Crossing the Cultural Divide in Higher Education


跳出文化框架 培育多元人才


Our educational system trains students and young scholars to learn and work in discrete domains, to be more concerned about getting the “right” answer, and less about presenting the answer in the appropriate context. Contrast this with the world around us: community and global problems of any significance do not fit neatly into single disciplinary packages; there are multiple solutions to the same problem; and delivering the message is often as important as the message itself. Some of our young scholars can cope with this cultural transition with ease, while others struggle. This talk presents a few examples from the perspective of an educator, researcher, and aviator, not only to illustrate the issue at hand, but also to suggest possible solutions.


Biography of our Honorable Speaker


Prof. Chung Yip-Wah
Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering
Northwestern University, Illinois, USA

Yip-Wah Chung obtained his BS (physics and mathematics) and MPhil (physics) degrees from the University of Hong Kong, and PhD (physics) from the University of California at Berkeley. He then joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. He served as Director of the Center for Engineering Tribology at Northwestern from 1987 to 1992, as Department Chair from 1992 to 1998, and as program officer in surface engineering and materials design at the US National Science Foundation. He has served many years on the Hong Kong Research Grants Council and is currently a member of the Hong Kong University Grants Committee. He has published 200 papers in surface science, thin films, tribology, and alloy design, two textbooks (Practical Guide to Surface Science and SpectroscopyIntroduction to Materials Science and Engineering), and one monograph (Micro-and Nanoscale Phenomena in Tribology). He was named Fellow, ASM International; Fellow, AVS; and Fellow, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers. His other awards include Teacher of the Year in Materials Science, Innovative Research Award and Best Paper Awards from the ASME Tribology Division, Technical Achievement Award from the National Storage Industry Consortium, Bronze Bauhinia Star Medal from the Hong Kong SAR Government, and Advisory Professor from Fudan University. He is also an FAA multi-engine instrument-rated commercial pilot and an advanced/instrument ground instructor.


For enquiries, please contact Miss Mei Chan at or 3411 2014.


Date: 7 Dec 2012 (Friday)

Time: 11:45am – 1:00pm

Venue: Auditorium (AAB 201), 2/F, Academic & Administration Building, Baptist University Road Campus, HKBU

All staff & students are welcome!


Good news to HKBU students!
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This seminar is recognized as a CCL seminar. You can fulfill one CCL seminar by attending the whole seminar.