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Issue 44 - June 2014


Table of Contents

Dean’s Message

It is my greatest honor to serve as the new Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment. An exciting time lies ahead of all of us. The local construction industry is undergoing an explosion of growth, fuelled by the demand for mass housing and superb infrastructure. Unprecedented urbanization in China and Hong Kong has raised global concerns about the natural environment. Issues of sustainable development will remain a top priority in the coming years. We must be ready to face these challenges and take advantage of new opportunities as a Faculty of Construction and Environment.

Besides carrying out our mission to nurture quality graduates for society, we will continue to conduct world-class research in strategic areas to advance knowledge and develop new technologies to meet the changing needs of society. The fruits of our intellectual works should benefit the community at large. In this connection, we actively seek to collaborate with industry to share our expertise. We will also consolidate our 4-year academic programmes to attract promising students, whose success will further enhance our reputation as a Faculty.

I look forward to working together with you all to maximize our performance, so the Faculty can be the best of its kind, and every colleague can achieve his/ her full potential. Thank you again for your trust and support.

Prof. Y.L. Xu

LSGI marks 30th anniversary in 2014

On 29 May 2014, the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) celebrated its 30th anniversary with a series of activities, the most anticipated one being a symposium on the challenges and opportunities of geomatics education and research. Speaking at the opening ceremony were Prof. Timothy TONG, President of PolyU; Prof. Albert CHAN, interim Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment; and Prof. Xiaoli DING, Department Head of LSGI. Prof. CHAN was particularly effusive about the various achievements of the department, which have benefited Hong Kong’s construction industry and contributed to the sustainable development of our community. In attendance were Prof. KO Jan-Ming and Prof. TENG Jin-Guang, Director of the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD), who also congratulated LSGI in a written message.

With three sessions on a range of topics, the symposium was facilitated by Prof. Esmond MOK, Prof. John SHI, and Prof. Wu CHEN. Besides PolyU colleagues and LSGI alumni, participants at the symposium included guests from international and local professional associations and institutions, industrial and academic partners, as well as overseas and local universities. They were also given a tour of LSGI’s new office on campus. The special day concluded with a dinner gathering at Regal Kowloon Hotel, where alumni from different years had a chance to catch up with one another. It was a memorable event for all present.

The guests performed the ribbon cutting ceremony and witnessed this historic moment together.

Lion dance celebrating the 30th Anniversary

Guests and alumni visited the Underground Utility Laboratory.

Guests and alumni visited the Survey Store.

CEE academic honored with Outstanding Paper Award

An Outstanding Paper Award has recently been won by Dr CHENG Yung Ming of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Based on citations and impact from the last five years, the award was given for the paper entitled “Three-dimensional slope failure analysis by the strength reduction and limit equilibrium methods” that was published in early 2009 (Vol. 36) by Computers and Geotechnics, an international Grade A journal. The award consists of a certificate and cash. The paper topic is now part of a new book by Dr CHENG on slope stability analysis and stabilization. Congratulations to Dr CHENG and his co-authors, Dr W.B. Wei, and Dr L. Li!

Dr CHENG Yung Ming

FCE academics funded by Overseas Scholarship Scheme

The Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) is pleased to have Dr Fan Hongqin of the Department of Building and Real Estate and Dr Dai Jianguo of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering receiving funding from the Overseas Scholarship Scheme (Teaching Development). Dr Fan will visit the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from 9 February to 1 March in 2015 to study the application of team based learning and service learning in construction related programmes, while Dr Dai will visit the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture, and Information Technology at the University of Queensland in Australia from 29 September to 21 October 2014 to study the development of new teaching methods and research collaborations. Congratulations to both of them, who were selected for by a 7-strong panel that included Prof. Ding Xiaoli, Head of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics.

Dr Fan Hongqin
Dr Dai Jianguo

Visit to SCUT by interim Dean

On 10 and 11 June 2014, Prof. Albert Chan, interim Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE), visited the South China University of Technology (SCUT) for talks with the respective heads of the Department of Construction Management as well as the School of Civil Engineering and Transportation on a range of issues of mutual interest to both sides. These included the feasibility of a joint PhD programme between PolyU and SCUT that would lead to dual awards from both institutions, a joint PhD supervision scheme, as well as student and staff exchanges. A copy of PolyU’s standard agreement for student exchanges was shared with SCUT’s representatives, who expressed strong interest in FCE’s summer school and the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship.

In addition to introducing FCE, Prof. Chan also explored the potential for research collaboration with SCUT. Both sides welcomed the chance to learn more about the opportunities that were available.

HKIE Hi-Tech Fiesta 2014

An exhibition of the latest technological development in different engineering disciplines was held at the Kowloon Bay International Trade and Exhibition Centre on 8 June 2014. Organized by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE), the Hi-Tech Fiesta focused on High Gear for New Technology: A Mindset for Change, promoting the engineering profession to the general public by showcasing its latest technologies for the sustainable development of the community.

On display were cooling vests and a newly designed anti-heat stress work uniform for protecting construction workers from heat stress. Developed by Prof. Albert Chan and his research team from the Department of Building and Real Estate, the vests and the anti-heat stress uniform were the products of a study commissioned by the Occupational Safety and Health Council, and a research grant funded by the Research Grants Council. Findings from an experimental research on health and safety measures for working in hot weather were also distributed.

Another attraction at the Fiesta was the innovative technology for road traffic that was developed by Prof. William Lam, Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His prototype for estimating travel times has been applied to numerous intelligent transportation systems of the government’s Transport Department.

Game booths, workshops with robots as the theme, and various contests made the Fiesta a fun event for young and old alike.
Opening Ceremony of the Fiesta
Prof. Albert Chan’s project Prof. William Lam’s project

PolyU-HIT Joint Workshop on Sustainable Urban Water Environment

The 3rd workshop between PolyU’s Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development and the State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resources and Environment (SKLUWRE) of Harbin Institute of Technology was held at the PolyU campus on 6-7 June 2014. After an opening speech by Prof. Albert Chan, interim Dean of FCE, on the first day, the latest findings by researchers from both PolyU and HIT were presented. The second day was spent on group discussion in the following three areas:

  • Development of innovative wastewater treatment technologies for synergy of water reuse, energy generation, and resource recovery
  • Regional water pollution monitoring and simulation at a large scale with the aid of spatial remote sensing technologies
  • Heterogeneous transmission of environmental pollutants from air phase, of land/soil phase into water phase through the interface

PolyU scholars participating in the workshop included Prof. CHU Wei, Prof. KO Jan-Ming, Prof. LI Pei, Prof. LI Xiang-Dong, Prof. LI Xiang-Zhong, Prof. WANG Tao, Prof. YANG Hong-Xing, Dr GUO Hai, Dr Henry Po-Heng LEE, Dr Ben Shao-Yuan LEU, Dr Dan TSANG, Dr Charles WONG, Dr WU Bo, and Mr DONG Feifei (on behalf of Dr NI Meng).

BSE academics develop app for monitoring indoor environmental quality

Dr Horace MUI Kwok Wai and Dr WONG Ling Tim of the Department of Building Services Engineering have recently launched an app for monitoring indoor environmental quality. The fruit of ten years of research, it integrates the findings from a longitudinal survey with the standards for indoor environmental quality established in Hong Kong and the United States into a system that scores the level of satisfaction with the air in three types of indoor environment: residences, offices, and classrooms. The app is currently available for free download only by users of iOS, to be shortly followed by an Android version.

According to Dr Wong, it is easy to make use of the app. Once information such as indoor temperature, number of people, whether windows are open or closed has been inputted, users will get an assessment with respect to the comfort acceptance level of heat, sound, brightness, and indoor air quality, giving them a preliminary idea of the environmental quality of their residences. The calculators of air quality in offices and classrooms are mainly for the use of facility managers. As such, they include indicators to monitor the levels of carbon dioxide etc.

"When you see an assessment of indoor air quality that is failing, that means there is a lack of air circulation indoors. Accumulating too much carbon dioxide can lead to the presence of germs indoors. But since carbon dioxide is colorless and odorless, it is difficult to detect and easily neglected." Dr Mui suggests people can open the doors and windows at home to maintain air circulation there, while enhancing the ventilation and reducing the human density when there is a problem with the indoor air quality of offices and classrooms.

Dr WONG Ling Tim

Dr Horace MUI Kwok Wai

High employment rate for FCE degree graduates

In a 2013 survey conducted by PolyU’s Office of Careers and Placement Services, it was found over 90% of graduates from the Faculty of Construction and Environment were employed/ self-employed after they got their first degrees. Only 5.4% were engaged in full-time further studies. For both 2012 and 2013, graduates from the BSc programme in Building Engineering & Management, the BEng in Civil Engineering, and the BEng in Building Services Engineering had average salaries that were among the highest ($20,005, $18,655, and $18,231 respectively in 2013; $18,262, $17,242, and $16,004 respectively in 2012). The change in average salary was highest for those from the BSc programme in Environment & Sustainable Development, from $12,114 to $16,667 in just one year, representing a 37.6% increase.

The average salaries of sub-degree graduates from all four departments of the Faculty were $14,612 in 2013 and $13,044 in 2012. The higher income commanded by degree graduates certainly makes it worthwhile for those with sub-degrees to continue their education.

Staff Promotion

Dr Songye ZHU of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) has recently been promoted to an Associate Professor. He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Structural Engineering from Tongji University, China in 2000 and 2003 respectively, and a PhD degree in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University, USA in 2008. He joined The Hong Kong Polytechnic University as an Assistant Professor in April 2008. He teaches courses in structural mechanics and construction materials, and supervises undergraduate and graduate students in research projects. Currently he serves as Director of the Hong Kong Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Editor of Advances in Structural Engineering (an international journal), and Secretary of the Research Centre for Urban Hazards Mitigation. Dr Zhu has been striving to promote the development and application of multi-disciplinary technology in civil engineering structures via his research and teaching at PolyU. In particular, his research works at PolyU are devoted to smart materials and structures, structural control and health monitoring, energy harvesting and regeneration technology. He has published more than 30 refereed journal papers and 60 conference papers, and won numerous publication awards from international journals and conferences. Congratulations on his promotion.

Dr Songye ZHU

Scholarship students graduate with Distinction

The following postgraduates have recently graduated with Distinction in the second semester of 2013/14. They shared their thoughts on what studying at PolyU has meant for them below.   


Most memorable experience at PolyU Advice for other students Future Plans

MSc in Civil Engineering
Sharing my learning experience with my classmates and friends

Learn and study from principle rather than remember the rules without understanding them

To become a good, innovative civil engineer and make great contributions to society

HE Wei
MSc in Geomatics (GIS)

I cherish every moment spent in the library. I can find almost everything I want to read there.

Take every chance to communicate with the teachers seriously, no matter whether it is a class presentation, an assignment, or a private discussion after class.

Find a job, and realize my personal value in my career

KAO Chun
MSc in Construction Law
and Dispute Resolution
Doing group projects with my fellow classmates was an excellent experience because I could understand how people from different professions perceive, analyse and solve problems.

I was inspired by my mentor who told me that in order to achieve good academic results, we should have determination, good time management, and keep improving our study tools.

With the knowledge I gained in this programme, I am planning to pursue further studies in the field of law and arbitration.

KWOK Fung Wai Raiko
MSc in Fire & Safety
Getting an Entry Scholarship to study this MSc course

Believe in yourself. Studying in a systematic way is essential for success.

I am considering further studies at PolyU or HKU for a doctoral degree.

LAU Ki Cheong
MSc in Building Services
I made valuable friendships with some classmates who assisted me not only in my studies but also my work.

Understanding the theories behind the things we learnt is more important than remembering the methodology.

I will focus on my work and is planning to apply to be a chartered engineer.

Joint PhD Programme leading to Dual Awards

18 FCE research students are currently pursuing their studies in a Joint PhD Programme leading to dual awards. Below are their details:   

Student Name

Dept. Chief Supervisor at PolyU Partner Insitution

Prof. SHEN Qiping

Harbin Institution of Technology
XIE Shiying BRE Prof. CHAN Hon Wan Edwin SUN Yat-sen University
CAO Dongping BRE

Prof. LI Heng

Tongji University

Dr FONG Sik Wah

Tongji University
DONG Shuang BRE Prof. LI Heng Tongji University



Prof. CHAN Ping Chuen

Tongji University
SUN Linlin BRE Prof. CHAN Hon Wan Edwin Tongji University
WANG Chong BRE Prof. CHAN Hon Wan Edwin Tongji University

Prof. WANG Shengwei

Sichuan University

Prof. DENG Shiming

Sichuan University
WANG Yan BSE Prof. DENG Shiming Sichuan University
SUN Jingting BSE Dr XIAO Fu Tongji University
LI Long CEE Prof. POON Chi Sun Tongji University
LI Tianji CEE Prof. CHAN Siu Lai Tongji University
MA Tianyu CEE Prof. CHUNG Kwok Fai Tongji University
CHEN Qiujie LSGI Prof. CHEN Wu Tongji University
WANG Runjie LSGI Prof. SHI Wen Zhong Tongji University
ZHAO Jingwen LSGI Prof. DING Xiaoli Tongji University

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)
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 Lecture

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

Prof. Wen-Tso LIU

FCE Public Lecture
"Microbial Ecology in Methanogenic Wastewater Treatment Processes"

Prof. Wen-Tso LIU
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Date: 9 June 2014 (Mon) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

FCE Public Lecture:
Power to Gas

Date & Time: 3 July 2014 (Thur), 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m.
Venue: Room Z4-040, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

FCE Public Lecture:
BIM – Will It Transform the Industry, or Will It Be Business as Usual?

Date & Time: 9 July 2014 (Wed), 6:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.
Venue: Room Y301, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Chair Professor Inaugural Lecture
Elastic Visco-Plastic Modeling of the Time-Dependent Stress-Strain Behavior of Soils and Applications

Date & Time: 16 July 2014 (Wed), 3:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.
Venue: Room Z4-040, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Real Estate Finance Forum & Networking
Date & Time: 17 July 2014 (Thur), 6:00-7:30p.m.
Venue: PolyU campus

Ronald Coase Institute Workshop
Date: 7-13 December 2014
Venue: Manila, Philippines

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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