February 21, 2024

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PolyU Collaborates for Cutting-Edge Railway Tech

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) received funding from the MTR Academy’s 2023 MTR Research Funding Scheme for six forward-looking research projects aimed at exploring advanced railway technology applications. PolyU researchers from the Faculty of Construction and Environment and the Faculty of Engineering will lead these innovative research projects to initiate cutting-edge technologies for the future advancement of railways. These six projects received a total funding of HK$7.25 million.

The funded research projects encompass a broad spectrum of potential applications for environmental, social, and governance aspects of rail operations and smart community development. Leveraging PolyU’s academic and research excellence in construction, environment, and engineering, these projects developed innovative solutions for emergency evacuation, achieving sustainable development goals, noise control in railway engineering, autonomous modularised trains, and fire resilience.

Launched by the MTR Academy in February 2023, the MTR Research Funding Scheme supported forward-looking research projects that explored, shaped, and realised the mass public transport systems of tomorrow, breached the boundaries of current solutions and thinking, and offered insights into achieving services and operational excellence for tomorrow’s transport. The maximum total funding for each proposal was up to HK$1.5 million for three years.

The faculty of Faculty of Construction and Environment will be developing the following:

  • Intelligent Emergency Digital Twin System in Metro Station for Fire Evacuation

The proposed advanced safety monitoring system utilises cutting-edge technologies such as AIoT, computer vision, and deep learning to achieve a smart response and evacuation process during a fire emergency. This system can anticipate the movement of people and the risk of stampedes during a fire incident, offering real-time guidance through dynamic exit signs. Furthermore, it can identify the status and actions of individuals to locate those requiring immediate assistance near the fire scene and relay this information in real-time to firefighters and rescue teams.

  • Integrating Fire and Toxicty Predictions through CFD-MD Simulations for Improved Modelling of Pedestrian Movement and Fire Resilience Designs in Metro Stations

The recognition of combustion byproducts that are crucial for toxicity, including those produced during the burning of specific building materials, remains a challenge. This project aims to create a novel approach that combines and models the nonlinear pyrolysis-combustion kinetics using Molecular Dynamics characterisation of thermal degradation, validated by thermal gravimetry data. It also considers the formation pathways and predictions of toxic chemicals and smoke/soot particles, which will contribute to the design of firefighting and evacuation systems.

  • Development of a Novel Inerter-based Rail Damper for Minimising Ground-borne Noise Generated by Railways Using a Deep Learning Framework Informed by Physics

The use of rail dampers is an effective method to reduce structure-borne noise caused by railway vehicles. However, these dampers face installation challenges and performance limitations. To address these issues, this project proposes a new rail damper design based on inerters within a metamaterial structure. This design aims to improve the transmission of forces within a mechanical system. Additionally, a physics-informed neural network approach with a time-sequencing element will be applied to optimise the structural design.

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Engineering will be developing the following:

  • Development of an Electromagnetic Energy Harvesting System for Powering Monitoring Systems in the Hong Kong MTR System

The objective of this project is to create a sustainable energy supply system for wireless sensor networks (WSNs) by employing electromagnetic energy harvesting (EMEH) techniques that do not disrupt the operation of the railway system.

Utilising EMEH techniques to energise WSNs will establish a durable and comprehensive monitoring network, facilitating the advancement of sustainable and intelligent railway systems. The project aims to deliver a cost-effective, efficient, reliable, scalable, and sustainable solution for powering railway monitoring and condition assessment systems.

  • Planning and Operation of Future Railway Systems Using Autonomous Modular Trains and Virtual Coupling Signalling

This project presents a vision for future railway systems, achieved through the implementation of autonomous modular trains operating under virtual coupling signalling. This approach is designed to manage the temporal and spatial variations in passenger demand effectively. The proposed plan encompasses three phases: the development of optimisation models and algorithms for scheduling, the exploration of rescheduling methods, and the investigation of energy-efficient trajectory planning.

  • Advancing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Initiatives in the MTR for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Enhanced Service Quality

This project seeks to establish a systematic and comprehensive criteria system for assessing performance in relation to ESG and sustainable development goals (SDGs). By integrating multi-criteria decision-making methods and systems dynamics, the innovative multidimensional assessment tool can account for the interconnections and interactions among ESG and SDGs. It identifies complex cause-and-effect relationships and critical factors, analysing them both qualitatively and quantitatively. This novel tool for evaluating and enhancing performance related to ESG and SDGs is applicable not only to Metro/Rail operators but also to various other fields and cities.

OpenGov Asia reported earlier that the Automotive Platforms and Application Systems R&D Centre (APAS) entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with a China-based science research institute to support the development of autonomous vehicles and new energy vehicles in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

This agreement aims to foster collaboration among government agencies, automotive industry enterprises, technology organisations, and other stakeholders in both Hong Kong and Mainland China. The goal is to promote the growth of the autonomous vehicle and new energy vehicle industries in the GBA through joint activities and cooperative efforts.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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