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Issue 48 - October 2014


Table of Contents

BRE Academic’s Scholarly Activities Gather Steam

Dr Meng NI of the Department of Building and Real Estate has recently received funding support of HK$125,000 from the Scottish Funding Council and the Research Grants Council Joint Research Scheme for a collaborative research project with Prof. John Thomas Sirr Irvine of the University of St. Andrews. Titled “Development of Nanostructured Solid Oxide Cell for Steam-carbon Dioxide Co-electrolysis,” the project will be supported for 12 months. Congratulations to Dr NI, who has also delivered 5 invited/keynote lectures at various international conferences between May and September 2014, including one in Italy, one in Korea, and three in mainland China.

Dr Meng NI

Joint PhD Programme between PolyU and the University of Calgary Planned

A collaborative Cotutelle PhD Programme between the University of Calgary in Canada and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is in the works after a letter of intent was signed by both parties. Representing the University of Calgary was its Vice-Provost, Prof. Janaka Ruwanpura, who visited PolyU on 20 October 2014 for a meeting with Prof. Alex Wai, PolyU Vice President (Research Development), Prof. You-lin Xu, Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, and Prof. William Lam, Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. They also discussed the potential for collaborative research projects between the two Universities.


CEE Academic Returns from Stint at University of Queensland

Supported by the newly launched PolyU Overseas Scholarship Scheme for teaching development, Dr Jian-Guo Dai of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering visited the University of Queensland (UQ) from 29 September to 21 October 2014. During his stay, Dr Dai conducted a detailed investigation into the teaching profiles of two important subjects titled Design of Concrete Structures and Introduction to Structural Design, discussing the subjects extensively with their lecturers in and out of class. The School of Civil Engineering at UQ has been teaching large size classes (e.g., over 300 students) with innovative teaching techniques such as Peer Assessment Learning Sessions (PALS). Its methods are expected to be very useful for PolyU due to the similarity in research unit structures and subject syllabi. It is worth mentioning that UQ is a world renowned university and ranks 43rd in the QS World University Ranking 2014. The structural units at PolyU and UQ are both among the top in the world. Dr Dai believes that this visit would further strengthen the bilateral research collaborations between the two departments. In addition, he would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Sritawat Kitipornchai and his colleagues in the School of Civil Engineering at UQ for their kind hospitality and PolyU for the financial support that made this visit possible.

The brand new advanced engineering building at UQ

CEE Post-doctoral Fellow Grabs Best Paper Award

At the 13th International Symposium on Structural Engineering (ISSE-13) in Hefei, China during 24-27 October, a Post-doctoral Fellow from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Dr Wan-yang Gao, was honoured with a Best Paper Award. The paper is titled “Simple Method for Predicting the Fire Resistance of Unprotected FRP-strengthened RC Beams.” The winning paper was co-authored by Dr Jian-Guo Dai and Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, who were the chief supervisor and co-supervisor of Dr Gao’s PhD study at CEE.

ISSE-13 is an official conference sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and jointly organized with Hefei University of Technology. The ISSE conference series was named the International Symposium on Structural Engineering for Young Experts (ISSEYE),and it has been held regularly every two years in a major city in China since 1990. The aim of this conference series is to provide a forum for experts from the structural engineering and construction community to exchange and share recent advances in both research and practice.


FCE Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme

The following applications for the FCE Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme were approved by the FRC Working Group at its 49th Meeting:

PDF candidate

Principal Investigator (Dept) Project Title Decision and Source of Funding
Dr Sheila Maria
Prof. Edwin CHAN (BRE)

Evaluating Public Open Spaces in High Density Areas for Low Carbon Cities: A Case of Hong Kong

BRE: $157,500
FCE: $157,500


Prof. J.L. NIU (BSE)

Developing Energy Efficient Window Systems for Cooling - Dominant Climates Using Transparent Super-insulation Materials

BSE: $157,500
FCE: $157,500

FCE One-year Top-up Studentship Scheme

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

Name of student

Dept. Supervisor Status

Prof. Edwin CHAN

Supported and allocated $97,150 from FCE

FCE Students Rewarded for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

At the PolyU Micro Fund award ceremony held in Hotel ICON on 29 September 2014, entrepreneurship and innovation were rewarded. The teams for Experiential Learning Programme and the Higher Education and Research Information Online Platform each received HK$100,000 seed fund to implement their sound business propositions. Team members included CHONG Yan Kit and WU Suet Fung, both of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI), for the former project and SONG Mengjie and MAO Ning, both of the Department of Building Services Engineering, for the latter.

The teams that won Grand Awards in the Innovation stream each received HK$10,000 cash for their projects. The team for Carpet-Generator included WANG Lei from LSGI, while the team for The Era, the first university-based hydroponic farming programme in Hong Kong, included CHONG Yan Kit again. Congratulations to all these FCE students.

Study Tours Enrich Learning of BRE Students

An unforgettable experience of university studies is the opportunity to participate in study tours, which often leave lasting memories for students. For about 5 days at the end of May 2014, over 90 students from the Department of Building and Real Estate went on various study tours. Following are the details.

25 students studying property management visited Osaka to learn more about construction and real estate in Japan. Led by Dr Milton Lau and Dr Stanley Yeung, they visited Osaka’s Museum of History, the Osaka Castle Park, Tsutankaku, and the Floating Garden. They also attended a seminar on the current property market in Japan, which was delivered by professionals from the Japan Real Estate Institute, a company that provides appraisals and consulting services for real estate investment. Another seminar on municipal waste management in Japan was given by Prof. Akihiro Tokai at Osaka University, where PolyU students discussed their ideas on urban waste management and conservation policies of environmental resources with their Japanese counterparts.

42 students from the BSc (Hons) in Surveying programme visited Kuala Lumpur to learn more about heritage preservation, construction technology, and urban planning. Led by Prof. Eddie Hui and Dr M.J. Wadu, they visited the Faculty of Built Environment of the University of Malaya, the Faculty of Architecture, Planning, and Surveying of the Universiti Teknologi MARA, the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia, as well as the Construction Industry Development Board and Construction Research Institute of Malaysia.

30 students studying Building Engineering and Management visited South Korea from 20-25 May 2014. Led by Dr Hongqin Fan and Dr Steven Tsang, they toured the Songdo International Business District, which is being developed as a sustainable city with more than 40% of its area reserved for green spaces, including a park of 100 acres, 16 miles of bicycle lanes, numerous charging stations for electric vehicles, and a waste collection system that eliminates the need for garbage trucks. Besides learning the past, present, and future of Incheon in an exhibition, students also visited Seoul National University and Yonsei University, where they learnt about Korean culture.

Osaka Study Tour Osaka Study Tour Kuala Lumpur Study Tour
Kuala Lumpur Study Tour South Korea Study Tour South Korea Study Tour

CEE Students Participate in SAKURA Exchange Programme

A delegation of three CEE students led by Dr Jian-Guo Dai visited National Yokohama University in Japan during 16-24 August 2014 for the SAKURA Exchange Programme in Science. Prof. Gu Linshen, Director of the Joint Institute between PolyU and Sichuan University for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, also led three mainland students there. Organized by the Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science, the main purpose of the visit was to share the Japanese experience in disaster prevention and reduction. Many lectures and technical visits were arranged during the week-long exchange programme, which enabled CEE students to learn about the state-of-the-art in Japan in the fields of urban planning, earthquake disaster prevention, and post-disaster reconstruction. On the last day, CEE students had a chance to experience an artificial earthquake. The friendliness of the host made it a really pleasant trip. CEE students were deeply impressed by the history of Yokohama City and the charm of Yokohama China Town, where they were treated to a farewell dinner.

PhD alumnus appointed Assistant Professor

A 2014 PhD graduate of the Department of Building and Real Estate, Dr Yi HU, has recently been appointed Assistant Professor at Tongji University’s Department of Construction Management and Real Estate. During his studies at PolyU, he published more than 10 papers in collaboration with his supervisor, Prof. Albert Chan. His research interests focus on megaproject organization and management in transitional economies with an emphasis on organization and complexity theories.

Dr Yi HU

PolyU Education Info Day 2014

On 11 October 2014, the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) promoted its various academic programmes to the public as part of the PolyU’s Info Day. Officiating at the opening ceremony were Prof. Timothy W. Tong, President of PolyU; Prof. You-Lin Xu, Dean of FCE; Prof. Xiangdong Li and Prof. Xiaoli Ding, Associate Deans; and the Heads of the four departments, Dr Michael Yam (BRE), Prof. Wan Ki Chow (BSE), Prof. William Lam (CEE), and Prof. John Shi (LSGI). Each department exhibited its accomplishments and various programmes demonstrated their specialty. The information seminar for the BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering registered the biggest show of interest, with a crowd of more than 150, followed closely by that for the BSc (Hons) in Environment & Sustainable Development as well as in BSc (Hons) in Surveying. A special session for career teachers and principals from secondary schools was led by Prof. Geoffrey Shen, Associate Dean (Teaching), who introduced the Faculty and the Broad Discipline of Construction and Environment to them. They also heard from Prof. Chiang Yat-hung, Associate Head (BRE); Prof. Chan Kwok-tai, Associate Head (BSE); Prof. William Lam, Head (CEE); and Dr Lilian Pun, Associate Head (LSGI) about the undergraduate programmes of the four departments. There were also consultations and guided visits to different laboratories for prospective students, who had a chance to get their questions answered before they decide on a programme of study.

21st FCE Students’ Association

On 9 October 2014, representatives of the 21st FCE Students’ Association met with Prof. You-Lin Xu, Dean of FCE, and Prof. Geoffrey Shen, Associate Dean of FCE. The students presented their work plans for 2014-15, which included competitions in various sports, a mega sale, a singing contest, and a Christmas party with students from other local universities. These activities will no doubt give PolyU students much to look forward to.


Faculty Public Lectures

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

Dr W. Phillip YEN

FCE Public Lecture
"Multi-Hazard Mitigation of Transportation Infrastructure"

Dr W. Phillip YEN
International Bridge Seismic Committee

Date: 15 October 2014 (Wed) (Details)

Dr Xingbo LIU

FCE Public Lecture
"Characterization and Modeling of Infiltrated Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathode"

Dr Xingbo LIU
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department
West Virginia University, USA

Date: 31 October 2014 (Fri) (Details)

Forthcoming Events

20th Congregation and Faculty Prize Presentation Ceremony
Date: 4-5 November 2014
Venue: Jockey Club Auditorium, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

20th AsiaConstruct Conference
Date: 13 November 2014
Venue: Hotel ICON, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Chair Professor Inaugural Lecture:
From Paper Maps to Google Earth: Scientific Advancement and Roles in Human Knowledge Representation

Date & Time: 21 Nov 2014 (Fri), 6:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.
Venue: Room HJ303, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

CIC Conference 2014: Construction Innovation, and Safety Enhancement of the Betterment of our Society
Date: 28 November 2014
Venue: Harbour Grand Hong Kong

Chair Professor Inaugural Lecture:
Environmental Pollution on a Regional Scale – Research in the Pearl River Delta Region, South China

Date & Time: 11 Dec 2014 (Thur), 6:30p.m. to 7:30p.m.
Venue: Room Y302, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2nd International Conference on Sustainable Urbanization
Date: 7-9 January 2015
Venue: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) International Conference 2015
Date: 7-9 January 2015
Venue: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2nd International Conference on Performance-based and Lifecycle Structural Engineering (PLSE 2015)
Date: 9-11 December 2015
Venue: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia

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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