UM establishes Department of Ocean Sciences and Technology

MACAU, November 24 – The Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) of the University of Macau (UM) today (November 24) held the first Hong Kong-Macau Ocean Forum and the opening ceremony of the Department of Ocean Science and Technology. A number of renowned experts and scientists joined the forum to exchange ideas on the topic of marine safety and sustainable development, while the opening ceremony marked the formal establishment of the Department of Marine Science and Technology at UM to promote research in Macau’s regional oceans and nurturing talent in the field.

At the ceremony, Huang Jing, Director General of China’s Agenda 21 Administrative Center; Yonghua Song, Chancellor of UM; Chen Dake, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Xu Chengzhong, Dean of FST; Gan Jianping, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Ocean Research Center; and Xu Jie, interim director of the Center for Regional Oceans, unveiled the plaque of the Department of Ocean Science and Technology. The ceremony attracted many faculty, students and industry professionals.

In his speech, UM Vice-Chancellor Ge Wei said that Macau’s waste development and utilization, coastal environment protection, and disaster prevention and mitigation have always been hot topics in the local community. To this end, UM actively promotes marine research and has made regional oceans one of its three key research areas. In 2020, UM established the Center for Regional Oceans to develop cutting-edge theories and innovative technologies in offshore civil engineering, ocean environment and ecology, and ocean disaster prevention. In 2022, UM played a leading role in establishing the Sino-Portuguese-Speaking Countries Ocean Research Alliance to promote cooperation in ocean science and education between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. According to him, to further promote talent and research development in this field, UM has decided to establish the Department of Ocean Science and Technology with a focus on the ocean environment, disaster prevention and mitigation, and smart ocean technology research. The Department offers a Master’s program in Coastal Environment and Safety with the aim of nurturing professionals in the field to meet the needs of the local community and integrate into the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the national platform for ocean sciences and technological innovation. This effort will also help build an international platform for ocean science and technology cooperation and support national strategies such as the Ocean-Centric Nation Policy and the Belt and Road Initiative.

In his speech, Lionel Ni, president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), said he was happy to see the opening of the first Hong Kong-Macau Ocean Forum. He pointed out that marine development and technological research are of great importance to GBA and the whole country, and expressed hope that all countries will contribute together to the development of GBA and the country’s marine development.

During the forum, experts and scientists gave presentations on the topic of safety of the marine environment and sustainable development. Chinese Academy of Sciences members Wu Lixin, Jiao Nianzhi, Chen Dake, Zhang Renhe, Dai Minghan and Dai Yongjiu, and Chinese Academy of Engineering member Zhang Xi also joined the forum either virtually or in person to discuss advanced scientific issues related to the ocean environment, disaster prevention and mitigation and smart ocean technology research.

Other guests attending the forum and ceremony included Huang Shengbiao, Deputy Chief of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government of Macao SAR; Yip Quai Lam, Member of the Administrative Committee of the Macau Science and Technology Development Fund; Mok Kai Meng, Vice-Chancellors of UM; Tang Iu Man, Deputy Director of the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau; Ng Si Io, Department Head of the Environmental Protection Bureau; Wu Chu Pang, Head of Marine Activities Division of the Bureau of Sea and Water; as well as Wong Kuan Long, head of the Marine Technology Division of the Bureau of Sea and Water.

The MSc program in Coastal Environment and Safety is now open for applications. The application deadline is February 28, 2023. For application and admissions information, please visit the UM Graduate School website at https://bit.ly/3U4ZPCG or the Department of Ocean Sciences and Technology website in the Faculty of Science and technologies at https://www.fst.um.edu.mo/ost/postgraduate/.

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