|Ir Prof. You-Lin XU
PhD (Sydney), FHKIE, FASCE, FEMI, FIStructE
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) as its Dean, a role which I assumed in July 2014 at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). FCE is composed of four departments, namely, the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE), the Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE), the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), and the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI). Among all the local universities, PolyU has the largest concentration of academic expertise in the disciplines related to construction and environment. Our undergraduate programmes prepare students for professional careers and leadership positions in different fields, including Building Engineering and Management, Building Services Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development, Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health, Geomatics, Property Management, and Surveying. The Faculty also offers a variety of taught MSc/PgD programmes in addition to research-based PhD and MPhil programmes.
Besides nurturing future leaders of society, FCE is also dedicated to world-class research, as evidenced by the impact made by our research and our sustained success in securing competitive funding from the General Research Fund of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HKRGC). In the category of "Civil Engineering, Surveying, Building and Construction", PolyU has remained in the lead for 22 consecutive years since 1994/95. In fact, the number of grants we won from the HKRGC has consistently been around or above 40% since 2004/2005.
In the 2017 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject, PolyU was ranked 10th in a tie with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) for the subject of Civil and Structural Engineering, as well as 15th for the subject of Architecture/ Built Environment. These subjects are amongst the disciplines covered by our four departments. Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2016 has also ranked PolyU in a tie with Tsinghua University for third place worldwide in the discipline of civil engineering. According to it, we have the largest group of highly cited researchers in that field. Hong Kong alone has 18 highly cited researchers in civil engineering, 9 of whom are based in our Faculty.
In addition, our faculty members have also been actively engaged in applying their research outcomes to challenging real-world problems. We have won nearly HK$28 million in funding from the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission in 2016 for 9 different projects, all of which will translate into real and practical benefits for society once they have been completed. It is indeed our ultimate aim that our research should bring about innovations in sustainable urban development and smart cities for the benefit of Hong Kong and beyond.
On the strength of its solid foundation which has been built over the years, the Faculty is well positioned to lead in the field of construction and environment. A major direction of the Faculty is integrating its research strengths in construction, energy, environment, urban hazards mitigation and urban informatics to facilitate sustainable urban development and smart cities. In these areas, the Faculty offers many exciting opportunities for researchers within the Faculty as well as for our collaborative partners from both the academia and the industry.