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Professor Xiao-ming TAO, Chair Professor of Textile Technology and Director of the Research Centre for Smart Wearable Technology, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), was honoured with the 13th Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Award by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE). The award presentation ceremony was held in Beijing today (8 November).
The biennial award is China's most prestigious award for Chinese engineers and scientists who have made significant contributions to engineering technology and engineering management. Since the establishment of the award in 1996, more than 250 individuals from across the spectrum of engineering disciplines have been recognised for their outstanding achievements. This year, 41 awardees were selected from 296 candidates and Professor Tao is one of the three award recipients from Hong Kong. All the three Hong Kong awardees were nominated by the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences (HKAES).
Professor TAO is internationally recognised for her leading research work on intelligent fibrous materials, nanotechnology, photonic fibres and fabrics, flexible electronic and photonic devices, smart washable technology, yarn manufacturing and textile composites. She has conducted numerous research projects and published more than 800 scientific publications including over 300 international journal papers and seven research monographs.
"I feel proud and deeply honoured to receive the national award. We extend our heartfelt thanks to CAE for recognising our research efforts and to HKAES for its nomination; this is, indeed, a great encouragement to us. Alongside rapid technological development, we are also seeing artificial intelligence, industrial automation, and digitalisation as major trends which are enormously transforming the mode of operation of traditional manufacturing industries," said Professor TAO. "We, as scientists and a close partner of the industry, will continue to leverage our strengths in research and development as well as the world's leading technologies to develop innovative solutions and help foster the development of the industry for the benefit of the community as a whole," she added.
Professor TAO has led a team of prolific inventors of new technologies and obtained 34 international and national patents. Over ten of the invented technologies have been licensed to companies worldwide for industrial applications. One of them is the Nu-torque single spun yarn technology that has been used by 11 yarn manufacturing companies for producing new textile and apparel products.
Professor TAO was the Head of the Institute of Textiles and Clothing of PolyU from 2003 to 2011. Under her guidance, the Institute became one of the leading fashion and textile departments in the world. Working closely with industry, Professor TAO successfully led the PolyU team to win a grant of over HK$330 million to host The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel. She also founded the Nanotechnology Centre for Functional and Intelligent Textiles and Apparel in 2004 and the Research Centre for Smart Wearable Technology in 2018.