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Issue 21 - July 2012


Table of Contents

Head of CSE honored by ASCE

Prof. Xu You-Lin, Chair Prof. of Structural Engineering and Head of the CSE Department, was the latest individual honoured by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) with the Robert H. Scanlan Medal, an annual award that has been rewarding distinguished cumulative achievement in engineering mechanics since 2003. The award, which consists of a medal and a certificate, is the top award in the field of bridge wind engineering. It was presented to Prof. Xu in early July for his outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of the aerodynamics and health monitoring of long-span cable-supported bridges, which he and his team have worked on for more than 15 years. The major contributions Prof. Xu made to wind engineering and bridge aerodynamics include wind and structural health monitoring of long-span cable-supported bridges, wind-vehicle-bridge interaction and fatigue analysis, wind-rain-induced cable vibration and control, buffeting analysis of long-span bridges under skew winds, and typhoon wind simulations over complex terrain. Prof. Xu and his team are heavily involved in the wind and structural health monitoring of the Tsing Ma Bridge and the Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong and the under-construction Shanghai Tower in mainland China, conducting safety checkups with data-rich sensors loaded with information. Their research results on this topic have been summarized in a newly published book Structural Health Monitoring of Long-span Suspension Bridge by Spon Press. Congratulations to Prof. Xu for his significant accomplishment in this field.

Prof. Xu You-Lin

Dean's Awards for Outstanding Achievements 2012

The Dean's Awards have been recognizing outstanding achievements of staff since 2008. This year, achievements in publication and academic programme development have been rewarded individually in the first instance and collectively in the second. For his highly cited paper published in Oct. 2006 and entitled "Particle Swarm Optimization Training Algorithm for ANNs in Stage Prediction of Shing Mun River," Prof. Chau Kwok Wing of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering was honoured with the Dean's Award for Outstanding Publication Achievement. In 2009, Prof. Chau also won this award for his overall performance in citation in the previous decade. His scholarship is indubitably a force to be reckoned with.

The Team Award for Outstanding Academic Programme Development went to 7 staff in the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics for their work in getting the BSc (Hons) degree in Geomatics (Geo-Information Technology) fully accredited by the Information Technology division of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers (HKIE). Led by Dr Lilian Pun, the team has revised the existing programme's curriculum to meet HKIE's requirements by re-engineering the entire curriculum with more computing elements. As early as 2008, the team has promoted outcome-based approaches in student learning to align with HKIE's outcome-based criteria. Its preparation for accreditation has been consistent with the transition to a 4-year programme beginning in 2012. Thanks to the joint efforts of the whole team, which included Prof. Xiaoli Ding, Prof. Esmond Mok, Dr Geoffrey Shea, Dr Eric Guilbert, Dr Conrad Tang, and Miss Vaness Yu, the BSc (Hons) in Geomatics will be more competitive than ever.

Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Research Funding were announced earlier in March. Congratulations to all the winners of the Dean's Awards, which come with a cash prize of HK$15,000 and an award certificate to be presented at the Faculty Congregation and Prize Presentation Ceremony later this year.

Profits from Alumni Associations' Ball donated to FCE

The good vibes from the FCE Alumni Associations’ Ball are still with us today. The Faculty is to be the beneficiary of the profits from that unforgettable evening, which was largely sponsored by Ir Tsui Tack-kong. The donation amounted to HK$184,000, which will hopefully be matched by a grant from the University Grants Committee. Hooray for the boost to our coffers, which continue to flow thanks to the generosity of donors like Ir Tsui.


Building Information Modeling breaks new ground with CVP technologies

Researchers at the Construction Virtual Prototyping (CVP) Laboratory of the Department of Building and Real Estate have made great advances in building information modeling (BIM) in a collaborative project with the Housing Authority (HA) and ABLE Engineering Ltd. The project for the Tung Tau Cottage Area Estate (TTCAE) began two years ago, when members of the CVP lab applied BIM to its design coordination process of TTCAE, which led to a Hong Kong Autodesk BIM Award for the HA in 2010. Subsequently, ABLE Engineering Ltd. won the tender for the construction of TTCAE, which is managed with the use of BIM. Together with the HA and ABLE Engineering Ltd., the CVP team has launched 3 new technologies, namely, the Interactive Construction Process Simulator, the BIM coordination workflow, and a BIM platform for project collaboration that have all contributed to a streamlining of the entire construction process.


According to Prof. Li Heng, the interactive construction process simulator is like a flight simulator. Its technology allows project managers to experiment, validate, and optimize various construction plans and scenarios in a photo-realistic 3D virtual environment before they actually start building them. The introduction of the BIM coordination workflow and the BIM platform for project collaboration have also benefited the project team in many ways, chief of which is the efficient operation of site activities, resulting in more work being accomplished in less time. Both HA and ABLE Engineering Ltd. have been appreciative of the technical and consultative support from the CVP team, which was led by Dr Neo Chan. It is expected that the TTCAE project will become a successful case study for the application of BIM.

HKIS Outstanding Final Year Dissertation Awards 2011

On 13 July 2012, two former undergraduates from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) were honoured at the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Happy Valley with the Outstanding Final Year Dissertation Awards. Organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) to promote research amongst its future surveyors and reward the efforts of students, the awards were based on merit and the applicability of the research output to the surveying profession. The Top Award in Land Surveying went to Zhang Anshu, whose dissertation was on geographic information systems for an indoor fire evacuation system, while the Second Award went to Carmen Siu, who worked on a real time vegetation monitoring programme for registering old and valuable trees. Congratulations to both of them for their achievements.

The panel of assessors for these awards includes members of the HKIS Research Committee and a non-academic member from each division of the HKIS recommended by the division chairman. For more details of the awardees' dissertation, please visit:


ZHANG Anshu (on left)

Carmen SIU (on left)

PolyU and Tongji University organize joint summer course in Shanghai

The Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Tongji University jointly organized a two-week summer course in Shanghai for 78 students from both universities from 15 to 28 July 2012.

Themed "Construction for Better Living", the summer course focused on construction and environment from the perspective of a fundamental human desire – "Better Living". Not only did the course show students how they could contribute to "Better Living," it also cultivated their creativity, problem-solving skills and global outlook, exposing them to the concepts of entrepreneurship.


PolyU Deputy President and Provost Professor Philip Chan expressed his sincere thanks to Tongji University for their support at the opening ceremony. He said, "This joint summer course is an enthusiastic initiative of both PolyU and Tongji University. We are delighted that Tongji University has kindly agreed to serve as our strategic partner. With interactive lectures, seminars and visits, this intensive summer course encourages students to take part in group projects that promote team spirit."

The opening ceremony was attended by Professor Pei Gang, President of Tongji University; Professor Gu Xianglin, Dean of the College of Civil Engineering at Tongji University; Professor Albert Chan, Associate Dean (Partnership) of PolyU FCE, as well as representatives of the supporting colleges of Tongji University. Professor Keith Chan, PolyU Dean of Students, also hosted a tea reception with students on 15 July.

To get a better understanding of the related technologies and knowledge covered in the course, students met with industrial practitioners and visited the construction site of the Shanghai Center Tower, the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, as well as the Italian and Saudi Arabian Pavilions of the Shanghai World Expo. Students also worked in a mini project to put theory into practice.

Speaking at the farewell dinner, Professor Albert Chan said, "The environment and sustainable urban development has become a growing concern and on the top agenda of many major universities over the past decade. In the future, students will have a key role to play in ensuring that the problems posed by urbanization, global warming and technological changes do not threaten our planet. In addition to professional knowledge, we encourage all-round education. The skills students have acquired in this course will also be highly valued by their future employers."

Faculty Public Lecture

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

Prof. Jiangang SHI

FCE Public Lecture
"China Real Estate Price Trend Analysis"

Prof. Jiangang SHI, Dean of Kingwai Real Estate Institute, School of Economics and Management, Tongji University

Date: 6 July 2012 (Friday) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Short Course: High Speed Rail Engineering
Date & Time: 10 August 2012 (Friday), 6:30 - 9:30 pm & 11 August 2012 (Saturday) 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Venue: N112, 1/F, Block N, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Registration fee: HK$2,800 (including teaching materials and refreshments)

FCE Distinguished Lecture: Translational Research in Nano-Technology and Civil Engineering
Date & Time: 17 August 2012 (Friday), 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Venue: Room PQ304, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

FCE Summer School for Outstanding Postgraduate and Senior Undergraduate Students
Date: 20-26 August 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

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