BV wins grey water treatment plant consultancy at Anderson Road Quarry

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) has awarded a consultancy agreement worth HK$8.2 million to Black & Veatch Hong Kong Ltd (BV) for the investigation, design and construction of a proposed grey water treatment plant for the Anderson Road Quarry development.

The proposed grey water treatment plant forms part of a centralised government-operated grey water recycling system at the Anderson Road Quarry site, which will treat grey water collected from end users within the development for flushing use. The system will comprise the grey water treatment plant with associated pumpsets, a treated grey water service reservoir and pipes for the collection and delivery of grey water. The plant will have a treatment capacity of 3,300 cu m/day. Its construction is tentatively scheduled to commence in 2019 for completion in 2022.

BV will be responsible for carrying out the design, supervising site investigation, preparing tender documents, assessing tenders and supervising the construction of the grey water treatment plant.

"With the implementation of the proposed grey water treatment plant, the WSD is moving towards the establishment of a water supply structure comprising local yield, imported Dongjiang water, seawater for flushing, desalinated water, reclaimed water, recycled grey water and harvested rainwater. These six supply sources altogether will be the future pillars of water supply supporting Hong Kong with enhanced water security, reliability and resilience," said Luk Wai-hung, assistant director (new works) of the WSD.

Real-time trolley supply monitoring system developed for airport

The Department of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU), in collaboration with Hong Kong R&D Centre for Logistics & Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies and Airport Authority Hong Kong, has successfully developed a real-time trolley supply monitoring system at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) with the use of artificial intelligence techniques for analysing video content.

HKIA serves more than 70.5 million travellers in 2016 and handles over 1,100 flights daily. Around 13,000 baggage trolleys are distributed throughout the airport to cope with the enormous passenger flow. Maintaining a steady supply of trolleys has been one of the major concerns of HKIA. The CU team collaborated with HKIA in estimating baggage trolley availability at various trolley racks or pick-up points through machine learning techniques, image-based technologies and existing surveillance CCTV cameras.

The real-time trolley supply monitoring system, which can be connected to iOS and Android apps, enables frontline service providers and management to monitor trolley availability at all pick-up points. Different signals represent different levels of availability: yellow alert for quantity dropping to 50 or below, red alert for empty racks and green alert for normal supply of more than 50.

The system has reached an accuracy of 92%, enabling frontline staff to manage the allocation of trolleys for passengers in a timely manner.

HKU-led team develops low-cost super steel

A Hong Kong-Beijing-Taiwan mechanical engineering team from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has recently developed a super steel (also called D&P Steel as it adopts a new deformed and partitioned (D&P) strategy) which addresses the strength-ductility trade-off.

In some particular high-loading structural applications, metallic materials need ultra-high strength as well as high ductility and toughness to facilitate the precise forming of structural components and avoid the catastrophic failure of components during service. Unfortunately, increasing strength often leads to decrease in ductility, which is known as the strength-ductility trade-off.

It is very difficult to further improve the ductility of metallic materials when their yield strength is beyond 2 Gigapascal (GPa). However, the super steel developed by the HKU team has achieved high ductility with uniform elongation of 16% and an unprecedented yield strength of 2.2 GPa.

Additionally, the raw materials cost of the D&P steel is only 20% of the maraging steel used in aerospace and defence applications. This steel contains 10% manganese, 0.47% carbon, 2% aluminium, 0.7% vanadium (mass percent), with the balance being iron. The super steel can be developed using conventional industrial methods, including warm rolling, cold rolling and annealing, which facilitates mass production at competitive cost.

The research outcome is the result of collaboration among young scientists from the HKU, University of Science and Technology Beijing, National Taiwan University and City University of Hong Kong.

HKUST robotics team wins nine robotics awards

The Robotics Team of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) has won nine awards at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) competition in Long Beach, California in the US, including the world championship.

In the MATE contest, the ROV division of HKUST's Robotics Team Beluga beat 24 competitors from across Europe, the US, Canada, Asia and the Middle East to win the world championship and the Safety Conscious Award.

Contestants of the MATE competition are required to complete four tasks with their robots on hyperloop construction, light and water show maintenance, environmental cleanup and risk mitigation under the water within 15 min. They also have to formulate strategies and prepare relevant collaterals in promoting their ROVs, including compilation of reports to show that the machine fulfil all technical and safety requirements.


The underwater robot developed by the HKUST team. Image: HKUST

CU launches the first Department of Biomedical Engineering in HK

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU) has launched Hong Kong's first Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) to nurture biomedical engineering professionals.

The Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine are jointly providing professional training in biomedical and engineering sciences to solve medical problems through innovative research. Independent enrolment for the department's biomedical engineering undergraduate degree programme will begin in 2018-2019 with 50 places on offer.

The BME programme covers four specialty areas, namely medical instrumentation and biosensors; biomedical imaging and informatics; biomaterials and regenerative medicine; and biomolecular engineering and nanomedicine. Students are free to concentrate on one of the four upon completing the foundation courses. Although the programme is under the Faculty of Engineering, collaborative support is provided by the Faculty of Medicine. Students have to take biology and medicine courses offered by faculty members of the latter. They can also request professors from both faculties to be their supervisors for their final year projects.

HKPC Industry 4.0 demonstration centre

To help Hong Kong industry upgrade and transform into smart enterprises, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) has opened 'Smart Industry One', a first-of-its-kind demonstration centre for Industry 4.0 operation.

Smart Industry One features different demonstration zones, including a display of the 'consumer-manufacturer-customer cycle'; the 'control room', which simulates the digitalised operation of a smart factory, where real-time monitoring of various intelligent systems and data analysis can be done via integrated cyber solutions; and the intelligent and agile production cell that demonstrates the 'cyber physical production system' for producing personalised luggage tags as an example of mass customisation.

Another highlight is the cyber security zone, which illustrates the impacts of cyber attacks on industry control systems and the best practices to mitigate these threats. In addition, the robotics zone showcases various specific applications of industrial robots.

"Hong Kong enterprises should formulate Industry 4.0 strategy as soon as possible to lay the foundation for future migration. At Smart Industry One, the industry can see for themselves the core elements and operation model of Industry 4.0," said Willy Lin, chairman of HKPC.

HKRI Taikoo Hui to launch

HKRI Taikoo Hui to launch


HKRI Taikoo Hui, a major mixed-use development in Shanghai’s Puxi central business district, is due to launch later this year. The 500,000 sq m project comprises a shopping mall, two Grade-A office towers, two hotels and one serviced-apartment building. Both office towers are among the few commercial buildings in Shanghai to have been pre-certified for a LEED® Platinum rating. WSP serves as the MEP consultant and LEED Services consultant for the project. Image: Swire

Hactl introduces VR training

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl) has introduced a virtual reality (VR) training environment that will enable new staff to gain valuable experience.

Unlike existing training systems, Hactl's COSAC-VR provides users with an interactive, fully immersive, 360 deg, four-dimensional experience. The first phase covers aircraft cargo compartment operations, and other areas of Hactl operations will be included in future modules.

COSAC-VR overcomes the limitations of on-the-job-training in preparing new staff for working in ramp handling: the fast pace of work and the restricted opportunity to practise on real aircraft and ramp equipment. The system is fully portable and can be quickly set up in any location.

"COSAC-VR has reduced the reliance on real aircraft availability and suitable weather conditions for training, and trainees meanwhile can undergo work simulations in a totally safe environment. We have greater flexibility in scheduling training," explained Simon Yap, Hactl's senior manager - learning and development.

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