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Issue 41 - March 2014


Table of Contents

FCE hosts visitors from Malaysia

On 25 March 2014, leading academics from the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) met with a high-level delegation from the Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) to discuss opportunities for partnership and exchanges between the two universities. Representing PolyU were Prof. Albert Chan, interim Dean of FCE; Prof. Y.H. Chiang, Associate Head of the Department of Building and Real Estate; Prof. W.K. Chow, Head of the Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE); Prof. C.S. Poon, Associate Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE); Prof. X.L. Ding, Head of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics (LSGI); and Mr S.K. Chan, Director of the Campus Development Office. They welcomed the Malaysian visitors, which included Prof. Dr Wahid Razzaly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovations) of UTHM; Professor Dr Noraini Kaprawi, Director of the Strategic and Quality Management Office of UTHM; Associate Professor Dr Zainal Abidin Akasah, Department of Architecture and Engineering Design, FCEE, UTHM; Professor Dr Rosziati Ibrahim, Dean of the Centre of Research and Development of UTHM; Professor Haji Ayob Johari, Dean of the Centre for Innovation, Commercialization and Consultancy at UTHM; and Datuk Hj. Mokhlis Jaafar, Director of Polytechnic Studies Dept. at the Ministry of Education in Malaysia. The delegation had a chance to visit various laboratories of BSE, CEE, and LSGI before ending their visit with a tour of PolyU’s Innovation Tower. It was a productive meeting for all concerned.

LSGI academics involved in award-winning research

Research at the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) to develop the two most important state-of-the-art space geodetic technologies, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), for earth observation and especially for geohazards monitoring, has been recognized by several recent awards, including

  • a first-class Shanxi Province Scientific and Technological Award
    (for a project entitled Web and Information Technology Based GPS Technology and its Applications in Construction and Hazards Prevention in Western China, which was jointly carried out by researchers from Chang’an University, Wuhan University, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the Shanxi Institute of Highway Reconnaissance and Design)
  • a first-class China National Surveying and Mapping Science and Technology Award
    (for a project entitled High Accuracy Ground Surface Deformation Monitoring with InSAR: Theories, Methods and Applications, which was jointly conducted with researchers from Central South University, China University of Mining and Technology, and Guangdong Geological Survey)
  • a first-class Natural Science Award of the Ministry of Education of China
    (for a study of Atmospheric Effects on InSAR that was jointly carried out with researchers from Central South University)

The LSGI research team was led by Prof. Xiaoli Ding, Chair Professor of Geomatics and Head of the Department, and Dr Lei Zhang, Research Assistant Professor. Several of their research students, former research students, and research associates/postdoctoral fellows were involved in the research, which has led to advanced technologies for more accurate monitoring of geohazards like land subsidence, earthquakes, and landslides.

2014/15 HK PhD Fellowship winners

The Faculty of Construction and Environment is pleased to have the following winners of the HK PhD Fellowship for 2014/15:



Nationality Supervisor
BRE FANG Zhou Chinese/Mainland Dr Patrick Fong



Ghanian Prof. Albert Chan
BRE ABIDOYE Rotimi Boluwatife Nigerian Prof. Albert Chan
BSE CHEN Xi Chinese/Mainland Prof. H.X. Yang
Chinese/Mainland Prof. J.G. Teng
CEE YANG Peixian Chinese/Mainland Dr Henry Lee
CEE CHEN Si Chinese/Mainland Dr Daniel Tsang
LSGI DARWISH Walid Abdallah Egyptian Prof. W. Chen
LSGI CHAITAMART Jittin Thai Prof. X.L. Ding
LSGI USMAN MUHAMMAD Pakistani Prof. Janet Nichol

2014/15 PolyU International Postgraduate Scholarships for PhD studies

The following students have been awarded the PolyU International Postgraduate Scholarships to pursue their PhD studies beginning in 2014/15:



Nationality Source of funding
BRE KHAN Hafiz Zahoor Ahmad Pakistani Supported by the University and the Dept. on a two-to-one basis



Egyptian Fully supported by the University

Meeting of scholars in central China

The research teams of Dr Hai GUO from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Prof. Xu YANG from the School of Life Sciences at the Central China Normal University (CCNU), and Prof. Weihao ZHANG from the School of Resources and Environment at Wuhan University met for a four-day exchange program in central China on 15-18 March 2014.

The exchange in Wuhan was fruitful and inspiring. Dr Hai GUO and other group members visited the laboratories of CCNU and Wuhan University. Lively discussions on the currently available sampling and analytical techniques and environmental concerns in China followed. In addition, a PM2.5 sampling was conducted in the outdoor and indoor environments of CCNU. The three teams also discussed their research interests and further collaboration on environmental studies among the three universities.

Associate Dean chairs Global Leadership Forum for Construction Engineering and Management Programs

Prof. Geoffrey Shen, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, has recently been elected to chair the Global Leadership Forum for Construction Engineering and Management (GLF-CEM) Programs. Since its establishment in 2011, the Forum has brought together leading academics from around the world in the area of Construction Engineering and Management to discuss and share issues of common concern in Research, Teaching, Academic Administration, and Opportunities for Collaboration. The last meeting of the Forum was hosted by the Department of Building and Real Estate in May 2013.

Prof. Geoffrey Shen

Triple wins for HK Scholars Program

Each year, the Hong Kong Scholars Program brings about 50 outstanding PhD graduates from the mainland to work as a postdoc in one of the local universities. Dr Song Wenfang is one such scholar working with Prof. Albert Chan, interim Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment. An expert in textiles and product design, she is contributing to the development of anti-heat stress clothing for construction workers in hot and humid weather. Her work has been positively reviewed by her supervisor, Prof. Albert Chan, who credits the HK Scholars Program for not only enhancing research exchanges between HK and the mainland, but also providing opportunities for mainland scholars to experience the local research culture as well as share their expertise.

According to Dr Song, “There is more teamwork in Hong Kong. Group discussions and exchanges are common. The pace of life in Hong Kong is faster than in China. It is also more goal-oriented here.” Her dedication to her work has resulted in an award for Best Poster Presentation at the Hong Kong Scholars’ Annual Symposium on 22 March 2014.

Postdocs in this program normally serve for two years.  The monthly salary for the Hong Kong Scholars has been fixed at HK $25,000. Hong Kong Supervisors are only required to pay half the monthly salary (i.e. HK$ 12,500); the remaining half will be paid (RMB 12,500) directly to the postdocs by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Applicants to the program should have received their PhD within the last three years and should not be more than 35 years old.


Donation to support workshop on motor vehicle emissions control

The Managing Director of Dah Chong Hong (Motor Service Centre) Ltd, Alex Lee, has pledged a donation of HK$400,000 to support the Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Workshop (MoVE) 2014 to be held from 25 to 27 June this year. A matching donation from other sponsors to pay for the transportation and accommodation of the invited speakers and guests is being sought by Dr Wing-Tat Hung. Co-organized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China, the Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong Government, and PolyU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the workshop aims to promote the dissemination of information on the latest technologies for reducing emissions in order to protect public health.

Dr Wing-Tat Hung

Wear trial of anti-heat protective clothing to be conducted in the coming summer

A collaborative study by mainland postdoc from the Department of Building and Real Estate and the Institute of Textiles and Clothing to develop anti-heat protective clothing for construction workers has collected a wealth of analytical data in the last two years to help in the selection of the most suitable fabrics for such clothing. After testing more than 30 types of fabrics, Coolmax and FSD have been chosen for their congenial properties, according to the project leader, Prof. Albert Chan. Amongst those are the transforming physical nature of Coolmax, which can quickly absorb sweat on the skin’s surface and transmit it to the external environment, and the nanometers of silver ions used by FSD to carry out its functions of absorbing moisture and evaporating sweat.

Currently, the research team is conducting its final testing in the artificial environmental chamber at PolyU, which can simulate external working conditions by controlling the room’s indoor temperature and humidity, wind speed as well as the intensity of the radiation from the sun.

“We have invited around ten volunteer participants to try the protective clothing, which they have to wear while engaging in strenuous exercises. Meanwhile their physical condition will be monitored by our researchers,” said Prof. Chan, who plans to invite 100 frontline workers to try on this newly developed anti-heat clothing in May. Besides gaining an understanding of the workers’ first-hand experience of wearing such clothes, he hopes to finish the entire project by the end of the year, and believes the costs for mass production of these clothes will not be too high.

RISUD hosts scholars from Sun Yat-Sen University

On 25-26 February 2014, Prof. Rongliang Qiu and Dr Xin Yang from the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at Sun Yat-Sen University paid a visit to the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD). They were warmly welcomed by Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, Director of RISUD, who introduced them to several leading researchers of the institute, including Prof. William Lam, Prof. Chi-Sun Poon, Prof. Xiang-dong Li, Prof. Tao Wang, Dr Daniel Tsang, and Dr Hai Guo. All of them had a chance to discuss potential research collaborations in the area of environmental science and engineering with the two visitors.


New Academic Staff

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering welcomed a new assistant professor, Dr Hsu Shu-Chien, at the beginning of January 2014. Dr Hsu obtained his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and master’s degree in Construction Engineering and Management from the National Central University in Taiwan in 2004 and 2006 respectively. He worked for the Taiwan Construction Research Institute and the Public Construction Commission as a civil engineer before furthering his studies in the United States. He received his PhD degree in Civil Engineering with a specialty in project management from the University of Maryland. His primary research areas are using computational modelling techniques, such as Agent-Based Modelling (ABM), to help understand and analyze complex phenomenon in construction. He has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and conferences in the fields of project organization management, sustainable management, and construction management. He also served as an editorial assistant for Automation in Construction, an international research journal published by Elsevier.

Dr Hsu Shu-Chien

Students’ Project Competition 2013

An alumna of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE) has distinguished herself in the 2013 Students Project Competition organized by the Safety Specialist Committee (SSC) of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE). Liu Yumeng, Helen, was the champion in the postgraduate category for her empirical study of the relationship between safety climate and safety performance of new construction projects in mainland China, with particular reference to the city of Shanghai. She received an award certificate and a cash coupon of HK$2,000 during the HKIE-SSC annual dinner on 10 January 2014 at the YMCA Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. Her supervisor was Dr Daniel W.M. Chan, an Associate Professor of BRE.


Tea gathering with the President

On 19 February 2014, a handful of assistant professors from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) met with Prof. Timothy Tong, President of PolyU at a tea gathering in Li Ka Shing Tower. Also present were Prof. Albert Chan, interim Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, and Prof. William Lam, Head of CEE, who took pride in the recent additions to the department. These include Dr H.F. Duan, Dr Ben Shao-Yuan Leu, Dr S.C. Hsu, Dr Andy Y.F. Leung, and Dr Jianbo Zhu.


One-year Top-up Studentship Scheme

Between January and March 2014, the Faculty Research Committee (FRC) Working Group has agreed to support the following students by circulation:

Name of PhD student


Supervisor Status

YU Ho Man

BSE Prof. Shiu Keung Tang Supported and allocated $96,250 from FCE


LSGI Dr Eric Guilbert Supported and allocated $96,250 from FCE

FCE Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme

The FRC Working Group approved the following application for the FCE Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme between January and March 2014 by circulation:

PDF candidate

Principal Investigator (Dept)

Project Title Decision and Source of Matching Funding

LING Zhenhao

Dr GUO Hai

Can we get rid of smoggy days in Hong Kong:
Formation mechanism and control strategies?
CEE: $157,500
FCE: $157,500

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 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
Sustainable Urban Development 可持續城市發展學

For programme details, please visit

Faculty Public Lecture

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

Prof. Dan M. Frangopol

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

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

Date: 4 March 2014 (Tue) (Details)

Prof. Frank Murray

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

Prof. Frank Murray
School of Environmental Science
Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Date: 11 March 2014 (Tue) (Details)

Prof. Jie Han

FCE Public Lecture
"Recent Developments of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Column-Supported Embankments over Soft Soils"

Prof. Jie Han
Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering (CEAE) Department
The University of Kansas

Date: 21 March 2014 (Fri) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Public Lecture:
Making Sense of Cost and Schedule Overruns in Infrastructure Projects: Views from the Field

Date & Time: 16 Apr 2014 (Wed), 3:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.
Venue: Room M1603, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Environment and Climate Change Forum Series: Municipal Solid Waste Charging

In order to draw on collective wisdom and to encourage active public participation in pro-environment activities, the CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia has organized the “Environment and Climate Change Forum Series” with funding support from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Experts and practitioners from different fields and the public are involved to confer on the best ways to deal with environmental challenges and impacts of climate change. The forum will be conducted in Cantonese. Admission is free.

Date: 25 Apr 2014 (Fri)
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Venue: Multi-purpose Hall, Zero Carbon Building, 8 Sheung Yuet Rd., Kowloon Bay

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
Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Workshop 2014 (MoVE 2014)
Date: 25-27 June 2014
Venue: Cheung On Tak Lecture Theatre, 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

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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