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Issue 28 - February 2013


Table of Contents

Establishment of a PolyU-HIT Research Centre for Sustainable Water Environment


The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (previously known as the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering) at PolyU has had a long history of research collaboration with the School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering at the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in the area of water and wastewater treatment technology since the late 90s.

HIT successfully established a State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resources and Environment   (SKLUWRE) in 2007, while the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD) was established by PolyU in 2012.

As SKLUWRE and RISUD have extensive mutual interests in research areas relevant to the sustainable development of urban water environment, they both stand to benefit from one another by sharing different strengths of expertise and research disciplines.  To enhance inter-disciplinary research and integrate existing research strengths, a joint venture named “PolyU-HIT Research Centre for Sustainable Urban Water Environment” has been recently established after an agreement was formally signed by both institutions for an initial period of 5 years.

Aim and Objectives

This research centre is aimed at promoting research collaboration between  SKLUWRE and RISUD by fully utilizing existing resources of their different research strengths and complementary research capabilities of a sizable pool of researchers from both institutes, with the main objectives of: (1) applying for large research grants from HK and mainland China such as the RGC-NSFC Joint Research Scheme and some national-level research projects such as 973 and 863, (2) joint supervision of PhD students and exchange of research staff between the two institutes, (3) linking our research collaborations with the top universities and research institutions in the world, and (4) eventually establishing a Partner State Key Laboratory in Hong Kong.

Main research areas for collaboration

Three main research areas of mutual interests have been identified below:

  1. Development of innovative wastewater treatment technologies for synergy of water reuse, energy generation, and resource recovery;

  2. Regional water pollution monitoring and simulation on a large scale with the aid of spatial remote sensing technologies;

  3. Heterogeneous transmission of environmental pollutants from air phase or land/soil phase into water phase through an interface

Organization and management

A management committee has been set up with 6 key members drawn from both institutes as follows:





Prof. Yujie FENG

Prof. Xiangdong LI

Deputy Director

Prof. Yu TIAN

Prof. Wei CHU


Dr Wei QIU

Dr Daniel TSANG

Activities of the collaboration

  1. Joint applications for large research grants in Hong Kong and mainland China;
  2. Joint applications for national-level consultancy projects;
  3. Joint supervision of PhD students and exchange of research staff (about 3-6 each year);
  4. Joint organization of international conferences once every 2-3 years and a number of
    research workshops/forums to be held alternatively in Hong Kong and Harbin.

PTeC's Outstanding Professional Services Awards 2012
Prof. Li Heng (on left) Dr Lee Wai-ling (on left) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics

On 20 February 2013, 20 awards were presented to various departments and faculty members of PolyU for their distinguished consultancy services and achievements in knowledge transfer. Amongst the winners was Prof. Li Heng of the Department of Building and Real Estate, who was honored as the Highest Growth Consultant in terms of i) the absolute growth in income earned and ii) the percentage of growth compared to the previous financial year. The other individual meriting an award in the same category was Dr Lee Wai-ling of the Department of Building Services Engineering. Prof. Li was also rewarded with a merit award as the most active consultant, accumulating the second highest earnings between July 2011 and June 2012.

Departmental Awards went to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for being the most active department. It also won a merit award for having the maximum staff participation. The winner for that category was the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics. Congratulations to all the winners!

The 5th International Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability (INSTR2012)

On 18-19 December 2012, the 5th International Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability (INSTR2012) was successfully held at the InterContinental Grand Stanford in Hong Kong. The Symposium was jointly organized by PolyU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and the Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies (HKSTS), with financial sponsorship from The Croucher Foundation and the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE). In addition, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong (CILTHK) and the civil division of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) served as the non-financial sponsors of the Symposium.

Board members of HKSTS and the guests

The INSTR series is the premier gathering for the world’s leading researchers and professionals interested in transportation network reliability. As the most prestigious and important symposium series for state-of-the-art discussions on both recent research and future directions in this increasingly important field of research, it embraces a range of topics pertaining to transportation reliability, from user perception of unreliability, the valuation and economics of reliability, network reliability modeling and transportation network robustness to travel behavior and vehicle routing under uncertainty, risk evaluation and management of transportation networks.

With excellent track records in the field, the INSTR prides itself on the extremely high quality of its proceedings (see Previous symposia typically had around 50 papers presented in plenary and/or parallel sessions. Over 60 papers were selected for presentation at the 5th INSTR Symposium, following a rigorous two-tier peer review process. For further details of the Symposium, see

In total, over 100 participants attended the INSTR2012 Symposium, including PhD students, engineers and professors from about 18 countries around the world. The speakers at the Symposium exchanged innovative ideas on various aspects of analysis and design for improving transportation network reliability. The organizers would like to convey their sincere thanks to all the speakers, particularly the keynote speakers, Ir Prof. T.F. Leung, Assistant Commissioner for Transport/Technical Service of the Government of Hong Kong SAR, and Prof. Michael A.P. Taylor from the University of South Australia.

CEE Prof. debuts new book on Geomechanics

Prof. Chau Kam Tim is off to an auspicious start in 2013 with the publication of his book by CRC Press (of Taylor & Francis Group). Titled Analytic Methods in Geomechanics, the book covers tensor analysis, elasticity complex variable methods, 3-D elasticity, plasticity, fracture mechanics, viscoelasticity, poroelastcity, dynamics and wave propagations in geomaterials. Part of the book is suitable for undergraduate and graduate courses, whereas more advanced topics can also served as reference for researchers. 

The book has received excellent reviews from professors around the world, including Prof. Jim R. Rice of Harvard University, who praised its “broadness of scope, rigor, and wonderful level of detail.” Prof. Fusao Oka of Kyoto University calls it “a great contribution to society,” and Prof. Joe W. Walsh of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said he would make use of it. Congratulations to Prof. Chau for his noteworthy achievement.


ITF funds projects of Faculty staff

The Faculty had 4 projects funded by the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) in 2012. Below are the details:

Project Coordinator


Project Title

Amount Awarded by ITF

Dr Jian-guo Dai


Development of thin wall panels based on basalt textile reinforced geopolymer for sustainable building construction


Prof. Heng Li


Location-based Technologies for Asset Tracking and Risk Management


Prof. Kwok-fai Chung


Enhanced durability and mechanical performance of structural steel members using an innovative galvanization process


Dr Agachai Sumalee


Algorithm for bus arrival time prediction from crowd-source smart phone data


Scholarship students graduate with distinction

Three postgraduates who received entry scholarships in 2010/11 have recently completed their studies with flying colors. They are Miss Chu Kin Yee, Jenny, Miss Leung Yuk Shan, and Miss Cheng Wai Ching. The first two graduated with a MSc in Construction and Real Estate, while the last one graduated with a MSc in Project Management. Below are some of their thoughts on studying at PolyU:


Chu Kin Yee, MSc (CRE)

Leung Yuk Shan, MSc (CRE)

Cheng Wai Ching, MSc (PM)

Most memorable experience at PolyU

The Professional Workshop and Project gave me quite a lot of satisfaction because  I had to plan, conduct research, prepare a report, powerpoint and present the project all by myself.

Working in collaboration with my classmates on group projects where we share our ideas, thoughts and working experience. We went on site visit, conducted surveys and held meetings. We made friendships that lasted far beyond our university life. 

Working with my teammates on the project in Development Finance and Investment was particularly memorable, though it was tough to work during the day and study an entirely new field at night and on weekends.

Advice for other students

Enjoy the school-life at PolyU!

Working and studying at the same time may be hard but rewarding. You may keep abreast of the latest industry information and develop networks with other students. Enjoy and try to make the most from your study.

Please enjoy your time at PolyU and grasp every opportunity to learn and explore project management.

Future plans

I’ve been working in property management for more than 8 years. I believe I will continue to develop my career in this field.

Further explore my areas of interest and work values, and pursue professional qualifications for personal and career advancement.

I hope to apply what I learnt on the job and prove myself a capable project manager when the opportunity comes.

Bursaries from HKHSA benefit 5 FCE students

To encourage students to pursue housing-related studies, recognize their contribution to the housing-related industry, as well as support students with outstanding academic performance and financial needs, the Hong Kong Housing Society Awards (HKHSA) were launched in 2006. This year, 5 bursaries worth HK$5000 each have been awarded to PolyU. The following FCE students were honored in a ceremony at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on 26 January 2013. Congratulations to all of them.

Name of Student

Course / Year

Mr  KWAN Tsz Him

BSc (Hons) Surveying, Year 2

Miss LAM Lam

BSc (Hons) Surveying, Year 3

Miss NIMAGA Mariam Gahousson

BSc (Hons) Surveying, Year 2

Miss LEE Nga In

BSc (Hons) Building Services Engineering, Year 3

Mr TO Ki Kwan

BSc (Hons) Environment and Sustainable Development, Year 3


In addition, Miss Lam of the Department of Building and Real Estate was invited to give a speech at the ceremony sharing her insight for achieving success. As a winner of the bursary from HKHSA for the second consecutive year, she attributed her success to her positive and proactive attitude in facing challenges. Not one to give up easily, she has faith that perseverance will overcome any obstacles that may be in her way. She plans to work in the construction industry after graduation.

Invitation for Programme Admission 2013/14

Applications are now invited for the following taught postgraduate programmes.  Students with outstanding academic records may be considered for scholarships along with admission. The deadline to submit applications is 1 March 2013 for all 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)
High Performance Buildings 高效能建築
Project Management 項目管理
Sustainable Urban Development 可持續城市發展學

For programme details, please visit

Faculty Public Lectures

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

Dr Zhong Tao

FCE Public Lecture
"Behaviour of Concrete-filled Stainless Steel Tubular Columns at Ambient and Elevated Temperatures"

Dr Zhong Tao, Associate Professor, Institute for Infrastructure Engineering, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Date: 4 February 2013 (Monday) (Details)

Prof. Per Anker Jensen

FCE Public Lecture
"The Added Value of Facilities Management: Models for Mapping and Concepts for Managing"

Prof. Per Anker Jensen, Professor, Technical University of Denmark, Head of Centre for Facilities Management - Realdania Research (CFM)

Date: 25 February 2013 (Monday) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Public Lecture:
Structural Engineering at the University of Idaho: Bridges and Buildings

Date & Time: 12 March 2013 (Tue), 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Venue: Room M1603, Li Ka Shing Tower, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

FCE Mainland Research Alumni Forum cum Banquet
Date: 20 April 2013 (Saturday)
Forum: 2:00 pm - 6 pm
Banquet: 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen
Registration deadline: 20 March 2013

Besides the opportunity to renew and expand your network of friends, there will be an exciting programme
with keynote lectures and forum by the following academicians:

Jiang Guibin,
Professor of Environmental Chemistry & Toxicology, Director-General,
Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences

Li Deren,
Dean of School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics,
China University of Mining and Technology

The forum will also be joined by a number of distinguished alumni of the Faculty.

Further details of the forum are available at:

Summer School for Outstanding Postgraduate and Senior Undergraduate Students
Duration: 30 July to 8 August 2013 (tentative)
Location: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

12th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET2013)
Date: 26-29 August 2013
Venue: Chiang Chen Studio Theatre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Academic Vacancies - FCE     HKPolyUFCE

Copyright © 2013 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 Environmental Engineering Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics