In recognition of lifelong education
By Angela Tam
At the 29th Annual Dinner this year Ir Prof Cheung Yau-kai was awarded HKIE's very first Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution to engineering and, shortly afterwards, Ir Dr Lau Kin-tak was presented with the Young Engineer of the Year Award.
The two awards, along with the HKIE Student Prize and Trainee of the Year Award, again demonstrate the Institution's effort in encouraging lifelong learning. Youngsters are not just attracted to engineering through school activities and lured into choosing engineering as their career path through the HKIE Prize for Potential Engineering Student, the HKIE Prize for Higher Education Students, and the HKIE Scholarship. They are also given an opportunity to see the promising future those who have won the senior awards are carving out for themselves. What's more, Ir Prof Cheung shows them just what achievements can be made through a life dedicated to continuous education. Who knows - some of the youngsters may benefit directly from Ir Prof Cheung's wisdom if they find themselves studying at the University of Hong Kong!
Trainee of the Year 2004
The first-prize for this year's Trainee of the Year Award went to Fanny Ting Pong-yau, who was recruited by the Electrical & Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) under it's training scheme.
"I nominated Fanny because she's very proactive and participatory, in in-house as well as institutional activities," said Fanny's supervisor Ir Dr Arthur Wong. "She helped us out as the secretary for a symposium organising committee and she's involved in other activities as well. Fanny's also an all-rounder, that's why I nominated her.ˇ¨
Fanny, whose training involves liaison with the Drainage Services Department and Architectural Services Department, was one of more than 20 graduates recruited by EMSD."
"Of course I'm really happy to have won this award," said Fanny enthusiastically. "I enjoy the training, which is diversified, so I can learn different things. I see aspects of work contractors can't see and I learn so much from visiting the different divisions, like conducting energy audits. If possible I'd like to stay with EMSD.
Second-prize winner Chris Kum Chun-sing was equally thrilled to receive recognition for his efforts.
"I've been interested in engineering from a young age," Chris said. "My father was an engineer and I was influenced by him when I chose my career. The aspect of training I enjoy most is industrial management, which is what I studied. Towngas is very active in China so Ie gained some practical training in Zhongshan and learnt about local gas usage. I also enjoy my involvement in HKIE activities."
Chris was one of two trainees nominated by Towngas, which recruits eight to ten graduates for Scheme "A" Training every year. He nominated Chris because his performance in training was consistently good. He's an outgoing character who likes to take initiatives, for example by volunteering to help out on the Disney account," explained Chris's supervisor Ir Joseph Lai. "We want our trainees to be not just multi-skilled but also multi-specialist and Chris fulfils that. He has the technical knowledge, knows about safety and is also familiar with customer service requirements."
Third-prize winner Law Hoi-chee joined the Geotechnical Engineering Office's (GEO) training scheme because of the broad training it offers and her interest in geotechnical engineering.
"My training in the GEO is very good. I have good guidance and opportunities to learn different skills, like presentation, design and planning. I'm currently seconded to a consultant to have design experience... I really enjoy the experience because many things are decided during the planning stage. I'd really like to stay with GEO because the work makes such a contribution to public safety."
Hoi-chee's supervisor, Ir Dr Richard Pang, said he nominated her because of the good feedback he received from all her tutors.
"Hoi-chee's a very proactive trainee," Ir Dr Pang observed. "As a supervisor, I encourage my trainees to learn by their own initiative and to learn how to learn. Coaching only provides direction; they must be able to stand on their own feet, be aggressive in learning and interact with people within their discipline and with other disciplines... Hoi-chee's able to learn even when I'm not there."
Students of the Year 2004
Forty-eight students received a boost in their desire to pursue a career in engineering through winning the HKIE Prize for Potential Engineering Students, HKIE Prize for Higher Education Students or the HKIE Scholar award, some of them securing the second and third instalments as a result of maintaining their excellent academic performance. Here seven of them share their feelings about the awards.
Lau Kwok-kei is among the first batch of students to receive the third instalment of the HKIE scholarship (the second and third instalments are disbursed only to awardees who are ranked among the top 10% of their class). Kwok-kei is an active student who has taken part in many academic exchange and outward bound programmes. He also exemplifies the community spirit HKIE encourages in all its members, having taken the initiative to set up a charity for the needy in Guizhou.
Following is an excerpt of his acceptance speech:
"It is my honour to be here tonight to share with you my joy of receiving the 3rd instalment of the scholarship for the HKIE Scholar. It really means a lot to me as it gives me significant recognition, encouragement and financial assistance.
"I still remember how surprising it was when I knew that I was selected for the prize two years ago. I did not believe that I would be able to obtain such a prestigious scholarship.
"Thanks to the HKIE Scholar Award, which is a strong proof of my achievements, I was awarded several other awards subsequently and was selected to represent Hong Kong for the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program in New York. Hence, I regard the HKIE Scholar Award as the most important scholarship I have ever obtained.
"Thanks to the financial support from this scholarship, I can join many overseas exchange tours, overseas study programmes and Outward Bound Programme, through which I have greatly broadened my horizons.
"I am very happy that in January 2003, I established a charity in Hong Kong with my friends to help the needy in Guizhou. Being the chairman of the board of directors of this charity, I have the opportunity to further enhance my leadership skill and to widen my social network.
"I would like to thank the HKIE for giving me a chance to share my feelings and experience with you."
Fanny Ting (R) with supervisor Ir Dr Arthur Wong
Chris Kum Chun-sing (R) with supervisor Ir Joseph Lai
Law Hoi-chee (R) with supervisor Ir Dr Richard Pang
Coral Chan Yuen-han: "I never thought I would be one of the awardees of the HKIE Scholar 2002/2003. When I received the letter informing me about the award, I was very surprised. This award motivates me to try harder .... It's given me confidence in doing everything and to strive for the best. My good friends, family and professors have given me much support during the hard times. I won't succeed without them. I would also thank the HKIE for giving me this award."
Lo Chung-man: "The HKIE Scholar award ... not only recognises my achievements and enthusiasm for the engineering profession, but also reminds me of my goal to be a committed leader in the construction industry. With this scholarship, I will go on an overseas exchange next year in an effort to develop a global perspective and bring back any new elements I have learnt to complement my academic studies and future career. I am most impressed by the HKIE's continuing support of the younger generation."
Fiona Fong Hau-yin: "Since I was small, I have been fascinated by some of the great infrastructures and buildings in Hong Kong, such as the Bank of China tower, the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and Tsing Ma Bridge. During my interview for this award, the interviewers challenged me with many difficult questions that I did not know how to answer. I started to realise that I knew so little about engineering. Yet, this experience did not discourage me from taking up engineering, but increased my desire for learning more about it instead."
Leung Ming-wai: "Winning "The HKIE Prize for Higher Education Students" has made me think more carefully about my future. It's strengthened my will to further my study in the environmental stream at the University of Hong Kong. I have also learnt that I must equip myself with various knowledge to be a professional engineer. I need to equip myself with not only the theory, but the practical experience also."
Cheng Pui-ling: "Electronics is very amazing. It becomes a part of our life, everything around us uses electronics, including transport tickets, personal computers and the Hong Kong Smart Identification Card, etc... Since everything in electronics moves quickly, the HKIE Prize for Higher Education Students does motivate me to continue my study, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Institution."
Jeffrey Lung Cheuk-hon: "Being one of the most prestigious awards in the engineering field and the most significant achievement in my academic life, the HKIE Scholar has been a huge motivation .... My thanks go to the HKIE for their reassurance that I have made the right choice. As a result, it is my first choice to start my career as an electronics and electrical engineer after graduation from university."
Lau Kwok-kei (second from left) has devoted himself to helping the needy in Guizhou