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ME scholar secures research funding from the Environment and Conservation Fund exercise

Dr Randolph C. K. Leung, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a HK$1.63 million worth, three-year grant for a research project on the development of innovative close-proximity (CPX) technology for measurement of tyre/road interaction noise of Hong Kong traffic, together with his colleague Dr W. T. Hung from Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The project is jointly supported by the Environment and Conservation Fund, The Government of HKSAR and Woo Wheelock Green Fund. It aims to advance the ground-breaking two-wheel CPX technology the team proposed over last few years. The emphasis is put on the suppression of vibration-induced bias errors and removal of background noise influence that arise during on-road tyre/road noise measurement in the cityscape in Hong Kong.

Similar to other major metropolitan cities worldwide, noise is a serious environmental problem in Hong Kong. However, worse than other metropolitan cities, the cityscape of Hong Kong is filled with connected street canyons composed of closely packed high-rise buildings, which render a community acoustic environment that tends to make the noise at street level endure much longer. Consequently majority of population in Hong Kong has long been affected by excess road traffic noise alone, making it the biggest noise problem of the city. Road traffic noise is generated by the three sources, namely the vehicle engine, the aerodynamic (wind drag while in motion) of the vehicle and the interaction between the rolling tyre and the road surface. Thanks to the advancement in vehicle technology, the contributions of the first two sources have been reducing significantly over last two decades. The tyre/road interaction noise is expected to be dominant in foreseeable future.

The project outcomes are expected to advance the CPX technology with a capability of measuring the temporal and spectral characteristics of tyre/road interaction noise, particularly within low-to-mid frequency range, in the cityscape of Hong Kong in a fast and more accurate manner for faithful assessment of noise performance of various tyre and road surface combinations. The result of assessment in turns forms a more reliable basis for leveraging the different low-noise road surface and tyre technologies for traffic noise reduction in Hong Kong.