Professor Alan K T Lau



Pro Vice-Chancellor

International and Digital Research

Swinburne University of Technology


European Academy of Sciences

European Academy of Sciences and Arts





Dr Lau received 4-year craft apprentice training in an engineering company in Hong Kong beginning in 1987. He went on to obtain bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from RMIT University, Australia in 1996 and 1997, respectively. During that period, he also worked for General Aviation Maintenance Pty Ltd, Australia, as an Engineer Trainee, and for the Corporative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS), Australia, as research assistant, designing a repair scheme for composite preforms. He received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in 2001. He was appointed Assistant Professor at PolyU in 2002 and promoted to Associate Professor and then Full Professor in 2005 and 2010, respectively. In 2013, he was appointed Associate Dean (Industrial Relations) of the Faculty of Engineering in the same university. Due to his strong connection with the enterprises in Hong Kong, he was also appointed as Alex Wong/Gigi Wong Endowed Professor with the endowment fund of HK$ 10M, in Product Design Engineering in the same year. During his time working in Hong Kong, he helped PolyU to secure over HK$20 million in funding and donations to support research and teaching activities. He worked closely with the Alumni Affairs and Development Office of PolyU to liaise with the local industry to seek for supports and donations. Currently, he is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Performance and Development, and International and Digital Research) of Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, where his main duty is to look after research development of the University, focusing on international research engagement and partnerships and the university’s ranking strategy.


Dr Lau has performed research excellent in the fields of materials science and engineering and product design and development, he has received numerous research and teaching awards, including Best Paper Awards on Materials, The Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship Award, Young Scientist Award, Young Engineer of the Year Award, Faculty Outstanding Award for Research and Scholarly Activities, Award for Outstanding Research in Nanocomposites for Space Applications (USA), Most Cited Paper Award, the President Award in Teaching 2008 and the Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology at the 20th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, USA (2009). He was also the winner of the Ernest L. Boyer International Award for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology (the first scholar outside the United States to receive this honour) and the Most Cited Paper Award in Composites Part B: Engineering (issued by Elsevier Science). In 2011, Dr Lau received the Outstanding International Researcher Award and the Outstanding International Research Leader Award from the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMR). He was the first person to receive both awards, making this achievement exceptional. At the same year, He received the 1st Technology Award in Heilongjiang Province, China in Space Smart and Structural Health Monitoring Research. 100 Professorship Scheme in Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China. In 2013, he was awarded the University Grant Committee (UGC) Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2019, he has been ranked as the Australia Research Theme Leader in Composite Materials. Only one scholar to have this honour every year. For his significant contributions to the field of science and engineering, he was elected as Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences and European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2007 and 2016, respectively. Since 2002, Dr Lau has edited 9 books and published over 260 scientific and engineering articles. His publications have been cited over 21,000 with h-index of 69. Dr Lau has also actively participated in many consultancy activities in industry, and the scope of his works covers many areas, including failure analysis, product design and development, expert opinion for court cases and marketing strategy for local SMEs.


In 2014, Dr Lau was appointed Independent Non-Executive Director of King’s Flair International (Holdings) Limited to help establish its long-term strategy for product development. In 2014, he was elected International Vice President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the first foreign Vice President in the history of the Institution. During his terms (2014-2017 and 2017 to 2019), he managed the operation of 7 international regions with over 28,000 members (international members, one-fourth of IMechE’s total membership). He is also the Chairman of the Professional Accreditation Panel for APEC/IPEA for Korea. Since 2005, Dr Lau has served as committee member for many professional bodies in Hong Kong and Australia. He is adjunct professor for five universities in the world. In 2009, he was appointed as World Class University Chair Professor in Korea, where this programme focused on nano-scale to large-scale product development. The programme was funded by the Korean Ministry of Education with support of over US$12,500,000/year from 2009 to 2014. Afterward, it has been converted to the BK Plus programme and he remains a key member in the programme. In the [past 10 years, Dr Lau has been appointed as Chairman of over 20 international conferences and delivered numerous keynote and invited lectures. He is Foreign Advisor of Tongji University-Sichuan Basalt Fiber Composite Development Engineering Centre and the Chair of two academician working stations in Sichuan and Tianjin. He is also Panel member of Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and Australia-China Research Science Foundation. 


In the past years, Dr Lau has established various research partnership agreements, including joint research centres and dual-PhD programmes, with over 10 universities in China, Korea and Vietnam to foster University’s research strength and capability. In China, Dr Lau has established joint research centres with Shandong University, Shenzhen University, Tongji University and Shanghai University. He has also helped develop partnered PhD programs and dual undergraduate degree programs with many universities in China and Hong Kong. The outcomes are clearly seen through the increased student numbers and research income. All of these activities are supported by the local governments of our partners to enhance research collaboration between the countries. Since 2016, the University has received over AUD 150 million in donations from industry to support research in carbon-based materials, smart cities, industry 4.0, cybersecurity and product design and development. In 2020, Dr Lau has been appointed as Non-Executive Director of Oceania Cyber Security (OCSC) Centre Limited, Director of STAWELL Underground Physics Laboratory Company (SUPLC) and Board member of ARC Training Centre for Advanced Technologies in Rail Track Infrastructure (ARC IITC).   He also serves as an Advisory Board member of the Future Fibre Hub in Australia.