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Issue 30 - April 2013


Table of Contents

FCE Sustainable Urban Development Forum cum Research Alumni Reunion

The FCE Sustainable Urban Development Forum cum Research Alumni Reunion was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Shenzhen on 20 April 2013. Organized by the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) and supported by the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD), the forum aimed to nurture multi-disciplinary collaboration among PolyU’s alumni, strengthening the connections and friendships amongst them. Over 300 alumni, staff, and friends of the Faculty attended the event.

Themed “Opportunities and Challenges of Sustainable Urban Development”, the event was kicked off with opening remarks by Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, Dean of FCE and Director of RISUD. The Head of the Department (HoD) of Building and Real Estate (BRE), Prof. Geoffrey Shen; HoD of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics (LSGI), Prof. XL Ding; Acting Head of the Department (Ag HoD) of Building Services Engineering (BSE), Prof. Niu Jianlei; and Ag HoD of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Prof. Poon Chi-sun, introduced the research achievements of the respective departments. Dr Bai Honghai, CEO of PolyU’s Shenzhen Base, also introduced the research developments of his organization.

Prof. Jin-Guang
Prof. Geoffrey
Prof. XL Ding Prof. Niu Jianlei Prof. Poon
Dr Bai Honghai
Prof. Deren Li Prof. Jiang Guibin Prof. Sun Wei

Three prominent Academicians delivered keynote speeches at the event. They included Prof. Deren Li from the Laboratory for Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing (LIESMARS) of Wuhan University; Prof. Jiang Guibin from the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Prof. Sun Wei from Southeast University. It was then followed by a forum chaired by Prof. Xiang-dong Li, one of the Co-chairs of the event. Joining the forum were Academicians Prof. Jiang and Prof. Sun, as well as four distinguished alumni, namely, Prof. Li Qingquan, President of Shenzhen University and alumnus of LSGI; Prof. Wu Yuzhe, Professor & Associate Head of the Department of Land Management at Zhejiang University and alumnus of BRE; Prof. Xu Xinhua, Professor at Huazhong University of Science & Technology and alumnus of BSE; and Prof. Xue Suduo, Professor at the College of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the Beijing University of Technology and alumnus of CEE.

Speaking at the banquet after the forum, Prof. Jin-Guang Teng introduced the research achievements of the Faculty, highlighting the opportunities and challenges of sustainable urban development in Hong Kong. Prof. Albert Chan, another Co-Chair of the event, thanked the contributions and leadership provided by Prof. Teng over the years, and wished him every success in his new position as the Director of RISUD. Prof. Chan also thanked the Organizing Committee of the event, particularly PolyU’s Shenzhen Base for its support.

Those in attendance enjoyed themselves immensely. They were entertained by a bingo game and a lucky draw during the banquet.

Prof. Jin-Guang Teng (on left)
Prof. Albert Chan(on right)


Photos of the event are available at:

Findings of RGC project published

The Construction Safety Research Group of the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development has recently completed a Research Grants Council funded project on "Safety Climate and its Impacts on Safety Performance of Repair, Maintenance, Minor Alteration and Addition (RMAA) Works”. Based on an analysis of 119 RMAA fatalities that happened between January 2000 and October 2011, falling from height was found to be the leading cause of deaths of workers conducting RMAA works in Hong Kong. Young bamboo scaffolders were particularly susceptible to fatal falls. More proper training for erecting bamboo truss-out scaffolds under different circumstances of RMAA works is recommended for them. Details of the study have recently been published in a paper in the journal Safety Science. Findings of the research were highly valued by the Task Force on Work Safety of Repair, Maintenance, Alterations and Additions (RMAA) Sites, one of the working groups appointed by the Construction Industry Council in promoting RMAA works safety. Congratulations to the authors, Prof. Albert Chan and Dr Carol Hon, both of the Department of Building and Real Estate.

BRE academic gives seminar on new engineering contracts

Dr Daniel W.M. Chan, Associate Professor in Construction Project Management at the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE) of PolyU, gave a technical seminar on New Engineering Contracts at the headquarters of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers on 6 April 2013.

The New Engineering Contract Version 3 (NEC3) is a family of contracts that facilitate the implementation of sound project management principles and practices based on a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation. The relevant Works Departments under the Development Bureau are actively undertaking 26 NEC construction and consultancy contracts (with 9 under construction and 17 in the planning and design stage) with a total value of over HK$8 billion, to start in 2013-2015 by phases.

Dr Chan has gained abundant experience in research projects on the New Engineering Contract (NEC) and Target Cost Contract (TCC) over the past few years. The seminar covered the development and application of NEC contracts in Hong Kong, including: (1) its background, key features and implementation processes; (2) the highlights of research findings on benefits, difficulties and success factors for NEC contracts; (3) case studies of some NEC completed projects in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom for illustration; and (4) the future development trend of NEC contracts. The seminar was very informative and well received by over 80 attendees.

Presentation by Dr Daniel Chan Full house participation by industrial practitioners Souvenir presentation to Dr Daniel Chan (on right) by Ir Dr Michael Yam (on left)


Double awards at international conference for final year BRE student

At the 5th International Surveying Conference for Undergraduates in Selangor, Malaysia on 19-20 April 2013, a final year student in Surveying from the Department of Building and Real Estate, Poon Hei Lam, was honored with the Best Paper Award and the Best Presenter Award for his empirical study of the impact of revitalizing old industrial buildings on property prices, focusing on the case of Hong Kong. Jointly organized by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Malaysia, the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) and the Association of Authorized Land Surveyors Malaysia (AALSM), the conference had as its theme “Empowering Young Surveyors – Technologies of Tomorrow.” Mr Poon Hei Lam competed against more than 25 submissions by other students to win. Congratulations to Mr Poon and his supervisor, Dr Wadu M. Jayantha.

Presentation by Poon Hei Lam Poon Hei Lam (on left)  

FCE student bridging hearts and minds in rural China

A second year student in the BEng programme in Civil Engineering has made good practical use of what she has learnt at PolyU to make it easier for kids in rural China to get to school. Hody Ngai overcame her initial ambivalence about language barriers and cultural differences to volunteer in a building improvement project organized by Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation in the summer of 2012. Her perspectives on mainlanders have completely changed since then. She found the villagers she met in Datan village in Gansu very genuine and sincere. They would openly share interesting stories from their children’s daily lives at school with her, even showing her photos from their children’s wedding. Their hospitality left such a deep impression on her that she participated in another project to repair a bridge earlier this year, this time in Ping Bang village in Guizhou. When time came for her to say goodbye after completing the project, she did so reluctantly. The bonds she created with the villagers were difficult to sever, particularly for one 10-year-old village kid, with whom she moved stones together for several days and who could not refrain from crying. The work Hody has done in China’s rural areas has been very meaningful. If there were more students like her to dedicate time and hard labor on worthy community projects, the world would surely become a better place for all.

Faculty Public Lectures

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

Prof. Frédéric André Skoczylas

FCE Public Lecture
"From Relative Gas Permeability Experiments to In-situ Measurements"

Prof. Frédéric André Skoczylas
Professor, Ecole Centrale de Lille, Lille University

Date: 3 April 2013 (Wednesday) (Details)

Dr Helen X. H. Bao

FCE Public Lecture
"Judgmental Bias in Housing Decisions"

Dr Helen X. H. Bao
Lecturer in Real Estate Finance, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge

Date: 9 April 2013 (Tuesday) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Public Lecture: Extending the Life of Concrete Structures: Institutional Activities and Innovative Technologies
Date & Time: 2 May 2013 (Thu), 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Venue: Room Y305, Li Shau Kee Building, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

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
Faculty of Construction and EnvironmentDepartment of Building and Real EstateDepartment of Building Services EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental EngineeringDepartment of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics

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