Seminars

Colloquium: Smart City and Smart Industry: A HKPC perspective

Dr. Lawrence Chi-chong CHEUNG

Director, Technology Development
The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC)

Date: 21 June 2017 (Wednesday)
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
* Light Refreshments will be served starting from 5:30 p.m.
Venue: G4302, 4/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (AC1), City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

HKPC has been serving the Hong Kong Industry for 50 years with a wide range of services ranging from environment, manufacturing technology as well as automotive technology.   With the latest trend in Smart “everything”, HKPC has grouped its services into 2 key themes: Smart Industry and Smart City.  In this way, industry and potential partners alike can easily note the type of services that HKPC is offering.   In this seminar, Dr Cheung will give an overview of the Smart City and Smart Industry technology trends as well as some successful R&D outcome with a view of illustrating what HKPC has been doing and how some services are offered in partnership with other R&D institutions and universities.

About the Speaker

Dr. Lawrence Cheung has over 25 years of experience in research and development, consultancy and business. He manages a broad business portfolio on technological research and development as well as consultancy services in automotive, smart electronics, robotics and automation, medical devices, environmental management, smart materials and manufacturing technology and testing services etc.

He is currently the Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association; Honorary Advisor of the Hong Kong Electronics and Technologies Association; an executive committee member of the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association; an executive committee member of the Hong Kong Modern Enterprise Integration and Innovation Association; Member of Radio Spectrum and Technical Standards Advisory Committee (SSAC) of HKSAR Government Office of Communications Authority; Member of VTC Electronics and Telecommunications Training Board and Committee of Technologies Training of Vocational Training Council.

Prior to joining HKPC, Dr. Cheung was living in Australia holding a senior research post in Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia. He obtained Bachelor of Engineering with honours and Bachelor of Science degrees from Monash University in Australia. His doctorate degree was also from Monash University.  Dr. Cheung joined HKPC in 1996.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2414 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Technologies to Understand the Role of Complexity in Atmospheric Aerosol

Dr. David Topping

Senior Lecturer
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
The University of Manchester

Date: 28 June 2017 (Wednesday)
Time: 02:00 p.m. – 03:00 p.m.
Venue: B5-307, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (AC1), City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Aerosol particles are ubiquitous components of the earth's atmosphere. They affect the earth's radiative balance through scattering and absorption of radiation, and are also widely acknowledged as key determinants of air quality. Comprised of both inorganic and organic compounds, the latter could potentially comprise millions of compounds. Over many years the global research community have developed modelling and measurement capabilities designed to better understand their evolution and impacts. With these, we continue to hypothesise and identify new processes and molecular species deemed important. This, however, presents challenges that require novel technological developments. Atmospheric science is reaching a crossroad of exploration. Attempts to address climatic and health impacts implies improving the knowledge on aerosol composition and properties yet, sooner or later, we must take decisions on what to do with the complexity of both. Presently, I feel we do not have appropriate technologies or model development ethos to answer this. In this talk, I will present developments in a range of areas that attempt to address this challenge in a holistic way.

About the Speaker

Dr David Topping obtained BSc in Physics and PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 2001 and in 2005 respectively. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the University of Manchester. His research interests focus on building computational models of atmospheric aerosol particles for use in interpretation of measured properties and as sub models for incorporation into climate change models. This broad classification masks a hierarchy of models and techniques with greatly varying complexity and range of applicability.  In addition, the research area is highly multi-disciplinary, covering: Physics, Chemistry, Numerical methods and Computational Science.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 7359 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Watching Reactions Take Place at the Atomic Scale (and Learning From Them)

Dr. Neeraj SHARMA

Senior Lecturer & ARC DECRA Fellow
School of Chemistry
The University of New South Wales, Australia

Date: 28 June 2017 (Wednesday)
Time: 04:30 p.m. – 05:30 p.m.
Venue: B5-309, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (AC1), City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

The majority of the research undertaken in my group focuses on making better batteries to meet the demands of emerging applications. A large proportion of the function of batteries arises from the electrodes, and these are in turn mediated by the atomic-scale perturbations or changes in the crystal structure during an electrochemical process (e.g. battery use). Therefore, a method to both understand battery function and improve their performance is to probe the crystal structure evolution in operando, i.e., while an electrochemical process is occurring inside a battery.

So, in my group we use in operando neutron powder diffraction, with its sensitivity towards lithium, to literally track the evolution of lithium in electrode materials used in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. In addition, the ability to test smaller samples (e.g. in coin cells) with in operando X-ray powder diffraction has allowed us to probe other battery types, such as primary lithium and ambient temperature rechargeable sodium-ion batteries, and other configurations, such as thin film devices. With the information from these experiments we have directly related electrochemical properties such as capacity, battery lifetime and differences in charge/discharge to the content and distribution of lithium or sodium in the electrode crystal structures.

We are expanding our footprint in both the analytical techniques we use and the reactions we explore. Recent work has been directed towards realizing in operando neutron imaging, in operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy and in situ solid-state NMR allowing us to probe non-crystalline components in devices. We are also investigating formation reactions, i.e., literally watching synthesis of crystalline materials, and tracking the distribution of electrolytes during processes. The combination of these techniques and reactions provides more insight into the mechanism of device operation and the interactions at play.

Finally, materials discovery plays a large part in our synthetic work. We have two new research dimensions underway, the electrochemical tuning of the negative thermal expansion materials to obtain zero thermal expansion materials and the scaffolding of layer-structured electrode materials to increase electrochemical performance in rechargeable batteries.

This talk will provide a flavor of the work being undertaken in my group, emphasizing the highlights and our future directions.

About the Speaker

Neeraj completed his Ph.D. at The University of Sydney then moved to the Bragg Institute at Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) for a post-doc. He is currently a senior lecturer at UNSW, holding an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) transitioning in 2016 from an Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Research Fellowship. Neeraj has been the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Nyholm Youth Lecturer (2013/2014), won the NSW Young Tall Poppy Award and the UNSW Excellence Award for Early Career Research in 2014. Neeraj has over 90 publications and has been invited to present his work at over 20 conferences. Neeraj’s research interests are based on solid state chemistry, designing new materials and investigating their structure-property relationships. He loves to undertake in situ or operando experiments of materials inside full devices, especially batteries, in order to elucidate the structural subtleties that lead to superior performance parameters. Neeraj’s projects are typically highly collaborative working with colleagues from all over the world with a range of skillsets. Neeraj also enjoys science communication and has been actively involved in projects such as www.crystalsinthecity.com.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2414 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Sustainable and Resilient Design of Emerging Technologies and Urban Infrastructures

Dr. Shauhrat S. Chopra

Postdoctoral Researcher
Institute for Environmental Science and Policy
University of Illinois at Chicago

Date: 10 July 2017 (Monday)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Venue: Room B5-307, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (AC1), City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Cascading impacts of disruptive events including natural disasters like 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, infrastructure failures like the 2001 U.S. North-east Blackout, and epidemics like the H1N1 influenza are indicative of inherent vulnerability of our complex, highly interconnectedsociety. This vulnerability is further exacerbated by the threats of climate change and theuncertainty of their magnitude. Therefore, it is important to investigate the sources ofvulnerabilities and their mechanisms of propagation in order to prepare urban infrastructure for aresilient response. This presentation will discuss the integration of resilience thinking intomathematical models for sustainability assessment that can be viewed as a tool to informresearch, investment, and policy decisions. Unlike traditional approaches which predominantlyfocus on reducing environmental risks, the resilience-based approaches are better suited forunderstanding the tradeoffs between impacts and benefits in order to avoid unintendedconsequences of design decisions. I will describe applications and give examples of such toolsfor prospective assessment of sustainability and resilience of the built environment. In particular,I will explain how resilience thinking is applicable to both the design of urban criticalinfrastructure systems and the sustainable design of emerging technologies such as nano-enabledproducts whose potential environmental and health impacts are still unknown.

About the Speaker

Dr. Shauhrat S. Chopra obtained his Integrated Masters of Science in Systems Biology from the University of Hyderabad, India in 2011. He received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, in 2015. His doctoral dissertation was focused on resilience of complex systems including economic, industrial symbiosis, and critical infrastructure systems at national and regional levels. Currently, Shauhrat works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy, the University of Illinois at Chicago, on the U.S. EPA funded LCnano project focused on sustainable design of future transformative nano-enabled products. His data driven research is focused on designing indicators for sustainability and resilience of the built environment in support of environmental decision-making.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2412 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Towards Immensely Smart Sustainable Cities: From Self-driving Cars to Self-aware Buildings and Self-optimizing Grids

Dr. Sid Chi Kin CHAU

Assistant Professor
Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Date: 12 July 2017 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Venue: Room Y5-204, 5/F., Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (AC1), City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

The paradigm of “smart cities” is transforming our society by merging extensive computing and information technology with urban infrastructure, services, facilities, and resource management. However, most smart city projects focus on collection and dissemination of data. The potential of smart cities has been not fully realized for improving sustainability. In this talk, a vision towards immensely smart sustainable cities with a high degree of automation and computational intelligence is outlined, which features self-driving vehicles that can automate transportation without human assistance, self-aware buildings that can intelligently acquire dynamic knowledge of buildings for automated control, and self-optimizing grids that can optimize energy management in the presence of uncertain energy demands and supplies. This talk presents my recent research work for enabling immensely smart sustainable cities.

About the Speaker

Sid Chi-Kin Chau is an assistant professor with the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which was established in collaboration with MIT. His primary research area is sustainable smart city systems and applications - by applying computing algorithms, intelligent systems and data analytics to develop sustainable solutions for smart cities, including smart grid, smart buildings, intelligent vehicles and transportation. He also researches in broad areas of cyber-physical systems and Internet-of-things. Previously, he was a visiting professor with MIT, and a senior research fellow with A*STAR in Singapore. He received the Ph.D. from University of Cambridge and B.Eng. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has been on the program committees of top conferences in smart energy systems, such as ACM e-Energy, ACM BuildSys and IEEE SmartGridComm. He is a TPC co-chair of ACM e-Energy 2018. Further information about his research can be found at http://www.SmartSustainability.org/

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 7359 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Date: 21 July 2017 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Venue: B5-307, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (AC1), City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Tailored Solid Acid and Base Catalysts for Bio-Derived Fuels and Chemicals

Prof. Karen Wilson

Research Director
European Bioenergy Research Institute, Aston University

Abstract

Concerns over the economics of proven fossil fuel reserves, in concert with government and public acceptance of the anthropogenic origin of rising CO2 emissions and associated climate change from such combustible carbon, is driving academic and commercial research into new sustainable routes to fuel and chemicals. Catalysis has a rich history of facilitating energy efficient, selective molecular transformations, and in a post-petroleum era will play a pivotal role in overcoming the scientific and engineering barriers to economically viable, and sustainable, biofuels and chemicals derived from renewable resources. [1] The production of advanced biofuels, derived from biomass sourced from inedible crop components, e.g. agricultural or forestry waste, or non-food crops such as Jatropha Curcas or microalgae, necessitate new solid (heterogeneous) catalysts and processes to transform these polar and often viscous feedstocks. Here we discuss catalytic solutions for clean synthesis of sustainable biodiesel [2], the most readily implemented and low cost, alternative source of transportation fuels, and key challenges in the design and application of catalytic technologies for the upgrading of pyrolysis bio-oils [3] via liquid phase transformations over solid acids and bases in batch and flow processes [4]. Advances in the rational design of nanoporous solid acid and base catalysts, possessing hierarchical architectures (Figure 1) or tailored surface functionality, can deliver superior performance in the energy-efficient esterification and transesterification of bio-oil components into biodiesel [5], and conversion of cellulosic components into key platform chemicals [6].


Fig. 1. Hierarchical nanoporous catalysts for efficient biodiesel production from bulky bio-oils.

[1] G.W. Huber, A. Corma, Angew. Chem. Int.-Ed. 2007, 46, 7184.
[2] K. Wilson, A.F. Lee, Cat. Sci. Tech. 2012, 2, 884; A.F. Lee, J.A. Bennett, J.C. Manayil, K. Wilson, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2014,43, 7887.
[3] L. Ciddor, J.A. Bennett, J.A. Hunns, K. Wilson, A.F. Lee, J. Chem. Tech. Biotech. 2015, 90, 780.
[4] V. C. Eze, A. N. Phan, C. Pirez, A. P. Harvey, A. F. Lee, K. Wilson, Catal. Sci. Technol. 2013, 3, 2373.
[5] J. Dhainaut, J.-P. Dacquin, A. F. Lee, K. Wilson, Green Chem. 2010, 12, 296; J. J. Woodford, J.-P. Dacquin, K. Wilson, A.F. Lee, Energy Environ. Sci. 2012, 5, 6145
[6] A. Osatiashtiani, A.F. Lee, M. Granollers, D.R. Brown, L. Olivi, G. Morales, J.A. Melero, K. Wilson, ACS Catal 2015, 5, 4345.

Nanoengineered Catalysts for Sustainable Chemistry

Prof. Adam Lee

EPSRC Leadership Fellow
European Bioenergy Research Institute, Aston University

Abstract

The quest for sustainable technologies to meet the food, energy and material challenges of this century is a key driver for the design of next-generation catalysts and industrial chemical processes. Control over the rate and pathway of associated chemical transformations represents the Holy Grail for catalysis, [1] however while chemoselective oxidations and hydrogenations of alcohols and carbonyls respectively are cornerstones of traditional organic synthesis, catalysts for such applications have eluded rational design. Here we highlight how advances in inorganic synthesis, underpinned by nanoscale materials visualisation and molecular level insight into dynamic surface chemistry through in-situ time-resolved spectroscopies, [2] are unlocking new high performance catalysts. This approach is illustrated for noble metal catalysed cascade oxidations (Fig. 1), [3] and the chemoselective hydrogenation of allylic aldehydes, [4] which both deliver high value chemicals for the polymer, fragrance and flavourings sectors.


Fig. 1. (a) Spatially orthogonal functionalization of hierarchical pore network by Pd and Pd nanoparticles affords precise control over reaction sequence in the one-pot catalytic cascade oxidation of cinnamyl alcohol→cinnamaldehyde→cinnamic acid. (b) Cinnamyl alcohol consumption (blue), and cinnamaldehyde (yellow) and cinnamic acid (green) production over a spatially orthogonal, hierarchical Pd macroporous-Pt mesoporous SBA-15 catalyst significantly outperforms conventional bimetallic and monometallic SBA-15 analogues.

[1] X. Zhang, K. Wilson, A.F. Lee, Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 12328.
[2] A.F. Lee, C.V. Ellis, J.N. Naughton, M.A. Newton, C.M.A. Parlett, K. Wilson, JACS 2011, 133, 5724.
[3] C.M.A. Parlett, M.A. Isaacs, S.K. Beaumont, L.M. Bingham, N.S. Hondow, K. Wilson, A.F. Lee, Nature Mater. 2016, 15, 178.
[4] X. Zhang, L.J. Durndell, M.A. Isaacs, C.M.A. Parlett, A.F. Lee, K. Wilson, ACS Catal. 2016, 6, 7409.

About the Speaker

Prof. Karen WilsonisProf. Karen Wilson is Chair of Catalysis and Research Director of the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University, where she also held a Royal Society Industry Fellowship in collaboration with Johnson Matthey. Karen has a BA from the University of Cambridge (1992), an MSc in heterogeneous catalysis from the University of Liverpool (1993) and a PhD (1996) in heterogeneous catalysis and surface science from the University of Cambridge. Karen was appointed to her first independent academic position at York in 1999 where she stayed until 2009 when she was appointed to a Readership in Physical Chemistry at Cardiff University. Karen’s research interests lie in the design the design of tuneable porous materials for sustainable biofuels and chemicals production from renewable resources. She has published >180 peer-reviewed articles (h-index 45).

Web Page: http://www.aston.ac.uk/eas/staff/a-z/professor-karen-wilson/
Email: k.wilson@aston.ac.uk

Prof. Adam LeeProf. Adam Lee is Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and an EPSRC Leadership Fellow in the European Bioenergy Research Institute, Aston University. He holds a BA and PhD from the University of Cambridge, and has held Chair appointments at Cardiff, Warwick and Monash universities. His research addresses the rational design of nanoengineered materials for clean catalytic technologies, and the development of in-situ methods providing molecular insight into surface reactions, for which he was awarded the 2012 Beilby Medal and Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has published >180 peer-reviewed articles (h-index 44).

Web Page: http://www.aston.ac.uk/eas/staff/a-z/professor-adam-lee/
Email: a.f.lee@aston.ac.uk; Twitter: @ ProfAdamFLee

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2412 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Archive of Seminars