THE winning project of the first ever Hongkong Polytechnic Student Project of the Year Competition may help save $992 of petrol consumed per hour by vehicles in Tsim Sha Tsui East. In this competition cum exhibition, jointly organised by the Hongkong Polytechnic and the Hongkong Polytechnic Alumni Association (HKPAA), projects were divided into academic achievement, application design, environmental concern and innovative design. From the works of the award-winners in the four categories, a Project of the Year was selected and awarded the HKPAA Grand Award. Bill Hon Cho-piu, a civil and structural engineering graduate, beat 20 entries from 14 departments with his Road Traffic and Energy Consumption project to win both the HKPAA award and the Environmental Concern Award. ''Transport planning and traffic management impose a great impact on our society. Automobiles are energy-consuming. It'll be excellent if we could design a traffic management scheme to conserve gas consumption,'' Bill said. ''Lower gas consumption means less air pollution, which implies the financial burden on society will be lessened. And, traffic congestion would be alleviated.'' Bill's project is aimed at constructing a mathematical model to predict energy consumption of a particular road traffic pattern and investigating the impact of traffic management on energy consumption. He based his work on 1991 traffic data, which provided information on the traffic pattern in the defined area, from a research conducted by students. A computer model showed traffic performance like the delay time, number of stops, speed and flow rate, in the area. Bill wrote a mathematical programme, ENERGY, to predict consumption. He found the traffic congestion could be improved by rearranging traffic lights, banning right turns, redesigning junction control and changing speed limit in the district. Bill's project supervisor, lecturer Mr Hung Wing-tat, has urged him to propose the project to the Transportation Department. ''My project needs further modifications. Also, I didn't estimate the management cost of the project,''the 25-year-old said. Bill was awarded $20,000 for the HKPAA Award and $5,000 for the Environmental Concern Award.