The Presidential Address and Dinner was successfully held on 15 September 2023 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Under the Presidential Theme “We Engineer, We Serve (知行合一 成就專業)”, President Ir Dr Barry C H Lee gave a detailed account of the identified areas, including qualifications, knowledge sharing, member benefits and membership recruitment, to achieve the major goals for his term of presidency.
A record-breaking attendance of more than 900 members and guests joined the President for a delightful dinner following the address. The HKIE Outstanding Paper Award for Young Engineers/Researchers 2023, The HKIE Best Transactions Paper Prize 2023 and The HKIE Long Service Award were presented during the dinner. The memorable evening concluded with a cappella performance by local a cappella team, Boonfaysau, and cha cha dance performance by our President, Vice President Ir Alice K T Chow and young engineers.
More details about the Presidential Address are reported in other parts of the Journal.
(To view the Presidential
Address using the QR Code)
President delivering his Presidential Address
Officers, Past Presidents, Chief Executive and Secretary and invited guests
The President thanked members of his election team: Ir Simon S P Liu (1st left), Ir Rupert K Y Leung (2nd left), Ir Eagle C Y Mo (3rd left), Ir Mak Ka Wai (2nd right) and Ir Ambrose H T Chen (1st right) for their unwavering support
300 beaver mascots were given away to invited guests and followers of our social platforms
The President and the awardees of the HKIE Long Service Award: (L to R) Ms Mona Ng, Miss Ida Ho, Ms Venus Wong and Ms Fiona Wong
The event was highlighted by wonderful performances by Boonfaysau and our members
More than 900 members and guests had a joyful evening
Honourable guests, Past Presidents, Fellow members:
Let’s watch a video first. This video captures the voices of our members representing diverse backgrounds and age groups. Their collective aspiration is clear: they seek improvement within our institution, a call for us to strive for excellence, to serve the engineering profession and society better. This shared vision led to the formation of a dedicated team of six people, including Ambrose, Eagle, Rupert, Max, Simon and me, who ran the election three years ago. Our common thread is a simple yet powerful value—We Engineer, We Serve. This principle also served as the theme of my presidential tenure. I am Barry Lee, your president for this session, and in the next 15 minutes, I will share with you our plans to address our members' voices and enhance our societal service across four key areas: qualifications, knowledge sharing, member benefits, and membership recruitment.
Our initiatives are firmly rooted in these pillars. Qualification is our priority. We take great pride in having launched our inaugural Mentorship Scheme in April last year. This scheme has seen the participation of hundreds of mentors dedicated to guiding our members and assisting them in navigating the path to institutional engagement.
Concurrently, we introduced a Professional Certification Scheme aimed at equipping our members with qualifications in emerging fields such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and stage engineering, enabling them to make significant contributions to society through their professional expertise.
Thirdly, we recognise the need to improve our professional assessment procedures. Over the past two to three decades, a significant portion of our members entered our institution through sister learned societies without undergoing direct HKIE assessment. This situation demands our immediate attention and necessitates improvements.
Fourthly, we are going to achieve a significant milestone—qualification of Hong Kong engineers by the Chinese Human Resources Government Office for practice in mainland China.
This achievement, a pursuit spanning over 10 years, signifies a momentous step forward for our profession and is represented by the gold plated 「職稱」qualification in China. That’s the reason I use a gold plate to show the wordings 「職稱」here.
Knowledge Sharing & Networking
In the realm of knowledge sharing, we believe that physical interactions complement online sharing, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. In July, after staying at the headquarter in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island for 30 years, we embarked on a journey across the harbour, establishing the first-ever Kowloon Centre. This strategic location provides greater accessibility for our members, offering a convenient and relaxing environment near their workplaces and residences, fostering an ideal setting for knowledge exchange.
Online facility is also essential. Simultaneously, we are diligently working on the establishment of an online library, providing our members with easy access to standards, codes of practice, headquarters seminars, and more, further reinforcing our commitment to knowledge dissemination.
The President's Forum represents another significant endeavour, where we aim to bring high-profile knowledgesharing sessions to our members. We have successfully conducted our inaugural forum on sustainability, featuring the Director of Environmental Protection as our speaker. This platform will continue to share the latest technological advancements in our ever-evolving society, enriching the knowledge base of our members.
To raise the status of HKIE and enhance our global network,we have hosted two cocktail receptions—one in Macau and the other in Guangzhou. Upcoming receptions are planned for Manchester and London in November, followed by Dubai in December and a final one in Beijing. We are going to tell them that Hong Kong engineers are excellent and HKIE is a prestigious institution.
In our pursuit of expanding our global network, we have taken a proactive approach, not limited to senior members of our institution. We have engaged 40 young engineers in Guangzhou to facilitate networking and knowledge exchange with their counterparts. Another one is planned for Beijing, reinforcing the importance of collaboration among young engineers in advancing the engineering profession in the Greater Bay Area. We plan to further strengthen our ties with counterparts in Macau and Guangzhou, bringing together hundreds of young engineers to promote harmony and communication. In Dubai delegation, I will accompany three young engineer award winners to Dubai to attend 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28). This delegation will also include our Chief Executive and Secretary, and two Vice Presidents, underscoring the pivotal role of HKIE as a super connector between China and overseas. During this occasion, we will showcase our expertise in carbon neutrality and demonstrate our capability to bridge China and overseas.
In the realm of member benefits, many members wonder what they could achieve after paying the membership fee. This is a fair question. We are committed to digitising our processes to streamline membership fee payments and eliminate the need for physical membership cards. Members will soon be able to carry their membership details and benefits conveniently on their mobile devices next year.
"We work hard so we need work-life balance." This is what our young engineers said. I like this slogan. They want work life balance but they also have to pay the membership feeas we provide them benefits. We have partnered with 40 merchants to offer exclusive benefits to our members. These continuing partnerships aim to ensure that our members reap the rewards of their HKIE affiliation.
Our young members, brimming with innovation and creativity, are the future of our institution. When I stand in the middle of them, I look young too. That is why I always want to mix with the young engineers. We are dedicated to nurturing and guiding them to take the lead in shaping the institution's future. We are launching a series of activities designed to showcase how work-life balance can be achieved beyond the daily grind.
Training course is another initiative that we have launched for our members. We have collaborated with VTC and Thei to provide training courses in emerging fields such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and stage engineering. These courses are designed to equip our members with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in their respective areas of specialisation.
Members are our most valuable asset. We have observed a decline from nearly 35,000 members seven years ago to approximately 32,000 today, signifying an 8% decrease. To reverse this trend, we will employ a multi-pronged approach. We must be visible and actively engaged in society, as demonstrated by our numerous press releases and over hundreds of media coverage in the past 12 weeks. By performing ourselves as professionals who make a social impact, we aim to attract more engineers to our institution.
In terms of our social platform presence, we have made significant strides. Over the past year, we have amassed over 4,100 followers on LinkedIn, a platform we are determined to invest in further. We seek your support to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Our statistics reveal a 16% increase in followers over the last two months, a testament to our professional engagement. Our Instagram followers have grown by 11%, which is a positive sign, but not enough to reach our target audience of young engineers. We need to improve our online presence and showcase our innovative and impactful projects. We want to convey that we are not just a traditional engineering institution, but also a leader in the current and future trends. We engineer, we serve the society. Our Facebook followers have increased by 6%, which is reasonable considering that platform is more popular among the senior demographic. The number of seniors remains relatively stable, so we do not expect much change in that area.
Another proactive approach includes reaching out directly to companies and inviting them to collaborate with our institution. We have invited the companies to sign an agreement with the institution and assisted them in implementing the Scheme A training within their organisation. This can enable them to leverage their professional status to attract more talents. We have also provided them with a mentorship scheme and guided their senior members to join the institution. This is one of the initiatives that we have done and we will continue to do throughout this session.
Students are our future engineers and we need to nurture their interest and passion for engineering. However, the number of students in primary and secondary schools is shrinking and there is a fierce competition among different professions for students. Our "Back to School" initiative encourages all of you to return to your mother school, establish connections with principals and teachers, and assign teams of engineers to schools to guide students on the path to engineering careers.
Associate Member is another important grade that we need to pay attention to. When I first joined HKIE, the number of associate members was 3,000. When I first won the EOM in 2015, it dropped to 1,000. The number of associate members dropped to below 700 last month. This is an alarming situation that we have to address. Associate Member will not be the home for the technicians, but rather a transition between the graduate member and the corporate member. We want to attract more young engineers to join the associate member grade because the average age of associate members is 61 years old now. That is why we have restructured the associate member grade.
Similarly, the number of Student Members has declined from 9,000 in 2017 to 6,000 last month. We are actively engaging our young engineers to recruit students, with initiatives led by PPC and YMC members visiting universities to attract and engage them.
In March of this year, we successfully completed the first-ever Hong Kong Engineers Week, attracting nearly 30,000 visitors to our carnival at Western Kowloon Culture District. This event garnered significant public attention and is set for a repeat in March next year. We seek your support in sponsoring this initiative, as funding is crucial to our efforts. Please fill up the form and support us in doing something good for the engineering profession and the institution.
In closing, I want to emphasise that I have not walked this journey alone. Over the past three years, I have been fortunate to have received exceptional support from all members. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our past presidents, whose contributions have laid the foundation for our successes. Please give a round of applause for the past presidents.
I also wish to express my sincere thanks to those who have worked hard with me especially this year, including all Council members, YMC, AMC, PPC, Discipline Advisory Panel chairmen, Division chairmen and all committees. Your dedication is greatly appreciated. Please join me in applauding their efforts.
Last but certainly not the least, I want to acknowledge the unwavering support of five people —Ambrose, Eagle, Rupert, Max, and Simon—who have been instrumental in my journey. Please join me on stage as we celebrate our shared commitment to making a difference.
This Award, organised by The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, is an international competition first launched in 2006 which aims to encourage young engineers and researchers aged 35 or below worldwide, to develop innovations and technologies, publish their achievements, as well as to promote the engineering profession among the younger generation.
The Awards are bestowed to:
- “Study of fire impact on glass panels” by Ying Tung Lam*
- “Use of insulation resistance imbalance degree for condition assessment of power distribution cables” by Ke Zhu*
- “A novel nonlinear vibration feature-based approach for evaluating bolt-loosening faults in aerospace structures” by Quankun Li* and Xingjian Jing
List of shortlisted papers:
- “Development of green cement from solid wastes” by Shipeng Zhang*, Hanxiong Lyu, Peiliang Shen, Lu Zhu and Chi Sun Poon
- “Techno-economic analyses of hydrogen fuel cell hybrid system and corresponding optimum matching design for hydrogen fuel cell forklifts” by Yu Li*, Qi Wu, Tiande Mo, Fengxiang Chen, Yang Luo and Chuliang Shan
- “An artificial intelligence-assisted, data-informed structural damage identification approach based on guided ultrasonic waves” by Lei Xu*, Jianwei Yang, Yetao Lyu and Ming Ge
The authors of the awarded papers received their awards in the prize presentation ceremony at the Presidential Dinner on 15 September 2023. The awarded and shortlisted papers will be published in a special award issue of the HKIE Transactions in December 2023.
First authors of the awarded papers have been invited to present their winning papers at the public lecture scheduled for this December.
*The first author who was aged 35 or below on the closing date of submission to the Award.
President Ir Dr Barry C H Lee (L) presenting the Award to Ms Ying Tung Lam (R)
Awardee Dr Ke Zhu (R) receiving the Award from the President (L)
The President (L) presenting the Award to Prof Xingjian Jing (R)
Established in 1999, The HKIE Best Transactions Paper Prize, acknowledge remarkable papers published in HKIE’s academic journal, the HKIE Transactions . This year, two distinguished papers were acclaimed for the Prize.
The two papers awarded The HKIE Best Transactions Paper Prize 2023 are:
- “Multiple structural defect detection for reinforced concrete buildings using YOLOv5s” by Chaobin Li, Wei Pan, Pong Chi Yuen and Ray K L Su (published in HKIE Transactions Volume 29 Number 2)
- “HRSG early tube leak detection with a transfer learning neural network and Gramian Angular Difference Field” by Hon Fung Chow (published in HKIE Transactions Volume 29 Number 2)
The prize presentation ceremony was held at the Presidential Dinner on 15 September 2023.
For those who are interested in reading the awarded papers, they are welcomed to go to http://www.hkie.org.hk/hkietransactions to read it online.
President Ir Dr Barry C H Lee (L) presenting the Award to Mr Chaobin Li (R)
Awardee Mr Hon Fung Chow (R) receiving the Award from the President (L)
On the evening of 30 August, the Institution held, in hybrid mode, the first in a series of four instalments in its newly launched “President Forum Series”. In this forum session, President Ir Dr Barry Lee joined forces with Guest of Honour Ir Dr Samuel Chui (Director of Environmental Protection), Ir Dr Kenneth Leung (Principal Assistant Secretary–Air Policy, Environment and Ecology Bureau), Dr William Yu (CEO, World Green Organisation), and Ir Ivy Leung (Past Chairlady, President’s Protégés Club) to discourse on the theme The Institution’s knowledge exchange, qualification acquisition and media outreach initiatives “Challenges today and the future: the role of engineers in environmental protection and sustainable development”.
The speakers zoomed in on the various roles that engineers can play in addressing environmental challenges and advancing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mitigating climate change’s repercussions, designing green infrastructure, and employing cutting-edge technologies are some of the recurring motifs. Strategies for overcoming obstacles through multidisciplinary collaboration were also highlighted. Above all else, the speakers reaffirmed engineers’ shared mission to apply their expertise to solving pressing environmental crises through innovative and sustainable solutions.
Among the HKIE members who attended the forum session, 30+ were present in person at EngHub while others—a great many of them—joined in via Zoom. Both groups demonstrated their enthusiasm about building a greener and more sustainable future by posing thought-provoking questions which elevated the discussion to a more strategic level.
The forum speakers (L to R) Ir Ivy Leung, Dr William Yu, Ir Dr Barry Lee, Ir Dr Samuel Chui, Ir Dr Kenneth Leung
On 20 September, the Institution signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) in its Chai Wan campus. In doing so, it has capitalised on the earlier establishment of its “Professional Certification Mechanism”, which certifies expertise in emerging engineering-related technologies not currently incorporated in any existing divisions or disciplines. With this MoU, programmes offered by THEi in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Stage Engineering will meet the requirements of our Mechanism. Those among our members who have acquired such professional qualifications, now with their expertise properly recognised, will have opportunities to apply their diversified skills to new sectors.
The same occasion also saw the Institution signing another MoU—with Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI). This MoU marked a milestone in the two organisations’ ongoing partnership and laid the foundation for closer and stronger cooperation in the form of mutually beneficial initiatives in the future. The areas of cooperation are comprehensive, encompassing knowledge exchange, policy advocacy, professional development, and industrial collaboration.
At the MoU signing ceremony
On 22 September, which was a Friday, leaders from the Institution invited a group of senior editors and reporters from several major media establishments to a networking luncheon. In attendance for the Institution were President Ir Dr Barry Lee, Immediate Past President Ir Aaron Bok, Senior Vice President Ir Eric Ma, and Director Ir Peter Si. The luncheon was not merely a gesture of friendship from our side; it was also an expression of our gratitude to our media friends for having made our professional views accessible to the public through their dissemination of information.
During the luncheon, our President introduced the media representatives to the Institution’s forthcoming activities and initiatives. An invitation was also made to them to continue collaborating with us on the important mission of publicising engineering stories and issues that engage the community.
Representatives of the HKIE and the media at the luncheon
We live at a time when the use of social media inevitably figures in any serious attempt to communicate ideas and engage target groups’ interest. In such a day and age, it is crucial to our success as advocates of engineers’ contributions to exploit the potential of this powerful instrument to the full.
It is with this objective in mind that the Institution held the captioned event, in hybrid mode, on 6 September 2023 for our members’ continual development. Of the 250 or so members who participated, around 30 attended in person at EngHub. These ranged from our Council Members to representatives from Divisions, Committees, Clubs, our Scheme A companies/ organisations and President Protégé Scheme.
Mr Baniel Cheung, a serial entrepreneur and Founder of Integral Consulting Asia Ltd, was our trainer for the evening. He started off by clearing the ground, reminding the audience that social media marketing should not be executed in isolation but must be considered holistically—that is, as part of an Integrated Digital Marketing (IDM) strategy. The essential components of IDM are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Optimisation (SMO), and Mobile Marketing. Each of them has its respective functions, and since a given social media platform may excel at some of these functions but not the others, the integrative use of platforms is preferable.
Then, after spending some time explaining the major trends, emerging technologies, and objectives of social media marketing, Mr Cheung turned to the various models that a marketer can use, in formulating an effective social media strategy, to understand and anticipate social media users’ behaviours and decision-making processes. Meanwhile, how to select an appropriate influencer or Key Opinion Leader for an organisation was examined from multiple angles, such as credibility and trouble factor, and audience members were enlisted to state their own criteria in choosing one for the HKIE.
Half way through the training session, the participants took a 10-minute break, during which sandwiches were served.
After that, various topics key to the best practices for social media marketing were brought up and discussed. For example, Mr Cheung stressed the importance of tailoring one’s strategies to the cultural milieu in which one finds oneself—a practice known as ‘cultural adoption’—and gave some useful advice and golden rules on crisis and reputation management. Mr Cheung concluded his presentation with the metrics (in the form of scorecard, ladder, and indicators) by which social media performance can be evaluated.
There followed a question-and-answer session. Most of the questions concerned how the theories presented may be applied to the HKIE’s endeavour to raise its public profile. Mr Cheung answered them one by one with characteristic humour and acuity.
Participants of the HKIE Social Media Training
Mr Cheung (standing) answering a participant’s question
Our daily existence is constantly afflicted by natural and anthropogenic hazards of all varieties. The past few weeks have provided our public with an alarming wealth of examples: incidents of water seepage following soon by extreme weather conditions and the various complications (e.g. flooding, landslides, and leakage) that came inexorably in their wake.
The onset of such hazards is often beyond human control. Proper management of them, however, is not. It is in our power to identify ways to react judiciously to them, minimise their effects, and reduce the likelihood of their recurrence. All these would, of course, require professional advice. In the captioned knowledge-sharing events, our experts provided the public with precisely that.
The captioned press conference was held in hybrid form (online and at the HKIE Headquarters) on 5 September under the theme “the building is sick: what to do with water seepage at home?”. President Ir Dr Barry Lee, Chairman of the BS Division Ir Keith W P Yue, BS Division representative Ir David T W Chau, and BD Division representative Ir Tony K Y Wong were present to explain the causes and symptoms of water seepage as well as some feasible approaches to address it.
The presenters explained that water seepage may result from, among other things, moisture-related corrosion, damage to pipes and waterproof coating, and aging of concrete and drainage system. Property owners are recommended to identify, by themselves provisionally, the symptoms by observing the seepage’s location, colour, and seriousness; detecting foul odors; investigating when and under what conditions seepage takes place; and conducting simple tests such as fluorescent dye ponding test and reversible pressure test. Where owners’ suspicions
are grounded, they should, depending on the source of seepage, solicit the assistance of the Owners' Corporation, building manager, authorised professionals, or Joint Offices for Investigation of Water Seepage Complaints.
Recommendations were also made to the Government. In the short run, it may establish a “Project Manager” system, put consultants under closer supervision, and encourage the adoption of testing methods involving new technologies. Moving beyond the short term, it can allocate more resources to take more effective actions and clear the backlog of cases, as well as setting up leading departments and conducting research on legislation to enhance the handling departments’ efficiency.
Presenters at the press conference (L to R) Ir Tony Wong, Ir Dr Barry Lee, Ir Keith Yue, and Ir David Chau
On 8 September, following a night of heavy rainfall during which “extreme conditions” was issued, the Institution held an online Expert Q&A Session to account for the causes of the severe flooding and discussed some effective measures in the face of extreme weather. The experts present were President Ir Dr Barry Lee, Immediate Past President Ir Aaron Bok, CV Division Past Chairman Ir William Luk, GE Division Chairman Ir Dr Gavin Toh, and GE Division Past Chairman Ir Dr Johnny Cheuk.
In response to the media’s questions, the experts ascribed the scale of the flooding partly to the relatively low capacity of some older drainage channels. These channels can generally withstand rainfalls of the “once-every-200-years” magnitude but might be insufficient for those of the “once-every-500-years” magnitude, of which the present case is an instance. On the other hand, landslide risks are possibly magnified by the prevalence of man-made slopes built in compliance with Hong Kong’s hilly terrain.
A highlighted suggestion made by the experts to the Government was to identify flooding black spots with data about drainage systems’ discharge capacity, flooding records, number of complaints, and flood protection standards. Such identifications will pave the way for enhanced strategic planning of discharge facilities, retention ponds, etc. Concerning landslide risks, the experts recommended more landslip prevention and mitigation works for natural hillside catchments, as well as the adoption of innovative technologies to monitor the status of rigid debrisresisting barriers so that forewarnings of mud-and-stone flow incidents can be issued to the relevant authorities.
At the 1st Expert Q&A Session: (1st row; L to R) Ir Dr Barry Lee and Ir Aaron Bok; (2nd row), Ir William Luk; (3rd row; L to R) Ir Dr Gavin Toh and Ir Dr Johnny Cheuk
In view of persistent rainfall and flooding, the Institution followed up this Expert Q&A Session with another one on 12 September, this time in hybrid form. The President, Vice President Ir Alice Chow, CV Division representative Ir Connie H Y Chan, GE Division Past Chairman Ir Chris T L Lee, and ST Division Chairman Ir Kevin Tang spoke on the theme “Recommendations for relief work following extreme weather”.
The Government was urged to make effective use of various communication channels to enhance public awareness of—and readiness for—extreme weather conditions. As for citizens, they should stay vigilant by closely monitoring weather forecasts and staying clear of areas prone to waterlogging or flooding, such as low-lying areas, riversides, and slopes. Property owners should ensure that both indoor and outdoor drainage systems are not in such a state as to cause waterlogging. Inspections and maintenance of private slopes should be carried out regularly to minimise landslide risks.
The experts spent the greater part of the session explaining how infrastructure developers should brace themselves for what will be a probable consequence of global warming’s escalation: the increased frequency and magnitude of similar extreme weather events in the future. In this connection, they stressed the importance of developing climate-resilient infrastructure, namely infrastructure that can withstand and recover quickly from climate disruptions, for a sustainable future for us all.
At the 2nd Expert Q&A Session (L to R) Ir Kevin Tang, Ir Connie Chan, Ir Dr Barry Lee, Ir Alice Chow, and Ir Chris Lee