Appointments to Slope Safety Technical Review Board

The Government today (March 23) announced the appointments of two new members and the re-appointment of an incumbent member to the Slope Safety Technical Review Board (SSTRB) for terms expiring at the end of 2005. The new members are Professor Malcolm Bolton of Cambridge University and Professor Wang Sijing of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Reappointed was incumbent member Professor Norbert Morgenstern of the University of Alberta. The three-member board will audit the Government's work in slope safety and advise on such technical aspects as landslide risk assessment and management, slope stability research and development, natural terrain stability, emergency preparedness and landslip warning. Professors Morgenstern, Bolton and Wang will meet in Hong Kong regularly for board meetings with the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering Department and to confer with the Secretary for Works. They will also meet representatives of geotechnical practitioners in Hong Kong to exchange views on slope safety issues. Professor Bolton is Professor of Soil Mechanics and Director of the Schofield Centrifuge Centre, Cambridge University specialising in soil mechanics and soil-structure interaction. He has contributed significantly towards experimental research in a wide range of practical problems, including slope stability, reinforced fill, retaining walls and excavation support systems, submarine pipelines, piling and ground treatment processes. He is familiar with the problems facing Hong Kong. Professor Wang is an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and is active in the technical development of its Institute of Geology and Geophysics. He specialises in engineering geology and rock mechanics, and has taken part in many major landslide studies for projects such as the hydroelectric scheme at the Three Gorges. He was Vice-President of the International Association of Engineering Geology in 1982-86 and 1994-98. He is an Honorary Professor of Hong Kong University (HKU) and the Director of the Joint Research Centre for Slope Engineering of CAS and HKU. He has studied the slope stability problems and conducted research on the behaviour of weathered rock in Hong Kong for many years. Professor Morgenstern is University Professor (Emeritus) of Civil Engineering, University of Alberta. He was the independent reviewer during the investigation of the 1994 Kwun Lung Lau landslide. He is the Past President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering and was a member of the 1976 Independent Review Panel on Fill Slopes in Hong Kong. He has experience with major projects in over 25 countries and has received numerous prestigious awards. "All three members are eminent experts in geotechnical engineering and are internationally respected," said Dr. Lau Ching-kwong, Director of Civil Engineering. "Their contribution will provide an important means for GEO to chart the direction of slope safety management, and keep abreast of international developments in slope engineering and related technology," he noted. Dr. Lau was also thankful for the contributions of the two outgoing members, Dr Suzanne Lacasse and Professor C F Lee and looked forward to future opportunities of collaboration with them.

End/Saturday, March 23, 2002