CityU professor receives highest honour in wind engineering


Professor Li Qiusheng from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has been awarded the 2016 Jack E. Cermak Medal by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Professor Li is the first Chinese scholar in the world to receive this honour, which is the highest in the field of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics. The award presentation ceremony will be held in the US in May.
Professor Li’s research interests and technical expertise are in wind engineering, structural dynamics and computational mechanics. By combining and applying field measurement, wind tunnel testing, numerical simulation and theoretical analysis, his research team has made significant contributions to enhancing building safety through the systematic study of boundary layer wind characteristics and wind effects on structures. Examples are as follows:
  • The Wind and Structural Health Monitoring Systems developed by the research team were installed in a number of super-tall buildings including Ping An International Finance Centre in Shenzhen (640 metres high), International Finance Centre Two in Hong Kong (420 metres), Citic Plaza in Guangzhou (390 metres), and Guangzhou West Tower (432 metres). The systems can monitor wind action and pressure from typhoons on curtain walls and buildings as well as structural responses, which provide reliable scientific information and guidelines for the wind-resistant design of super-tall buildings.
  • Based on long-term measurements from numerous monitoring means, the profiles of wind speed and turbulence parameters within the atmospheric boundary layer over various terrain conditions have been established for the wind-resistant design of super-tall buildings.
  • A series of groundbreaking achievements have been made in the field of computational wind engineering, such as a new large-eddy simulation sub-grid model and a turbulent flow field generator; new numerical simulation method of wind-driven rain based on the Eulerian multiphase model and a new method for fluid-structure interaction for turbulent flows with high Reynolds number. A whole set of software for numerical wind tunnel testing was developed for engineering applications based on the new methods.
  • Wind tunnel experiments over a much larger range of turbulence scale than previously studied were conducted to explore the effects of turbulence on pressure fluctuations in separated and reattaching flows which enhanced the understanding of the effects of turbulence on bluff body aerodynamics.
“Tropical cyclone is one of the most serious natural disasters in the world, often causing casualties and economic damage in coastal areas of southeast China. Our research results are significant in the sense of helping to safeguard the lives and assets of many people,” Professor Li said.
Since joining CityU in 1996, Professor Li has received numerous awards and honours, including the National Natural Science Foundation of Chinese Outstanding Overseas Scientist Award in 2004, Cheung Kong Chair Professorship by the Ministry of Education in 2007, and the 2010 First Class Award of Scientific and Technological Progress from the Ministry of Education.
Aiming to recognise excellence in the field of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics, the Jack E. Cermak Medal is presented once a year to a recipient selected from around the world. The prestigious award is ordinarily granted for cumulative distinguished contributions in wind engineering. The selection panel commented that Professor Li had “made many contributions to wind engineering that range from fundamental to applied research as well as structural dynamics studies on major building developments in Asia and the Pacific region.”  
Since its launch in 2000, the Jack E. Cermak Medal has been presented to a total of 12 wind engineering luminaries, who are mostly academicians of science or engineering in Australia, Canada, UK and US. Six of them have been or is currently chairman of the International Association for Wind Engineering.
“I’m very honoured to receive the prestigious award and I’m grateful to CityU for its support over the years. The award also shows international recognition for CityU’s academic achievements,” Professor Li said.
Over the years, Professor Li has authored three books and published more than 250 papers in international journals. He currently serves as the associate editor of the Journal of Structural Engineering of the American Society of Civil Engineers and an editorial board member for 12 international scientific journals.


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