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Issue 17 - March 2012


Table of Contents

Mr C.Y. Leung, alumnus of FCE elected Chief Executive of HK


The Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) of PolyU takes great pride in the election of one of our outstanding alumni, Mr Leung Chun Ying, as the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Mr Leung studied surveying at FCE’s predecessor in the early 70s, graduating with a higher diploma in surveying in 1974 before furthering his education in the U.K. at Bristol Polytechnic, now the University of the West of England. Upon his return to Hong Kong, he began a career in real estate consultancy at Jones Lang Wootton, rising through its ranks to become the youngest partner in the history of the British company in 1982. With his drive and determination, he launched his own surveying practice in 1993. He was the Asia Pacific Chairman of DTZ and Convener of the Executive Council of Hong Kong before he devoted all his energies to his election campaign towards the end of 2011.

We would like to take this opportunity to offer our warmest congratulations to Mr Leung, whose stunning success in the political arena has been an inspiration for us all.

HK PhD Fellowships 2012/13

A record number of Hong Kong PhD Fellowships has recently been awarded to the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE). These PhD Fellows will commence their studies at FCE in the 2012/2013 academic year. The 11 awardees represent nearly 40% of the 28 PhD Fellowship places secured by PolyU, testifying to our leading position in construction and environmental research. All but one of the awardees have accepted the Fellowship.

Established by the Research Grants Council (RGC) in 2009, the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme is a highly competitive programme that attracts academically talented students from all over the world to study in one of Hong Kong’s institutions of higher learning for their PhDs. The awardees of this Scheme are each supported for three years with a monthly stipend of HK$20,000 (approximately US$2,600) and an annual travel allowance of HK$10,000 (approximately US$1,300). For awardees studying at PolyU, their tuition fees will also be waived.

In this round of competition, the RGC awarded a total of 200 PhD Fellowships. The names of the 10 awardees who have accepted the Fellowships and their supervisors are as follows:


Name of Awardee

Proposed Chief Supervisor


HONG Jing Ke

Prof. Geoffrey Qiping SHEN


GANG Wen Jie

Prof. Shengwei WANG


LUO Wei Li

Dr Yong XIA



Prof. Jin-Guang TENG



Prof. Tao WANG


PENG Yixin

Prof. XU You-lin


CARRUS Emanuele

Prof. X.L. DING


WANG Qun Ming

Prof. Wen Zhong SHI


XU Ying

Prof. Wu CHEN



Prof. X.L. DING

PolyU part of research center in Bangkok

PolyU has joined forces with the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) and the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) to establish a Research Center on Transportation Technology and Railway Engineering, which will be based in Bangkok, Thailand, on the campus of KMITL. Representatives from the three institutions were on hand to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 5 March 2012. They include PolyU’s Deputy President and Provost, Prof. Philip Chan; our Faculty Dean, Prof. Jin-Guang Teng; Head of PolyU’s Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (CSE), Prof. You-Lin Xu; colleagues from CSE, Prof. William Lam, Prof. Xiang-Dong Li, and Dr Agachai Sumalee; the Governor of the Expressway Authority of Thailand, Mr Aiyanat Tinapai; and the Dean of KMITL’s Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Suchatvee Suwansawat.


The new center will focus on research related to Intelligent Transportation Systems, Bridge and Road Structures and their Maintenance, Transportation Engineering, and Environment. It is managed by three co-directors, one from each party to the MoU, which was spearheaded by Dr Agachai Sumalee, an assistant professor of CSE.

Besides collaborating on research, staff of EXAT and KMITL will also upgrade their knowledge and skills by attending PolyU’s postgraduate programmes in transportation and engineering-related fields. They will be financially supported by Thai authorities.

Research on high-speed rail gets a boost from ITF Fund


Prof. Yi-qing NI of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering has been granted nearly HK$ 1 million from the government’s Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) to conduct a study of semi-active control of high-speed trains using magnetorheological dampers. Administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission, the ITF aims to increase the added value, productivity and competitiveness of our economic activities.

With the rapid development of high-speed railways in mainland China, issues relating to train stability, passenger comfort and safety have been a top concern. Prof. Ni’s project aims to develop a novel semi-active magnetorheological damper system for improving train stability by significantly suppressing unwanted vibrations during the high-speed operation. Two categories of MR dampers (annular flow and radial flow) will be

designed and their dimensions and structures will be optimized. After prototyping and testing, a comprehensive dynamic model of a high-speed train system that incorporates MR dampers will be developed. Under various conditions, train performances will be simulated by this model, the results of which will be evaluated with laboratory and/or on-site experimental testing data. The proposed technology will resolve the problem of reduction and loss of vibration suppression capability in the conventional damping system of high-speed trains when the speed exceeds 300 km/h. It will provide an excellent assurance in train performance in terms of stability, safety, and comfort. The lifespan of trains will also be increased, which will greatly reduce their cost. Moreover, this technology can be easily extended to a wide variety of engineering structures and assets like tall buildings and offshore platforms etc.

Congratulations to Prof. Ni and his team for such a meritorious project, which is expected to last 18 months from September 2012.

Dean's Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Research Funding 2012

On account of their track records in securing external competitive research funding in the past few years, 3 FCE colleagues have qualified for the Dean's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Funding this year. They are Prof. Albert Chan of the Department of Building and Real Estate, Prof. Jian-lei Niu of the Department of Building Services Engineering, and Prof. Chi-sun Poon of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering. Below are the titles of their projects and their funding sources:
  1) Prof. Albert Chan, BRE
  • Experimental Research on Health and Safety Measures for Working in Hot Weather
    (Allocated $778,516 on 1 July 2009 from the RGC General Research Fund 2009/10) [Details]
  • Evaluating the Social, Economical, Cultural and Heritage Impacts of the ‘Revitalising Historic Buildings through Partnership Scheme’ in Hong Kong
    (Allocated $295,983 on 30 Sept. 2010 from the RGC Public Policy Research 2010/11) [Details]
  • Anti Heat Stress Clothing for Construction Workers in Hot and Humid Weather
    (Allocated $1,153,686 on 1 July 2011 from the RGC General Research Fund 2011/12) [Details]
  2) Prof. Jian-lei Niu, BSE
  • Experimental and Simulation Study of Spatial Distribution of Human Respiratory Droplets under Typical Indoor Air Distribution Patterns
    (Allocated $473,147 on 1 July 2008 from the RGC General Research Fund 2008/09) [Details]
  • Development of Method and Database of Space Cooling Load Factors of Stratified Air Distribution Systems
    (Allocated $892,776 on 1 July 2009 from the RGC General Research Fund 2009/10) [Details]
  • Developing Thermal Energy Storage using PCM/ Water Emulsion: Media Preparation and Optimized Design
    (Allocated $508,452 on 1 July 2011 from the RGC General Research Fund 2011/12) [Details]
  • Investigation of Heat and Mass Transfer Mechanisms in a Novel Total Heat Exchanger
    (Allocated $780,480 on 18 Nov. 2011 from the NSFC/ RGC Joint Research Scheme) [Details]
  3) Prof. Chi-sun Poon, CSE
  • A Study of Durability of the Adhesive Bonding System within Externally Bonded CFRP Laminates to Concrete using Full-field Nondestructive, Non-contact and Quantitative Infrared Thermography (QIRT) (Allocated $431,810 on 1 July 2008 from the RGC General Research Fund 2008/09)
  • Recycling of CRT Glass from Discarded Computer Monitors and TV Sets
    (Allocated $441,400 on 19 June 2009 from the Environment and Conservation Fund 2008/09)
  • Quantitative Analysis of External Wall Debond using Non-contact and Nondestructive Infrared Thermography
    (Allocated $980,000 on 23 Sept. 2011 from the Innovation and Technology Support Programme)
  • Utilizing Recycled Waste Glass in Architectural Mortar with Self-cleaning and Anti-bacterial Function
    (Allocated $782,900 on 9 Nov. 2011 from the Environment and Conservation Fund 2011/12)

The award comes with a cash prize of $15,000 and a research grant of $200,000. This is the second time that Prof. Chan and Prof. Niu have received this award since it began in 2008/09. Congratulations to all three professors for their hard work in advancing the frontiers of knowledge and technology.

2nd Industry Forum on Heat Stress Studies

On the morning of 9 March 2012, about 50 prominent practitioners converged on the campus of PolyU for the second Industry Forum on health and safety measures for working in hot weather. Prof. Albert Chan of the Department of Building and Real Estate and his research team shared their experimental findings of nineteen field studies to determine the best recovery time for rebar workers who have worked to exhaustion in a hot and humid environment. Based on 411 sets of meteorological and physiological data collected over nineteen hot and humid days in July and August 2011, they developed a model to compute an optimal recovery time that takes into consideration individual characteristics like age, respiratory exchange rate, smoking and drinking habits etc. It was found that on average, a rebar worker could achieve 58% recovery in 5 minutes, 68% in 10 minutes, 78% in 15 minutes, 84% in 20 minutes, 88% in 25 minutes, 92% in 30 minutes etc. The rate of recovery beyond the upper range of the observed data was estimated by extrapolation. Details of the research findings and their implications have been published in Building and Environment, an international journal of building science and its applications.

Prof. Albert Chan presented the findings
on behalf of the Construction Safety
Research Group.

Congratulations to Prof. Chan and his team of researchers for completing this General Research Fund (GRF) project, which included colleagues Prof. Francis Wong, Dr Michael Yam, Dr Daniel Chan, Dr Edmond Lam from BRE; and Dr Del Wong from the Department of Health and Physical Education at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. They have since embarked on another GRF project to improve the working conditions for construction workers by investigating and designing a particular type of clothing that can mitigate the effects of heat stress.

FCE Research Capacity strengthened by addition of 16 Postdocs

The first year of the FCE Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme has attracted many applications, out of which 16 have been approved for funding support. FCE welcomes the following postdoctoral fellows who will spend the next two years working under the guidance of our faculty.

Dr Yue Ping GUO, BRE

Prof. Francis WONG (PI), 
Prof. Albert CHAN/ Prof. Yi LI (ITC)
Project Title:
Anti Heat Stress Clothing for Construction
Workers in Hot and Humid Weather

Miss Kun QIAN, BRE
(PhD to be conferred in Apr. 2012)

Prof. Edwin CHAN (PI)
Dr Lennon Choy/Prof. Visscher HENK (Delft Univ.)
Project Title:
Implementing a Typical Incentive Scheme for
Promoting the Building Energy Efficiency Market
in Hong Kong: A Transaction Cost Perspective

Ms Ka Hung HON , BRE
(PhD to be conferred in Apr. 2012)

Prof. Albert CHAN (PI)
Prof. Francis WONG
Project Title:
Managing Construction Safety for Ethnic
Minorities in Hong Kong


Prof. Hongxing YANG (PI)
Dr Lin LU
Project Title:
Investigation on Hierarchically Nanostructured
Rutile Titania-coated Hollow Glass Microbeads for
Developing High Performance Solar Heat
Reflectance and Insulation Coatings of Solar

Dr Xiaofeng NIU, BSE

Prof. Jianlei NIU
Project Title:
Investigation of Heat and Mass Transfer
Characteristics and Performance of Membrane
-based Liquid Desiccant Dehumidifier with Inter

Ms Dongmei PAN, BSE
(PhD to be conferred in Mar. 2012)

Prof. Simon DENG (PI)
Dr Mingyin CHAN/ Dr Liang XIA
Project Title:
An Experimental and Numerical Study on Thermal
Comfort and Indoor Air Quality in a Multi-bed
Sleeping Environment

Dr Yongjun SUN, BSE

Prof. Shengwei WANG (PI)
Project Title:
Building Demand-side Cost Efficient Control
Strategies for District Energy Management and
Smart Grid

Dr Xiaoping LIU, BSE

Prof. Jianlei NIU (PI)
Project Title:
Numerical Investigation of Heat and Mass
Transfer Mechanisms in a Novel Total Heat

Dr Renxin ZHONG, CSE

Dr Agachai SUMALEE (PI)
Prof. William Lam
Project Title:
A Stochastic Learning Framework for Incident
Detection and Management


Prof. Xiangdong LI (PI)
Project Title:
The Impacts of Long-term Application of
Biodegradable Chelants on Soil Nutrients,
Trace Metal Speciation, Microbial Activities and
Plant Roots during Phytoremediation Process

Dr Likun XUE, CSE

Prof. Tao WANG (PI)
Dr Hai GUO/ Prof. Donald BLAKE (UC Irvine)
Project Title:
Formation of Photochemical Smog and
Atmospheric Oxidizing Capacity in 5 Chinese
Megacities: An Observation-based Modelling

(PhD to be conferred in May 2012)

Dr Hai GUO (PI)
Prof. Tao WANG
Project Title:
Physico-chemical and Toxicological
Characteristics of Ultrafine and Fine Particulate
Matter and their Impacts on Human Health

(PhD to be conferred in Apr. 2012)

Prof. Shuncheng LEE (PI)
Project Title:
The Effects of Coexistent Pollutants on Indoor
Secondary Pollutants Formation during
Ozonolysis of Emissions from Cleaning Products
and Air Fresheners

Dr Pattiyage Ishan Ayantha GOMES, CSE

Prof. Onyx WAI (PI)
Project Title:
Development of an Innovative Eco-flood Channel
for the Integration of Ecological Sustainability
and Flood Control


Prof. Jin-Guang TENG
Project Title:
Mechanics of Debonding Failures in FRP-Plated
RC Beams

(PhD to be conferred in Apr. 2012)

Prof. Xiaoli DING
Project Title:
Determination of Ionospheric Effects using
Multiple Aperture InSAR

Academics get 2-year Travel Grants

Congratulations to Dr Chi-kwan CHAU of the Department of Building Services Engineering and Prof. Yiqing NI of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering for having won 2-year travel grants from the Germany/ Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 2011/12. Prof. CHAU’s project is on the identification of barriers and opportunities for sustainable building development, while Prof. NI’s project is on vibration-based load identification using structural health monitoring data.

CSE works on project for Hospital Authority

In a joint project with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr Songye ZHU from the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering and two of his students, SHI Xiang and SUN Han, are studying the impact of construction induced vibration on medical equipment. Commissioned by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, their project aims to investigate the strength of the vibration source of the piling process that is transferred to mechanical equipment via the ground and existing buildings.

Since June 2011, they have conducted a series of site tests and laboratory experiments as well as computer modeling. After assessing the potential impact of the construction piling process, the research team will suggest tailor-made vibration mitigation solutions and specifications for monitoring the vibrations of medical equipment during the construction of the headquarters for the Blood Transfusion Service extension project, which will be built in the next year or so after the research phase is completed. By involving in this project, the two students have been able to apply what they have learnt in class, thus reinforcing their learning. They both agreed it was an invaluable part of their education experience.

Visitors from HK Real Estate Association tour PolyU

On 2 March 2012, more than 30 people from the HK Real Estate Association Ltd. visited PolyU to learn about the research strengths of our Faculty. After a lunch reception hosted by the Alumni Affairs and Development Office, Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, our Dean, introduced our research activities and centers, including the newly established Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development. Visitors were then given a tour of the labs run by the Department of Building Services Engineering, such as the Intelligent Building Lab, the Electrical Services Lab, the Solar Simulation Lab, the Lighting and Acoustics Lab as well as the Virtual Prototyping Lab. Five of our academics also briefed the visitors on their research, including Prof. Shengwei Wang, Prof. Yang Hong-xing, Prof. C.S. Poon, Prof. Edwin Chan, and Prof. Heng Li. Their presentations covered topics such as building life-cycle diagnosis, renewable energy applications in an urban environment, eco-blocks, low carbon emission construction/ low carbon economy, and a proactive construction management system. Our visitors were suitably impressed with our research achievements. It was a mutually beneficial visit for all concerned.


New Academic Staff

  Dr Daniel Tsang is the latest addition to the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering. Before joining PolyU as an Assistant Professor in March 2012, Dan was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He received his PhD from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2006. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Imperial College London in 2007-2008 and a visiting scholar at Stanford University in early 2011. His area of teaching and research is environmental engineering, with particular interests in waste management, contaminated site remediation, and industrial pollution control. Dan is a Chartered Environmentalist in the UK, serves on the Management Committee of Specialist Groups of the International Water Association, and as a peer reviewer for fifteen journals.

2011 Outstanding Student of FCE

At the Outstanding Student Awards Presentation Ceremony on 8 March 2012, the Faculty of Construction and Environment was represented by Mr LI Pui Hang, a final year student from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) studying for a double degree in Geomatics (Geo-Information Technology) and Computing. The recipient of numerous scholarships, including the Li Po Chun Charitable Trust Fund Scholarship 2010/11, the HKSAR Government Scholarship 2009/10 – 2010/11 and the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors Scholarship 2008/09, Mr LI is also skilled in martial arts, winning a string of awards in the Hong Kong Open Wushu Championships in the last few years. He is honoured that his various achievements have not gone unnoticed, and would like to take this opportunity to thank all his professors and tutors at LSGI, especially his supervisor, Dr Eric Guilbert, without whose guidance and support he would not have learnt so much.

Mr Li is on the far left

Congratulations to Mr Li for being the 2011 Outstanding Student of FCE. He plans to continue his MPhil studies in Spatial Data Services in the Department of Computing at PolyU. His advice for other students who would like to do well in their studies is to overcome any fears they may have about their courses. With patience and hard work, they will eventually understand what was previously unknown to them.

The Outstanding Student Awards recognize full-time undergraduates who have excelled not only academically, but also in extracurricular activities. They are selected at two levels: first from each department, then from each faculty, one of whom will ultimately be PolyU’s Outstanding Student of the Year. The other candidates for FCE outstanding student were Lee Mun Wai Wendy of the Department of Building and Real Estate, Xing Zhipeng of the Department of Building Services Engineering, and Lee Yi Yan of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering.

Gammon introduces 5 BRE students to the workplace

A handful of final-year BRE students were selected for the Gammon Fellowship Programme 2011/12, which is a comprehensive one-year development programme that offers career-enhancement opportunities for undergraduates of tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mainland China. The participating students were Li Yuen Fung, Oscar; Lee Pui Yi, Cathy; Law Ka Yee, Joane; Tong Yan Pui, Amee; and Lam Sze Man, Vincy, who all cherish the experience, not to mention the scholarship of $27,000 that they each received and an entry position in Quantity Surveying waiting for them upon graduation.

As Gammon Fellows, students had the chance to work as interns in the summer of 2011. The fellowship began with an orientation and the Zero Harm induction program, which testify to the company’s core value of safety. Students were assigned to different construction sites and a mentor to guide them in the daily routine of an on-site Quantity


Surveyor, from the preparation of sub-contract documents to attending tender and sub-contractor meetings to measurement exercises. Putting theoretical knowledge into practice gave them a better picture of the profession and the skills that are necessary to excel in it.

After the 8-week internship, students were invited to several company activities, including the coastal cleanup at Lei Yue Mun Beach, the spring dinner 2012 and the Gammon Family Fun Day at the Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve. They were grateful for the opportunity to broaden their social network at these gatherings, meeting many professionals in the process. The Fellowship Programme has exceeded all their expectations, and is highly recommended for future students, not only as a great learning opportunity, but also as a stepping stone to the world of work.

Farewell to our colleague

On 8 March 2012, the Faculty Office reluctantly said goodbye to one of our Executive Officers, Kennis Ng, who was in charge of the promotion and administration of our undergraduate programmes. During the three years or so that she worked for us, she was also the Secretary for the Faculty's Teaching and Learning Committee. We remember her as caring, competent, and efficient in performing her duties. She will be sorely missed by us. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours.

Call for Nominations

The Outstanding BRE Alumni Award 2012

Established in the 1930s, The Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE) has developed a leading position in providing a wide range of academic programmes that nurture preferred graduates for the building and real estate industries in the region.  BRE alumni have excelled in their professions locally and internationally. 

You are now cordially invited to nominate graduates of our department for the 2nd Outstanding BRE Alumni Award, which aims to recognize those who have distinguished themselves in their professions and made significant contributions to the community as well as the built environment. Nominate your Outstanding BRE Alumni NOW!  

For details, please refer to the leaflet or the website or contact BRE at 3400 3867.



The Outstanding CSE Alumni Award 2012

Founded in 1973, The Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (CSE) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has been training high calibers for the fields of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. The Third Outstanding Alumni Award, which is hosted by the Department of CSE and co-sponsored by the PolyU CSE Alumni Association, aims to give public recognition to outstanding graduates of CSE for their accomplishments in their professions and their contributions to the community.

Faculty Public Lectures

The Faculty of Construction and Environment was honoured to have the following speakers giving public lectures at PolyU:

Dr Toshiyuki Kanakubo

"The Use of High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Cementitious Composites for Building Applications"

Associate Professor, Department of Engineering Mechanics and Energy, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Date: 21 March 2012 (Wed) (Details)


Mr Edward Uhlir

"Chicago's Millennium Park - Its Creation and Its Impact"

Mr Edward Uhlir, FAIA, Executive Director, Millennium Park Incorporated (MPI)

Date: 22 March 2012 (Thu) (Details)


Invitation for Programme Admission 2012/13

Applications are now invited for the following taught postgraduate programmes.

Master of Science (MSc)/Postgraduate Diploma (PgD)

Building Services Engineering 屋宇設備工程學

Civil Engineering 土木工程學

Construction and Real Estate 建築及房地產學

Construction Law and Dispute Resolution 建築法及爭議解決學

Environmental Management and Engineering 環境管理及工程學

Facility Management 設施管理

Fire and Safety Engineering 消防及安全工程學

Geomatics (Geographic Information Systems) 測繪及地理資訊學(地理資訊)

Geomatics (Surveying) 測繪及地理資訊學(測量)

Project Management 項目管理

Sustainable Urban Development 可持續城市發展學

For programme details, please visit


Forthcoming Events

FCE Distinguished Lecture - "From Climate Science to Earth System Stewardship"
Date: 13 April 2012
Venue: QR403,The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

FCE Public Lecture - "Elliptical World"
Date: 17 April 2012
Venue: M1603, Senate Room, Li Ka Shing Tower, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

New GNSS Algorithms and Techniques for Earth Observations 2012 (nGATEo 2012)
Date: 14-15 May 2012
Venue: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

First International Conference on Performance-based and Life-Cycle Structural Engineering (PLSE 2012)
Date: 5-7 December 2012
Venue: Regal Kowloon Hotel, 71 Mody Road, Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong

The 5th International Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability (INSTR)
Date: 18-19 December 2012, Hong Kong
Venue: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Programme Admission for 2012/13 - Postgraduate Scheme in Construction and Environment PLSE 2012 Academic Vacancies - FCE HKPolyUFCE

Copyright © 2012 Faculty of Construction and Environment, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. All rights reserved.

Faculty of Construction and Environment Department of Building and Real Estate Department of Building Services Engineering Department of Civil and Structural Engineering Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics