President, Macau University of Science and Technology (January 2021-).
Professor Lee is a Shanghai native and grew up and received his primary and secondary education in Hong Kong. He then moved on to pursue university studies on a scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he obtained his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees. After graduation, he taught at the University of Delaware for three years before joining the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in 1980, where he rose through the academic ranks to be the Redmond Chair Professor of Civil Engineering in 1996. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Engineering (2000-2003) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Staffing) of HKU (2004-2009). From 2010-2016 he served as Vice-President (Research & Graduate Studies) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) where he is Senior Advisor to the President and Senior Member of the HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study. He is an Honorary Professor of Hohai University and Nankai University, and a Distinguished Water Scholar of the China Institute for Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) in Beijing.
Professor Lee is the President of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), being the first Chinese to be elected into this position. He also serves as the Chairman of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) under the University Grants Committee.
Professor Lee is an internationally recognized expert in water environment engineering and has made notable contributions to the theory of buoyant jets, water quality forecasting, innovative urban storm water management, and fisheries management. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences. Awards and honours he received include the Senior Research Fellowship Award of the Croucher Foundation (1998), Innovation Award for Construction Industry of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (2002), the 2010 China State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (Second Class, Principal Investigator), the 2009 Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award and the 2013 Karl Emil Hilgard Hydraulic Prize of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the 2017 Innovation Award of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Council. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hydro-environment Research (2007-2019). For his contributions to water engineering he was bestowed Honorary Member by IAHR in 2015.
Over the past three decades he has served as expert consultant on numerous hydro-environmental projects and contributed to several major environmental management and flood control infrastructure in Hong Kong – including the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS), Tai Hang Tung Storage Scheme, Yuen Long Bypass Floodway, the Hong Kong Island West Drainage Tunnel, and sustainable mariculture management. He has notably been appointed as independent international expert by the Hong Kong Government in several high profile investigations that include the Tai Po Sha Po Tsai Village Debris Flood (2010) and the Commission of Inquiry into Excess Lead Found in Drinking Water in public rental housing estate buildings (2015).