Donors fund new robotics centre and scholarship fund

During a visit to Hong Kong last week, the Vice-Chancellor met with friends of Macquarie Colin Lam and Dennis Sun to discuss developments on campus and the future direction of the University. Both Dr Lam and Dr Sun pledged significant donations to the University enabling the development of a new robotics centre to strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in schools, and the establish an international student scholarship  for students in financial need.

The Chi Wah Robotic Innovation Centre

Photo of the Vice-Chancellor with Dr Colin Lam
The Vice-Chancellor with Dr Colin Lam

Dr Lam donated $1.5 million to establish the CWRIC in Fujian, China, and provide a physical facility in which children can design, manufacture and test their own robots. The Centre will offer a training suite so that teachers can learn about robotics and how to teach in this area. This suite will also be used to train pupils in robotic design and construction. Administrative and technical support will be provided by Macquarie University.

This pilot development in 2016 will be for an initial five years and the success and sustainability of the Fujian project will set the scale and pace of subsequent expansion into other provinces.

The CWRIC will open its facilities to a different school every week, enabling approximately 30 schools per year to build competition-standard robots. The remaining weeks will be used for teacher training, maintenance, commercial hire, other student and staff robotics projects, and school holiday camps.

Each of the participating schools will take part in a competition run by the CWRIC. The winners from which will then compete at national then international levels. This pilot program will enable teams to travel to Australia and vice versa to share, learn, create, inspire  and participate with teachers and children.  Each child will receive certification for completing the program.  Students in the higher levels who attain the highest level of achievement will gain preferential access to apply for Macquarie University undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The Dr Dennis Sun Friends of Macquarie University Scholarship

Photo of Dr Dennis Sun with the Vice-Chancellor
Dr Dennis Sun with the Vice-Chancellor

Dr Sun donated $225,000 over three years to establish this scholarship, which will provide for one graduate per year from the HKMA David Li Kwok Po College to undertake a three-year undergraduate program at Macquarie University. The scholarship will support recipients, especially those with financial need, to further his/her undergraduate study at Macquarie University.

The naming of this scholarship reflects the sincere thanks and appreciation of the scholarship recipients and the commitment and dedication of Dr Dennis Sun to Macquarie University and to education. The scholarships will receive University-wide recognition and become an integral part of our international advancement strategy.

The Vice-Chancellor expressed his deep gratitude for the generous support both Dr Lam and Dr Sun have provided for Macquarie University, and thanked them both for their continued friendship and goodwill.