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Issue 32 - June 2013


Table of Contents

RISUD's Inauguration Ceremony
On the afternoon of 14 June 2013, the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD) had its Inauguration Ceremony at the Chiang Chen Studio Theatre on the campus of PolyU. After welcoming remarks by Prof. Timothy Tong, President of PolyU, speeches were delivered by the two guests of honour, Dr Qiu Baoxing, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China, and the Hon. Wong Kam-sing, JP, Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Officiating guests at the ceremony included Ir Wai Chi Sing, JP, Permanent Secretary for Development (Works); Ir Chew Tai Chong, Projects Director at MTR Corp. Ltd.; Ir Chan Kin Sek, Raymond, Senior Vice President of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; Mr Wilson Kwong, Board Director of the Business Environment Council, and Mr K.L. Lam, Chairman of The Conservancy Association. Representing different sectors of society, they were invited onstage to express their respective expectations for RISUD, which combined to spell out its acronym. This cued the unveiling of its vision by the guests of honour, President Tong, Dr Andrew Chan, JP, Chairman of the International Advisory Committee of RISUD, Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, Director of RISUD and Prof. Xiang-Dong Li, Associate Director of RISUD and the five officiating guests, who were cheered on by those in attendance. Ms Marjorie Yang, Council Chairlady, subsequently shared her best wishes for the research institute via video.

Following the unveiling of its vision,, Prof. Teng introduced RISUD to the crowd of audience. A seminar after the ceremony wrapped up the day’s activities, which was led by Dr Qiu Baoxing, Prof. Guy Brasseur, Director of the Climate Service Center in Germany, and Prof. Khalid M. Mosalam from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. They provoked stimulating discussions, which continued the next day in 5 different workshops on various topics. More than 50 speakers who are leading experts in their respective fields participated in these workshops, which were attended by over 300 local researchers and practitioners. Below are further details of the workshops.

Convenor/Co-Convenor Topic of Workshop
Prof. C. S. Poon Sustainable Waste Management: Recycling of Waste
Prof. S. W. Wang/ Prof. Hong-Xing Yang Building Energy Efficiency
Prof. T. Wang Regional Air Quality: Linking Science to Policy
Prof. J. G. Teng/ Dr J.G. Dai Life-cycle Performance of Concrete Structures
Prof. Geoffrey Shen Sustainable Urban Renewal in High-Density Cities

It is expected more events of this nature will facilitate discussions on future research directions and dissemination of the latest advances in the field of sustainable urban development.

Photos of the inauguration ceremony:

CEE academic receives National Natural Science Award

For their collaborative research on the physio-chemical characterization and formation processes of Chinese loess, soil dust, and other aerosols, including their linkages with climate and environmental changes, Prof. Lee Shun-Cheng of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and his research group have been honored with the 2013 National Natural Science Award. Since the end of the 1980's, they have conducted integrated studies of Chinese loess, present-day dust, and carbonaceous aerosols. Between 1999 and 2007, they worked with staff from the Institute of Earth Environment in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, shedding much light on the sources of carbonaceous aerosols in China, their spatial and temporal distributions, as well as their physic-chemical properties. Congratulations to Prof. Lee for this distinguished honor.

Prof. Lee Shun-Cheng

LSGI academic co-hosted workshop for professional development in Berlin

Ir Dr Wallace Wai Lok Lai of the Department of Land Surveying Geo-Informatics (LSGI) co-hosted a workshop on Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation in Civil Engineering and Surveying (NDTE-CES) that was organized by the Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing (BAM) of Germany for HK's engineers and surveyors. Held on 13-20 June 2013 and attended by a dozen practitioners from the Hong Kong construction industry and government, the workshop provided both basics and cutting edge knowledge of the latest development of instrumentation, principles, automation, signal processing, problem-solving techniques, data fusion, validation and case studies across multiple disciplines covered by NDTE-CES. Paving the way for further international and cross-cultural friendship and collaboration between Germany and Hong Kong, the workshop was highly rated by all participants, which included 2 academic staff from LSGI, Nelson Chan and Dr Rebecca Tse. Everyone looks forward to another NDTE-CES workshop in 2014.


BRE academic honored with award at world symposium

At the second World Construction Symposium held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 14-15 June 2013, Prof. Daniel Chan of the Department of Building and Real Estate won a Best Paper Presentation Award for his paper titled “Search for Key Performance Indicators for Target Cost Contracts in Hong Kong.” Organized by the Ceylon Institute of Builders, the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, and the Building Economics and Management Research Unit of the Department of Building Economics at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka, the symposium aims to foster a better link between industry and academia. The theme this year was socio-economic sustainability in construction: practice, policy, and research.


BSE academic links productivity to office environment

A 2010 study by Prof. Cheuk Ming Mak of the Department of Building Services Engineering has been   cited in an online article that found open-plan offices were not congenial to workers’ productivity. With his co-researcher Y.P. Lui, Prof. Mak surveyed more than 250 office workers about the importance of sound, temperature, office layout, air quality and lighting for productivity; they found that sound and temperature mattered the most. The most irritating noises were conversations, ringing phones and machines. The study also found that the environment mattered least to the younger participants, while those over 45 were more sensitive to it, and factors like noise and temperature had a bigger effect on their productivity. Their findings have been published in an article titled “The effect of sound on office productivity” in the journal Building Services Engineering Research and Technology.

Prof. Cheuk
Ming Mak

BRE students honored with award in URA Community Service Partnership Scheme

At the award ceremony for the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) Community Service Partnership Scheme on 31 May 2013, 20 students from the Department of Building and Real Estate were honored for their participation in a service project that have them visiting the homes of people living in old and dilapidated buildings. Under the guidance of professionals from the URA and non-governmental organizations, students conducted a survey to identify the housing needs of the residents, who were often from disadvantaged or underprivileged groups. Their findings have given them a better insight into the housing problems of the community and the difficulties that the underprivileged households face. Many thanks go to Prof. Eddie Hui, Dr Michael Yam, Dr K.F. Man, Dr Barbara Leung, and Mr Edmond Wong for supporting the partnership scheme, which will have similar projects for students in the coming September.


BRE student rewarded with Innovation and Technology Scholarship

A second year student for the BSc (Hons) in Building Engineering and Management, Cheung King Wai, is one of the winners in the 2013 Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Scheme, which held a ceremony for all its beneficiaries on 17 April 2013 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Organized by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups with the support of the Innovation and Technology Commission and the sponsorship of HSBC, the scheme aims to provide opportunities for promising students to increase their international exposure, as well as learn from professionals and leading experts about relevant industries. It is designed to encourage students to pursue careers in science and technology.

Mr Cheung was chosen from a rigorous selection process that takes into account not only his academic achievements, but also his participation in extra-curricular and community service activities. He will participate in a local internship with the Development Bureau in August and go overseas in an attachment programme next summer. Congratulations to him for winning such a competitive scholarship.

Cheung King Wai

HSBC Hong Kong Scholarship 2012/13

A first-year student in the broad discipline of Construction and Environment has been awarded the HSBC Hong Kong Scholarship for her outstanding academic performance and leadership potential. Au Yuen Yau was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she did not let that limit her life experience, which has been enriched by her volunteer work to help others. She has received numerous service awards from her secondary school as well as the Social Welfare Department and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. Her positive outlook in spite of her socio-economic background is an inspiration to us all. Congratulations for winning a well deserved scholarship.

Au Yuen Yau

Scholarship students graduate with distinction

3 postgraduates who were supported by our Entry Scholarships in 2011/12 have just graduated with their MSc degrees with Distinction. They are Miss Huang Qiaofen, a graduate of the MSc programme in Geomatics (Geographic Info Systems), Mr Leung Wai Kin, and Mr Yang Kai Chau, both graduates of the MSc programme in Building Services Engineering (BSE). Below are some of their thoughts on studying at PolyU and their future plans.
  Miss Huang, MSc in Geomatics (GIS) Mr Leung, MSc (BSE) Mr Yang, MSc (BSE)
Most memorable experience at PolyU With the help of my supervisor and classmates in the last two years, I survived all the assignments and dissertation that exhausted and fulfilled me at the same time. The self-study period in the library during the exam periods I enjoyed preparing for presentations and exams with my classmates in the library.
Advice to other students Take the opportunity to try different things and do more preparations for your future. Enjoy your life at PolyU. To study and explore more outside of lectures Put your heart and mind into your studies, and allow sufficient time to prepare for assignments and exams.
Future plans To earn more experience in GIS, and to be a professional. I plan to live an interesting and meaningful life. To be a professional in building services engineering. I will study for another master’s degree at PolyU in a year or so and join a professional organization.

Faculty Distinguished Lecture

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

Prof. Dan M. Frangopol

FCE Distinguished Lecture
"Integration of Reliability, Optimization and SHM in Life-Cycle Management of Highway Bridges"

Prof. Dan M. Frangopol
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Lehigh University, USA

Date: 13 June 2013 (Thu) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Public Lecture: Effect of Outdoor Particulate Matter (PM) on Indoor Air Quality and its Control
Date & Time: 24 July 2013 (Wed), 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Venue: Room M1603, Senate Room, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Summer School for Outstanding Postgraduate and Senior Undergraduate Students
Duration: 30 July to 8 August 2013
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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