Prof. LI Kwok Yan (李國恩)

BSc-MechE(Birmingham), PhD(Birmingham)

Visiting address
Phone: +852 34428406

Author IDs



  • BSc (Mechanical Engineering) 1982, The University of Birmingham, UK
  • PhD (Mechanical Engineering) 1988, The University of Birmingham, UK

Relevant Experience and Accomplishments

  • Research Associate, National Engineering Laboratory/ The University of Birmingham (1984-1987):- R&D work in water-based axial piston pump to be used in North Sea underwater oil rig engineering work
  • Automation Consultant, Inco Alloys Ltd., Hereford, UK (1987-1989):- Automation in nickel-based alloys production work
  • ACARL (2000-present):- With about HK$20M support from the HKSAR-ITC and industry the Advanced Coatings Applied Research Laboratory (ACARL) was planned and established at CityU. The range of research work includes superhard nanocomposite coating, friction reduction tribological films and surface engineering. The ACARL team also focuses on tackling industrial-based problems. As a result, the team continues to secure Innovation and Technology Fund industrial based projects from the ITC, HKSAR. Contracted research works from International renowned companies such as GM, SKF, Johnson Electric, etc. were also conducted.
  • IEA-AMT-IA (since 2012):- Lawrence was invited to join the "Implementing Agreement on Advanced Materials for Transportation (AMT IA)" which is part of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The focus is to facilitate the introduction of new materials technologies that have the potential to significantly reduce oil consumption, enhance energy security, protect the environment, and promotes economic development of participating countries (extracted from AMT-IA Strategic Plan 2013-2018).

Editor or Editorial Membership

Services to Professional Community

  • Member of Editorial Board - Proc IMechE, Part J, Journal of Engineering Tribology
  • Member of Editorial Board - International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering


Dr Li did both his undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. His main research area is Tribology (ie. Friction, wear and lubrication). He research work was supported by the National Engineering Laboratory in Glasgow, Scotland. Upon finishing his postgraduate study in 1988, he has joined an aerospace alloy manufacturer in Hereford for two and half years as a consulting engineer. The work was in the automation area and it was financed by the UK government.

Dr Li joined the City University of Hong Kong in 1991 and his main research interest is in tribology and engineering education. He then worked on surface thin films in 1998 and he set up the Advanced Coatings Applied Research Laboratory (ACARL) in 2000. The laboratory has acquired major sponsorship (about 20 million HKD) from the HKITC and the manufacturing industry. ACARL works to become an internationally recognized leading centre for technology transfer and applied research in surface engineering/hard coating and to serve the manufacturing companies. ACARL has around 18 members to carry out thin film research and development, and related industrial consultancy work. ACARL is also working closely with Applied Physics Department in the material aspect. Companies served by ACARL include Johnson Electric engineering Ltd, ASM Assembly Automation Ltd, Chow Sang Sang, BDC International Ltd, Concord Camera HK Ltd and General Motors Corporation.

For more details on Advanced Coatings Applied Research Laboratory, please refer to website


Research Interests/Areas

  • Coating
  • Wear
  • Mechanical Design
  • Lubrication