Prof. Asif Usmani, Head of the Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE), has recently been awarded funding of HK$33.333 million from the RGC Theme-based Research Scheme for his project entitled “SureFire: Smart Urban Resilience and Firefighting.” Addressing the key scientific challenges of smart firefighting and emergency response to make SureFire-based critical event forecasting technically possible and urban infrastructure more resilient to the fire hazards, the project is expected to last for 5 years, from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2024. The project team includes Prof. Heng Li of the Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE), Dr Qixin Wang of the Department of Computing, Dr Fu Xiao and Dr Xinyan Huang of BSE, Prof. John Shi of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI), Prof. George Huang of the University of Hong Kong, Prof. Xinzheng Lu of Tsinghua University, Prof. Jose Torero of the University College London, and Dr Stephen Welch of the University of Edinburgh.

This is the third FCE project that has been funded consecutively by the RGC Theme-based Research Scheme. In 2017/18, Prof. Tao Wang’s project on photochemical air pollution in highly urbanized subtropical regions received similar funding, followed by Prof. Jin-Guang Teng’s project on sustainable marine infrastructure enabled by the innovative use of seawater sea-sand concrete and fibre-reinforced polymer composites in 2018/19.

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Prof. Usmani (left) explaining the dynamics of a fire demonstration