Distinguished Transport
Lecture Series (DTLS)
DTLS 2015
Professor Rob Merkin QC
Professor Isabelle Thomas
Professor Gang-Len Chang
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Institute of
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Distinguished Transport Lecture Series 2015

Professor Rob Merkin QC

Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Exeter and Special Counsel to international law firm DLA Piper

Reforming Motor Insurance Law

Date: 27 May 2015 (Wednesday)
Time: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Wang Gungwu Theatre, Graduate House, The University of Hong Kong (Map)

Photo credit: University of Exeter

Lecture Abstract

The obligation on Hong Kong road users to hold motor insurance is founded on a model first developed in England in 1930, as modified in 1934 and again in 1946. Since then the law in England – supplemented by EU developments – has developed apace. Key modifications include:

    Extension to property damage
    Coverage for the victims of untraced drivers
    A true "direct" action against the driver's insurers
    An obligation on the registered keeper to obtain insurance
    A requirement for insurance to be covered for use on private land
    A gradual move from insurance of the driver to insurance of the vehicle
This lecture will outline the differences between the English and Hong Kong systems and will consider whether the former has gone too far or whether the latter is in need of overhaul, or indeed both. The lecture will also look at recent developments in the law relating to fraudulent claims against motor insurers, and to fraudulent claims against motorists.

About the Speaker

Professor Rob Merkin QC is Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Exeter and Special Counsel to international law firm DLA Piper. He has written a number of texts on insurance law, including Colinvaux's Law of Insurance in Hong Kong. He edits the Journal of Business Law and co-edits the Lloyd's Law Reports. He teaches insurance law at LLM level in England, Greece, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. He was special adviser to the House of Lords Special Bills Committee on the Insurance Act 2015, and in March 2015 was appointed QC honoris causa by the Crown for his contribution to insurance law.


Professor Isabelle Thomas

Research Director of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS) and Professor at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL)

On the Geography of Road Accidents: Challenges and Opportunities

Date: 24 November 2015 (Tuesday)
Time: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Wang Gungwu Theatre, Graduate House, The University of Hong Kong (Map)

Lecture Abstract

Locations, places and interactions make statistical analyses in economic/ transport geography quite tricky but challenging. With the example of road accidents in Belgium, this lecture aims at illustrating difficulties and pitfalls in the analysis and the representation of the complexity of spatial data, at showing examples of solutions but also at opening the debate for further developments at different spatial scales.

About the Speaker

Isabelle Thomas (PhD in geography) is research director of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS) and professor at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). She conducts her research at the Center of Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in Louvain-la-Neuve (Be). Her main research interests are (1) modelling the location of human activities and especially at studying the sensitivity of the models to their spatial inputs, (2) understanding the spatial structure of (urban) human activities and transportation realities, and (3) performing quantitative analyses for spatial data (people and places).

Please click <here> to download the presentation file.


Professor Gang-Len Chang

Professor and the Director of Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland, U.S.A. and Manager of the Applied Technologies for Traffic Operations and Safety Program (ATTAP)

Tackling Traffic Congestion from both the Control and Demand Perspectives

Date: 16 December 2015 (Wednesday)
Time: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Wang Gungwu Theatre, Graduate House, The University of Hong Kong (Map)

Lecture Abstract

Despite the significant technology advancement over the past decades, effectively tackling traffic congestion remains the most difficult issue in the transportation community. Most urban commuters in either developing or developed countries suffer ineluctably from the plague of recurrent and non-recurrent congestion on their daily trips. Considering the vast body of strategies/ models in the literature for congestion control and the advent of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), the primary challenge of transportation professionals is: "how to coordinate all available tools and deploy them in an integrated manner at the corridor or network level so as to maximize their collective effectiveness." This lecture will discuss critical deployment issues associated with those popular traffic management strategies, and present some innovative congestion-mitigation methods from both the control and demand perspectives. Examples of such innovative strategies/ models include integrated variable speed control (VSL) with coordinated ramp metering, coordinated off-ramp control with multi-path arterial signal progression, transit-based arterial signal progression to promote transit ridership, and interactive traffic information system for predicting travel time and advising departure time.

About the Speaker

Prof. Gang-Len Chang is a Professor and the Director of Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland, U.S.A. and Manager of the Applied Technologies for Traffic Operations and Safety Program (ATTAP), jointly sponsored by Maryland State Highway Administration and University of Maryland since 1996. Prof. Chang's primary research areas have been on traffic network analysis, intelligent transportation systems, and freeway controls and operations. Over the past 20 years, Prof. Chang has been the principal investigator for more than 115 transportation projects and research funding of over 36 million dollars, sponsored by both federal and state agencies. He has received the research excellence and support award from Maryland State Highway Administration, and Martin Marietta University Research Award for Intelligent Transportation Systems Development. He serves as the Chief Editor for Journal of Urban Planning and Development (ASCE) and an editorial member of several premium transportation journals over the past 15 years. Being a productive member in the academia, Prof. Chang has also been quite active in converting state-of-the-art studies to real-world applications. He has worked as a technical advisor for many ITS programs in the US and other developing countries, including United Nations Developing Country program, World Bank, Taiwan Ministry of Communications and Transportation, The Korea Transport Institute, Intelligent Transportation Systems of Martin Marietta, and Capital Region for Emergency Evacuation - Washington D.C.