In recognition of Professor Joseph Hun-wei Lee’s contributions to hydro-environment science and engineering on the occasion of his 65th birthday
12-14 Dec 2017, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


The webpage for the Symposium on Hydro-environment Research for Smart Cities is updated on 9 Dec, 2017.

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The webpage for Hyrdo-environment symposium is updated on 15 Aug, 2017.

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The webpage for Hyrdo-environment symposium is created on 22 Nov, 2016.

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Hydro-environment for smart cities

Water engineering in the 20th century supported massive development and construction of water infrastructure lifelines in cities and rural areas around the globe. In the 21st century, the emergence of mega-cities (most of which are located in coastal or floodplain zones) as home to more than 70% of the world’s burgeoning population make these life- and economy-critical urban water systems (UWS) more important than ever. The increasing complexity of these water systems and the extreme dependence of mega-cities, their populations and economies on these systems means that the management, operation, and maintenance of these systems are more critical than ever. Urban water systems tap natural water resources; transport, purify and supply water; collect, treat, and dispose of wastewater; and drain urban areas and mitigate floods. Urban water systems are health-support systems, an economic engine, and a major contributor to the quality of life. Such systems have been designated by the US National Academy of Engineering as one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century. While UWS are, and will remain, crucial pillars of modern society, they have become increasingly wasteful and unsustainable. Aging water infrastructure may suffer from excessive reduction in carrying capacity; sanitary and stormwater runoff discharges pose significant water quality problems to receiving water bodies. There is accordingly a need to make these systems more environmentally friendly. Worldwide, UWS systems are also challenged by urban growth and climate change issues. The climate change threat is even more acute in coastal cities such as Hong Kong.

Through fundamental and applied research, water engineering in the 21st century is evolving to meet the increasing need for efficiency, robustness, and reliability. It will transform large-scale 20th century urban water systems into “smart” monitored and self-diagnosing sustainable mega-infrastructure systems that are more efficient, safer, more resistant to failures and increasingly sustainable. Talks at this symposium delivered by world renowned experts in hydro-environment research and practice will focus on topics and themes relevant to smart cities such as: i) climate change impacts; ii) environmental hydraulics; iii) smart urban water supply system infrastructure; iv) eco-hydraulics and eco-hydrology; and v) water quality.

The symposium

Prof JHW Lee

This symposium will also celebrate on his 65th birthday, the career, and contributions of Professor Joseph Hun-wei Lee to the field of hydro-environmental research. It will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Journal of Hydro-environment Research of which Professor Lee is the founding editor. Professor Lee is a highly respected academic well known to all in the water engineering field and is a leader in environmental hydraulics, especially the theory of buoyant jets and its applications to environmental engineering. His methods for predicting mixing of buoyant jets in moving water are used internationally for ocean outfall design and environmental impact assessment. Professor Lee was a former Chairman of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) Fluid Mechanics Section (1998–2002) and Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Division of the IAHR from 2003 to 2007. He is the first Asian-based academic to receive the ASCE Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award (2009) and has contributed significantly to innovative flood control practices and water quality modelling for fisheries management in Hong Kong. He is the past President of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences and Chief Editor of the Journal of Hydro-environment Research. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, in 2008, and received the IAHR Honorary Member award in 2015. It is befitting therefore that this symposium recognizes Professor Lee’s contributions to the field of Hydro-environment Research, to IAHR, and to Hong Kong.