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Issue 66 - April 2016


Table of Contents

FCE Academics Honoured in Geneva’s Invention Expo

The work of a number of academics of the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) has recently been honoured at the 44th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. Prof. Albert Chan, Head of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE), and his colleague Prof. Francis Wong received a Grand Prize and a Gold Medal for developing anti-heat stress clothing for construction workers in hot and humid weather. They also received the Prize of China Delegation of Invention and Innovation. Members of their research team included Dr Michael Yam, Dr Daniel Chan, and Dr Edmond Lam, as well as a few researchers from BRE and other institutions.

Receiving both a Special Merit Award and a Gold Medal for their research were Prof. Hongxing Yang of the Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE) and Dr Bo Wu of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI). Prof. Yang and his team, Dr Lin Lu and Dr Yuanhao Wang, were honoured for developing a highly dispersed nanocomposite paste for self-cleaning solar panels, while Dr Wu invented a 3D mapping model that integrates multi-platform satellite/ aerial imagery and laser scanning data. Dr Wu’s research team included Dr Han Hu, Dr Jian Guo, and Mr Lei Ye.

Held from 13 to 17 April 2016, the 44th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva was supported by the Swiss Federal Government, the State and the City of Geneva, as well as the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Prof. Chan (left) and Prof. Wong (right) with their awards
Dr Wu with his award

HKIPM Project Management Achievement Awards 2015

At the annual dinner for the Hong Kong Institute of Project Management (HKIPM) on 14 April 2016, two academics from the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE) were honoured for their research with the HKIPM Project Management Achievement Awards 2015. Prof. Albert Chan and his team won for their project on anti-heat stress clothing for construction workers in hot and humid weather. His colleague Dr Daniel Chan was the other winner. Dr Daniel Chan led a team to evaluate the key risk factors and risk sharing mechanisms for target cost contracting schemes in the construction industries of Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Dr Daniel Chan with his award certificate

FCE Departmental Reviews

To benchmark the performance of the four departments of the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) against the standards of overseas institutions, departmental reviews (DR) of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE), the Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE), the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) were recently held on different days (10-11 March for BRE, 6-7 April for BSE, 18-19 April for CEE, and 15-16 March for LSGI). Each cycle of a Departmental Review is for six years, and this is the second DR exercise conducted by Departments of the Faculty. Introduced in 2009/10 to replace the Departmental Assessment system which started in 1996/97, the DR system is a natural evolvement of the University’s quality assurance framework, from quality assessments of a department's past performance to quality enhancements, in order to provide major input for future strategic planning and visioning of the academic departments, as well as for international benchmarking. As an instrument for quality enhancements in academic departments, the DR adopted the following six parameters for benchmarking purposes: (i) departmental planning; (ii) organization structure; (iii) academic programmes, (iv) quality of students; (v) students’ learning experience and outcome, and (vi) support to students, infrastructure.

Chaired by the Dean of FCE, Prof. You-lin Xu, the review panel for each department is made up of a Departmental Academic Advisor, three overseas senior academics, and two local members (an external expert from industry or a relevant government department and a senior academic from another department of PolyU). Among the issues under review were each department’s mission, vision, strategic plan, organization, staffing and resources, its academic programmes, and its research development. Besides meeting with the relevant Departmental Committees, such as the Departmental Management Committee, Departmental Programme Committee, Departmental Learning and Teaching Committee as well as the Departmental Research Committee, each respective review panel also met with industry representatives, alumni, and students of the department concerned. Visits to Departmental laboratories and reviews of student works and examination papers were also conducted by panel members. Each DR concluded with a review of how the department compares with academic departments elsewhere in the same discipline areas and strategic input for its future planning, particularly with respect to international benchmarks was provided.

Review panel for BRE Review panel for BSE Review panel for CEE Review panel for LSGI

2016/17 HK PhD Fellowship Winners

The Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) is pleased that 10 of its incoming research students for 2016/17 will be supported by the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, which was launched in 2009 by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Government to attract the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their PhD studies in a local tertiary institution. Awarded based on academic merit, the Fellowship provides an annual stipend of HK$240,000 and a conference/ research-related travel allowance of HK$10,000 per year to each awardee for three years. Following are the details of the HK PhD Fellowship winners:


Awardee Nationality Supervisor
BRE Qian Chen

Chinese (Mainland)

Prof. Geoffrey Shen
BRE Emmanuel Kingsford Owusu Ghanaian Prof. Albert Chan
BSE Alessandro Del Pizzo Italian Prof. Cheuk Ming Mak
(nominated by RISUD)
Valeria Isabel Alvarado Roman Mexican Dr Mark Hsu
CEE Xiaoyi Lan Chinese ( Mainland) Dr Tak Ming Chan
CEE Haoxian Lu Chinese ( Mainland) Dr Hai Guo
(nominated by RISUD)
Fengling Zhang Chinese ( Mainland) Prof. Chi-Sun Poon
LSGI Mst Ilme Faridatul Bangladeshi Dr Bo Wu
LSGI Sidrah Hafeez Pakistani Dr Charles Wong


Milad Moradi Iranian Prof. Zhi-lin Li

FCE Academics Led Seminar for CPD

On 21 April 2016, three academics from the Faculty of Construction and Environment (FCE) gave a seminar on the use of remote sensing for monitoring vegetation in Hong Kong. Organized by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for the purpose of continuing professional development (CPD), the seminar covered some key features and technologies for monitoring vegetation, which contains large reserves of carbon that are vulnerable to disturbance from human activities such as development and climate change. Dr Charles Wong of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) talked about a Green Index Map of Hong Kong, while his colleague from the same department, Dr Wallace Lai, shared his research on tree trunks and tree roots using nondestructive survey methods. Dr Ben Leu of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) spoke about the effects of climate change on forests and carbon sequestration modelling. All three studies were the first of their kind to integrate multi-scale high resolution satellite imagery, airborne LiDAR data, in-situ measurements and numerical modeling to derive a baseline study on vegetation in Hong Kong. It is a relief that accurate estimates of vegetation, vegetation health, and biomass carbon in Hong Kong are available for ecosystem conservation and the future development of our city.

Dr Wong Dr Lai Dr Leu

Honorable Mention for LSGI Scholars

At the annual conference of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) in Fort Worth, Texas, on 13 April 2016, an award ceremony for the 2016 Talbert Abrams Award was held. Established in 1945, the Talbert Abrams Award encourages the recording of current, historical, engineering, and scientific developments in photogrammetry. The first Honorable Mention of the Award went to Dr Bo Wu, Associate Professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI), for his paper entitled “Accuracy analysis of a dual camera system with an asymmetric photogrammetric configuration,” while the second Honorable Mention was given to Dr Han Hu, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr Wu’s research team, for his paper entitled “Reliable spatial relationship constrained feature point matching of oblique aerial images.” Both papers were published in Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS), the flagship publication of ASPRS and one of the best journals in the field of imaging sciences, photogrammetry, and remote sensing.

New Academic Staff

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) welcomed two new professors in the beginning of May 2016.

Prof. Anthony Chen received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering specializing in Transportation Systems Engineering from the University of California at Irvine in the US. Prior to joining PolyU, Prof. Chen was a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Head of the Transportation Division at Utah State University in the United States for seventeen years. He also spent a year as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in the Department of Civil Engineering.

Prof. Chen was a recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2002. As of 2015, there were only six Chinese academics who have received this prestigious award in Transportation. Currently, he also serves as the Chang Jiang Chair Professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, China.

Apart from China and United States, Prof. Chen has taught in Korea and Thailand during his two sabbaticals in 2006 and 2013. In addition, many of his PhD graduates, visiting PhD graduates, and post-doctoral fellows are faculty members at different universities in Asia, including Tongji University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University in China, Asian Institute of Technology, Chiang Mai University, Kasetsart University, King Mongkot’s University of Technology, National Institute of Development Administration, and Bhurapa University in Thailand.

The major portion of his research focuses on transportation systems modeling and analysis, transportation network reliability/vulnerability/ flexibility/redundancy/ resiliency analysis, non-motorized transportation modeling, path flow estimator and its applications to transportation planning, and applied optimization to civil infrastructure problems.

Prof. Chen

Professor Agachai Sumalee received his BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology (Thailand) and MSc(Eng) with Distinction in Transportation Planning and Engineering at Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (UK). He received his PhD in 2004, and worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Leeds for 6 years before his first appointment at PolyU as Assistant Professor at the end of 2006. During 2005-2006, Professor Sumalee also spent time as a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo. Professor Sumalee was appointed Vice President of King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang and Director of Smart City Research Center between 2012 and 2016 before his return to PolyU this month as a full Professor. A Co-Editor-in-Chief and Founding Editor of Transportmetrica B: Transport Dynamics, a journal focusing on dynamical effects in transportation analysis, he is also an editorial board member of several leading journals in this area.

Professor Sumalee’s research interests include intelligent transportation system, smart city, Internet of Things (IOT) application in smart mobility, mathematical analysis in transport, and logistics management. He has published widely on these issues in international journals and books. Building on his research results, he has also developed several smart transport applications that can provide real-time management capability and allow users to respond to traffic incidents. His innovation of a Smart Mobility platform led to the ASPIRE Prize for him in 2014, which was given to the best scientist under 40 years old in the countries of the Asia Pacific Economic Community.

Prof. Sumalee

Eye-opening Internship for BRE Students in South Africa

Two surveying students from the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE) have gained practical experience of working in quantity surveying from a two-month summer internship in South Africa with RLB Pentad Quantity Surveyors Limited. Alex Wong and Kenneth Hui were exposed to different construction practices when they visited construction projects in South Africa. They worked with a project team for constructing a new academy building, and had a chance to visit the University of Pretoria. The internship did not only give Alex and Kenneth hands-on experience that complemented their learning at PolyU but also enabled them to gain an international perspective of today’s global construction industry.

Since the launch of Work-Integrated Education in 2006, students have been able to apply what they have learnt in classes to the workplace. It has played an indispensable role in the curriculum of full-time degree programmes at PolyU.

(from left) Alex, Mr Nicolas Sheard, CEO of RLB Pentad Quantity Surveyors Ltd., and Kenneth

Swimming Sensation Shares Secret to His Success

Alex Kwok, a Higher Diploma student in Building Technology and Management (Surveying), has been a swimming champion in the Men’s Breaststroke ever since he was in Form Five of secondary school. His commitment and dedication to the sport have brought him much success in the pool and given him many opportunities to travel overseas for swimming competitions. A current member of the Hong Kong National Swimming Team, Alex credits his success to not giving up even when others are skeptical of his abilities. His belief in himself has helped him to set new swimming records and made him a force to be reckoned with.

Alex Kwok (right)


The last sentence in the first entry of the March e-bulletin should have been:

“The rankings highlight the world’s top universities in 42 subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact.”

Invitation for Programme Admission 2016/17

Applications are now invited for the following taught postgraduate programmes. For further details and online application, please visit

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

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

Faculty Public Lectures

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

Prof. Mounir Bouassida

FCE Public Lecture
“On the Design of Column-Reinforced Foundations”

Date: 5 April 2016 (Tuesday) (Details)


Prof. Mounir Bouassida
Professor in Civil Engineering
National Engineering School of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis

Prof. Kumares C. Sinha

FCE Distinguished Lecture

“Transportation Infrastructure Asset Management in the New Millennium”

Date: 20 April 2016 (Wednesday) (Details)

Prof. Kumares C. Sinha
Olson Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering
Purdue University, USA

Forthcoming Events

The HKIE Conference 2016
Theme: Moving Forward to 2025—Hong Kong Industrial Development, Technology, and Innovation
Date: 20 May 2016
Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai

Career Advice Session at the RICS Hong Kong Annual Conference 2016
Date: 20 May 2016
Time: 12:15 - 15:30
Venue: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

RISUD Annual International Symposium 2016
Theme: Smart Cities
Date: 23-24 August 2016

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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