PhD in Sustainable Energy and Environment


Program Description

Innovative sustainable energy technologies with minimal environmental impact will act as a catalyst to trigger breakthrough development in many fields, ranging from greener aviation to safer electric vehicles, to longer endurance of 3C products. Studies in sustainable energy technologies focus on cutting-edge research in the related cross-disciplines, including sustainable energy harvesting and conversion technologies; high-performance energy storage systems and electric vehicles; smart energy distribution, intelligent energy systems, and energy-saving strategies; hydrogen and electrolyzers; bioenergy and bio-inspired energy systems, and lifecycle analysis and recovery of the energy system.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program in Sustainable Energy and Environment aims to provide a solid education and rigorous research training in sustainable energy technologies, as well as prototyping and transferring original research results on our campuses as a living lab and to industrial collaborators. The programs will also offer dynamic pedagogical training to equip students with competitive and transferrable skills in sustainable energy technologies that serve regional and national industries with a global vision.

A Ph.D. graduate is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Ph.D. program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Identify scientific and engineering significances in various sustainable energy technologies and their environmental impact;
  2. Apply a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods for conducting cutting-edge research in sustainable energy technologies or disruptive technology innovation;
  3. Transfer fundamental research insights and innovative ideas effectively and develop them into new domain knowledge and engineering prototypes; and
  4. Demonstrate independent and critical thinking, and develop a growth mindset, an innovative spirit, and a global vision in the field.

Admission requirements

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

i. General Admission Requirements of the University

  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;
  • 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

Applicants 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-score: 5.5

* refers to the total score in one single attempt

Applicants are not required to present TOEFL or IELTS score if:

  • their first language is English, or
  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

This program is for HKUST(Guangzhou) Pilot Scheme Admission.

For more program information, please refer to

Last updated Dec 2020

About the School

Located at the Clear Water Bay of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a research-focused institution that ranks first among top young universities in the world (Ti ... Read More

Located at the Clear Water Bay of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a research-focused institution that ranks first among top young universities in the world (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings, 2020). With an international outlook and global reputation, the university aims to be a leading university, both locally and internationally, through excellence in teaching and research. With the unprecedented demand for high-end talent in support of the development of Hong Kong and the world, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) (HKUST(GZ)) will be set up in Nansha, south of Guangzhou, to synergize with its Clear Water Bay (CWB) counterpart, nurturing talents and facilitating collaboration amongst Hong Kong, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and beyond on education, research and knowledge transfer. Read less