventures, and its present value exceeds HK$100 million.
Professor Cheah has also been passionately devoted to his teaching duties, having supervised more than 30 MPhil and PhD students over the years. During his headship of the Department of Physics from 2008 to 2014, he contributed a great deal to implementing the new MSc in Green Technology programme. He is also founder and director of the Faculty's Institute for Advanced Materials.
As a prominent figure in his field, Professor Cheah became a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2013. Apart from holding several visiting and honorary positions in Mainland universities, he has served as a Council member of the Physical Society of Hong Kong and sat on the editorial board of the prestigious Journal of Modern Optics. He also serves in the Innovation and Technology Support Programme, Nanotechnology Subgroup Assessment Panel.
In view of his highly distinguished record in research and his contributions to heightening the profile of the University, Professor Cheah is awarded the President's Award for Outstanding Performance in Scholarly Work.