January 2024

TechTalk – Unlock the Hidden Value of Bridges’ Reserve Capacity in Toll Highway Operation

February 22 2024 (Thursday) 4:30-5:30pm
The extra reserve capacity exists widely in highway bridges due to the conservative design and construction. In a case study of a highway flyover in Singapore, the flyover still possesses at least an additional 30% loading capacity after twenty years of operation. This additional capacity, which was achieved by consuming extra raw materials and energy when the bridge was built years ago, is considered another kind of “waste” since it has never been used. To make use of it, the speaker introduced the additional loading capacity into the framework of operating profit optimization. The unused loading capacity enables a higher volume of vehicles and a higher proportion of heavy vehicles, thus further leading to the increase in toll profit.

TechTalk – Health Care Applications with Natural Language Processing

April 5 2024 (Friday) 4:30-5:30pm
Unstructured documents often come with embedded structured data. Representing valuable and structured information as tables is popular in health, financial, and many domains. However, manual extraction of structured information from documents typically costs tremendous time and labor, motivating the need for a system for automating the process. After such tables have been extracted, the data can be used for a wide variety of tasks such as question answering and various “down-stream” analytics tasks. In this talk, we will discuss how to leverage ground breaking pre-trained language models (e.g., BERT, ChatGPT) to develop tools for automated table extraction from various types of documents. We will present different applications from cancer registry reporting, cancer care, and psychiatry hospitalization prediction.

TechTalk – (Cancelled) Technology for Bioelectronic Medicine

February 2 2024 (Friday) 2:30-3:30pm
Neurological conditions affect one in six people, imposing significant health, economic and societal burden. Bioelectronic medicine aims to restore or replace neurological function with the help of implantable electronic devices. Unfortunately, significant technological limitations prohibit these devices from reaching patients at scale, as implants are bulky, require invasive implantation procedures, elicit a pronounced foreign body response, and show poor treatment specificity and off-target effects. Over the past decade, new devices made using methods from microelectronics industry have been shown to overcome these limitations. Recent literature provides powerful demonstrations of thin film implants that are miniaturised, ultra-conformal, stretchable, multiplexed, integrated with different sensors and actuators, bioresorbable, and minimally invasive. I will discuss the state-of-the-art of these new technologies and the barriers than need to be overcome to reach patients at scale.

HKAES TechTalk – How clean is the air we breathe in urban areas?

February 20 2024 (Tuesday) 4:00-5:00pm
Air pollution continues to cause significant environmental health risks, leading to numerous premature deaths worldwide each year. To protect public health, many governments have implemented regulatory policies on mass concentration of major air pollutants, referencing the guideline values recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, new scientific evidence suggests various components in the air have different health effects. This talk will share research findings on the key toxic components of urban air from both chemical and biological aspects and their associated emission sources responsible for health effects.