CUHK welcomes visiting professors

Talent attraction features prominently under the CUHK 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. The Vice-Chancellor’s Visiting Professorship Scheme is a flagship initiative designed to bring the world’s best and brightest to CUHK. The University is expected to welcome five visiting professors (as of 21 June) due to start in the new academic year.


Professor Hilary Chappell
Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages

“During my stay at CUHK, I hope to promote new collaborations with colleagues at my home institute.”

Professor Chappell is a specialist in the typology of Sinitic (Chinese) languages, and currently holds the Research Chair in Linguistic Typology of East Asian Languages at one of France’s grands établissements – the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) – a graduate school in Paris. She has directed several projects at national and European levels focused on questioning and rethinking the typological profile of Sinitic languages in terms of their variation and diversity. Her European Research Council project led to the creation of a new series with De Gruyter Mouton in Berlin: Sinitic languages of China: Typological descriptions, for which four comprehensive grammars have already been published under her editorship.

As a CUHK visiting professor, she plans to conduct a workshop on border linguistics and language contact, and establish an exchange programme for professors and graduate students with the EHESS. Her own project is to write up a large part of the grammar of Waxiang during her stay, based on fieldwork of 12 months in Xiangxi, Hunan.


Professor Christopher Fraser
Department of Philosophy

“I look forward to working with CUHK undergraduates and graduate students on relatively underexplored topics in Chinese thought, such as mind, language, and epistemology.”

Professor Fraser joins CUHK from the University of Toronto, where he holds the Richard Charles and Esther Yewpick Lee Chair in Chinese Thought and Culture in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of East Asian Studies and is also Acting Director of the Robert H. N. Ho Centre for Buddhist Studies. Professor Fraser's main area of expertise is Chinese philosophy and its relevance to contemporary philosophical issues. His most recent book is Late Classical Chinese Thought. He also has two forthcoming works, Zhuangzi: An Annotated Translation and Zhuangzi: Ways of Wandering the Way. He is currently working on a project on debates in Chinese traditional political philosophy over the role of institutional standards and another project exploring ethical naturalism in the Qing dynasty thinker Dai Zhen.


Professor Eric Heikkila
Faculty of Social Science

“My research focuses on urban and regional development issues, combining a range of quantitative and qualitative methods.”

Originally from Canada, Professor Heikkila has been on the faculty of the USC Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California for over 35 years. For 15 years, until recently, he also served as Director of Global Engagement for the Price School. He has held previous visiting appointments in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei and Ottawa.

Professor Heikkila’s research focuses on urban and regional development issues. He recently published his book on China from a U.S. Policy Perspective and is currently under contract for another book with Routledge exploring land use management practices and informal settlements from a global perspective.

Trained initially in mathematics and economics, his work combines a range of quantitative and qualitative methods. He looks forward to working with faculty and graduate student colleagues at CUHK on their new initiative on Computable Social Sciences, and hopes to improve upon his modest Mandarin and meagre Cantonese speaking abilities.


Professor Nina Lam Siu-ngan
Department of Geography and Resource Management

“My landmark works in spatial interpolation, scale effects, environmental health analysis, and fractals in deciphering geographic processes have become classics in the field.”

Professor and E.L. Abraham Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Louisiana State University, Professor Lam is a renowned expert and leader in Geographic Information Science (GIS), remote sensing, environmental health, and disaster resilience. Her research spans continents and decades, in both methodological and applied domains. Her recent research on community resilience through the development of the Resilience Inference Measurement (RIM) model is groundbreaking and opens up a new direction for GIScience researchers to understand the coupled natural and human system sustainability. She looks forward to developing research collaborations with faculty and students in CUHK to advance knowledge on climate resilience and environmental sustainability.


Professor Liu Kam-biu
Department of Geography and Resource Management

“My research centres around the use of fossil pollen, lake sediments, and ice cores to reconstruct the patterns and processes of climatic and environmental changes on timescales of centuries to millennia.”

Professor Liu is the George William Barineau III Professor in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University, and has also been serving as department Chair since 2013. He is known internationally as a pioneer and leader in paleotempestology, a young field that studies past hurricane activity by means of geological proxy techniques. With an H-index of 59 and a total citation of >13,000, he has published more than 170 journal articles and both contributed to and edited the book Hurricanes and Typhoons: Past, Present, and Future. His work has been funded continuously by the National Science Foundation (NSF) over the last 30 years, and he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Paleoenvironmental Change from the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in 2018, and another Lifetime Achievement Award from the AAG Climate Specialty Group in 2023.


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