Tech Talk – Wastewater-based Epidemiology: A lesson from COVID-19

All members of the HKU community and the general public are welcome to join!
Speaker: Professor Tong Zhang, Chair Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering, HKU
Date: 26th May 2022 (will be postponed until further notice) 
Time: 4:30pm
About the Tech Talk
Speaker: Professor Tong Zhang, Chair Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering, HKU Mode: Mixed
Moderator: Professor L.Q. Wang, Chair Professor of Thermal-Fluid Sciences and Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, HKU
Date: 26th May 2022 (will be postponed until further notice)
Time: 4:30pm
Venue: Inno Wing Two / Zoom 
Language: English
Infectious diseases are one of the grand challenges to the public health today. The ability to rapidly monitor the spread of diseases in a large scale is the key for prevention, intervention and control of these diseases. Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) is based on the wastewater of a population, which means the pooled samples from thousands of people, to monitor the disease outbreaks at the community level. In the past two years, COVID-19 sewage surveillance has been applied to provide the early warning signal, to monitor the spread trend of the virus, to uncover the infected persons, and to trace the spread of different variants. In Hong Kong, the sewage surveillance technology developed by the multidisciplinary team of Civil Engineering and Public Health of the University of Hong Kong has been incorporated into the whole control strategy against COVID-19 since December 2020. Currently, the routine sewage surveillance programme of the Hong Kong Government covers more than 150 regular sampling sites in different areas, providing monitoring results for over 5 million people. Similar WBE surveillance systems have also been well-established in many countries, including USA, EU members, Australia, Singapore, etc. In the future, the wastewater surveillance systems are not only helpful in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 but also will be an essential part of the smart city to protect people’s health from known pathogens and unknown emerging new pathogens. In summary, wastewater tells us the health of a city, and we are learning how to listen to it carefully.
  • The tech talk “Wastewater-based Epidemiology: A lesson from COVID-19” will be organized in the Tam Wing Fan Innovation Wing Two (G/F, Run Run Shaw Building, HKU) on 26th May 2022 (Thursday), 4:30 pm.
  • Seats are limited. Zoom broadcast is available if the seating quota is full. 
  • Registrants on the waiting list will be notified of the arrangement after the registration deadline (with seating/free-standing/other arrangement)
  • Please read the Campus Access and HKU Vaccine Pass (
  • Postponed until further notice. Stay Tuned.
About the speaker

Professor Tong Zhang

Professor Tong ZHANG is a Chair Professor of Environmental Engineering in Environmental Microbiome Engineering and Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He has been an Adjunct Professor at School of Environment and Energy at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School since October of 2020, and a visiting scholar at Institute of Chemical Biology, Shenzhen Bay Laboratory since January of 2021. His researches include environmental microbiome engineering and biotechnology, environmental bioinformatics, anaerobic digestion and bioenergy from wastes/wastewater, biological wastewater treatment, biodegradation of emerging pollutants, antibiotic and antibiotic resistance genes, etc.
Project images
About the project

Sewage Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Virus

The sewage testing tool for SARS-CoV-Z virus was invented by an inter-disciplinary team led by Professor Tong Zhang, from the Environmental Microbiome Engineering and Biotechnology Laboratory of the Department of Civil Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering.


To be updated

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