PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Program Description

chem eng

The programme is offered by the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering with the following research foci and state-of-the-art facilities, providing students with an ideal environment for research.

Research Foci

Chemical and Biological Engineering is a highly diversified engineering and science discipline. The Department’s research can be classified into five major areas:

Advanced Materials

Nanomaterials, graphene, 2D materials, zeolites, novel polymers, polymer composites, DNA self-assembly process, polymer interfaces and surfaces as well as polymer/ceramic membranes. In-depth studies are being carried out in nanomaterial synthesis and characterization, rheology, non-Newtonian flow, heat and mass transport, and process control associated with the injection-moulding process.

Biomolecular Engineering

Molecular-level design and engineering of nature-derived and artificial materials for regenerative medicine, drug deliveries and therapeutics, novel sensing strategies and diagnostic platform for point of care, synthetic and systems biology, omics technology and bioinformatics.

Energy Technologies

Energy storage and conversion technologies including fuel cells, advanced batteries, solar cells, electrolyzers, and supercapacitors. Main research activities include optimization of energy systems, development of advanced materials and critical components, understanding reaction mechanisms, and modelling/ simulation.

Environmental Engineering

Air pollution formation and abatement, deodorization of indoor air, catalytic and advanced oxidation, electrocoagulation and electrooxidation, advanced methods for wastewater treatment, hazardous wastes and micro-contamination, waste minimization and cleaner technologies.

Product and Process Design

Design optimization, chemical processes, biochemical processes, environmental fate and transport, and surface phenomena and effects. The design of high value-added products, such as food additives and pharmaceuticals, is also an active research area.


The Department has state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation, including a high-performance liquid chromatograph, gas chromatographs with a mass selective detector, flame ionization detector, inductively coupled plasma spectrometer, organic carbon analyzer, UV/ visible spectrophotometer, Raman and FTIR spectrometers, differential scanning calorimeter, capillary rheometer, and universal testing machine. In addition, each area of research has specific facilities available to it.

The University’s central facilities provide relevant supports, including an electronic support shop, instrumentation pool, machine shop, and the Design and Manufacturing Services Facility. There are also advanced computing facilities, including a massively parallel processing computer.

chem bio

Program information for 2020/21 is now ready at

Admission Requirements

i. General Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have:

  • obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

ii. English Language Admission Requirements

You have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments*:

  • TOEFL-iBT 80#
  • TOEFL-pBT 550
  • TOEFL-Revised Paper-Delivered Test 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)
  • IELTS (Academic Module) Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-scores: 5.5

*If your first language is English, and your bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification was awarded by an institution where the medium of instruction was English, you will be waived from fulfilling the above English Language requirements.

#refers to the total score in one single attempt

Application Deadlines

Please refer to ("Application") for details.

Last updated Sep 2020

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About the School

Situated at the heart of Asia, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a young and distinguished research university in Hong Kong. Ranked No. 30 in the World in the QS World Univ ... Read More

Situated at the heart of Asia, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a young and distinguished research university in Hong Kong. Ranked No. 30 in the World in the QS World University Rankings (2018), HKUST offers a wide selection of research postgraduate studies in Science, Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities and Social Science, Environmental Studies, and Public Policy leading to the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. All programmes are taught in English. Read less