SENG-led Project to Enhance Slope Safety Receives Massive Funding Boost



Professor Charles W. W. NG, CLP Holdings Professor of Sustainability and Chair Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the School of Engineering (SENG), together with his interdisciplinary team, have been awarded HK$91.852 million by the University Grants Committee (UGC) to spearhead a visionary project starting this year.

In this 8-year project, a world-leading interdisciplinary Centre for Slope Safety will be established to provide innovative and environmentally friendly solutions to cope with future rainfall scenarios. The Centre draws on Hong Kong’s intellectual assets not only from four local universities - The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) - but also government departments including the Geotechnical Engineering Office and the Hong Kong Observatory, as well as the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute, together with three overseas experts.

This project, coordinated by Prof. Ng, is supported by the Eighth Round Exercise Funding from the Areas of Excellence (AoE) Scheme under the Research Grants Council of the UGC. This is the second ever AoE-funded project in SENG, and the amount of funding it gets is also the highest among the three projects in Hong Kong receiving this round of funding.

With the right credentials and proven track record, the Centre will deliver (i) a multi-tiered landslide early warning system and green risk mitigation measures; (ii) an advanced artificial intelligence system for predicting extreme weather conditions affecting slope stability; (iii) a monitoring system applying deep learning analysis to data obtained from satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and terrestrial sensors; (iv) a dynamic stress-testing method for landslide risk analysis and management; (v) novel Massive Open Online Courses for the general public and practitioners; and (vi) world-class physical testing facilities and an advanced constitutive model with the multi-phase material point method for slope stability and large deformation predictions.

The solutions to be provided by the Centre for Slope Safety will benefit the social, economic and academic well-being of landslide-prone Hong Kong, and they are expected to be adopted by countries also threatened by landslides, such as Brazil, Italy and Japan.




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