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Issue 43 - May 2014


Table of Contents

Former Head of CEE appointed as new Dean of FCE

The worldwide search for the next Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment has ended after more than a year with the appointment of Ir Prof. Y.L. XU, Chair Professor of Structural Engineering, as the new Dean from 1 July 2014. A former Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2007 to 2013, Prof. XU continued his academic career at PolyU nineteen years ago, after several years of overseas and industry experience. Well respected by his colleagues both locally and internationally, he is thrilled about his new appointment. He thanks the selection committee for giving him this unique opportunity to be at the helm of a great Faculty with a growing reputation for excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. Congratulations to Prof. XU!

Prof. Y.L. XU

FCE Dean’s Awards 2014

The Faculty of Construction and Environment is pleased to have the following staff receiving the 2014 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Funding, which recognizes the success of staff in securing external competitive research grants (by achieving a total score of not less than 3 from the funding schemes recognized for the Award in the past 3 calendar years, or a total score of not less than 4 in the past 5 calendar years). Following are their names, projects funded, and funding sources:


  Awardees Allocation Date Project title & Funding Scheme

Prof. CHAN Ping Chuen
(third time awardee)


Evaluating the Economic, Social, and Cultural Impacts
of Revitalizing Industrial Buildings in Hong Kong
(RGC Public Policy Research)
1-July-13 Developing a Personal Cooling System (PCS) for
Combating Heat Stress in the Construction Industry
(RGC General Research Fund)
20-Dec-13 Improving Safety Communication of Ethnic Minorities
in the Construction Industry
(CPU Public Policy Research)
BSE Dr CHAU Chi Kwan
(first time awardee)
1-Jul-12 Development of Building Design and Planning
Guidelines for Reducing Noise Annoyance and
Restoring Stress
(RGC General Research Fund)
30-Oct-12 On the Study of Effect of Aesthetics Appearance of
Vegetated Noise Barriers on Noise Annoyance
Moderation (Environment and Conservation Fund)
1-Jul-13 An Investigation of the Impact of Natural Sounds
on the Acceptability of Acoustic Environment within
Residences (RGC General Research Fund)
BSE Dr CHEN Mingli
(second time awardee)
1-Jul-11 New Method for Retrieving the Evolution of Leader
Charge Density Based on Electric Field and
Photographic Observations of Rocket-triggered
(RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-12 Development of Self-organized 3D Physical-stochastic
Model for Downward Negative Stepped Leader
and its Attachment to Grounded Structures
(RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-13 New Approach for Evaluating the Effect of
Electromagnetic Field Propagating over Rough
Earth Surface with Lightning Data and its Result
Interpretation with Modelling
(RGC General Research Fund)
BSE Prof. CHOW Wan Ki
(second time awardee)
1-Jul-11 Aspects of Open Kitchen Fires in Tall Buildings and
Protection Alternatives
(RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-12 Wind Action on Supertall Building Fires and Spread to
Adjacent Areas (RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-13 A Study of Internal Fire Whirl in Vertical Shafts with
Open Roofs (RGC General Research Fund)
(second time awardee)
1-Jul-12 Investigating Thermal Performance of Pile Ground
Heat Exchanger with Spiral Coils and its Thermal
Effects on the Pile Foundation
(RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-13 Investigating the Thermal and Long-term
Thermo-mechanical Performances of Energy
Piles with Cast-in U-tubes
(RGC General Research Fund)
21-Dec-13 Study on the Development Potential and
Energy Incentives of Rooftop Solar
Photovoltaic Applications in Hong Kong
(CPU Public Policy Research)
(second time awardee)
3-Jan-13 Air Exchange between South China Sea and
Subtropical Continental Regions of South China:
Chemical and Meteorological Characterization
(Natural Science Foundation of China)
1-Jul-13 Photochemical Formation of Alkyl Nitrates and
their Impacts on Ozone Production under
Urban Polluted Atmosphere
(RGC General Research Fund)
23-Dec-13 Can we get rid of Smoggy Days in Hong Kong?
Formation Mechanism and Control Strategies
(CPU Public Policy Research)
CEE Prof. LAM Hing Keung
(second time awardee)
1-Jul-09 Advanced Models for Sustainable Multimodal Transit
Systems - An Activity-based Approach in Networks
with Uncertainties and Climate Changes
(RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-10 Journey Time Estimator for Traffic Surveillance and
Incident Detection under Network Uncertainties
(RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-12 Covariance Analysis for Estimating Stochastic
Origin-Destination Demands from Classified
Traffic Counts with Day-to-day and
Seasonal Effects (RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-13 A Network Equilibrium Approach for Simultaneous
Estimation of Activity and Travel Choices
in Multi-modal Transportation
Network (RGC General Research Fund)
CEE Prof. LI Xiang-dong
(second time awardee)
1-Jul-11 The Interactions among Biodegradable Chelants,
Soil Microbes, and Plant Roots in the
Phytomanagement Process of
Metal-contaminated Soils
(RGC General Research Fund)
17-Nov-11 Air-surface Exchange of Persistent Organic
Pollutants (POPs) and Heavy Metals (MNs) in
Peri-urban Agricultural Ecosystems
of the Pearl River Delta, South China
(NSFC/RGC Joint Research Scheme)
21-Feb-12 Sources and Bioaccumulation of Mercury and Cadmium
in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) and Hong Kong
Coastal Waters (ITF-ISF)
CEE Prof. TENG Jin-guang
(first time awardee)
1-Jul-09 Debonding in FRP-strengthened RC Beams: Effects of
Load Distribution and U-jacket Anchorage
(RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-10 Hybrid FRP-concrete-steel Double-skin Tubular Beams
(RGC General Research Fund)
1-Jul-11 Beam Weakening in Combination with FRP
Strengthening for Enforcing the Strong Column/
Weak Beam Hierarchy in RC Frames
(RGC General Research Fund)
13-Jun-13 Fundamental Research on the Use of FRP Composites
to Achieve High Performance and Longevity for
Major Structures
(National Basic Research (973) Programme)
CEE Prof. YIN Jian-hua
(second time awardee)
31-Dec-13 A Unique Multi-Functions Large-Scale Physical
Model Testing Facility for Study of the Impact
of Debris Flow on Flexible Barriers and
Geo-Hazards in Hong Kong
(RGC Collaborative Research Fund)
(second time awardee)
21-Jan-12 Integrated Warning System for Monitoring and
Prediction of Dust Storm Events in Hong Kong
(Environment and Conservation Fund)
17-Apr-13 Ventilation of a High-rise Compact City
(RGC Collaborative Research Fund)
1-Jul-13 Temperature Projection over Hong Kong and The
Pearl River Delta using Remote Sensing and
Dynamic Modelling (RGC General Research Fund)

The Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Funding consists of a cash prize of HK$15,000 and a certificate signed by the Faculty Dean. Each awardee will also receive a research grant of HK$200,000 for use over a period not exceeding 48 months.

In addition, the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Publication Achievement (Category I: Highly Cited papers) has been awarded to Prof. Jin-Guang TENG for the following two papers:


Authors Journal  
Design-Oriented Stress-strain
Model for FRP-Confined
L Lam, JG Teng

Construction and Building Materials
Volume 17, Issue 6, Pages 471- 489
(Sep/Oct 2003)

Prof. TENG Jin-guang

Full-Range Behavior of
FRP-to-Concrete Bonded Joints

H Yuan, JG Teng,
Rudolf Seracino,
ZS Wu, J Yao

Engineering Structures
Volume 26, Issue 5, Pages 553–565
(April 2004)

Achievements in academic programme development were also rewarded. The programme team for the MSc/PgD in Sustainable Urban Development that was led by Prof. Hong-xing Yang of the Department of Building Services Engineering and included Prof. Li-yin Shen of the Department of Building and Real Estate as well as Miss Virginia Yu of the Faculty Office took the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Academic Programme Development.

Congratulations to all the above colleagues, who will be honored at the 20th Faculty Congregation and Prize Presentation Ceremony on 4th and 5th November 2014.

Prof. H.X. Yang

Construction Safety Week Conference 2014

In a promotional campaign for construction safety supported by the industry, the Development Bureau and the Construction Industry Council (CIC) jointly designated 26 to 29 May 2014 as Construction Safety Week. Launched in a Zero Accident Flag Presentation Ceremony on 26 May, the 4-day event included a conference with workers’ health and safety leadership as the main theme on 27 May. Providing a platform for stakeholders to share initiatives and experiences in relation to construction safety, the conference attracted frontline practitioners as well as management from government departments, employers, consultants, contractors and subcontractors.

At the invitation of the CIC, Prof. Albert Chan, interim Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, facilitated a sharing session on how to exercise safety leadership on construction sites. Participating in the panel were Mr Paul LAU Wing-shing, Deputy General Manager of China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Ltd.; Ir Derrick PANG, Deputy Chairman at Chun Wo Development Holdings Ltd.; Mr S.Y. YU, Executive Director of Gammon Construction Ltd.; Mr Brian GILLON, Executive General Manager at Leighton Contractors (Asia) Ltd.; and Ir Emil NGAN, Project Director at Yau Lee Construction Co. Ltd. It was an insightful session for all concerned.

Construction Safety Week Conference

HKIPM 2014 Conference

On 25 April 2014, the Hong Kong Institute of Project Management (HKIPM) held a conference on the current status and the way forward for novel project delivery systems at the Langham Place Hotel in Mongkok. Financially supported by the government of the Hong Kong SAR, the conference was co-organized by the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Civil Engineering and PolyU’s Department of Building and Real Estate.

With a dozen speakers from various backgrounds, including the government, industry, and academia, the conference covered the following key areas:
1. International Project Delivery Methods
2. Green Procurement and Tendering
3. Local Experiences in Executing Construction Contracts
4. Innovative Procurement Strategies

Attended by more than 200 professionals, the conference facilitated the discussion of the latest knowledge, experiences, concerns, and challenges relating to different project delivery systems. Chairing one of the sessions was Prof. Geoffrey Shen, Head of the Department of Building and Real Estate. He was not the only one from PolyU. Serving in another capacity was his colleague, Dr Daniel Chan, who was on the organizing committee for the conference. It was a great learning opportunity for all in attendance.

Prof. Geoffrey Shen

Legal scholar rewarded for outstanding teaching

The Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE) has selected Mr Stephen Mau, an Assistant Professor, for its 2012/13 Departmental Award for Outstanding Teacher. A US-trained attorney specializing in arbitration and dispute resolution, he has honed his pedagogy to stimulate his students to think critically and creatively by using scenarios based on real life. Well received by his students, his teaching strategies have facilitated collaborative learning both inside and outside the classroom. Congratulations to him for receiving the award, which includes a certificate signed by the Head of the Department and a trophy.

Mr Stephen Mau

BRE academic co-authored Highly Commended Paper

Prof. Eddie Hui of the Department of Building and Real Estate has coauthored a Highly Commended Paper titled “Facilities management service and customer satisfaction in shopping mall sector” that was published in Facilities last year by the Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Selected by the journal’s editorial team, the paper identified and analyzed crucial facilities management (FM) service dimensions that affect customer satisfaction with regards to the shopping mall sector, providing useful implications for FM companies.

Prof. Eddie Hui

FCE Summer Attachment Scheme 2013/14

Dr ZHU Songye of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) will be spending part of his summer in the US as part of the FCE Summer Attachment Scheme. Jointly supported by his department and FCE, he will engage in collaborative research at Northwestern University from 8 July to 8 August 2014.

Dr ZHU Songye

FCE Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme

The following applications for the FCE Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme were approved by the FRC Working Group by circulation in April 2014:

PDF candidate

Principal Investigator (Dept)

Project Title Decision and Source of Funding

Dr YI Wen

Prof. Albert CHAN (BRE)

Development of Personal Cooling System (PCS)
for Combating Heat Stress in the Construction Industry
BRE: $138,600
FCE: $138,600

Dr DONG Feifei

Dr Meng NI (BRE) Development of Novel Nano-Structured and Functionally
Graded Electrodes for Symmetrical Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
BRE: $131,670
FCE: $131,670
Mr JIANG Mi Prof. X.L. DING (LSGI) Mountain Glacier Mass Balance Around the
Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau from SAR
LSGI: $131,670
FCE: $131,670

One-year Top-up Studentship Scheme

The following PhD candidates have recently been supported by the one-year top-up studentship scheme:

Name of student


Supervisor Status

ZHAO Yijie


Prof. Albert CHAN Supported and allocated $96,250 from FCE

LIN Shiying

CEE Dr Zhen LENG Supported and allocated $96,250 from FCE


CEE Dr Daniel TSANG Supported and allocated $96,250 from FCE

ZHANG Zhetao

LSGI Dr George LIU Supported and allocated $96,250 from FCE

LSGI student wins prestigious scholarship

The 2013/14 President Emeritus Professor Poon Chung-kwong Scholarship has been awarded to Miss GAO Ya, a second-year student in the BSc (Hons) programme in Geomatics (Geo-Information Technology). Not only is she an outstanding student with an impressive academic record, she is also an active participant in numerous extracurricular activities. She has volunteered her services as a teacher in Sri Lanka in 2011 and in a middle school in Shaanxi in 2012. She was also a mentor for the Common Orientation Programme and the YMCA South Asian Programme for one semester. Through these service learning programmes, she has broadened her perspectives and gained a better appreciation of the importance of giving back to others in life. Congratulations to her for winning a well deserved scholarship.


Miss GAO Ya

The 5th National BIM Competition 2014

On 17-18 May 2014, the 5th National Building Information Modeling (BIM) Competition 2014 was held at Nanchang University and Shenyang Jianzhu University. Jointly organized by the China Association of Construction Education and Tsinghua Sware Software Hi-Tech Co. Ltd., the competition drew 256 teams from 212 universities all over China. A team of four undergraduates from the Department of Building and Real Estate participated in the event at Nanchang University. Calling itself “PolyU BRE Bravo,” the team won the Third Prize in the All-round competition. Congratulations to all the team members and their advisors, Dr TAN Yongtao and Dr Andy WONG.

XU Shan, YUE Xiao, AU Yuen Yau Hermion, TU Yangbo, Dr TAN Yongtao (from left to right)

Entry scholarships attract outstanding postgraduates

The 2014/15 Entry Scholarships have been awarded to the following postgraduates to study in a MSc programme offered by the Faculty of Construction and Environment:

LO Sing Wun
MSc in Construction and Real Estate

MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution

WONG Kwan Nga
MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution

ZHANG Yangyang
MSc in Building Services Engineering

CHAN Chi Shing
MSc in Fire and Safety Engineering

MSc in Fire and Safety Engineering

JIN Ruoxi
MSc in Civil Engineering

MSc in Environmental Management and Engineering

Congratulations to all of them. The scholarships cover tuition for one academic year. Students who study full-time without any employment can also apply for a subsistence allowance.

FCE alumnus revitalizes industrial building with indoor farming

Ever dreamt of having your own business and being the boss? Gordon Chi Ho Tam, the Director of Farm66 Investment Ltd., is doing just that. Since graduating from the MSc programme in Sustainable Urban Development in 2011, he has founded a company that grows organic vegetables in an old industrial building in Kwun Tong. Not only does it allow him to follow his passion for nurturing plants, it also breathes new life into a part of town that is known more for its dilapidated industrial buildings than organic farming.

Gordon first discovered his interest for planting in an agricultural laboratory at Washington State University, when he was studying architecture and interior design. Upon his return to Hong Kong, he worked in an architectural firm. He even spent a few years in real estate and asset management, where he made his initial fortune. But he was not seduced by financial success. For him, it is more gratifying to be a farmer, growing healthy vegetables for the next generation of Hong Kong.

According to Gordon, he knew a lot of people in Hong Kong who have developed some form of allergy to the chemicals found in their fruits and vegetables, which mostly come from mainland China. To meet the demand for pesticide-free fresh produce, he decided to begin his own farming venture.

Leasing about 3000 square feet in an industrial building in 2012, he has since transformed the unit into a laboratory for agricultural research. Farm66 is the first to grow a variety of lettuces using an “aquaponics” system that combines aquaculture with hydroponics to create a symbiotic relationship between fish and plant life. A spectrum of LED lighting is applied via “wavelength technology” to increase the photosynthesis for the plants, which are grown without the use of any chemical fertilizers. Developed by Gordon and his research team, the system has already been patented. Growing organic fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms, Farm66 produces about 7 tons of leafy greens per year. Its signature item, the Salad-to-Go cup, as well as other produce, have been marketed to groups and restaurants. They will soon be available in stores like Citysuper. Gordon explains that his end goal is to distribute healthy, fresh, organic produce and promote ‘more veggies, less meat’ to local consumers. His Salad-to-Go cup is his way of replacing processed, packaged foods with an equally convenient, but much healthier option.

These days, Gordon is busy looking into areas where he can expand his flourishing business. A plan to mass produce cups of Salad-to-Go is in the works. He is also sought after as a speaker by schools and organizations interested in hearing him talk about his farm, living a low carbon life-style, and related topics like recycling and global warming. With so many options, his future is virtually unlimited. We wish him all the best.

Gordon Chi Ho Tam

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)
Civil Engineering 土木工程學
Environmental Management and Engineering 環境管理及工程學
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)

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. Ling Li

FCE Public Lecture
"A More Complex Coastal Boundary Than We Thought"

Prof. Ling Li
School of Civil Engineering
University of Queensland, Australia

Date: 2 May 2014 (Fri) (Details)

Prof. Wenzhong Shi, John

Chair Professor Inaugural Lecture
"Geographic Information Science and Remote Sensing for Smart City"

Prof. Wenzhong Shi, John
Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics

Date: 14 May 2014 (Wed) (Details)

Prof. Tao Wang

Chair Professor Inaugural Lecture
"Air Pollution in China: Present Situation and Future Challenges"

Prof. Tao Wang
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and
Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development

Date: 20 May 2014 (Tue) (Details)

Prof. Woody Ju

FCE Public Lecture
"Mechanical Properties of Innovative Pothole Patching Materials Featuring High-Toughness Low-Viscosity Nano-Molecular Resins"

Prof. Woody Ju
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Los Angeles

Date: 27 May 2014 (Tue) (Details)

Prof. Chris Rizos

FCE Public Lecture
"The International GNSS Service (IGS) in a Multi-Constellation GNSS World"

Prof. Chris Rizos
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia
President of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG)

Date: 28 May 2014 (Wed) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Public Lecture:
Microbial Ecology in Methanogenic Wastewater Treatment Processes

Date & Time: 9 June 2014 (Mon), 11:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.
Venue: Room Z4-040, 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

Academic Vacancies - FCE   hongkongpolyufce
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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