EGCON 2022 Keynote Speaker Details


Dr. Louis N.Y. Wong

Program Director (Applied Geosciences) HKU

Dr. Louis N.Y. Wong obtained his BSc degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in 1999. He completed his doctoral and post-doctoral studies in Geotechnical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. In 2009, he was appointed Assistant Professor and then Assistant Chair (Academic) in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He joined the HKU as Associate Professor in 2015 and was appointed Program Director of the MSc (Applied Geosciences) in 2017.

His experimental and numerical research seeks to improve understanding of how rocks deform, and to exploit these properties to benefit society, such as in underground construction, energy exploration, and earthquake studies. His recent research interest is to apply AI technologies to geological and geotechnical industry practices. Dr. Wong has authored and co-authored more than 170 journal and conference publications, and is ranked in the top 1% worldwide by citations in the geological engineering field. Additional to a number of journal and conference paper awards and keynote lectures delivered in international conferences, he was awarded the Richard Wolters’ Prize (2014) by the International Association of Engineering Geology and Environment (IAEG). He has been the Editor-in-Chief of Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment (Springer) and an Ex- Officio Member of the IAEG Executive Committee since 2018.

Thermal effects on rocks - Keynote

It is well documented that heating rocks at temperatures higher than 400 ℃ can significantly lower the rock strength due to thermally induced decomposition and microcracks. However, rock strength

increase under temperatures 25–400 ℃ has also been reported in a number of previous laboratory studies. It remains elusive whether thermal strengthening does exist or it is just an illusion caused by rock heterogeneity. This keynote presentation starts by reviewing previous laboratory data in the literature and exploring plausible mechanisms accounting for thermal strengthening in rocks. Towards the end, results of a recent laboratory study conducted on marble, that explicitly confirm the existence of thermal strengthening, will be presented. To conclude, the implications of such thermal strengthening phenomena in the engineering geological regime will be discussed.

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