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Issue 38 - December 2013


Table of Contents

Laboratory for Sustainable City named after distinguished alumnus

A state-of-the art laboratory for examining the sustainable development of Hong Kong at the building and city level was recently named for its benefactor, Dr Ng Wing Hong, a 1939 graduate of a predecessor of PolyU, the former Government Trade School, and a staunch supporter of his alma mater for many years. At the naming ceremony on 3 December 2013, Dr Ng was warmly welcomed by Prof. Timothy Tong, President of PolyU, Prof. Albert Chan, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, and Prof. Geoffrey Shen, Head of the Department of Building and Real Estate. Though in his mid-90s, Dr Ng has not forgotten the help he was given in his formative years. Without the education that he received, he would not have had such a successful career in the construction industry. A generous donor to many causes of PolyU in the past, his munificence is now embodied in the new lab, which will house multimedia databases for research purposes. Many thanks to Dr Ng for his generosity.

LSGI's lunar mapping techniques contributed to the moon landing
mission of Chang'E-3

The work of Dr Bo Wu and his team from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics has helped to make history on 14 December 2013. Their innovative lunar-mapping techniques have facilitated the successful landing of Jade Rabbit in Chang’E-3’s lunar probe in the Sinus Iridum area of the moon.

Invited by China Academy of Space Technology, Dr Wu’s research group has been working on lunar topographic modeling and analysis of the Sinus Iridum area since August 2012. Using multiple lunar remote sensing data collected from different sensors, including the imagery from Chang’E-2 mission, the researchers analyzed in detail the terrain slope and crater distribution of the area as well as identified several alternative landing sites. The selection of a safe landing site for Chang’E-3 is one of the key tasks for the lunar exploration project.

With funding from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Dr Wu has conducted research on multi-source lunar remote sensing data integration for accurate topographic modeling. He has developed lunar mapping techniques by synergistically integrating lunar remote sensing imagery and laser altimeter data, which laid a solid foundation for the topographic modeling and analysis of the Chang’E-3 landing site.
The landing site of the Chang’E-3 lander marked on the high-resolution map (upper right). The lower figure shows the 3D view of the landing area. A group photo of the LSGI team with PolyU President Timothy W. Tong

BRE scholars participate in major NSFC funded project

In the third allocation of funding for major projects by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), a project in which Prof. Albert Chan and Prof. Heng Li of the Department of Building and Real Estate are collaborating with a team of researchers from five mainland universities, including Nanjing University, Tongji University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Harbin Institute of Technology, has been funded. Titled “Theories, Methods, and Innovative Applications of Construction Management of China’s Major Infrastructure,” the project will begin in 2014 and be supported by 15 million RMB over the next 5 years. The total number of team members involved in this project is 93, including 1 Cheung Kong scholar, 2 recipients of the Outstanding Young NSFC Researcher Award, as well as 4 collaborating professors from overseas and Hong Kong.    

Prof. Albert Chan
Prof. Heng Li

From the perspective of a globalized allocation of resources to achieve the goal of sustainable scientific development, the project explores the following 5 related topics in depth:

  1. Novel foundational theories of construction management of major infrastructure in China, with respect to decision analysis and management, organizational behavior, and innovative models;
  2. On-site integration of coordination and control;
  3. Social responsibility;
  4. Industrial competitiveness; and
  5. Sustainable development.

In collaboration with Tongji University, Prof. Albert Chan’s research will focus on the organizational behavior and innovative models related to the construction of major infrastructure, while Prof. Heng Li will work with Huazhong University of Science and Technology to integrate coordination and control at construction sites of major infrastructure.

According to reports, this is the first time that the NSFC has established a major project in the area of construction management, which will consider the current strategic needs of China to manage the construction of major infrastructure, thus providing guidance on the theories related to the laws and policies of construction management; methodological support for implementing construction engineering; building a research team and nurturing leadership talent for the discipline of construction management. Research outcomes will not only have scholastic value, but also practical significance that meets the country’s needs as well.    

FCE leads in funding for public policy research

The Faculty of Construction and Environment is pleased that the following colleagues have received support from the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme for their projects. Below are the details:   

Principal Investigator

Dept. Project Title Duration (months)

Funding (HK$)

Prof. Edwin Hon-wan CHAN BRE

Sustainable Planning Criteria (SPC) for Age-friendly Precincts
(AFP) in the New Development Areas (NDAs) of Hong Kong

12 528,471

Prof. Albert P.C. CHAN


Improving Safety Communication of Ethnic Minorities in the
Construction Industry

15 488,750

Study on the Development Potential and Energy Incentives
of Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Applications in Hong Kong

12 424,120

Can We Get Rid of Smoggy Days in Hong Kong: Formation
Mechanism and Control Strategies?

12 662,969.3
Dr WANG Yuhong CEE

Development of a Policy for Optimizing the Use of Inert Solid
Wastes in Road Pavement Construction

18 373,635

A Remote Sensing Study of Solar Energy Supply in
Cloud-prone Areas of Hong Kong

12 359,869.5

BRE scholar on a roll

October was a productive time for Dr Meng Ni, an Associate Prof. of the Department of Building and Real Estate. Besides the publication of his co-edited book Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: From Materials to System Modeling with Prof. Tim S. Zhao of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (, he delivered two invited lectures. The first one was at the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers on 7 October 2013, where he presented his research on SOFC-based multi-generation system for building applications. The second one was on 30 October 2013 at the Materials Science & Technology Conference & Exhibition in Montreal, Canada, which is one of the most influential conferences in this field and attracted over 1000 participants from all over the world.  Dr Ni’s lecture was on the modeling of the solid oxide electrolyzer cell for H2O/CO2 co-electrolysis.

Dr Meng Ni

Annual partnership meeting of FCE and RICS

On 6 December 2013, representatives from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) met with academic leaders from the Faculty of Construction and Environment to brief one another on the latest developments in their respective institutions, review their mutual aims and objectives, as well as the development and provision of the following courses:

  1. MSc in Construction and Real Estate
  2. MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution
  3. MSc in High Performance Buildings
  4. MSc in Project Management
  5. MSc in International Real Estate
  6. MSc in Facility Management
  7. MSc in Geomatics
  8. MSc in Sustainable Urban Development
  9. BSc (Hons) in Property Management (4 year)
  10. BSc (Hons) in Property Management (3 year)
  11. BSc (Hons) in Surveying (4 year)
  12. BSc (Hons) in Surveying (3 year)
  13. BSc (Hons) in Environment and Sustainable Development (4 year)
  14. BSc (Hons) in Environment and Sustainable Development (3 year)
  15. BSc (Hons) in Geomatics (4 year)
  16. BSc (Hons) in Geomatics (3 year)
In addition to a report on the employment of our graduates by FCE, it was agreed at the meeting that the partnership between RICS and FCE would be renewed for five more years beginning in 2014.

Donation from industry to support research in LSGI

Three sets of GPS/GNSS/BeiDou satellite receivers of the latest technologies worth HK$300,000 have recently been donated to the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) by the Hi-Target Survey Instruments Co. Ltd. in Guangzhou, China. This generous gift will greatly support the research of Dr George Zhizhao Liu and his team, as well as the initiative of LSGI to establish a Partner Research Center of the National Engineering Research Center for Satellite Positioning System (PRC-NERCSPS) on the campus of PolyU.

Established in 1999, Hi-Target Survey Instruments Co. Ltd. is a leading Chinese manufacturer with a strong R&D capacity in the GPS/GNSS/BeiDou satellite-based positioning and navigation industry. The first Chinese company in the satellite navigation industry to be publicly listed in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2011, its business covers GPS/GNSS/BeiDou technology development and production as well as marketing and sales.

Dr George Zhizhao Liu (left) and Prof. Xiaoli Ding, Head of LSGI Department, demonstrated the three sets of GPS/GNSS/BeiDou satellite receivers generously donated by Hi-Target, Mainland China (December 2013)

New Academic Staff

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) welcomed two new Assistant Professors in November 2013, Dr Zhu Jianbo, and Dr Duan Huan-feng.

Dr Zhu specializes in Geotechnical Engineering (Rock Mechanics). He got his BEng and MEng degrees from Sichuan University in 2005 and 2008, respectively, and his PhD degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) in 2011. Before joining PolyU, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). A member of numerous academic societies and a reviewer for 7 international journals, he has authored 26 publications and lectured in the US, Switzerland, Canada, China, and the UK. His research interests include rock dynamics, wave propagation in jointed rock masses, dynamic response of underground caverns, earthquake source process and ground motions.

Dr Zhu Jianbo

Dr Duan received his PhD in Civil Engineering from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2011. Prior to PolyU, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the CEE department of HKUST, with research interests in hydraulics of pipe flows; environmental fluid mechanics of storm/sewage waters; hydrodynamics of wave–turbulence–system interactions; transients–based pipe defects detection etc. A member of the Hong Kong chapter of the International Association of Hydro-Environmental Engineering and Research as well as the Hong Kong Institute of Science, he has published more than 20 papers in the area of hydraulics and water resources engineering in top peer-reviewed journals. He has also participated in many research projects and funding schemes, such as those funded by the Research Grants Council of HK and the “973” project plan of China.

Dr Duan Huan-feng

We wish both of them a productive period in their work at PolyU.

WIE connects BRE student to real life of work

For students aspiring to land a job immediately after graduation, Work-Integrated Education (WIE) may be the answer to their dreams. Since 2005, it has been a mandatory component of all programme requirements for an undergraduate degree. Students generally participate in WIE in the first or second year of their studies to get a taste of work experience. Yu Hoi Yat, a second year student in the BSc (Hons) Surveying programme, was fortunate to intern at the China Shanghai Architectural Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd. in Shanghai from 19 June to 26 July this past summer. He saw first-hand what working professionals in real life do, and was floored by the long hours they put into their jobs. He realized he had a lot of “growing up” to do after his internship.

For internship opportunities to satisfy the WIE requirement, students can visit the office for Careers and Placement Services.

Yu Hoi Yat

2013 CIB Sebestyen Award

A team of research students from the Department of Building and Real Estate has won the 2013 CIB Sebestyen Future Leaders Award with their proposal for investigating green building development in China. Led by Mr Wu Zezhou, a PhD candidate in the department, the project team will work in collaboration with the CIB working commission in Smart and Sustainable Built Environments to identify successful instances and potential obstacles to green building developments. The whole project is expected to last one year, from December 2013 to November 2014. Other team members are BU Shanshan, CHEN Tingting, LANG Wei, HONG Jingke, and ZHENG Wei. They will apply the €2500 award towards achieving the objectives of their winning proposal. We wish them much success in the year ahead.


OSH Best Project Award

A recent graduate of the BSc (Hons) programme in Surveying, Ms Wong Wai Ming, has won a Best Project Award from the Occupational Safety & Health Council (OSHC) for her evaluation of the effectiveness of the Safety Partnering Programme in improving construction site safety in Hong Kong. She will be receiving a certificate and a cash prize of $3000 at an award ceremony on 18 February 2014 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Congratulations to her and her supervisor, Dr Daniel Chan, who nominated her for the award. Organized by the OSHC to promote the importance of occupational safety and health, the annual awards are given based on the relevance, quality, and originality of a submission.

Ms Wong Wai Ming (left) and her Dissertation Supervisor, Dr Daniel Chan (right)

Invitation for Programme Admission 2014/15

Applications are now invited for the following taught postgraduate programmes.

For details, please visit at

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 Distinguished and Public Lectures

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

Prof. Lawrence C. Bank

FCE Public Lecture
"Mechanically-Fastened (MF) FRP strips for strengthening concrete structures - A review of 15 years of research and applications "

Prof. Lawrence C. Bank
Department of Civil Engineering
The City College of New York

Date: 9 December 2013 (Mon) (Details)

Prof. Wieslaw Ostachowicz

FCE Distinguished Lecture
"Novel Methods in SHM Technology"

Prof. Wieslaw Ostachowicz
Centre for Mechanics of Machines
Institute of Fluid Flow Machinery, Poland

Date: 12 December 2013 (Thu) (Details)

Prof. Shihwu Sung

FCE Public Lecture
"Energy Shift in Wastewater Industry: From Mega-Consumer to Energy-Gain Enterprise"

Prof. Shihwu Sung
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Iowa State University, USA

Date: 23 December 2013 (Mon) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Public Lecture:
Effects of Wind-induced Building Vibration on Occupant Wellbeing and Work Performance

Date & Time: 8 Jan 2014 (Wed), 6:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.
Venue: Room M1603, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Postgraduate Scheme in Construction and Environment
Information Seminar:
Click here to register
Date: 11 January 2014(Sat)
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm (Registration starts at 2:00 pm)
Venue: Room BC201, 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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