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Issue 53 - March 2015


Table of Contents

CEE Scholar Elected to RSE

Prof. Jin-guang Teng, Chair Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, has recently been elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s national academy of science and letters. Corresponding Fellows of the Society are persons who are not normally resident in the UK and have attained high international standing. Prof. Teng was elected a Corresponding Fellow in recognition of his pioneering and outstanding research in the areas of Structural Use of Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Composites and Thin-walled Structures.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, established in 1783, elects Fellows from a wide range of disciplines: science & technology, arts, humanities, social science, business and public service. It currently has around 1600 Fellows, including around 120 Fellows in the field of engineering. It has 70 Honorary Fellows and 73 Corresponding Fellows.

Prof. Jin-guang Teng

Awards for FCE Scholars

At the President’s Awards Presentation Ceremony on 25 March 2015, three scholars from PolyU’s Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) were honoured for their outstanding achievements in 2013/14. Ir Prof. Jin-Guang Teng of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), who also serves as the Director of the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, received the only President’s Award for Excellent Achievement in Research and Scholarly Activities among the individual awards, the highest accolade for academic staff in research performance, while his colleague from the same department, Prof. Xiangdong Li, received a Faculty Award in the same category. A Faculty Award for Outstanding Performance in Teaching was given to Dr Hiu-dan Cheung of the Department of Building Services Engineering. The name of Prof. Jin-Guang Teng will be engraved on a plaque to be displayed on campus for a period of one year.


Outstanding Professional Services Awards 2014

A ceremony for the Outstanding Professional Services Awards 2014 was held on 6 March 2015. Organized by PolyU’s Technology and Consultancy (PTeC) Co. Ltd., the awards honour departments and staff in consultancy and licensing activities for their outstanding performance. The winner of the Maximum Staff Participation Award was the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics. A Merit Award in this category was given to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, which also received a Merit Award for being the most active department in aggregating the second highest invoiced value (HK$19,449,000) during the financial year for consultancy projects undertaken via PTeC. The Most Active Consultant Award went to Prof. Shengwei Wang of the Department of Building Services Engineering, while a Merit Award for the Highest International Consultancy was given to Dr Yung Ming Cheng of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Prof. John Shi, representing Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, receives the Maximum Staff Participation Award Prof. K.F. Chung, representing Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, receives two Merit Awards Prof. Shengwei Wang receives the Most Active Consultant Award Dr Yung Ming Cheng receives a Merit Award for the Highest International Consultancy

Outstanding Student Award 2014

On 12 February 2015, a BSc Year 3 student of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI), Miss Ya Gao, was honoured at the Outstanding Student Awards Presentation Ceremony. Not only was she the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award of LSGI, she was also chosen for the Outstanding Student Award of the Faculty of Construction and Environment. An active participant in numerous extracurricular activities, Miss Gao has volunteered as a teacher in Sri Lanka and in a middle school in Shaanxi. She was also a mentor for the Common Orientation Programme and the YMCA South Asian Programme for one semester, while maintaining an impressive academic record throughout her years of study for her BSc degree.

One of the most prestigious award schemes for students at PolyU, the annual Outstanding Student Awards recognize final-year undergraduate students who excel in both academic and non-academic pursuits during their studies.


Building Safety Week 2015

A major public education and publicity event on building safety was held on the campus of PolyU from 14 to 20 March 2015. Organized by the Buildings Department of the Hong Kong Government for building professionals, contractors, students, and the general public, the event took place at several venues on campus. Staff from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering participated in numerous workshops and seminars, while staff from the Department of Building and Real Estate demonstrated the Proactive Construction Management System (PCMS) and the ultrasonic technology for non-destructive testing for building maintenance. Developed by BRE researchers, the PCMS enhances safety on construction sites by tracking the positions of workers and machinery in real time and alerting the former of possible fatal collisions. Besides these demonstrations, seminars and workshops, there were exhibitions with interactive displays on building safety, live music, a 3D mapping show, game booths, and performances for children. It was a fun-filled week for all involved.


HKIE Young Engineer of the Year Award 2015

At the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) 40th Annual Dinner on 17 March 2015, Ir Ken Chan, a senior engineer of CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd and PhD student in the Department of Building and Real Estate supported by the Teaching Company Scheme, was honoured with the Young Engineer of the Year Award. Organized by HKIE in recognition of local outstanding young engineers who have made commendable engineering achievements and valuable contributions to the continuous development of Hong Kong, the award is a prestigious honour for young engineers of the local engineering profession. Ir Chan began his engineering career as a graduate trainee at CLP in 2003, where he was exposed to various aspects of the electricity supply business, including transmission substation design, procurement, public affairs and distribution network construction. As an Engineer I at CLP, Ir Chan leads a team of engineers to implement distribution network projects in Lantau, Peng Chau and Cheung Chau, providing reliable and timely electricity supply to major infrastructure and residential developments in these areas. He has been active in promoting engineering to the younger generation and the general public. To encourage youths to face adversity positively, he likes to use the light bulb as a metaphor for life: only by overcoming obstacles can light be generated. He is currently conducting research on the implementation of partnering in project management, under the supervision of Prof. Albert Chan.


PolyU-NAMI Workshop on Construction and Building Materials

On 20 March 2015, a collaborative workshop between PolyU and Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Limited (NAMI) was held on the university campus. Facilitated by Prof. C.S. Poon, Associate Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), the workshop on construction and building materials brought together PolyU scholars, research students, and NAMI researchers in this field. They were welcomed by Prof. Y.L. Xu, Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, who noted the importance of the topics covered by the workshop. After an opening address by the Chief Executive Officer of NAMI, Mr Daniel Yu, scholars from CEE presented their latest research and areas of expertise, including Prof. C.S. Poon, Prof. K.F. Chung, Dr Eddie Lam, Dr J.G. Dai, Dr Dan Tsang, and Dr Ben Leu. The University Research Facility in Materials Characterization and Device Fabrication was also introduced by its Director, Prof. Helen Chan. Six researchers from NAMI subsequently gave well received presentations on their research in different construction and building materials, led by Dr Ivan Sham, Director of Research and Development in Construction and Building Materials at NAMI. It is hoped that the workshop will lead to further collaborations between PolyU and NAMI.

Established in 2006, NAMI was designated by the Innovation and Technology Commission as a Research and Development Centre for nanotechnology and advanced materials. NAMI undertakes and provides support for market-oriented research in nanotechnology and advanced materials, and strives for commercialization of the technologies to promote the economic growth of Hong Kong as a knowledge-based economy.


CEE Scholar’s Mathematics Model Breaks Traffic Gridlock

A mathematics model developed by Dr Agachai Sumalee of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has successfully streamlined the daily commute for more than 14 million urban dwellers in the city of Bangkok. Known as the Stochastic Cell Transmission Model (SCTM), it enables the analysis of minor events that lead to major delays and models traffic flow density on freeways with stochastic demand and supply. The Thai Expressway Authority has made use of it to improve road traffic in and around Bangkok. By facilitating the creation of real-time, intelligent traffic management systems, Dr Sumalee was rewarded with the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education.

Dr Agachai Sumalee

BRE Academic Develops Protective Gear for Construction Workers

A uniform to protect construction workers from extreme heat and high humidity has been developed by Prof. Albert Chan, Head of the Department of Building and Real Estate, in partnership with the Institute of Textiles and Clothing and the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong. Made of fabrics that allow moisture to be transferred away from skin to the garment surface, the uniform is designed to speed up the evaporation of sweat and reduce heat stress. Quantitative and qualitative tests have confirmed its effectiveness in reducing workers’ physiological strain and body heat storage. The incipient stage of this inter-disciplinary research has already led to multiple awards for Prof. Chan and his team, including the Hong Kong Institute of Project Management Award and the Asia Pacific Project Management Achievement Award.

Prof. Albert Chan

Visit by Yokohama National University

On 27 March 2015, a delegation from Yokohama National University (YNU) met with representatives of the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) to explore opportunities for collaboration with one another. Led by its President-designate, Prof. Yuichi Hasebe, the delegation consists of Prof. Fumihiko Nakamura, Vice President-designate and Dean of the Graduate School of Urban Innovation/ Faculty of Urban Innovation; Prof. Kazuo Konagai, Dr Takayuki Suzuki, Dr Yasuhiro Fujioka, all of the same Graduate School/ Faculty; Dr Taku Ishiro of the Graduate School of International Social Science; Prof. Haoyuan Xu of the Information Technology Service Center; Prof. Gu Lin Sheng, Executive Dean of Sichuan University-The Hong Kong University Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction; and Mr Zi Yang, PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences. After presentations on the universities were made by their respective representatives, the 9 visitors had a chance to discuss their interests and concerns with Prof. Y.L. Xu, Dean of FCE; Prof. X.L. Ding, Associate Dean of FCE; and several colleagues from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, including Prof. K.T. Chau, Prof. J.H. Yin, Dr J.G. Dai, and Dr Mark Hsu. They also visited the Transport and Highway Engineering Lab, Air Pollution Lab and Atmospheric Research Lab, and Structural Engineering Research Lab. At a lunch reception, they were joined by Ir Prof. J.M. Ko, Interim Vice President of PolyU and Emeritus Professor of Structural Engineering, and Prof. William Lam, Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, whom a few of them had met the day before.

The Graduate School of Urban Innovation at YNU was established in April 2011 with the “city” as its theme. It is Japan’s first interdisciplinary Graduate School integrating the humanities and sciences. In the discipline of civil engineering, it has research groups in areas similar to those in PolyU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, such as structural engineering, estuarine and coastal engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation and urban engineering, as well as concrete. It is hoped that the visit will facilitate collaborations in research between FCE, YNU, and Sichuan University, which was further explored in an afternoon visit to the Jockey Club by Prof. Gu and the YNU delegation.


Research of LSGI Scholar Mitigates Urban Heat Islands

Urban environmental quality is never far from the mind of Dr Charles Wong of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, who has long addressed the effects of urban heat islands (UHI) and how to mitigate them. Densely populated areas with high rises form UHI, which have major impacts on the wellbeing of urban dwellers. Not only do they exacerbate heat waves, they also increase the risks of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. He advocates the importance of reducing UHI by vegetation cover, using building materials with high thermal emittance, and better town planning based on data from remote sensing technologies and geographic information systems (GIS).

Since temperature is affected by wind direction and speed, it could be kept down by means of ventilation pathways, which can now be derived using data from GIS. He elaborates on the Frontal Area Index, which measures how a building blocks off the wind, and ventilation corridors. According to him, “Ventilation can be maintained and UHI mitigated by simply altering the locations of buildings or even their orientation.”

Dr Wong and his team have also been developing a portable device to monitor the environment. He envisions a smart city for the future where everyone can contribute to the real-time report of various environmental attributes from anywhere in Hong Kong.

(Dr Charles Man-sing Wong (front row; 5th from left) and his team)

New Book-writing by BSE Scholars

The China Railway Publishing House has recently agreed to fund the publication of a book entitled Green Buildings: Renewable Energy Application in Buildings, to be co-written in Chinese by Prof. Hongxing Yang, Dr Yuanhao Wang (Postdoc Fellow) and Mr Xi Chen (PhD student) of the Department of Building Services Engineering, together with their research group members and another colleague from the Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen (RITS). Part of the RMB¥50,000 funding will be used to engage helpers to assist in data collection for the book, which is slated for publication later this year.

Prof. H.X. Yang

BRE Postdoc led CPD Forum

In a forum for continuing professional development (CPD) on 13 February 2015, Dr Irene Wong of the Department of Building and Real Estate discussed the lessons learnt from five cases of revitalization of industrial buildings in Hong Kong. The cases included wholesale conversions into loft apartments, elderly housing, an art centre, an outlet cum hotel development, and a redevelopment project into a residential building. Organized by the Chartered Institute of Building, the forum also investigated the potential of converting industrial buildings into loft apartments for sale. It was suggested that the floor plan could be divided into small units without any partitions to target buyers from the young middle class. The interactive forum was well received by all those in attendance.


OSH Best Project Award 2014

At the Best Project Award Prize Presentation Ceremony organized by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Council on 4 February 2015, a recent PhD graduate of the Department of Building and Real Estate, Dr Wen YI, was honoured for her work on modeling rebar labor productivity in hot weather. Her PhD thesis on the same topic was supervised by Prof. Albert Chan. The thesis has brought her numerous awards, including a Distinction Award from PolyU’s CIB student chapter in its 2014 Best Dissertation Awards and a championship in the Students Project Competition organized by the Safety Specialist Committee of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.


CEE PhD Student Attends European Research Course on Atmospheres

Qinyi LI, a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, attended a high-level international course, the European Research Course on Atmospheres (ERCA), in Grenoble and the Observatory of Haute-Provence (OHP) in France from 7 January to 6 February 2015. Organized by the University of Joseph Fourier and the National Center for Scientific Research of France and sponsored by several international and French organizations, ERCA focuses on atmospheric physics and chemistry, climate system and change, and air pollution at different scales. Among the 37 participants (36 PhD students and 1 postdoc) selected from 21 countries, Qinyi was the only one from Hong Kong. He seized this rare opportunity to learn from 43 distinguished lecturers from 11 countries, including his own supervisor, Prof. Tao WANG, who was invited to give two lectures on China’s air pollution. The intensive interactions of the international students gave Qinyi a chance to network with his peers as well as to promote the higher education and culture of Hong Kong and China. Many thanks go to ERCA’s sponsors.


Mainland High School Students Visit BSE

On 9 February 2015, 72 students and 6 teachers from three well known high schools in Guangzhou visited the Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE). They were welcomed by Dr Vivien LU and Professor Geoffrey Q.P. SHEN, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) and Chair Professor of Construction Management, who introduced FCE and outlined its structure, objectives, accomplishments, research focus, facilities and recent developments. Subsequently, Dr LU introduced BSE’s undergraduate degree programmes. The students were very attentive and expressed a strong interest in BSE's programmes. They were given a guided tour of BSE’s laboratories at the end of their visit.


Invitation for Programme Admission 2015/16

Applications are now invited for the following taught Master of Science (MSc)/Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) programmes:

Building Services Engineering 屋宇設備工程學
Civil Engineering 土木工程學
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
Executive Master in Real Estate Finance 高級管理人員房地產金融碩士

The Executive Master in Real Estate Finance is the first interdisciplinary Executive Master programme offered by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. It is designed to provide senior executives genuinely innovative professional development experience together with academic knowledge of Real Estate Finance in both Asian and global contexts. Qualified candidates will be admitted on a rolling basis until the quota is filled. Please contact Ms. Karen Moy at 3400 8480 for more details.

Faculty Public Lectures

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

Prof. Jian Zhao

FCE Public Lecture
"Rock Cavern Studies, Development and Planning in Singapore"

Prof. Jian Zhao
Department of Civil Engineering
Monash University, Australia

Date: 17 March 2015 (Tue) (Details)

Prof. John Villadsen

FCE Public Lecture
"Technical and Economic Issues Related to Bio-Industrial Enterprises"

Prof. John Villadsen
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Danish Technical University (DTU), Denmark

Date: 27 March 2015 (Fri) (Details)

Prof. Yeong-Bin Yang

FCE Distinguished Lecture
"Direct Time-Integration Method for Solving Nonlinear Dynamic Problems with Large Rotations and Displacements"

Prof. Yeong-Bin Yang
Honorary Dean, College of Civil Engineering, Chongqing University,
Professor Emeritus of the Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University

Date: 30 March 2015 (Mon) (Details)

Forthcoming Event

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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