PolyU Award-Winning Researches Help Withstand Natural Disasters

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Civil and structural engineering experts of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University were recently granted two first-honour research awards in the technology category by the Technology Development Centre, established under the Ministry of Education in Mainland China.

Civil and structural engineering experts of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) were recently granted two first-honour research awards in the technology category by the Technology Development Centre, established under the Ministry of Education in Mainland China.

Collaborated with mainland researchers, Prof. Chan Siu-lai and Associate Professor Dr Chau Kwok-wing of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, developed a method to design reliable steel structures and a reservoir flood control operation system respectively. Both innovations will help withstand natural disasters like earthquake and flooding.

Under the research titled "Nonlinear Analysis and Design of Steel and Other Structures", Prof. Chan Siu-lai and researchers of the Tongji University have formulated a practical advanced tool to analyse and design steel structures in which their structural behaviour can be predicted reliably, thereby enhancing the load bearing, anti-quake and anti-fire safety levels.

Prof. Chan explained that conventional structural design methods cannot predict the safety, durability and structure behaviour under extreme situations like fire, explosion and progressive collapse. The award-winning design tool can reliably reflect the effective length and buckling strength of structures under extreme circumstances and is, therefore, particularly useful in the quake-struck Chinese mainland where structural safety is a real challenge.

The new design concept has been applied to the code of industry practice as well as the design of a number of structures in the Chinese mainland, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Australia and Spain.

Another award-winning project is the invention of a reservoir flood control operation system, pioneered by Dr Chau Kwok-wing with researchers of Dalian University of Technology and Dalian Naval Academy. Taking 60 reservoirs and four river basin floodwater forecasting systems in the Chinese mainland as models, new technology is applied to this invention which emphasizes practicability and efficiency in the prevention of flood.

Dr Chau described that the newly invented flood control management system can analyse and forecast floodwater level based on the knowledge of decision-makers, historical flood control cases and real-time information and, in turn, formulate flood control proposals and facilitate timely decisions. Due to its expandable nature, this system has proved to be effective and highly practicable. Currently, this novel system has been installed in 60 medium to large-sized reservoirs in the Chinese mainland.

http://www.polyu.edu.hk/cpa/polyu/hotnews/details_e.php?year=2009&news_id=1595

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