Issue 5 - March 2010
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Table of Contents
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Accolades for PolyU Researchers
International Eureka Contest of Brussels Innova 2009
Ministry of Education Awards 2009

International Eureka Contest of Brussels Innova 2009

The Faculty of Construction and Land Use (FCLU) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has brought home a Silver Medal for its GPS technology for landslide monitoring, from the International Eureka Contest of Brussels Innova 2009. Several other faculties at PolyU were also honoured with awards at this event.

The long-standing International Eureka Contest has put together some 450 inventions from more than 30 countries and territories this year. The winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of senior members from both academia and industry. Dr Lui Sun-wing, Vice President (Partnership Development), said the prestigious awards were strong proofs of the international recognition which PolyU innovations now enjoyed, for their relevance to safety and quality of life in the community.

The award winning project entitled `Multi-Antenna GPS Structure Monitoring System’  was led by Professor Xiaoli Ding , Chair Professor and Head, Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI), and involved an inter-disciplinary team comprised of the following key members: Professor Yongqi Chen (LSGI), Professor Jianhua Yin of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering; and Mr Wentao Yang (LSGI). The project has also benefited from collaborations with researchers in China and Australia.

This multi-antenna GPS technology has been developed for applications such as landslide monitoring and warning, tracking of deformations of mega-structures such as dams and bridges, and measurement of ground subsidence. This technology makes use of special GPS data management and processing algorithms, hardware and software to enable one GPS receiver to work with multiple antennas so that the deformations of all the points equipped with the antennas can be closely monitored. This breakthrough technology not only reduces the overall cost of GPS hardware for such applications as compared to standard GPS systems, but also greatly enhances the capacity of GPS for monitoring deformations and irregularities of structures.

Ministry of Education Awards 2009

The Centre for Science and Technology Development of the Ministry of Education had announced the list of winners for the Ministry of Education Awards 2009. A Natural Science Award (Second Class) went to the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering of PolyU, for a project entitled `Research on tropospheric ozone pollution and processes in China’.

This project was undertaken by Prof. Tao Wang, Dr Aijun Ding, and Mr Steven C.N. Poon. Ozone in the lower part of the atmosphere influences air quality, ecosystems, and climate. It is the principal pollutant in photochemical smog in Hong Kong and in other major cities around the world. Since 1995, the project team has undertaken studies to investigate the impact of rapid industrialization and urbanization in Asia on air quality; and to study the sources of emission, chemical transformation and meteorological transport affecting ozone and related air pollutants, in order to provide scientific support to the development of control strategies. It is believed that the project would also contribute to the HKSAR government in its formulation of policies to mitigate photochemical ozone pollution.


PTES made a winner at Hong Kong ICT Awards 2009
Dr Lilian Pun and Mr Geoffrey Shea (LSGI) and the team from Transport Department

The Public Transport Enquiry Service (PTES) co-developed by the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI)  of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the Transport Department, won the Silver Award of the `Hong Kong Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Awards 2009: Best Public Service Application (Website) Award’. The annual awards are organized by The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) – Information Technology Division. The Awards presentation ceremony took place on 19 Jan 2010.  

First launched in 2006, the ICT annual award is a result of the fruitful collaboration amongst industry, academia and the Government. Through showcasing the winning ICT innovations, and by recognising the outstanding achievements of local ICT professionals and organisations, the event has helped promote the development of the industry and nurture local talents. The winning ICT practitioners and businesses are all to be commended as their creative solutions have contributed significantly to improving people’s daily lives, to enhancing operational efficiency in the industry and commerce sectors, as well as to driving economic and social development.

PTES is an Internet-based one-stop multi-modal public transport enquiry and point-to-point route search system for pre-trip planning. For route search, once the user selects the origin and destination (via keywords, pull-down menu or map-routing), the system will provide a range of possible public transport routes, with optional sorting by fare, journey time and preferred transportation mode. Moreover, the interchange locations between different transport modes are also displayed for the user to have a clear picture of the suggested route.

The comments from the panel of judges were highly encouraging. They thought the system is simple and user-friendly. It is supported by a complex search engine that would provide the route search amongst most of the available transportation modes in Hong Kong. They were impressed that the returned information could consider the options of fare, journey time, preferred transportation mode, and interchange between the same or different transport companies. Given that PTES is capable of considering 1300 routes with over 7500 stops in Hong Kong, its usefulness to local citizens and visitors is not hard to imagine. Interested parties are invited to visit the following website for more details:


PTeC’s Outstanding Professional Services and Innovations Award 2009
Most Active Department Award
Maximum Staff Participation Award and Maximum Staff Participation Award (Merit)
Most Active Consultant Award (Merit)
Highest Growth Award (Merit)
Multi-departmental Participation Award (Merit)

The results for the PTeC’s Outstanding Professional Services and Innovations Award 2009 had been announced and the award presentation took place on 29 January 2010. There were over 20 awards to pay tribute to various departments and staff for their contributions in the 2008-2009 Financial Year. The Faculty of Construction and Land Use (FCLU) is delighted that numerous awards have gone to the departments and staff under the Faculty. The awards are as follows:

Departmental Awards

  • The PTeC Most Active Department Award went to the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (CSE), on the strength of it having been the department with the highest aggregated invoiced value of HKD13.51 million during the FY08/09, for consultancy projects undertaken via PTeC.
  • FCLU got both the Maximum Staff Participation Award and the Maximum Staff Participation Award (Merit). The former went to the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, and the latter went to CSE. The awards were given on the merit of the departments having had the highest percentage of academic staff participation in consultancy projects during FY08/09. LSGI had a participation rate of 57.9%, and CSE’s figure was 43.2%


Individual and Team Awards

  • Dr Wing-gun Wong of CSE won the Most Active Consultant Award (Merit). This award was given to the individual with the highest aggregated consultancy income earned during FY08/09.
  • Prof. Francis Wai-hung Yik of the Department of Building Services Engineering got the Highest Growth Award (Merit), on the basis of his having been the highest ranking individual in terms of i) the absolute growth in income earned and ii) the percentage of growth compared to the previous fiscal year.
  • Dr Wing-tat Hung of CSE led his team to win the Multi-departmental Participation Award (Merit). Dr Hung’s team also comprised of Mr Jason C.Y. Lau of CSE, and Dr Chun-shun Cheung, Dr Tat-leung Chan, Mr Chris Kwong-shing Tsang, all from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The criterion for this award was that the contract value of the project must not be less than HKD300,000, and that it must have involved the collaboration of at least two departments. Dr Hung’s team won the award on the merit of the project "Testing of Taxi and Diesel Goods Vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight between 3.5-5.5 Tonnes Using Portable Emission Measuring Systems (PEMS) for Measuring Gaseous Pollutants and Particulate". The contract value for the project was HKD405,000. 

The Faculty extends the warmest congratulations to all of the above award recipients, who have excelled in their fields of expertise and contributed towards the University’s commitments to technology and knowledge transfer.




Generous donation from Euro-Asia to LSGI
Prof. Xiaoli Ding, Head of LSGI and Mr George Kiu, General Manager, Euro-Asia
Representatives from Euro-Asia and staff of LSGI

The Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is thankful for the generous donation of a set of Trimble Surveying Equipment from Euro-Asia, a surveying equipment and systems company specialising in information mapping and digital China.  With a strong corporate sense of social responsibility, Euro-Asia has established close relationships with surveying education communities, pioneered educational funds and established equipment donation campaigns.

The donated equipment will greatly enhance teaching and learning, research activities and the Community Service Learning Programme (CSLP) in LSGI.  The equipment can also be used in applied research in respect of the needs of the local surveying and mapping related professions. In fact this equipment has been used for research and supporting activities related to the Sichuan Earthquake relief and re-construction of earthquake stricken areas.  One such activity is the CSLP “Wu Zhi Qiao” bridge building project where LSGI students worked with students from other disciplines to construct a bridge for residents of a remote village in south-western China.

The entire department of LSGI - staff, students, and everybody involved in land and engineering surveying topics, will certainly greatly benefit from Euro-Asia’s generous donation.


Naming Ceremony of the Joint Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health
At the Joint Laboratory Naming Ceremony, (from left) Prof. J.G. Teng (Dean and AVP), Prof. Y.G. Zhu (Director General of IUE-CAS), Prof. J.M. Ko (Vice President (SD)) and Prof. Y.L. Xu (Head of CSE).

In order to strengthen the collaborative research and technology transfer on sustainable urbanisation in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland,  The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IUE-CAS) signed a memorandum of understanding on research collaborations between the two organizations in January 2009. Since then, two Joint Laboratories on Urban Environment and Health have been set up, one in Hong Kong and the other one in Xiamen. On 27th January 2010, the naming ceremony for the Joint Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health in Hong Kong took place at the Research Centre for Environmental Technology and Management of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, PolyU. 

The collaborative researches come in the wake of the last three decades of rapid industrial development and urbanisation in the Chinese mainland. Such an unprecedented pace in urban development in the region has entailed significant environmental problems. However, looking on the good side, these present us with great opportunities to conduct researches on the rapid processes of urban development. These studies will not only help us understand the current urban development and the associated environmental issues, but also provide policy makers with vital information to deal with the problems at various stages of development, and to clarify the long-term goals for sustainable development in the region.

On the strength of our research experience in the last few decades in Hong Kong and the southern region of the Chinese mainland, the joint facilities are expected to become a world-class establishment on urban environmental research and technology development in the coming years.  To mark the special occasion of the naming ceremony of the Joint Laboratory in Hong Kong, the Faculty of Construction and Land Use of PolyU hosted a public seminar “Towards Sustainable Urbanization” delivered by Prof. Y.G. Zhu, the Director General of IUE-CAS.  The seminar focused on the general aspects of urbanization and environmental change on a global scale, as well as the important issues related to urbanisation in China.  


PolyU-Industry partnership raises “trenchless” standard for underground pipeline

Working in collaboration with the industry and utility companies, civil engineering experts of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have made great strides in expediting the use of “trenchless” technology for installing underground utility pipelines in Hong Kong. This breakthrough is expected to further promote the application of trenchless technology, by minimizing the nuisance caused by public works to existing traffic and businesses on the surface level.

According to Dr Lu Ming, Associate Professor of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering at PolyU, the “trenchless” technology has been developed in response to the community’s growing concern for environmental sustainability of underground piping works. In contrast to the traditional method, the use of microtunneling and pipe jacking for installing subsurface pipelines provides a sustainable urbanization technology that is “trenchless” in nature, making it more community-friendly and environmentally-friendly for well-developed, densely-populated cities such as Hong Kong.

Led by Dr Lu Ming, the academia-industry research team has successfully developed the TunnelingGSV (GSV stands for Guide, Sense, and Visualize) which facilitates the use of trenchless technology. The TunnelingGSV system is coupled with the use of a sophisticated micro Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) which works like an underground robot for piping work. TunnelingGSV can continuously survey the TBM’s positions by a robotic total station, and derives any tunnel alignment deviations in real time. Further, it can also accurately determine the rotation angles of the TBM in the underground space by invoking sophisticated computing algorithms.

Through wireless data communication and computer visualization, TunnelingGSV visualizes the underground working environment in real-time 3D computer graphics, supplemented with the use of Internet technology to enhance communication. This breakthrough thus provides engineers with greater convenience in the application context of microtunneling and pipe jacking based on the integration of automated data collection with real time computing.

With the assistance of the Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, Black & Veatch, Kum Shing Construction Company Limited and Reliance-Tech Limited (a subsidiary of Chun Wo Development Holding Limited), the first prototype of TunnelingGSV system had been set up at a microtunneling site near So Kwun Wat, Tuen Mun for three-month field trials in late 2009. Looking ahead, Dr Lu was optimistic that the TunnelingGSV system could provide tunneling engineers with timely awareness of the TBM’s position and rotation changes, to help prevent a variety of potential hazards.

The research and field testing of TunnelingGSV was presented and reviewed at a seminar held earlier this year at the headquarters of the Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited. Dr Lu and his research team were invited to demonstrate the effectiveness of the TunnelingGSV system under various practical constraints. They also shared their field testing results and explored cooperation opportunities with the many managers and engineers from industry and the utility companies who were present at the event.


Outstanding Student of FCLU 2009

Mr Cheung Hiu Fung, Ken, a final year student of BSc (Hons) in Geomatics from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, was named the Outstanding Student of the Faculty of Construction and Land Use 2009. To bestow recognition on the remarkable achievements of Ken and students of other faculties, an Outstanding Student Awards Presentation Ceremony was held on 4 February 2010, with awards presented by our President, Prof. Timothy W. Tong.

Ken’s outstanding performance has been well-recognized both inside and outside the PolyU. He is the top student of his class and he has also been awarded 4 different Scholarships over the past two years, namely, the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors Scholarship, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Scholarship, the American International Assurance Foundation Scholarship and the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics Scholarship for Hall Residents.

On top of his excellent academic performance, Ken has also participated actively in community services and extra-curricular activities. In the “Cartier Wu Zhi Qiao” bridge building programme 2008, he successfully applied techniques learned from his studies and demonstrated his competence in solving problems. He has worked in conjunction with other students from LSGI, as well as from the School of Design and the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, under the guidance of their lecturers on this bridge building programme, which later won a Bronze Award given through the Community Service Learning Programme organised by the Student Affairs Office.


Awards for Students and Graduate of LSGI
Prof. Timothy Tong (President of PolyU) / Prof. Xiaoli Ding (Head of LSGI) with LSGI Community Service Learning Programme advisory team, Ms Alice Cheng and Mr Joseph Lam, and the project students, Viola Wong, Raymond Hung, Capital Li and Meson Pau.

The Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), is delighted to draw attention to two recent achievements by their students as follows:

Student Geomatics project wins Community Service Learning Award (Silver)

A group of students won the Silver award of Community Service Learning Awards 2008/09 on the strength of their community service learning programme “Reaching out to Social and Community Needs by Geomatics”. Their project was one of six exemplary projects and belonged to the category of ‘course required’ projects of the Community Service Learning Award.

Competing against 55 other projects for the Community Service Learning Awards, our students successfully applied their Geomatics knowledge and produced a bi-lingual and multi-modal website to promote social and community awareness for “Guangzhou Huiling”, a charitable organisation that provides support for people with mental disabilities. They created maps, photo slideshows, and videos to introduce the mentally disabled community to the public, thereby putting into practice the University motto of “To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind”. Those interested in the project are invited to visit this website:

LSGI graduate wins HKIS Dissertation Grand Prize

Keith Chong, a LSGI 2009 graduate, won the Grand Prize of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) Outstanding Final Year Dissertation Awards 2009, on the strength of his dissertation ‘Modeling with Aerial Stereo Images and Lidar Data in Hong Kong’.  This year, the HKIS Research Committee held the annual dissertation competition on 3 December 2009.  The competition involved the champion dissertations from five HKIS divisions with three dissertations coming from PolyU, one from The University of Hong Kong and one from City University of Hong Kong.  Keith’s achievement is unprecedented for a Land Surveying Division student.  LSGI is proud of his achievement, which is a clear indication of the competitiveness of our students.


BRE Students take part in Sichuan Rebuilding Project 2009
Group photo with Hong Kong artists Daniel Wu and Lisa S
Building homes, building hopes
All PolyU students are glad to have taken part in the Sichuan Rebuilding Project.

From 15th- 21st November 2009, 5 students from the Department of Building and Real Estate of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University took part in the Sichuan (China) Rebuilding Project 2009, which was jointly held by Habitat for Humanity China and Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. About 220 volunteers from all over the world participated in this event for the rebuilding in Sichuan. The students from our University cooperated with the local technicians and workers to build new homes for the refugees and the needy, using bricks, cement, sand, concrete and steels. All strove their best despite the inhospitable conditions at the site, sub-zero temperatures, muscle fatigue and tiredness due to the long hours of physical labour. About 20 apartments were built during the period; works continued to be undertaken by the local technicians and workers who aimed to have around 200 apartments completed by the end of 2010. All the 5 volunteers from our University found the event highly meaningful, as they had not only brought into existence new homes, but also brought smiles to the faces of the originally homeless and rekindled their hopes. All the participants found the experience highly rewarding and would like to thank their Department for the contribution towards their accommodation and transportation expenses in Sichuan. They were also thankful to Morgan Stanley for their valuable support, without which they could not have participated in the event.


Faculty Public Seminars
Prof. Tamon Ueda
Prof. Bin Zhu
Prof. Peter Lund
Prof. Sun Wei

The Faculty of Construction and Land Use was honoured to have the following speakers giving seminars at PolyU:

Professor Tamon Ueda, Professor at Division of Built Environment, Hokkaido University; was speaker at a seminar on “New JSCE Standard Specifications for Hybrid Structures and New Type of Connections”. (6 Feb 2010)

Professor Bin Zhu, Professor Candidate, Department of Energy Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden; gave a seminar titled “NANOCOFC Advanced Low Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Polygenerations”. (9 Feb 2010)

Professor Peter Lund, Professor of Engineering Physics and Advanced Energy Systems, Aalto University; gave a seminar on “Modelling and Effective Use of Low-temperature SOFC Fuel Cells for Polygeneration Applications”. (10 Feb 2010)

Professor Sun Wei, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering; was speaker at a seminar on “Development and Application of High Performance Concrete in China”. (5 March 2010)


Forthcoming Events

2nd International Postgraduate Conference on Infrastructure and Environment

Date: 1-2 June 2010
Venue: Chiang Chen Studio Theatre

Telephone: (852) 2766-5029

First International Conference on Sustainable Urbanization

Date: 15-17 December 2010
Venue: Harbour Grand Kowloon Hotel, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Telephone : 3400-3895, 3400-3878
Email :