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Issue 58 - August 2015


Table of Contents

PolyU Postdoctoral Fellowships Scheme 2015

To boost the research development of the university, the PolyU Postdoctoral Fellowships Scheme was established to support academic staff in their quest for high-impact research. Five academics of the Faculty of Construction and Environment have recently been approved for funding to engage Postdoctoral Fellows (PDF) to support their research. Following are the details:


Principal Investigator (PI)/ Co-I

PDF Candidate Project Title
BSE Dr Lin Lu
Dr Hao Lu

Experimental and Theoretical Analysis of
Airbone Dust Deposition on Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Modules

BSE Prof. Cheuk-ming Mak Dr Yijing Chu

Development of Active Noise Control Algorithms and
Application to Buildings Using Distributed Acoustic Network

BSE PI: Prof. Jian-lei Niu
Co-I: Dr Jian-yong Wu (ABCT)
Dr Ru Ji

Transient Thermal Behaviours of Phase-change Materials
(PCM) Impregnated into Open-cell Porous, Thermal-conductive

CEE Prof. Xiang-dong Li Mr Ling Jin

Identifying Major Drivers of Mixture Effect in Ambient Air
Particulate Matters: Bioassay-directed Size and Chemical
Fractionation Study

CEE PI: Prof. Chi-sun Poon
Co-I: Dr Zhen Leng
Dr Dongxing Xuan

Investigation of Technological and Environmental Behaviour of
MSW Bottom Ash as Cement Treated Road Base

The Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) also has its own Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme that has a similar objective. The Faculty Research Committee Working Group recently approved the following PDF candidate for the scheme:

PDF Candidate

Principal Investigator (Dept.)

Project Title Decision and Source of Funding
Dr Wei He Dr Meng Ni (BRE)
Development of Novel Perovskite-type Cathode Materials
for Low-temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

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

HK Scholars Programme 2015

Six academics from the Faculty of Construction and Environment have been selected by the Hong Kong Scholars Programme (HKSP) 2015 to engage a mainland scholar as a Postdoctoral Fellow in their research projects. Launched in December 2010 as a joint initiative between mainland authorities and the Society of Hong Kong Scholars, the HKSP promotes academic/ scientific exchanges and collaboration by matching outstanding mainland PhD graduates with leading academics of universities in Hong Kong, who will supervise the mainland scholars for two years in a research project. Following are the details:

Postdoctoral Fellow and
recommending institution


Supervisor Project Title
Dr Ying Zhang,
Wuhan University of Technology
Prof. Albert Chan

Developing a personal cooling system for combating
heat stress in the construction industry

Dr Lingling Zheng,
Xiamen University
BSE Prof. Hong-xing Yang

Highly efficient heterojunction Perovskite solar cells

Dr Shengyan Pu,
Chengdu University of Technology

Prof. Wei Chu

Catalytic oxidation for the removal of refractory
pollutants in water

Dr Siyao Guo,
Qingdao Technological University
CEE Dr Jian-guo Dai

Design theory for inorganically bonded
FRP-strengthened RC structures

Dr Jianxu Wang,
Institute of Geochemistry of the
Chinese Academy of Sciences
CEE Prof. Xiang-dong Li Geochemical cycling of mercury in the environment
Dr Lei Shi,
Wuhan University
LSGI Prof. Xiao-li Ding

Development of radar remote sensing technology
for geo-hazards monitoring

FCE One-year Top-up Studentship Scheme

Four PhD candidates have been supported by the FCE one-year top-up studentship scheme since May 2015. The scheme was established in 2010 to encourage FCE colleagues to admit promising students to PhD programmes and support them with their external research grants. Details are as follows:

Name of Student


Supervisor Status
Yangyang Wang CEE
Dr Zhen Leng

Supported and allocated $101,050 from FCE

Yinan Yang CEE Prof. Jin Guang Teng

Supported and allocated $101,050 from FCE

Junqi Huang

Dr Jian Guo Dai

Supported and allocated $101,050 from FCE

Che Heng Fung LSGI Dr Charles Wong

Supported and allocated $101,050 from FCE

Challenges Facing Taxi Industry Revealed by CEE Scholars

A survey by researchers in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) has found the taxi industry is aging as a profession and not attracting young blood to join it. The average age of taxi drivers is in the mid-50s and their income has not increased much in the past decade. Led by Dr Wing-tat Hung, the survey interviewed 334 Hong Kong citizens, 310 tourists, and 700 industry professionals between July 2014 and August 2015. 59% of the respondents indicated they had given up riding taxis before due to the lengthy waiting period or the drivers’ refusal to pick them up, 38% of which happened in the New Territories.

According to another CEE researcher, Dr Barbara Siu, complaints about taxi services have been increasing. The gap in expectations is high in the categories of safety, road knowledge, and travel time, which were also ranked as the most important concerns in a rating of satisfaction levels of taxi services.

To improve the image of the taxi industry, Dr Hung calls for the launch of a two-year Higher Diploma course in Personal Transportation Services for secondary school leavers. By instilling management knowledge, a service attitude, and driving skills into these youngsters, it is hoped they will see the prospects of a career ladder in the taxi industry. He also suggests the Transport Department of the Hong Kong government to waive the three years of driving experience required for taking the exam for a taxi-driving license, so these students aspiring to be taxi drivers could get their license. The Transport and Housing Bureau is requested to set up a Taxi Service Improvement Board to oversee the service quality of taxis.

BRE Scholars Rewarded at the CBBOC

On 13 July 2015, Dr Fan Xue and Prof. Geoffrey Shen of the Department of Building and Real Estate were honoured for their proposed cross-domain algorithm Covariance Matrix Adaptation with Variable Neighborhood Search (CMA-VNS) at the 1st Combinatorial Black-Box Optimization Competition (CBBOC) in Madrid, Spain. The competition involved testing all algorithms on the Kauffman and Weinberger’s (1989) NK model, which can represent many problems well, from stakeholder network, open innovation, to industry profitability. Utilization of the algorithm will facilitate problem solving in complex task environments such as sustainable urban development and mega construction projects.

Prof. Shen (left) and Dr Xue (right) with their award certificate

LSGI Students Participate in Joint Summer School at Tongji University

From 19 to 24 July 2015, 28 students from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) participated in a summer school jointly organized by LSGI and Tongji University’s College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics. Led by Dr Lei Zhang, Dr Janet Sham, and Miss Serein Han, the students had a chance to present their research and interact with their peers at Tongji University. They also visited the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Astronomy, the Command and Control Center of the very long baseline interferometry (VLBI), and the Shanghai 65m Radio Telescope (“Tianma”), which are the home-grown advanced facilities that accomplished the Chang’r-3 VLBI orbit mission in December 2013. In addition, the group toured the headquarters of Shanghai Huace Navigation Technology Limited (上海華測導航技術股份有限公司), a rapidly growing manufacturer of GPS and Beidou receivers and provider of positioning solutions for surveying, construction, GIS and marine applications. The company gave the visitors a demonstration of its latest technologies and equipment, such as the GPS guided driverless tractor that can farm land on its own. It was indeed an eye-opening experience for the summer school participants.

Participants of the summer school

Study Tour to YNU

At the invitation of Yokohama National University (YNU), 4 PolyU research students visited Japan from 2-8 August 2015 to participate in the SAKURA Exchange Programme in Science. Three of them were from the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE), namely Ying Yu of the Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE), Dao-yuan Tan of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), and Xiao Tang of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI). Led by Dr Yu-hong Wang of CEE, the PolyU group attended lectures on disaster alleviation and sustainable development with students from YNU and Sichuan University. They also toured YNU and visited some facilities that made use of technology to reduce the risks of disasters, including the Minato Mirai district’s heating and cooling system, the Kannai area in Yokohama, and the Technology Center of Taisei Corporation, which has developed an energy-saving building that can operate on solar power alone. A field trip to a condominium in Shimomaruko, Tokyo, showed the visiting students how community-level disaster prevention and municipal waste management was done there. It was a good learning opportunity for them all.

Taisei’s zero-energy building Dr Wang (left) and the President of YNU, Prof. Yuichi Hasebe
Visit to a utility control center

Welcoming Day for New FCE Students

On 27 August 2015, more than 300 freshmen of the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) gathered at the Jockey Club Auditorium on the PolyU campus for an introduction to university life. They were welcomed by Prof. You-lin Xu, Dean of FCE; Prof. Geoffrey Shen, Associate Dean (Teaching); Prof. Xiao-li Ding, Associate Dean (Partnership); Prof. Albert Chan, Head of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE); Prof. Wan-ki Chow, Head of the Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE); Prof. William Lam, Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE); and Prof. John Shi, Head of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI).

Afterwards, students who chose to study the Broad Discipline of Construction and Environment (BDCE) met with Prof. Yat-hung Chiang, the Broad Discipline leader, who introduced them to the BDCE curriculum and the academic advising that supports it. They also met a representative from each of the four departments, namely Prof. Yat-hung Chiang (BRE), Prof. Ya-ping Du (BSE), Prof. Onyx Wai (CEE), and Dr Lilian Pun (LSGI). In addition, an academic counsellor was on hand to provide more information about general university requirements and the advising system. The orientation concluded with some information about the exchange programmes that are available for students.

Over 120 newly admitted postgraduates of FCE’s taught MSc programmes had their own orientation on 28 August 2015. They were also welcomed by the Dean and Associate Dean (Teaching) before the four departments of FCE were introduced to them by their respective heads/ representatives. The new students had a chance to meet with their programme leaders in several break-out sessions for eight different MSc programmes before the end of the orientation.

Prof. Xu welcoming the
new students
(left to right) Prof. Lam,
Prof. Chan, Prof. Ding,
Prof. Xu, Prof. Shen,
Prof. Chow, Prof. Shi
At the BDCE orientation Orientation for full-time taught postgraduates

Bursaries for Students with Financial Need

The Hong Kong Construction Association has recently donated HK$160,000 to fund 8 bursaries of HK$20,000 each for deserving students with financial need in 2015/16. Six of them are for students in the BEng (Hons) programme in Civil Engineering, while the BEng (Hons) programme in Environment and Sustainable Development and the Higher Diploma programme in Civil Engineering will each have one bursary. Any undisbursed amount will be made available in the following academic year.

Students from the Department of Building and Real Estate will benefit from the $200,000 donation by the Ho Iu Kwong Charity Foundation Ltd., which has designated the funds to be bursaries for them.

BRE PhD Graduate Continues Career in Academe

Dr Mohamad Ramly Zuhaili, a recent PhD graduate from the Department of Building and Real Estate, has joined the faculty of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). He has been appointed Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Quantity Surveying programme in the Faculty of Built Environment there. He began serving UTM in 2008 before starting his PhD studies at PolyU in September 2011.

Dr Zuhaili did his PhD research on value management and engineering application in the construction industry under the supervision of Prof. Geoffrey Qiping Shen and Dr Ann Yu. His research interests include value engineering and management methodology in construction, with a specific focus on organizational performance. He will oversee the teaching and learning activities for about 270 students in his new position.

Dr Zuhaili at the Faculty of Built Environment of UTM

Forthcoming Events

21st Congregation and Faculty Prize Presentation Ceremony
Date: 3-4 November 2015
Venue: Jockey Club Auditorium, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

HKIS and AIQS Joint Conference
Topic: How QS will succeed in Tomorrow’s World
Date: 14 November 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00pm
Venue: VTC Auditorium, Hong Kong Design Institute, Tseung Kwan O

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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