The HKUST Institute for the Environment (IENV) is an interdisciplinary research platform that focuses on conducting and supporting research related to environmental improvement in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and beyond. In particular, the Institute has a proven track record in conducting air quality research that has been transferred into real societal impact through policy recommendations both locally and regionally. Regular collaborations with a spectrum of stakeholders including, academics, industrial and environmental partners, facilitate its mission to create a greener, healthier and more sustainable society.

Key Research Areas

Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases
Air quality research at IENV involves a spectrum of research topics including characterization of air pollutants including greenhouse gases, analysis and modeling of air pollution, air quality. We have a solid track record in conducting air quality related studies in Hong Kong and the region. Our research findings have been adopted in many different ways in the policymaking process both locally and regionally.
Smart City & High Performance Buildings
High-performance buildings with optimized energy efficiency and improved environment are critical to the success of smart, healthy, and sustainable development in modern cities. With strength in sensor technology, building modeling, and pollution exposure assessment, we have developed strategies to tackle energy and environmental problems within buildings. By working with engineers, we have demonstrated co-benefits achievable in buildings by proper retrofit and smart monitoring. The Institute facilitates research and conversation that translates to practical, innovative solutions to inform policies on carbon reduction and sustainable development.
Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience
Climate change and its associated effects is an urgent global challenge. IENV has strong expertise in modeling climate systems, spanning global to regional scales and including both atmosphere and ocean. We have rich experience in studying the regional response of weather extremes and circulation to global warming. The Institute facilitates research and conversation that translates into information and policy recommendations.
Green Finance
The research focus is to strengthen Hong Kong as an international financial centre by thoroughly examining green finance on individual investors, financial institutions, the finance industry, government and regulators, as well as project owners. Through analytical and empirical research conducted in collaboration with stakeholders across these sectors, the research will generate a solid understanding of the interplay between financial services and projects that are low-carbon and environmentally sustainable.

Key Research Projects

A Paradigm-shifting, Fully-integrated, Compact Wastewater-to-resource Facility (WWRF) Prof Guanghao Chen
Review of the Air Quality Objectives - Feasibility Study Prof Jimmy Fung
Evaluation of the Impacts of Volatile Organic Compounds in Ambient Air on Ozone Formation in Hong Kong Prof Dasa Gu
Personalized-Realtime Air Quality Informatics System for Exposure - Hong Kong Prof Alexis Lau
PM2.5 for Air Quality Improvement in the Pearl River Delta Region Prof Alexis Lau
Photochemical Air Pollution in Highly Urbanized Subtropical Regions: From Microenvironments to Urban-terrestrial-oceanic Interactions Prof Alexis Lau
Impact of Complex Urban Built Environments on the Dynamics of Vehicular NO and NO2 Emission Dispersion from the Tailpipe to the Roadside Atmosphere Prof Zhi Ning
Controlled-release Antimicrobial Hydrogel for Decreasing Microbial Viability in Toilet Flush Water Prof King Lun Yeung
Real-time Airborne Particulate Matter Pollution Source Identification Prof Jianzhen Yu



  • The Environmental Central Facility (ENVF) under IENV will regularly provide support in environmental sampling and analysis for HKUST’s UG students as well as offer assistance to high school students in carrying out calibration in ENVF lab for the EXPLORE project.
  • Regularly organized environmental, climate change, sustainability, green finance related seminars and events to scholars, students, consultants, representatives from public utilities, business, bank and finance, media, governors, consulates, NGOs.

Executive Committee

Advisory Committee


Prof Alexis Lau

Director, IENV

Prof Guanghao Chen

Associate Director, IENV

Prof Jimmy Fung

Associate Director, IENV

Prof Simon Chan

Department of Chemistry

Prof Arthur Lau

Division of Environment and Sustainability

Prof Weijia Wen

Department of Physics

Prof King Lun Yeung

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Prof Jianzhen Yu

Department of Chemistry and
Division of Environment and Sustainability

Prof Prof Xiangru Zhang

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering