Staff, students win top grants and awards

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CityU staff and students continue to make strides in their scholarships and studies. Below is a sample of the latest research grants and awards they received in the past few months.

Sumitomo Grant



Mr C Raj Kumar , Deputy Director of City University's WTO Law and Dispute Resolution Centre and lecturer in the School of Law, has been awarded a research grant by Japan's Sumitomo Foundation. Mr Kumar's research topic, "Corruption and Human Rights-Promoting Transparency in Governance in Hong Kong, Japan and India," was in the category of Fiscal 2002 Grant for Japan-Related Research Projects.



The Sumitomo Foundation, which aims to contribute to the betterment of human society, received 217 applications for the fiscal 2002 programme from 11 Asian countries/areas. Approximately 45 projects were approved. The grants are given to projects in a variety of fields or disciplines that aspire to determine or help solve those problems which confront humanity. The programme aims to enhance mutual understanding between Asian countries and Japan through promoting research projects in the field of social sciences or humanities that are related to Japan.



Mr Kumar said his research project is significant because it will be conducted on the basis of a comparative study over a period of one year that will examine the laws, rules, regulations, institutions and other mechanisms in Hong Kong, Japan and India that prevent corruption and, at the same time, promote transparency and accountability in government. "As a developed country, the problem of corruption is quite different in Japan as opposed to India, where corruption significantly affects the very sustenance of growth and development policies," Mr Kumar said.



IT Entrepreneur award



Two City University students have won a one-week study tour at the University of Washington, thanks to a winning business plan. Ms Rachel Lui and Mr Matthew Chang , students from the Faculty of Business and Faculty of Science and Engineering, respectively, won the Gold Award in the Third HSBC Young IT Entrepreneur Awards on 27 March.



The HSBC Young IT Entrepreneur Awards aim to cultivate and inspire young people's interest in entrepreneurship and information technology. This year's contest required participating teams to develop an innovative business plan involving the use of information technology. Competitors from the post-secondary institutions had to go through four rounds of competition, from September 2002 to March 2003. Ms Lui, a year three student majoring in Accountancy and Information Systems, has an avid interest in fashion design, and Mr Chang, a year four student studying Computer Science, co-developed a business plan for an on-line fashion consultant, called "Mattrae & Company", to provide customers with personalized fashion advice. Ms Lui acted as the creative partner of the team, while Mr Chang, with his strong IT background, oversaw the technical side of the project. "The competition offered us an excellent opportunity to work with our imagination and creativity, and to learn entrepreneurial skills in an enjoyable and exciting way," Ms Lui said. "The training workshops hosted by practitioners from different industries enabled us to meet with some of the most successful and influential people in the business and IT worlds," Mr Chang added. Both of them agreed that they gained a lot from the competition and encouraged their fellow students to participate in similar competitions.



Building services award



An empirical study on energy consumption control of air-conditioning system in office environment won Mr Ryan Lee Lap-yan, a graduate of CityU's Department of Building and Construction, the first prize of the 2002 Hays Montrose President's Prize from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). The first Hong Kong engineer to receive this prestigious award, Mr Lee was presented with a trophy, a certificate and a cash award by CIBSE President Mr Doug Oughton in November 2002.



In his project "Performance of Variable-Air-Volume Air-Conditioning System under Reduced Static Pressure Control in an Occupied Office", Mr Lee conducted a year-round field study on implementing reduced static pressure (RSP) algorithm in an occupied office floor of 1,200 square metres net area in a local commercial building. The results showed that energy saving of up to 9% per year is achievable without sacrificing thermal comfort and indoor air quality.



Regarded by his teacher as a "brilliant and well-organized student" and by his colleagues as both "enterprising and diligent", Mr Lee works as a Building Services Engineer for Swire Properties Management Limited. Both Mr Lee and the company have benefitted from his research, said Mr Chan. "We consider Ryan's energy conservation control programme very practical, with a strong theoretical framework." Swire have applied it in several of their buildings and have had satisfactory results in terms of both energy efficiency and cost effectiveness.



With a growing demand for green, sustainable and intelligent buildings, the building services profession is playing an increasingly important role in modern society. "Building services serve as a bridge to integrate mankind's demands for quality homes with the infrastructure of the physical buildings," said Professor Andrew Leung , Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Building and Construction. The Department offers a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching and provides students with both academic knowledge and professional skills. "We provide students with the concept of full integration between various disciplines within building services engineering. We also emphasize the importance of integration between building services engineering with other trades within the building industry, such as architecture, surveying and property management," said Professor Leung.



CityU's building services engineering programmes have been accredited by the CIBSE. With a membership of 15,000, CIBSE is currently the only international body representing the building services profession. The Hays Montrose President's Prize is awarded annually by CIBSE for final year project works nominated by teaching institutions in the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong. Entries are reviewed by a panel and the final choice made by the CIBSE President.





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