In 2005, the University celebrated the inauguration of the first 8 Endowed Professorships,
a milestone in the University's history.
To date, a total of 120 Endowed Professorships have been established.
Kingboard Chemical Holdings Limited

Kingboard Professorship in Materials Engineering

"It is always new materials that open the door to new technologies. Kingboard whole-heartedly supports this Endowed Professorship in Materials Engineering and HKU’s mission in being the vanguard in technological advancement. "

Kingboard Chemical Holdings Limited

Alfonso H W Ngan

Alfonso H W Ngan

Appointed in 2011

The Department of Mechanical Engineering was established in 1958, and has since enjoyed a steady growth in staff and student numbers and a burgeoning reputation for excellence. It has continuously developed over the years and has diversified its academic courses, departmental facilities and research. The department provides high-quality and widely recognised programmes and is staffed by professionals who have graduated from world-renowned establishments and who are firmly dedicated in their teaching and highly active in their respective research fields.

Professor Alfonso Ngan studied at the University. In an outstanding academic career, he graduated in 1989 with First Class Honours and won the Williamson Prize, awarded to the best student in the Engineering Faculty. He then obtained a scholarship to study for his PhD in Materials Science at Birmingham University, taking only two years and nine months to complete his thesis, which won the university’s Thomas Turner Research Prize for the best thesis in Materials and Metallurgy. After spending a year at Oxford as a Research Fellow, he joined HKU as a Lecturer in Materials Technology and Solid Mechanics in 1993. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2003, and Professor in 2006.

Professor Ngan’s research interests include the microstructural basis of mechanical properties in metallic minerals, electron microscopy for materials engineering, and crystalline defects and their modelling. His work is focused on the mechanical properties of micron and submicron sized material volumes, nanomechanics and nanoindentation, and nano-biomechanics.

He is an elected Fellow of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IMMM) in the UK; a concurrent Professor of Nanjing University and a Visiting Professor of the Central Iron and Steel Research Institute in Beijing.

Professor Ngan has published 120 journal papers, with 1,300 citations, and is ranked internationally in the Essential Science Indicators as being among the top 0.5 percent of Materials Science researchers. He has also co-authored a textbook and has gained one US patent.

In addition to his earlier prizes, he won the Outstanding Young Researcher Award at HKU in 2001, and the Outstanding Researcher Award in 2007. In the same year he was also recognised with the Rosehain Medal and Prize by the IMMM, and, in 2008, was conferred a higher doctorate (DSc) by the University of Birmingham.

Among his many services to HKU, Professor Ngan is Chairman and Head of the University’s Electron Microscope Unit, and Convenor of the University’s Strategic Theme on Nano-biotechnology. He has received invitations to present plenary and keynote papers at numerous international conferences, and has been involved in organising prestigious international events in Hong Kong and the USA.