Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1989 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Prof Hwa-yaw Tam obtained his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from The University of Manchester (UK).  He is Chair Professor of Photonics and the Head of the Electrical Engineering Department and Director of the Photonics Research Centre at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. From 1989 to 1993 Prof Tam was with Hirst Research Centre, GEC-Marconi Ltd. (London), working on optical components and systems, and erbium optical fibre amplifiers. 

His current research interests include design and fabrication of specialty optical fibres for sensor applications, and optical fibre monitoring systems for railways, smart buildings, renewable energy, and medical markets. Prof Tam has published about 700 technical papers, holds about 20 patents, and has an H-index of 56 in Google Scholar.  His research group has spun-off 7 photonics companies in the past 20 years. Prof. Tam has developed optical fibre sensors and sensing networks for condition monitoring applications in Hong Kong, China mainland, Taiwan, Singapore, Netherlands, Australia and India. In 2012, he developed an optical fibre sensor-based structural health monitoring system on the 610-m tall Canton TV Tower in Guangzhou, China. In 2014, Prof Tam built the world’s first city-wide fibre-optic sensing networks for condition-based monitoring of six MTR lines in Hong Kong.  In 2015, Prof. Tam was awarded a project by Singapore SMRT to build four monitoring systems for the North-South and East-West SMRT lines.  He also developed optical fibre sensor systems to monitor the interaction between pantograph and overhead lines in the Netherlands and Sydney. Prof Tam won many international awards for his inventions, including the prestigious Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis Prize in 2014 for the application of laser sensing technology in railway monitoring. Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis is one of the highest remunerated international innovation prizes for laser technology. Prof. Tam is an IEEE Fellow, a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, and a Chartered Engineer of the UK Engineering Council.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Science, The Victoria University of Manchester

Doctor of Philosophy, The Victoria University of Manchester


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  • Golden Prize 金獎

    Ni, Yiqing (Recipient), KO, JAM-MING (Recipient), Tam, HY (Recipient), Xia, Yong (Recipient), ZHOU, HUA-FEI (Recipient), QIAN, YU-YIN (Recipient), LIAO, WEI-YANG (Recipient), Liu, Shun Yee Michael (Recipient), CHEN, ZHAO-HUI (Recipient), ZHANG, PENG (Recipient), YE, XIAO-WEI (Recipient) & Wang, Dan (Recipient), Nov 2009

    Prize: Prize (research)

  • Gold Medal

    Ni, Yiqing (Recipient), KO, JAN-MING (Recipient), Tam, HY (Recipient), Xia, Yong (Recipient), ZHOU, HUA-FEI (Recipient), QIAN, YU-YIN (Recipient), LIAO, WEI-YANG (Recipient), Liu, Shun Yee Michael (Recipient), CHEN, ZHAO-HUI (Recipient), ZHANG, PENG (Recipient), YE, XIAO-WEI (Recipient) & Wang, Dan (Recipient), Apr 2009

    Prize: Prize (research)

  • Best Paper Finalist of IEEE SENSORS 2016 Conference

    YAO, Mian (Recipient), Wai, Ping Kong Alexander (Recipient), WU, Jushuai (Recipient), Zhang, Aping (Recipient) & Tam, HY (Recipient), Oct 2016

    Prize: Prize (research)

  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America

    Tam, HY (Recipient), Oct 2015

    Prize: Prize (research)