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Issue 62 - December 2015


Table of Contents

CIC Innovation Awards

The Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) is pleased that two of its leading academics have been honoured with the Construction Industry Council’s (CIC) Innovation Awards, which were launched in April 2015 to promote the development of new technologies and scientific breakthroughs for the benefit of the construction industry. At its award presentation ceremony on 15 December 2015 at the Government House, the Hon. Chief Executive of the HKSAR, C.Y. Leung, presented the Local Grand Prize of HK$300,000 to Prof. Albert Chan, Head of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE), and Ir S.C. Lee, Chairman of CIC, presented the 2nd Prize of HK$100,000 to Prof. Chi-Sun Poon of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). Prof. Chan and his research team won for their project on anti-heat stress clothing for construction workers in hot and humid weather, which was supported by a grant from the General Research Fund (GRF) in 2011. Prof. Poon’s project was a collaboration with Gammon Construction Ltd to develop carbon neutral construction products manufactured from cement and concrete wastes. It was backed by the Innovation and Technology Fund.

Submissions for CIC’s Innovation Awards must focus on one of three areas: construction materials, construction technology, or construction management. They are judged based on their innovation and originality (40%), impact (40%), and applicability (20%).
Prof. Chan (right) receiving his award Prof. Poon (right) receiving his award

CEE Scholars Rewarded with NSFC Research Grants

The Faculty of Construction and Environment is pleased that two of its leading scholars from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) have recently been awarded research grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Prof. Xiangdong Li has been allocated RMB$3,468,000 for a comparative study of the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions to identify the mixture effects and major toxicity drivers of ambient fine particulate matters, while his colleague Prof. Tao Wang has been allocated RMB$3,100,000 to study the heterogeneous chemistry of nitrogen oxides and impact on atmospheric oxidizing capacity and regional air quality in northern China. Both projects will be supported by PolyU’s Shenzhen Base and its Research Institute. The duration of the projects is from 2016 to 2019.

RGC Collaborative Research Fund Scheme 2015/16

A proposal for a thermal desorption aerosol gas chromatograph and time of flight aerosol mass spectrometer has recently been awarded funding of HK$4,258,296 from the RGC Collaborative Research Fund. Led by Dr Hai Guo of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), the proposed equipment purchase will enhance research on airborne particles and their impact on health and the environment. The 3-year project involves six other researchers, including Prof. Xiangdong Li, Associate Dean (Research) of FCE, Prof. Chak Chan of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Dr Linwei Tian of the University of Hong Kong, Dr Kin-Fei Ho and Dr Man-Nin Chan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as Dr Zi Ning of the City University of Hong Kong.

Large Equipment Fund for Teaching

A proposal for a compact driving simulator and SCANeR driving simulation package submitted by Prof. William Lam, Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), has been approved for a funding of HK$849,600 from PolyU’s Large Equipment Fund for Teaching. The equipment purchased will facilitate teaching in transportation engineering. Different scenarios with different types of roads, speed limits, traffic signs, and under various environmental conditions could be simulated. This can enhance lab experiments of road design, traffic control, and driving behavior in courses on transportation engineering. The Transport and Highway Engineering Laboratory of CEE will house the new equipment.

The driving simulator

Funding for eLearning and Blended Learning Development in LSGI

The Advisory Committee on eLearning (ACE) of PolyU has recently approved a funding of HK$600,000 to the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) to develop a massive open online course (MOOC) that introduces Urban Geo-informatics. Led by Dr Charles Wong, Assistant Professor in LSGI, the proposed interdisciplinary course covers topics such as Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Global Navigation Satellite Systems, Location-Based Systems, Utilities Survey, and Smart City application. It aims to nurture future leaders/ researchers in urban management with strong spatial information technology, computer knowledge, and urban theoretical background for the 21st century.

Other LSGI academics on the project team are Prof. Wen-zhong Shi, Head of LSGI; Prof. Esmond Mok; Prof. Xiaoli Ding, Associate Dean (Partnership); Prof. Wu Chen, Dr Lilian Pun, Prof. Janet Nichol, and Dr Wallace Lai.

PROCORE France/ Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 2015/16

Two academics from the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) have recently received funding from the PROCORE France/ Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme. Dr Meng Ni of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE) will receive HK$61,200 to work with Prof. David Farrusseng of the University of Lyon I on the development of novel all-porous solid oxide fuel cells (AP-SOFC) for long-term stable power generation using hydrocarbon fuels. Prof. Xiang-dong Li of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) will be granted HK$86,400 to collaborate with Dr Francois de Vleeschouwer of the University of Toulouse on the baseline, sources, and recommendations for potentially harmful trace metals in the Hong Kong and south China region. The funding will support the work on these projects for two years.

Germany/ Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme 2015/16

Dr Zhen Leng of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) has recently been awarded a two-year travel grant of HK$89,600 that is jointly funded by the Germany Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) to work with Prof. Markus Oeser of the University of RWTH Aachen in Germany on the sustainable treatment of asphalt pavement surface with TiO2-containing materials for cleaner air and alleviated urban heat island (UHI) effect. The objectives of the joint research are to optimize the application method and composition of the TiO2-containing material for asphalt pavements in terms of:

  1. its NOx degradation efficiency and durability;
  2. its temperature cooling effect; and
  3. its overall performance in air purification and UHI effect alleviation.

LSGI Excellence in Teaching Awards 2014/15

Two academic staff from the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) have recently been honoured with LSGI Excellence in Teaching Awards. They are Assistant Professor Dr Charles Wong and Teaching Fellow Mr Kent Lam.

Dr Charles Wong has demonstrated impressive e-learning development and excellent contribution to the teaching culture in the University. He successfully developed two small private online courses (SPOC) on remote sensing and proposed a department-wide massive open online course (MOOC) to introduce Urban Geo-informatics. He has also developed a pedagogical method for supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students, contributed to course management, and strived to connect with potential employers to channel career opportunities for students.

Mr Kent Lam has been very dedicated to the programme and curriculum development in LSGI. He has put great effort into integrating the Building Information Modeling (BIM) curriculum into the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programme, reviewing and improving the teaching and learning methods and materials of his taught subjects. In addition, he has been active in developing student exchange channels with international universities and related promotional activities.

Dr Wong (right) receiving his award

Mr Lam (right) receiving his award

Intelligent Transportation System Developed by CEE Scholar

An intelligent transportation system (ITS) developed by a team of researchers in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) has of late been widely reported in the local media. Led by Prof. William Lam, Head of CEE, the team made use of an integrated algorithm to estimate in real-time how long a particular route would take. To customize a reliable driving route for motorists, the algorithm takes into account the uncertainty of traffic networks (such as adverse weather and traffic accidents) and the on-time arrival probability of a traveler at a destination. Three types of traffic data are integrated and optimized, including:

  1. offline travel time forecasts;
  2. filtered real-time automatic vehicle identification data; and
  3. real-time video detector data to update the journey time and/or traffic speed once every two minutes

In addition, the research team plans to extend the ITS to the public transportation network. It will also develop a people-oriented traffic control system to help improve the network reliability of multi-modal transport.

International Symposium on Advances in Steel and Composite Structures 2015

A delegation from Chongqing University visited PolyU on 26 November 2015. Led by its President, Prof. Zhou Xiu Hung, the visitors met with the President of PolyU, Prof. Timothy W. Tong; the Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE), Prof. You-lin Xu; the Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Prof. William Lam; and Prof. Kwok Fai Chung, the Director of the Hong Kong Branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre for Steel Construction, to exchange information and review collaboration between the two universities. The delegation also attended the International Symposium on Advances in Steel and Composite Structures 2015 chaired by Prof. Xu next day. At the Symposium on 27 November 2015, Prof. Chung welcomed and presented a souvenir to the Guest of Honour, Ir C. K. Hon, Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) of the Development Bureau of the Government of HKSAR, who then delivered an opening address. The 30th anniversary of the China Steel Construction Society Awards for Outstanding Contributions were presented to Mr C.T. Wong and Mr H.Y. Lee, after which Prof. Chung announced the establishment of the Hong Kong Branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Steel Construction at PolyU. The keynote presentation was delivered by Prof. Zhou, who summarized the development of steel construction in China, the overseas opportunities for China’s steel construction, the challenges, and policies for expansion. Seven more presentations followed, including one from Ir Dr Michael Yam of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE), who also served as the Master of Ceremony for the symposium. Closing remarks were made by Ir Julian Lee, Senior Manager of the Construction Industry Council.

Prof. Zhou (third from right) with the President of PolyU (center) and a few FCE academic staff

CEE Academic Advocates Electronic Road Pricing

A public consultation on a pilot scheme to charge users electronically for going onto the roads in Central was recently launched by the government of the HKSAR. According to the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Prof. Anthony Cheung, Hong Kong has conducted research on this issue for more than 30 years, and it is now time to put it into practice. Concurring with him was Dr Wing-tat Hung of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), who pointed out that the existing technology could collect fees without infringing on commuters’ privacy, since it would not be necessary to collect the drivers’ records of vehicles.

The principle of “user-pays” has already been implemented in places like Singapore, Gothenburg in Sweden, and London in the UK, with the hours of operation from 8am to 6 (up to 8)pm. Both Singapore and Gothenburg charge different rates at different times in various zones on a “cordon basis.” In contrast, London charges a flat fee per day on an area basis. The cheapest cost charged on a “cordon basis” would be HK$3, while the most expensive one charged on an “area basis” would cost $140 per day. The experience of those cities suggests that traffic could be reduced by 15% during peak hours, and the average speed could be raised by 20%. Dr Hung believes that each pricing model has its own advantages: charging vehicles once on an area basis would be simple but not very effective; charging every time they cross the cordon points would be fairer but more complicated to implement.

The public consultation will last for three months, after which detailed boundaries and levels of charges will be set for further research.

Annual Partnership Meeting of FCE and RICS

On 2 December 2015, five representatives from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) met with academic leaders from the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) to brief one another on their current positions and latest developments. FCE was represented by Prof. Geoffrey Shen, Associate Dean (Teaching); Prof. Yat Hung Chiang, Associate Head of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE); Prof. Chi Sun Poon, Associate Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE); Dr Lilian Pun, Associate Head of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI); and seven programme leaders. In addition to a review on mutual aims and objectives, such as the development of collaborative programmes/ research in China, inclusion of relevant postgraduate level programmes, RICS would recommend recipients for their scholarships to PolyU.

RICS is a professional organization committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity. It has 8,000 members as of November 2015. Over 40% of its members in Asia are from Hong Kong, which represents the largest group of its Asian members. Since 2015, RICS have collectively named the different routes to professional recognition the “Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) route.”

Representatives of RICS and FCE academic staff

Visit to SCUT

From 18 to 21 December 2015, a dozen PhD candidates from the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) attended a workshop in Guangzhou organized by the South China University of Technology (SCUT). Led by Prof. Jian-hua Yin of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), the PhD candidates from FCE presented their research to their peers from SCUT, the City University of Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the University of Macau at the workshop, which included eight themes, namely earthquake engineering, wind engineering, fire engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural health monitoring, composite materials, and construction management. They also toured SCUT and visited some laboratories, such as the seismic simulation shaking table laboratory and the wind tunnel laboratory. The workshop promoted academic exchange and cooperation among the participating universities.

Participants at the workshop

Visit by SWJTU

A delegation from the School of Civil Engineering of Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) visited the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) on 10 and 11 December 2015. Led by Prof. Gao Bo, Dean of the School, the delegation of six met with Prof. You-lin Xu, Dean of FCE, who introduced them to the Faculty and its research strengths. As an example to showcase the Faculty’s research excellence, Prof. Kam-Tim Chau, Chair Professor of Geotechnical Engineering of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) was invited to give a presentation on landslides, rockfalls, and debris flows, which was well received by the audience. Prof. Gao then introduced the School of Civil Engineering at SWJTU as well as reported their research activities on high speed transport, bridges, tunnels, and roads. In attendance were 12 FCE academics and 22 research staff members/ students. Besides discussing opportunities for research collaboration, the visitors also toured the laboratories of LSGI and CEE.

The delegation from SWJTU and some FCE academic staff

CIB Sebestyen Future Leaders Award 2015

A team of three PhD students in the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE) has recently won the CIB Sebestyen Future Leaders Award. Miss Zhao Yijie, Miss Fang Zhou, and Miss Guo Shan will engage in a multilevel analysis of a construction project in Chongqing, China, to measure its safety climate. Their project aims to examine and assess relationships between safety climate components and workers’ safety behavior. Essential components will be identified to design intervention programmes and improve construction safety. Work on the project will last about one year, from December 2015 to December 2016. The Honorary Advisor of PolyU’s CIB Student Chapter is Prof. Francis Wong.

Miss Fang (left) and Miss Zhao (right)

Study Tour to Shenzhen

From 20 to 24 December 2015, a group of 40 undergraduates from the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) participated in a study visit to Shenzhen. Sponsored by the Ministry of Education of China under the “Ten Thousand Students Scheme,” this visit aims to provide tertiary students in FCE with opportunities to learn more about the cultures and latest developments of the construction and real estate industry in Shenzhen. In addition to exchanging experiences of their colourful university life with students at Shenzhen University, the FCE students visited a number of places of interest in the vicinity of Shenzhen, including the Shenzhen Hailong Construction Production Co. Ltd., the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research, the construction site of Ping An International Finance Centre, China Vanke Co. Ltd., as well as the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub. They had a great opportunity to see and learn more about industrial advances of the construction and real estate industry in a vibrant city, especially with respect to green buildings and construction industrialization. The tour was led by Prof. Geoffrey Shen, Associate Dean (Teaching) of FCE, supported by Dr Orianna Guo, Scientific Officer of the Ng Wing Hong Lab for Sustainable Cities, and Dr Fan Xue, Research Fellow in BRE, and six PhD students: Zhengdao Li, Bingxia Sun, Ming Luo, Kexi Xu, Lizi Luo, and Tao Yu.

FCE students at a construction site

Invitation for Programme Admission 2016/17

Applications are now invited for the following taught postgraduate programmes.

For details, please visit at

Master of Science (MSc)/Postgraduate Diploma (PgD)

Building Services Engineering 屋宇設備工程學
Civil Engineering 土木工程學
Construction and Real Estate 建築及房地產學
Construction Law and Dispute Resolution 建築法及爭議解決學
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
Project Management 項目管理
Sustainable Urban Development 可持續城市發展學

For programme details, please visit

Invitation for Postgraduate Scheme Entry Scholarship 2016/17

To apply for the entry scholarship, please click here to download the application form and submit it to us on or before 15 January 2016.


Faculty Public Lectures

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

Prof. Kincho H. Law

FCE Public Lecture
"A Data-Driven Control Optimization Approach Using Machine Learning – with Application to Wind Farm Power Maximization"

Date: 11 December 2015 (Friday) (Details)


Prof. Kincho H. Law
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Engineering Informatics Group
Stanford University

Prof. Eric J. Miller

FCE Public Lecture
"Operational Implementation of an Agent-Based Microsimulation Activity/Travel Demand"

Date: 16 December 2015 (Wednesday) (Details)


Prof. Eric J. Miller
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
Director, University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI)
Research Director, Travel Modelling Group (TMG) and Data Management Group (DMG)
University of Toronto

Prof. Markus Oeser

FCE Public Lecture
"Constitutive Models for Pavement Materials"

Date: 28 December 2015 (Monday) (Details)


Prof. Markus Oeser
Chair Professor of Pavement Engineering
Director of the Institute for Pavement Engineering
RWTH Aachen University

Forthcoming Events

Faculty of Construction and Environment Alumni Associations’ Ball 2016
Date: 8 January 2016 (Friday)
Time: 6:45p.m. – Cocktail Reception, 7:30p.m. – Ball
Venue: Silverbox Ballroom, Level 1, Hotel ICON
Table Reservation Form:
Advertising Booking Form:
Deadline: 9 December 2015

Information Seminar on Postgraduate Scheme in Construction and Environment
Date: 9 January 2016 (Saturday)
Time: 2:30 – 4:00pm
Venue: Y305, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

FCE Distinguished Lecture:
The Consumerization of GIS
Date & Time: 11 January 2016 (Monday), 6p.m. – 7p.m.
Venue: Room Y301, 3/F, Lee Shau Kee Building (Block Y), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Academic Vacancies - FCE Subscription   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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