Engineering in Practice

Events and Activities

Webinar on Biotechnology Advances for Xenobiotics Degradation and Resource Recovery in Wastewater Treatment (Jointly organized by HKIE CVD and PolyU)

Technical Seminar:

Biotechnology Advances for Xenobiotics Degradation and Resource Recovery in Wastewater Treatment

Date, time & venue

27th July 2022 (Wednesday), 17:00-18:00, Seminar via Zoom Meeting


Organized by

HKIE Civil Division

CEE, RCRE (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)


Programme Highlight

The early application of centralized wastewater treatment has emerged at the beginning of 20th century in pace with the start of fast urbanization. With the ever-growing wastewater amount, intensive resource consumption, and climate change issue in 21st century, the goal of the engineered system has been extending from protecting the environment and public health to recycle and reuse water and resources. Although biological wastewater treatment has been developed to harness the capacity of microorganisms for contaminants removal, we still have little insight into the interplay between contaminants and microorganisms, in particular, what kind of microorganisms could evolve capacities to degrade an increasing amount of artificial “xenobiotic” compounds resulting from the modern activity of homo sapiens, which value-added chemicals could be effectively recovered from the waste streams by desirable microbial community; and how we can identify and regulate reactor-microbiomes for such purposes. The development of sequencing technology to rapidly acquire whole genomic information of microbial isolate or genomes of organisms directly from their habitat (“metagenomics” or ecosystem-level genomics) allows us to extensively acquire genetic resources of diverse microorganisms for their metabolic function analysis. In this seminar, I will demonstrate how we integrate genomic analysis, machine learning and bioreactor engineering to 1) unravel the evolutionary history of the very few bacteria that have adapted to exploit one of the most produced xenobiotics, PET and its monomers; and 2) achieve the production of a low soluble carbon-based value-added chemical, caproate from waste streams. The development of advanced biotechnology could be applied in wastewater treatment with an aim to address the challenges at the nexus of waste, energy, health, and carbon neutrality.

  *Please complete the on-line registration at





Free of Charge.


Dr Ling LENG

Dr Ling LENG is now a Research Assistant Professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in the CEE department. Dr Leng obtained his B.S. in Water Science and Engineering from Chongqing University (2012), M.S. (with Distinction, 2013) and Ph.D. (2018) in Environmental Engineering from PolyU. Before joining PolyU, Dr Leng had positions at University of Hawaii, US (2018) and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan (2018-2021) as Postdoctoral Researcher and JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, respectively. Dr Leng’s research focuses on microbial process and technology for the degradation of recalcitrant environmental contaminants and synthesis of biorenewable products from waste streams. His specialties include applying microbial cultivation, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and machine learning tools to discover complex microbial processes in both environmental and engineered ecosystems and further improve our biotechnology for achieving environmental sustainability.

Registration & Enquiries

Please complete the on-line registration at The number of participants is limited to 500 on a first-come-first served basis. Priority will be given to members of the Civil Division.

Email registration will not be accepted. Successful applicants will be informed by email and provided a link to the Zoom Meeting at the designated time slot. Participants need to sign in using the membership no. and name entered at the time of registration. A CPD certificate will be issued 3 weeks after the seminar based on this membership no. and name.

For enquiries, please contact Mr. Vincent Tam via email: