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Issue 40 - February 2014


Table of Contents

PolyU's performance in civil & structural engineering ranks 15th in the world

In the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by subject, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is ranked 15th place in the world in the discipline of civil and structural engineering. This is a tie with the University of Sydney and is one spot up from where we were in 2013.

As a result of the efforts of colleagues in the Faculty of Construction and Environment, PolyU has also remained in the lead in this area in terms of two objective performance indicators for research– citations per paper and the H-index citations, which measures both the productivity of researchers and the apparent scientific impact of their research.

Professor Albert Chan, Interim Dean of FCE was delighted with the latest ranking. He said, “This significant recognition testifies to our excellence in research in the field of civil engineering, which is broadly defined by the ranking methodology to include areas like Environmental Engineering and Construction Management.”

The annual QS World University Rankings by Subject is a comprehensive guide to the world’s top universities in a range of subject areas. Using data on reputation and research citations, the rankings list the top 200 universities in the world for 30 individual subjects.

Outstanding Professional Services Award 2013

A presentation ceremony for the Outstanding Professional Services Award 2013 was held on 14 February 2014 at the Hotel Nikko in Tsimshatsui East. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) won as the most active department with the highest aggregated invoiced value during the financial year for consultancy projects undertaken via PTeC. It also received a Merit Award for maximum staff participation. Individual awards went to Prof. Chan Siu Lai of the same department, who was honored for being the most active consultant with the highest aggregated consultancy income as well as the one with the highest growth in terms of i) the absolute growth in income earned and ii) the percentage of growth compared to the previous financial year.

In the category of multi-departmental participation in a project with the highest contract value (not less than HK$300K) for the financial year, the winners were Dr Chung Kim Wah of the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Prof. Francis Wong of the Department of Building and Real Estate, and Dr Thomas Chan of the Public Policy Research Institute, for their focus group study on long term housing strategy. Congratulations to all of them.

Prof. Chan Siu Lai

LSGI scholar wins the 2014 John I. Davidson President's Award of ASPRS

Dr Bo Wu, an assistant professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, was recently selected as the third place recipient of the 2014 John I. Davidson President's Award for Practical Papers by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). The John I. Davidson Award was established in 1979 to encourage and commend individuals who publish papers of practical or applied value in photogrammetric engineering & remote sensing.

Co-authored with Han Hu, Qing Zhu, and Yeting Zhang, Dr Wu’s paper was entitled “A Flexible Method for Zoom Lens Calibration and Modeling Using a Planar Checkerboard” and was published in the June 2013 issue of the society’s journal Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS). It describes a zoom lens calibration and modeling method that offers better flexibility and feasibility, facilitating the use of zoom-lens camera systems in various applications such as robotic exploration, hazard monitoring, traffic monitoring, and security surveillance.

Presentation of the award will take place on 25 March 2014 at an Awards Luncheon during the ASPRS 2014 Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The award consists of a certificate and cash award. Former recipients of the award have included NASA's scientists from the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Founded in 1934, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world. Its mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies. Its flagship publication is PE&RS, which is one of the best journals in the field of Imaging Sciences, Photogrammetry, and Remote Sensing.

Dr Bo Wu

Green Deck proposals funded

A project improving the connectivity between the campus of PolyU and the Hung Hom MTRC station by means of a green deck has generated 8 research proposals from FCE academics on various aspects of it. Initiated by the Campus Development Office, the Green Deck (GD) project is expected to benefit the immediate vicinity economically and environmentally. Financial support for the research comes from PolyU’s Executive Vice President’s Contingency Fund. Following are the details:



1) Principal investigator: Prof. Edwin Chan (BRE)

Project title: Optimal public engagement processes for the Green Deck project
  • to identify the needs and concerns of the different stakeholders and to enhance
    the societal benefits and success of the GD project
Amount of support: $248,655
Prof. Edwin Chan
2) Principal investigator: Prof. Eddie Hui (BRE)

Project title: Effects of the green deck on the local real estate market
  • to explore the benefits of a green deck for stakeholders
Amount of support: $200,000
Prof. Eddie Hui

3) Principal investigator: Prof. Jian-lei Niu (BSE)

Project title: Impacts on and improvements of wind environment and thermal comfort of
green deck development and pollutant exposure control via ventilation

  • to enhance airflow and wind for maximized thermal comfort;
  • to reduce pollutant exposure of toll-gate workers and bus passengers by using
  • to quantify outdoor environment design based upon wind tunnel testing and
    state-of the-art computation
Amount of support: $176,000
Prof. Jian-lei Niu
4) Principal investigator: Prof. Shiu-keung Tang (BSE)

Project title: Effects of the green deck on the local noise level
  • aims to understand the acoustical effects;
  • propose mitigation measures;
  • contribute to general understanding on noise propagation in the presence of
    discontinuous enclosure
Amount of support: $188,000
Prof. Shiu-keung Tang
5) Principal investigator: Prof. Hong-xing Yang (BSE)

Project title: Feasibility of installing solar and wind energy facilities on the green deck
  • to estimate the power consumptions and profiles of potential electric energy users
    for the proposed green deck, including the electricity consumption for lighting,
    ventilation and air-conditioning;
  • to investigate the potential of solar photovoltaic (PV) integration on the green deck to
    generate electricity;
  • to estimate the potential of wind energy to generate electricity
Amount of support: $200,000
Prof. Hong-xing Yang
6) Principal investigator: Dr Wing-tat Hung (CEE)

Project title: Study of pedestrian flow and traffic emissions on the green deck
  • to critically assessed pedestrian flow patterns before and after the green deck
Amount of support: $99,200
Dr Wing-tat Hung
7) Principal investigator: Prof. Shun-Cheng Lee (CEE)

Project title: Effects of the green deck on local air quality
  • to measure the local air pollutants in HKPU roadside monitoring station and PQ Podium;
  • to determine the risk assessment on three carcinogenic pollutants;
  • to evaluate the improvement on green deck and pollutants control technology
Amount of support: $255,000
Prof. Shun-Cheng Lee
8) Principal investigator: Prof. Chi-sun Poon (CEE)

Project title: Maximise the use of recycled glass
  • to demonstrate PolyU’s developed eco-glass block and architectural mortar technologies
Amount of support: $170,000
Prof. Chi-sun Poon

1st Cross Strait Forum on Sustainable Urban Development

The 1st Cross Strait Forum on Sustainable Urban Development was held on the campus of PolyU from 14-16 Feb. 2014. Organized by the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD) and the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE), the Forum aimed at strengthening collaboration and exchanges between PolyU and National Taiwan University, Tsinghua University, Tongji University, Sichuan University and South China University of Technology in the area of sustainable urban development, including civil engineering, environmental engineering, and construction technology. The Forum was financially supported by a donation from Dr Samuel Yin of Ruentex Group.

After welcoming speeches from Prof. Alex Wai, PolyU’s Vice President for Research and Development, Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, Director of RISUD, Prof. Albert Chan, interim Dean of FCE, and 7 keynote speakers took center stage one after another. More than 40 presentations were delivered in parallel sessions over the weekend, with some by leading academics of FCE. Addressing various aspects of sustainable development, the interactive discussions stimulated the 90 or so participants in attendance, including more than 30 scholars from the mainland and Taiwan as well as research students and staff from PolyU. They had a further chance to network with one another at a banquet in Sai Kung one evening. It is hoped the Forum will lead to future collaborations between local researchers and those from Taiwan as well as mainland China.

CEE scholar gave lectures at prestigious research course in France

Prof. Tao Wang of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) gave two lectures on air pollution studies for the European Research Course on Atmospheres (ERCA) on 20-21 January 2014 in Grenoble, France. Organized by the University of Joseph Fourier and sponsored by several international and French organizations, ERCA is a high level international course on the physics and chemistry of atmospheres, the climate system and climate change, atmospheric pollution at different scales and the human dimensions of environmental changes ( All lecturers are internationally recognized scholars in their respective fields. This year, 39 students (PhD students and postdoctoral researchers) were selected from many applicants from around the world. As the only lecturer from Asia, Prof. Wang has certainly distinguished himself.

Prof. Tao Wang

CEE graduate student receives Best Paper Award

Yeejun Tham from CEE received a Best Paper Award at the Fourth International Workshop on Regional Air Quality Management in Rapidly Developing Economic Regions, which was held on 14-16 January 2014 in Hong Kong. Titled “Development and Application of Chemical Ionization Mass-spectrometry (CIMS) for measurement of N2O5 in Hong Kong,” the paper is a group effort towards developing a state-of-the-art measurement technique for detecting highly reactive molecules which play key roles in atmospheric chemistry and air pollution. His supervisor is Prof. Tao Wang, who gave a plenary talk at the workshop which was attended by over 250 researchers.

Mr Yeejun Tham

Outstanding Student Awards 2013

On 17 February 2014, a presentation ceremony was held at the Chiang Chen Studio Theatre for recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Student Awards. Representing the Faculty of Construction and Environment was Li Tsz Wing, a final-year student majoring in the BSc (Hons) programme in Surveying. Besides excelling in her academic studies, Tsz Wing also distinguished herself in extra-curricular activities. She participated in the Hong Kong Young Leaders Congress in 2009 and was selected for its Best Leader Award. A key member of PolyU’s mediation team, she led it to a 2nd Runner-up Prize in the Joint University Mediation Competition in 2013. She was also involved in the Professional Mediation Training Programme, which has qualified her to serve as a mediator. Learning to mediate disputes has helped her greatly in her personal growth. “In the past, I often neglected to smile when I was anxious. I forgot to express my sincerity. Now I know it is very important to keep smiling even in stressful situations to convey a positive energy to those around me.” In addition, she has participated in the Hong Kong Young Ambassador Scheme to promote Hong Kong tourism since 2012. She believes a thirst for knowledge and modesty are essential qualities for an outstanding student, and hopes to serve the needy in China with her surveying and mediation skills after she graduates.

Other FCE students nominated for the award were Lai Kwok Wai of the Department of Building Services Engineering, Liang Yutong of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Lee Ka Chun Matthew of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics.

Miss Li Tsz Wing

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 Public Lectures

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

Prof. Jih-Gaw Lin

FCE Public Lecture
"Development of Cutting Edge Biological Nitrogen Removal: Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation in Taiwan"

Prof. Jih-Gaw Lin
Institute of Environmental Engineering
National Chiao-Tung University

Date: 14 February 2014 (Fri) (Details)

Prof. B.F. Spencer

FCE Public Lecture
"Advances and Innovations at the Multi-axial Full-scale Substructure Testing and Simulation (MUST-SIM) Facility at Illinois"

Prof. B.F. Spencer
Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date: 17 February 2014 (Mon) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Public Lecture:
Reliability- and Risk-based Management of Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair of Infrastructure Systems

Date & Time: 4 Mar 2014 (Mon), 6:30p.m. to 7:30p.m.
Venue: Room TU103, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

FCE Public Lecture:
Transformational Change in Environmental Policy: the Five Drivers

Date & Time: 11 Mar 2014 (Mon), 3:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.
Venue: Room Z4-040, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2014 ULI Asia Pacific Summit

Themed “What’s next? Dynamics of the Future”, the summit program will explore numerous thought-provoking discussions on a variety of economic, demographic, and environmental factors shaping the built environment, including population and household changes, infrastructure challenges, climate change concerns, and urbanization. The highlights of the event include an opening keynote address by the Honorable CY Leung, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR; a mayors’ forum on future cities; ULI Young Leaders Group Summit; a leadership dinner at the Government House hosted by Mr CY Leung; keynote plenaries and exciting thematic sessions on repositioning Asian cities, capital formation, urban solutions and smart technology, citing numerous successful case studies from around the world.

Date: 20-22 May 2014
Venue: Grand Hyatt Hotel

International Workshop on Bifurcation and Degradation of Geomechanics
Date: 28-30 May 2014
Venue: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

BIM summer course at NTU
National Taiwan University (NTU) is offering a Mandarin-taught, three-week program for the latest AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) technology: Building Information Modeling (BIM). In the summer program, top BIM researchers and experts at NTU will share their knowledge and experiences with students on BIM core concepts, principles, and strategies to building projects. The program also includes a series of hands-on workshop in the computer lab. Students will learn to employ the popular BIM tool, Autodesk Revit, to develop parametric models, experience with collaborative working environment, measure quantities and identify properties of building components. Multiple site visits will be arranged to increase students’ understanding of BIM applications through discussions with BIM practitioners.

BIM Lab is a six-week summer program where students can participate in laboratory research and do a short-term research project. This program can be conducted in English.

Date: 20 Jul – 9 Aug 2014
Application Period: 20 Feb – 30 Apr 2014

International Summer Programme in Architecture
Date: 29 Jun - 25 Jul 2014 (Hong Kong: 29 Jun to 7 Jul | Shanghai: 8-16 Jul | Singapore: 17-25 Jul)
Application Deadline: 15 Mar 2014

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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