A City University of Hong Kong (CityU) expert in diagnostic technology that monitors the health of machinery, pipelines and cables for supporting heavy structures has been elevated to the rank of Fellow by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Dr Peter Tse Wai-tat, Associate Professor in the Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management, was recognised for his significant engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession over the past 20 years.
“It’s a tremendous honour to receive this level of support from an international organisation of mechanical engineers,” he said.
Dr Tse’s research focuses on developing technology that monitors the health of machinery and infrastructure in a range of applications, from air conditioning systems and production lines to transportation and pipelines, providing appropriate diagnoses and prognoses on existing and potential faults.
He is currently the leader of the Smart Engineering Asset Management (SEAM) Laboratory, which was established in 2001 to carry out research into equipment maintenance and quality inspection, and of the Croucher Optical Nondestructive Testing Laboratory.
“The most prominent system developed by SEAM is the Smart Asset Maintenance System [SAMS], which, as its namesake suggests, encompasses a series of advanced signal processing techniques, novel sensors and intelligent data analyses for equipment fault diagnosis and prognosis,” Dr Tse explained.
SAMS has been adopted by over 30 local and international companies. Commissions have included a project by one of the world’s largest oil sand corporations, Syncrude Canada, which is based in Canada, to provide low-cost, effective maintenance solutions for oil exploration and production equipment.
“It is very costly for the company if equipment breaks down. We created and applied novel algorithms to check the slurry pumps used in the oil production line, which was so successful that the company has sponsored the application of an overseas patent after the discussions with CityU’s Knowledge Transfer Office,” Dr Tse said.
Other major research projects also focus on saving time and money in industries connected to energy use. One is an automatic fault detection and fuel saving system for power generators and another is an instantaneous safety evaluation system using a mobile/GPS-based technology to check in particular trucks for engine faults and energy consumption while they are on the road.
“Our work on monitoring trucks is unique because we have replaced expensive pressure sensors with a much cheaper mechanical device that uses our innovative diagnostic algorithms,” he said.
The technology allows the monitoring centre to send just-in-time advice to the driver of a truck via GPRS/3G type of mobile communication, warning the driver to take appropriate action to avoid accidents, Dr Tse added.
ASME was founded 130 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, particularly for mechanical engineers around the world, in addition to promoting the role of the engineer in society.