Expert Talks for Secondary School

To help broaden the knowledge of the younger generation in the fields of energy and environment, the School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, offers a number of talks to the secondary school students in Hong Kong. Given by the professors in the School, the talks can be conducted in the CityU campus in Kowloon Tong or the secondary schools as requested.

Interested secondary schools are welcome to contact the School at the following methods for arrangement.

By email:
By fax: 3442 0688

Topic & Brief Description Language Speaker*

Air Pollution and Cooking

Particulate matter (PM) will induce health issues and hinder the visibility of the cities. Part of the “contributions” lies on the restaurants. Through the talk, you will understand how and why the cooking process in restaurants will create potentially hazardous PM and adversely affects the environment and human health.


Prof. CHAN Chak Keung

Assessing the Environmental Health Risks of Industrial Process-affected Wastewater Using Fish Model

Large amounts of industrial process-affected wastewater are being produced every day. Discharge of this wastewater into aquatic ecosystem, either post-treatment or by accidental spill, draws a lot of public concerns. The occurrence, toxicity and potential impact of emerging chemicals of concerns (ECCs) in this wastewater and its receiving water still need further characterizations. In addition, this issue is even complicated by the complexity of mixture of, in many cases, unknown constituents. A combined targeted and non-targeted study approach using chemical analysis and fish embryo model is a great means to study the potential environmental impact of this wastewater. This presentation demonstrates our efforts on utilizing this concept studying the hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water (HF-FPW) in Alberta, Canada. Overall, these studies improve our understanding on this complex petroleum-associated wastewater and its potential impacts on aquatic ecosystem, and provide fundamental information for regulation, monitoring, remediation, and management of this wastewater.


Dr. Henry HE

Building Energy Efficiency – Energy Saving is Just around You Buildings consume a huge amount of energy, responsible for 90% of the total electricity use in Hong Kong. There are many energy management opportunities (EMOs) for building energy efficiency. They can not only lower your energy bill, but also reduce your carbon footprint. Some EMOs requires significant renovations for systems or buildings, while many EMOs are easy to implement. In this talk, we will discuss various EMOs in our daily life and you will obtain effective energy savings right away.


Dr. Wei WU

Carbon Capture and Storage – An Effective Way to Combat Global Warming

To meet the high demand for energy, the burning of fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas has been increasing since the beginning of industrialisation and will continue to dominate the energy supply for the foreseeable future. Burning fossil fuels leads to emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which contributes to global warming. One effective way to mitigate global warming is to capture and store the emitted CO2 to prevent it from polluting the atmosphere. This talk will introduce carbon capture and storage technology with a particular focus on adsorption technology for CO2 capture.



Economic Thinking in Energy and Environmental Policy

Pollution and global warming are two of the hottest issues in current public and policy debates. Governmental bodies – local, regional and international – have implemented a series of policies to tackle these issues. In this talk, the speaker will discuss how to understand and evaluate these policies from the perspective of economics.



El Niño and Extreme Weather: Is There a Connection?

This talk aims to provide students with an understanding of contemporary climate issues, to broaden students' knowledge about El Niño, and to raise their awareness of extreme weather in a changing world. It covers issues such as weather and climate in our lives, the history of our changing climate, sea level rise and our future, El Niño events and disastrous climate, tropical cyclones, and response to climate change. It intends to enable students to contribute to the debate on global environmental change and societal adaption strategies, to connect scientific world with daily life and to help them become better informed citizens and decision makers.


Prof. Wen ZHOU

Electric Vehicle in Our Life

Electric vehicles (EVs) becomes more popular in our daily life. Different from conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, EVs have more potential to connect with our life by human-machine interfaces like personal computers. In this way, EVs would have more intelligent features for near future application, such as autonomous driving, autonomous navigation, etc. This talk will introduce emerging technologies of future EVs for our life.


Dr. Chunhua LIU

Environmental Justice and Quality of Life

In this talk, the speaker will first apply the theory of justice to analysing the distribution of environmental impacts at a global, country, regional, and neighbourhood level. Then the speaker will review, for correcting environmental injustice, public protests and environmental movements have pressured the government to change the paradigm of development. Lastly, the speaker will discuss how quality of life and happiness have guided some pioneer countries in their national development planning. Of course, the implications for Hong Kong will also be discussed.


Dr. Wanxin LI

Extraction of Molecular Hydrogen from Wastewater

Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a clean energy carrier with high energy density. It is also a chemical reagent for petroleum refining as well as ammonia production. Currently, major production way is based on fossil fuel transformation, including the steam reformation of methane. Water splitting is another popular potential way in producing H2 with low or zero carbon footprint but water decomposition is a thermodynamically challenging reaction. Wastewater containing organic pollutants such as pharmaceutical wastewater, leachate, and industrial process water, on the other hand, can be potentially used to produce H2 with reduced energy requirement during the oxidative removal of such organic carbon inherently present in the water stream. We examine a few potential methods to simultaneously oxidise the organic component (pollutant) in the water and reduce the proton to liberate molecular H2. In particular, electrocatalysis, photocatalysis and photoelectrocatalysis are developed. Challenges encountered in this waste-to-energy conversion process will be tackled.


Dr. Yunhau NG

Fail-Safe vs. Safe-To-Fail Systems: How to Design Resilient Infrastructure?

Large direct and indirect impacts across national and international boundaries of natural disasters like 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, infrastructure failures, like the 2001 U.S. North-East blackout, epidemics like the H1N1 influenza, terrorist attacks like the 9/11, and social unrests like the Arab Spring are indicative of the vulnerability associated with growing complexity. There is an urgent need to understand resilience of complex systems to move from the fail-safe paradigm to safe-to-fail approached to engineering. This talk will introduce the concept of resilience along with its various definitions; discuss the relationship between resilience and sustainability; and present ways to build resilient systems of the future.


Dr. Shauhrat CHOPRA

Future Advanced Energy Efficient Technologies

In modern life, people spend a large portion of time in indoor environments. A huge amount of energy is consumed in order to provide a comfortable indoor environment. For example, almost 90% of the total electricity in Hong Kong is consumed by buildings at end-use level as stated by the government. Among different electricity end-uses, thermal systems contribute to a significant consumption of electricity in buildings, with 36% of electricity used to power space conditioning and refrigeration systems. In this talk, the speaker will talk about some new future cooling schemes for use in buildings, followed by a discussion of the current research challenges in energy efficient cooling technologies.


Dr. Edwin TSO

How to Turn Food Waste into Chemicals and Materials?

Current technologies for the production of chemicals, materials and fuels depend mainly on fossilised hydrocarbons. However, the depletion of fossil resources and the increasing concern of environmental issues have created the need for the development of the sustainable alternatives based on renewable raw materials. Many chemicals that used to produce via chemical processes can now potentially be generated biologically from renewable raw materials. The talk will introduce a novel food waste-based biorefining strategy for the production of nutrient-complete feedstocks for the production of biochemicals, biofuels and biopolymers.


Dr. Carol LIN

Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Materials for Solar Energy Application

Hybrid organic-inorganic materials will play a critical role in the development of advanced functional materials. They can be broadly defined as molecular or nano-compositions with organic and inorganic components. Hybrid perovskite materials have been rapidly adopted for solar energy applications since 2009 because of their impressive features, such as a high absorption coefficient and long exciton diffusion length. We are right at the start of this material revolution, which is expected to have a positive influence on renewable and alternative energy. The speaker will introduce the basic knowledge related to hybrid materials, photophysical properties, photoelectrochemistry and solar cells.


Dr. Sam HY HSU

Marine Water Environment in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is surrounded by coastal and marine environments, which are very unique. Human and marine are inter-connected and closely related. What are the interesting marine environments in Hong Kong? How the human activity in Hong Kong can affect the marine environment, and conversely, how the marine environments can provide important resources to people in Hong Kong? In this talk, I will highlight some of the very unique marine environments in Hong Kong, especially with respect to the protection of marine environment.


Prof. Wenxiong WANG

New Technology for Drinkable Seawater

Water is everywhere: in the air, clouds, rivers, oceans, ice, plants and inside the Earth. However, 97% of water is saline and in the oceans. Therefore, converting seawater into drinking water can be considered one of the best alternative water resources: the new desalination plant will be located in Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong, in the near future. This talk will review water technologies and novel technologies that have the potential to achieve sustainability for desalination. It will also discuss the next generation of desalination in three folds: increase water recovery (reduce brine/concentrate), lower energy use, and increase resource (minerals) recovery.


Dr. Alicia AN

Predicting the Weather and Climate

Humans have been trying to predict the weather and climate for thousands of years. Thanks to developments in atmospheric science, computer science and mathematics, our ability to do so has improved dramatically over the last 50 years. Indeed, the advent of accurate short-term weather forecasts, which are now taken for granted by everyone, represents one of the great scientific and technological triumphs of the 20th Century. However, many uncertainties remain. This talk will review the scientific basis for predicting the weather and climate. It will also discuss the outstanding challenges and the prospects for the future.


Dr. Keith NGAN

Renewable Energy - The Only Way to Go for a Sustainable Future

Our heavy reliance on fossil fuel and nuclear power has caused serious environmental impacts and energy crisis. The ultimate solution is to switch to renewable energy, such as solar, wind and ocean energy, for achieving a sustainable future. In this talk, the Speaker will give an overview of the renewable energy resources and technologies, followed by a discussion of the upcoming challenges and opportunities in the renewable energy industry.


Prof. Michael LEUNG

Self-Cleaning Clothes: A Virtual Reality

In Hong Kong, high humidity favours the growth of mould and bacteria, making cleaning a daunting daily task. Moreover, with the high population density, the spreading of antibiotic-resistant pathogens remains a growing global concern. Therefore, with increasing demand toward hygienic, self-disinfecting, and contamination-free surfaces, interest in developing efficient self-cleaning, protective materials has grown. Using nanotechnology, nano-sized coatings of titanium dioxide on fibrous materials have been achieved. These fibres can clean themselves when exposed to light. Self-cleaning may one day become a standard feature of textiles and clothing. This would improve the environment through reduced use of water, energy and petroleum-derived detergents. There would be a benefit to the quality of life if cleaning clothes was as simple as hanging them on the line.


Dr. Walid DAOUD

Tackling the Pressing Energy Challenges: from Fundamentals to Real-life Examples

In the modern society, we consume a large amount of energy every day. The ever-increasing energy consumption and reliance on the fossil fuels have resulted in pressing challenges like energy shortage and environmental problems. Addressing these issues requires innovative solutions in areas like renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency and pollution control. To develop such solutions, one needs knowledge crossing the boundaries of traditional scientific and engineering disciplines. In this talk, we will discuss some interesting in scientific and engineering knowledge. Then, we will highlight innovative examples to tackle the energy challenges we face nowadays.


Dr. Patrick SIT

The Afterlife of Smartphones

Where do smartphones go when they “die”? Come find out! This talk explores how smartphones are recycled and what kind of valuable resources can be recirculated back to the electronic industries. We will also talk about how smartphone companies can improve their future product designs to enhance smartphone’s recyclability.

English / Cantonese

Dr. Jason LAM

The Essential Role of Fundamental Laboratory Studies in Solving Today’s Air Pollution Issues

Air pollution poses serious impacts on climate, human and ecological health. Addressing today’s most pressing and complex air pollution issues will require a three-legged stool approach of laboratory experiments, ambient observations, and modeling studies. Each leg of the stool is only as stable as the fundamental chemistry that underpins it. This talk will discuss how laboratory studies serve as an essential bridge between ambient measurements and air quality models, and provide the fundamental physics and chemistry of the underlying mechanisms of phenomena observed in the field, which is the basis for generating physically meaningful parameterizations for use in air quality models.


Dr. Theodora NAH

The Science Behind Haze

Haze is one of the most important forms of air pollution which causes harmful effects on human health and reduces visibility. The formation of haze is related to pollutant emissions from a variety of natural and human-made sources, and more important, the meteorological condition and atmospheric chemical reactions. The talk will focus on the basic chemistry and physics related to haze formation, and the corresponding scientific strategies on solving haze pollution.


Dr. Xuan WANG

Turning Food Waste to Energy

Everyday Hong Kong generates 3,500 tons of food waste. Sending food waste to landfills will not be sustainable in the long run. Instead, we can use biological processes to turn these organic matters into energy. Let's find out together how we can make use of biology to make this happen.


Dr. Patrick LEE

What is in Your Cell Phone Battery?

Battery is a common device that is found in all mobile electronics such as cell phone, iPads and laptops. It is often regarded as a "black box" that allows us to play games, surf the web, WhatsApp your friends, etc. Most people nowadays develop a very emotional attachment to it – anxiety rises when the battery power is low. Connection to the outside world seems to stop when the battery is dead. In this talk, we will look inside the black box to see how electricity and energy is stored and extracted. We will describe the science inside a battery, and the technological and manufacturing developments that enable mass production of the batteries. Why do we have to charge our cell phone so often? We will answer this question from the perspectives of energy supply, energy demand and user behaviours.


Dr. Denis YU

*For more information of the speakers, please refer to