HONG KONG - Ford Motor Company recently announced the first recipients of its Ford-Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Conservation and Environmental Research Grants program, awarding 23 graduate students from the University’s School of Engineering with research funding totaling HKD1 million.
The unique partnership and Research Grants Program with HKUST was established earlier this year as a foundation to bring Ford’s global Conservation and Environmental Grants program to Hong Kong.
Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, was on hand to personally recognize and honor the engineering students and their winning proposals, presenting each with an official award certificate.
“It is truly inspiring to meet these passionate, really smart students and discuss their innovative ideas,” said Mulally. “These kinds of conservation solutions are so important to the future sustainability of the environment, and they are perfectly aligned with Ford’s efforts to create great products, build a strong business and help build a better world.”
The initial funding for the Conservation and Environmental Research Grants is comprised of equal donation amounts from both Ford and HKUST. The grants will support the expenditure items of recipients, including research, field study and laboratory needs. Research will be carried out from now through May 2014.
The HKUST graduate students are receiving academic grants for research around environmental sustainability and conservation engineering, with a focus on green motoring and transportation. The projects are receiving the financial support for the 2013-2014 academic year.
The research proposals included areas such as optimizing heat management in hybrid-electric vehicles, powering vehicle A/C systems through recycled exhaust heat, and cooling automotive inverters by maximizing lithium-ion batteries and super-capacitor performance with nano-materials.
“We are so impressed by the creativity of the students’ proposals, the sophistication of their planned execution, as well as their potential for the real-life application of their solutions,” said David Westerman, regional manager, Asia Pacific Emerging Markets Group, Ford Motor Company.
“This is only just the beginning for these students, as well as for our partnership with HKUST. We cannot wait to see the research results when the projects are completed next year,” said Westerman.
Also honoring the winners was Hong Kong-born and educated Chelsia Lau, Chief Designer, Strategic Concepts Group, Ford Motor Company, based in Shanghai. Lau served on the grants jury panel and kicked off the program earlier this year by sharing her own Hong Kong success story with the students.
“The Ford-HKUST Conservation and Environmental Research Grants help push innovative thinkers even further and will empower students to conduct research that will benefit us all,” explained Lau at the recent awards ceremony.
Ford’s Conservation and Environmental Grants Program
Founded in 1983, the Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants program was created to empower individuals and non-profit groups to conduct research and projects which help preserve the environmental well-being of their communities and provide solutions contributing to a sustainable planet.
Since launching, Ford has awarded more than USD 5 million in grants to hundreds of environmental projects in more than 60 countries around the world.
In Asia Pacific, Ford has played a pivotal role in advancing environmental initiatives for more than a decade across multiple markets, from protecting wildlife and preventing forest fires, to funding cultural heritage projects and replenishing resources in rural communities.