TechTalk

TechTalk – Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology (I&T) Development

March 22 2024 (Friday) 4:00-5:30pm
Ms Lillian Cheong will be sharing the latest updates on Hong Kong’s innovation and technology policies and also discuss the key initiatives outlined in the recent financial budget, specifically focusing on the policies related to innovation and technology. The sharing highlighting the strategic directions, funding opportunities, and support measures for startups and tech companies.
Attendees can expect to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the innovation ecosystem in Hong Kong and the government’s efforts to foster a vibrant and competitive environment for technological advancements.

TechTalk – The World at the Microscale: From Swimming Microorganisms to Artificial Microrobots

March 14 2024 (Thursday) 4:30-5:30pm
Swimming at microscales encounters stringent physical constraints due to the dominance of viscous forces over inertial forces. Swimming microorganisms have evolved their flexible appendages to overcome these constraints to swim effectively. These natural swimmers also developed versatile navigation strategies to explore their surroundings and search for specific targets. Extensive efforts in the past few decades have sought to elucidate underlying physical principles for cell motility, which has inspired a variety of designs for artificial microrobots. In this talk, I will discuss two problems of microswimmers in biological and artificial systems. I will first discuss the biophysical mechanisms through which swimming microorganisms sense and navigate their surroundings. I will then discuss the application of artificial intelligence in the development of intelligent microrobots that can self-learn how to swim and navigate at the microscale.

Young Scholar TechTalk – Customizable Acoustic Metamaterials on Frequency and Spatial Dimensions

March 12 2024 (Tuesday) 4:30-5:30pm
Acoustic metamaterials are artificially designed structured ‘atoms’. Initially, scientists discovered that these meta-atoms can exhibit extraordinary properties beyond those found in natural materials, such as negative density and negative modulus, through localized resonance, which sparked significant interest in the academic community. Subsequently, it was confirmed that these unique narrow-band frequency responses can be extended to broadband impedance designs, leading directly to the emergence of absorption metamaterials and opening up large-scale applications in noise reduction. In recent years, the potential of customizable metamaterials has gradually been realized. We will present our latest works from two complementary perspectives: customized frequencies and spatial non-uniformity, which may open up new applications such as directional emission, stealth cloaking and automotive acoustics.

TechTalk – Device-Independent Quantum Key Generation

March 7 2024 (Thursday) 4:30-5:30pm
The extraction of private, uniformly random bits from weakly random seeds is a problem of central importance in cryptography with multiple applications. A well-known result in classical computer science states that randomness extraction is possible using classical resources only when multiple independent sources are available. On the other hand, Quantum Entanglement enables a solution to the problem even in the so-called device-independent framework. Device-Independent quantum cryptography offers the highest form of security, wherein the users do not need to even trust the devices executing the cryptographic protocol, and can instead verify correctness and security by means of simple statistical tests on the devices. In this talk, we report on the state-of-art theoretical and experimental results on device-independent quantum cryptography, with a focus on quantum randomness amplification and quantum key distribution.

TechTalk – Nature-Inspired Fluidics

February 29 2024 (Thursday) 4:30-5:30pm
Fluids are ubiquitous in nature and transport of fluids plays an essential role in sustaining many activities across multiple scales. The mode of fluidic transport therefore also spans multiple length scales. Moreover, despite largely aqueous in nature, natural fluids exhibit complexity, dynamics and structures that have yet to be replicated synthetically. In this talk, I will share our works in designing approaches to form, manipulate and direct aqueous solutions. In particular, I will focus on unique properties of aqueous multiphase systems that may serve as model systems for understanding their natural counterparts. I will conclude by discussing how these systems can potentially inspire biomimetic and biomedical applications.

TechTalk – Unlock the Hidden Value of Bridges’ Reserve Capacity in Toll Highway Operation

February 22 2024 (Thursday) 4:30-5:30pm
The extra reserve capacity exists widely in highway bridges due to the conservative design and construction. In a case study of a highway flyover in Singapore, the flyover still possesses at least an additional 30% loading capacity after twenty years of operation. This additional capacity, which was achieved by consuming extra raw materials and energy when the bridge was built years ago, is considered another kind of “waste” since it has never been used. To make use of it, the speaker introduced the additional loading capacity into the framework of operating profit optimization. The unused loading capacity enables a higher volume of vehicles and a higher proportion of heavy vehicles, thus further leading to the increase in toll profit.

TechTalk – Health Care Applications with Natural Language Processing

April 5 2024 (Friday) 4:30-5:30pm
Unstructured documents often come with embedded structured data. Representing valuable and structured information as tables is popular in health, financial, and many domains. However, manual extraction of structured information from documents typically costs tremendous time and labor, motivating the need for a system for automating the process. After such tables have been extracted, the data can be used for a wide variety of tasks such as question answering and various “down-stream” analytics tasks. In this talk, we will discuss how to leverage ground breaking pre-trained language models (e.g., BERT, ChatGPT) to develop tools for automated table extraction from various types of documents. We will present different applications from cancer registry reporting, cancer care, and psychiatry hospitalization prediction.

TechTalk – (Cancelled) Technology for Bioelectronic Medicine

February 2 2024 (Friday) 2:30-3:30pm
Neurological conditions affect one in six people, imposing significant health, economic and societal burden. Bioelectronic medicine aims to restore or replace neurological function with the help of implantable electronic devices. Unfortunately, significant technological limitations prohibit these devices from reaching patients at scale, as implants are bulky, require invasive implantation procedures, elicit a pronounced foreign body response, and show poor treatment specificity and off-target effects. Over the past decade, new devices made using methods from microelectronics industry have been shown to overcome these limitations. Recent literature provides powerful demonstrations of thin film implants that are miniaturised, ultra-conformal, stretchable, multiplexed, integrated with different sensors and actuators, bioresorbable, and minimally invasive. I will discuss the state-of-the-art of these new technologies and the barriers than need to be overcome to reach patients at scale.

HKAES TechTalk – How clean is the air we breathe in urban areas?

February 20 2024 (Tuesday) 4:00-5:00pm
Air pollution continues to cause significant environmental health risks, leading to numerous premature deaths worldwide each year. To protect public health, many governments have implemented regulatory policies on mass concentration of major air pollutants, referencing the guideline values recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, new scientific evidence suggests various components in the air have different health effects. This talk will share research findings on the key toxic components of urban air from both chemical and biological aspects and their associated emission sources responsible for health effects.