The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program aims at developing the skills needed to identify issues related to Civil Engineering and the ability to formulate and propose solutions to a problem in an independent manner. A candidate for a PhD degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.
On successful completion of the PhD program, graduates will be able to:
- Acquire advanced knowledge in mathematics and science on which civil engineering research and practice are based;
- Acquire the ability to independently and ethically plan and conduct experiments, produce original experimental data and analyze and interpret the results;
- Acquire and further enhance an ability to develop and apply modern engineering and IT tools effectively and efficiently for engineering analysis, design, research and communication;
- Develop an ability to identify and formulate civil engineering problems, and propose feasible solutions with an appreciation of their underlying assumptions, uncertainties, constraints, and technical limitations within a multidisciplinary research environment;
- Develop technical competency to analyze and design civil engineering components and systems, with an in-depth understanding of the principles behind the design methodologies;
- Contribute cutting edge knowledge in at least one major area of specialization within civil engineering and demonstrate the ability to evaluate one’s own contribution to the field; and
- Develop an ability to teach a subject, communicate and present ideas effectively, including oral, written, and technical writing skills, and to function effectively within and among teams with a variety of backgrounds and interests.
The programs are offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with the following research foci and state-of-the-art facilities. The programs aim to provide students with the knowledge at the forefront of the field, so as to help minimize environmental hazards and improve the quality of people’s lives.
GREAT Smart Cities
One major research focus of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at HKUST is on GREAT Smart Cities. The acronym GREAT stands for:
- Green: cities planned with due considerations for life-cycle environmental impacts, natural resources consumption (e.g. air, water, energy, materials) and wastes generation and treatment;
- Resilient: cities developed with infrastructure capacities and system redundancies to manage disruptions without severely affecting their essential functioning;
- Empowering: cities designed for people, empowering well-being, efficiency, innovation, and productive partnerships;
- Adaptable: cities designed with their infrastructure and systems adaptable to changes in new technology (e.g. autonomous vehicles) and global warming; and
- Transformative: cities designed for empowering their institutions and citizens to define and reposition their growth directions and strategies.
Our objectives are to develop and apply smart tools for the context of GREAT infrastructure planning and development. Through the establishment of a broad platform for developing large-scale projects and inter-disciplinary collaborations, jointly we will do GREAT things for future cities.
Infrastructure Development and Planning
Building-system design and analysis, monitoring and analysis of highway bridges, wind and seismic engineering, geotechnical engineering and soil-structure interaction, construction materials, transportation system modeling and operation, integrated risk and reliability assessment, and infrastructure system enhancement.
Green Building and Sustainable Development
This is an interdisciplinary area, with projects including the development of green building design standards, eco-friendly materials and technologies, recycling of construction materials, green retrofit and renovation technologies, and optimization of energy and water usage.
Intelligent Construction Materials
Development of advanced composite materials, cement-based functional materials and sustainable cementitious materials, application of composite materials for infrastructure repairs, and nanotechnology in concrete design.
Environmental and Water Resources Studies
Innovative physical, chemical and biological water and wastewater treatment processes, environmental quality management, remediation of contaminated soils and groundwater, mixing and transport phenomena of pollutants in natural and man-made systems, water resources management and engineering, stochastic optimization of water quality and resources and environmental fluid mechanics.
The Department supports an excellent range of facilities comprising laboratories for structural engineering, construction materials, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering, fluid mechanics, intelligent transportation systems, computation, and surveying. All are equipped to the highest standards with advanced instrumentation available. The Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility is equipped with a hydraulic biaxial shaking table and a 4-axis robotic manipulator.
The University’s central facilities include an electronic support shop, instrumentation pool, machine shop, CAD/ CAM laboratory and the Materials Characterization and Preparation Facility. HKUST also maintains state-of-the-art computing facilities.
To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.1. General Admission Requirements of the University
- Applicants seeking admission to a master’s degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;
- Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.
2. English Language Admission Requirements
Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:
- TOEFL-iBT: 80*
- TOEFL-pBT: 550
- TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test: 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)
- IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-score: 5.5
* refers to the total score in one single attempt
Applicants are not required to present TOEFL or IELTS score if
- their first language is English, or
- they obtained the bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.