Prof. Chak joined KAUST in May 2023 from the City University of Hong Kong (CityU), where he most recently served as Dean of the School of Energy and Environment (SEE). He obtained his bachelor’s and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, and Caltech, respectively. After studying in the US, he joined the Chemical Engineering Department of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), rising in ranks from Lecturer/Assistant Professor to Professor in Chemical Engineering and Associate Head. In 2009, he became the Founding Head of the Division of Environment (ENVR), a new interdisciplinary academic unit focusing on the science and technology of the environment and its impacts. Chak joined CityU in December 2015 as the second Dean of SEE and has more than 14 years of administrative experience as an Associate Head, Head, and Dean in interdisciplinary research and academic programs.
Chak’s research focuses on the atmosphere's physical chemistry, particularly the chemistry of airborne particulate matter. His academic achievements include publishing over 250 SCI journal papers, over half as the corresponding author, and a SCOPUS citation, to date, of over 16,000 with an h-index of 61, and Google scholar citation of over 20,000 with an h-index of 66. Chak has rich experience in recruiting, mentoring, developing and retaining faculty and has worked closely with multidisciplinary teams of faculty members of engineers. During his Deanship at CityU, he recruited 20 international faculty members. Among the faculty members, three are Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers and 15 are Stanford Top 2% Researchers.