About IPO

Our Divisions


Division of Environment & Sustainability

Climate change, pervasive pollution, and demand pressures on key natural resources pose serious challenges to sustainable development. Managing and minimizing these challenges requires a holistic approach involving basic and applied scientists, technologists, integrators, and policymakers in academia, industry and the government.

The Division of Environment & Sustainability (ENVR) seeks to meet such challenges. Our stimulating undergraduate and postgraduate programs place emphasis on interdisciplinary research, drawing in HKUST academics from different fields. Faculty members have backgrounds in science, engineering, business and social sciences to provide integrated and cutting-edge education on global environmental issues and emerging solutions.

Our academics also reach out to the community, raising public awareness on sustainability, fostering technology transfer and working with industry on applications with positive impact for society.

Research Themes

The Division’s main areas of focus are:

  • Atmospheric science and air pollution
  • Oceanic science and water pollution
  • Climate change policy and adaptations
  • Sustainability
  • Healthy living environment

We also work at the points where these areas intersect, such as the scientific understanding of management strategies and policy formulations.


HKUST Air Quality Research Supersite Facility is the first such facility in Hong Kong focusing on real-time characterization of air pollutants, especially particulate pollutants. Over HK$17 million of equipment is housed at the supersite. Other facilities and equipment that support teaching and learning include: the Environmental Central Facility; Coastal Marine Laboratory; environmental monitoring facilities; realtime air quality and meteorological forecasting systems; satellite receiving systems; and Geographical Information System.


Division of Public Policy    

Global policy challenges such as ageing, climate change, economic crises, and terrorism call for innovative solutions beyond institutional and disciplinary boundaries.  The new Division of Public Policy (PPOL) serves as an interdisciplinary academic division that helps advance HKUST’s vision in developing public policy as an emerging strategic area, by fostering close collaboration across disciplines, with a view to contributing more to policy development in key policy areas both locally and globally. 

Similar to other Divisions in IPO, the new Division adopts a horizontal structure spanning all Schools.  PPOL will further enhance the synergies between public policy and other on-going initiatives in interdisciplinary research and education, with an emphasis on impacts of advances in science and technology on policy making.

The Division will offer postgraduate programs and undergraduate common core courses and minor program. In addition, the Division will complement Institute for Public Policy (IPP) and the Leadership and Public Policy Executive Education (LAPP) to drive interdisciplinary policy research in the University.


PPOL will focus on policy research areas to take advantage of the existing strengths of HKUST and to address key policy challenges in Hong Kong/Greater China/the region. Leveraging on the existing strengths of HKUST, the Division will complement IPP in research of the following clusters identified by IPP:

Research Clusters identified by IPP

Potential Topics of Interest

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Smart city, research policy, regulatory policy for technological innovations, higher education policy, knowledge transfer, privacy and security
Environmental Policy and Sustainability Transboundary pollution, climate change, environmental policy instruments, energy security, urban resilience, water security, green finance
Social Changes and Public Policy Population policy, ageing, elderly care, health policy reforms, migration, social stratification, social inequalities
China’s Development Policy Infrastructure development, land, human resource development, regional integration, local government and development, public private partnership