Smart, safe and sustainable land reclamation and geotechnical works in Hong Kong

S W Lee and Ir Dr Gavin TOH Seng-Huat

This is a joint activity between The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE): Geotechnical Division and the Australian Geomechanics Society – Sydney Chapter. The event will contain two presentations, namely,

(a) Land Creation in Hong Kong by Sustainable Reclamation: This presentation will chronicle the history of winning land from the sea by reclamations in Hong Kong since the 1850s for infrastructure and residential developments. The reclamation techniques included the uncontrolled end tipping, dredged method, and non-dredged method involving various ground improvement methods to treat the in situ soft Marine Deposits. Challenges encountered during the construction phase of several reclamations will be highlighted, and lessons learnt will be shared. In recent years, sustainable reclamation techniques have been emphasised in shaping the built and natural environment under the Hong Kong 2030+ Strategic Planning. A number of new practical ideas will be presented for smart and resilient reclamations in the future.

(b) Smart Productivity, Safe Delivery, and Build Quality in Foundation and Geotechnical Works: The seminar will focus on foundation and underground geotechnical work in building projects. Some common risks and constraints will be discussed, and how digital technologies help in the initial planning and design stages through to construction. With digital representation of the work such as BIM, engineers can develop solutions that integrate existing and future data, spatial and sequential details, along with the whole construction process that enables early planning and identifies problems in the virtual world before they happen in the real world. In the construction stage, advanced tools and smart sensors that improve productivity and safe delivery will be discussed.

Different construction methods such as modularisation and standardization facilitate safety and build quality will be highlighted.

About the speakers

S W Lee Executive Director, AECOM, Geotechnical Business Line, Hong Kong

S W Lee is an Executive Director of AECOM’s geotechnical business line in Hong Kong. He obtained PhD in geotechnical engineering from Cambridge University. He is a qualified civil/geotechnical engineer with 25 years of professional experience in soft ground and hard rock, ranging from reclamations to tunnels. He was the past Chairman of Association of Geotechnical & Geo-environmental Specialists (HK) 2017 to 2018, and is the Deputy Chairman of Geotechnical Division, Hong Kong Institution of Engineers 2023/24. He has been teaching part-time at local universities, publishing and presenting technical papers, and serving as an editorial board member of several geotechnical publications.

Ir Dr Gavin TOH Seng-Huat Deputy General Manager, Lambeth Associates Ltd

Gavin came to Hong Kong in 1993 after completing his PhD at the University of Western Australia. He has 30 years of experience in design and construction of foundation and underground geotechnical works. He is currently a Deputy General Manager of Lambeth Associates Ltd. Lambeth is an in-house engineering consultancy of Gammon, where he has worked for over 26 years. He is currently responsible in managing the Foundation and Geotechnical Team to provide safe, economical, and innovative geotechnical engineering solutions for a variety of civil, railways, tunnels, and buildings projects in Hong Kong. He is actively serving in professional bodies such as HK Institution of Engineers (HKIE), and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). He is currently the Chairman of the Geotechnical Division of the HKIE. He serves as ICE Chartered Professional Reviewer from 2014, and HKIE Geotechnical Discipline Professional Assessor since 2020. He has published 19 papers and presented technical talks in seminars and workshops at different engineering related societies. He is also a Registered Geotechnical Engineer (RGE), and Registered Structural Engineer (RSE) with the Buildings Department.

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.