Sustainability is accentuated in today’s world more than ever. We must recognise the clear link between sustainability of the engineering profession, and that of human civilisation and the globe as a whole. Thanks to our unique ability and experience of engineering in enhancing people’s livelihoods, we have a vital and significant role to play in creating a sustainable and livable future for all. Ensuring our profession’s sustainability means we need to build a community that welcomes and nurtures future generations of new engineers. This must not be seen as a burden, but as a privilege to be embraced, I would say.
Putting our words into action, we established and concluded the Hong Kong Engineers Week 2023 (HKEW 2023), the campaign bearing the theme of “Our Future, We Engineer未來．一同創造”, in March. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did for at its core it exhibited the multifaceted and enticing nature of the engineering family.
Engineers come from different disciplines, but we have a common mission, that is, the betterment of society. We are professional, objective, and scientific, but we are also accessible and fun; our work may not emphasise people skills, but everything we do is people centric.
It is this dynamic that we showcased at the HKEW 2023 and we hope that it will make a long-lasting impression on the public, especially its younger members. I took the liberty of expressing my gratitude to all the supporters of this event multiple times on behalf of the Institution, and I include every one of you as key stakeholders in the engineering profession who can benefit from a growing community of young engineers. Offering activities as diverse as exhibition, awards and competitions, carnival, international conference, and fundraising cycling and run, the HKEW 2023 brought together about 20,000 fellow members, stakeholders from the Administration, business and academia, and most importantly, the wider public—the youth in particular. Event highlights can be found in the HKEW website https://hkengineersweek.com/. A campaign organised on such a large scale would not have happened without you, so let’s give ourselves the recognition that we deserve and be proud of being engineers!
During the past few weeks, there had been occasions when I was touched immensely by my experience. In the Carnival, in the Cycling and Run, and again in the Annual Dinner, I heard remarks like these dropped everywhere and repeatedly around me: “Proud to be Engineers! Proud to be Environmental (or Civil, Building, etc.) Engineers!” or “Proud to be Engineers! Proud to be MTR (or Arup) Engineers!”. These words encouraged me into thinking that my efforts to unite the profession have not been in vain.
With all sanitary measures now lifted, our pride as engineers will have more occasions to express itself. We are justified in letting our spirits be lifted by Hong Kong’s comeback to the scene, for that brings with it professional opportunities and challenges of all shapes and sizes. But while preparing to rise superior to these daunting challenges, it is just as well that we put our hard-earned freedom to good use, on the eve of the struggle so to speak, by coming together for a moment of comfort and celebration.
The evening of March 17th saw our HKIE family do exactly that: in the HKIE Annual Dinner, held for the first time since 2019, members gathered and kept each other’s company, unimpeded by masks and social distancing. I also had the honour of presenting the HKIE Awards to their worthy recipients, and of sharing in their delight at being thus recognised. Really, no better preparations for the challenges to come can be hoped for than to spend such quality time in this family get-together. I must thank all the guests and staff who were present at that night for making that happen. Highlights of the evening can be found here.
The completion of HKEW 2023 and the Annual Dinner is like finishing another lap in a race, and we continue to accelerate as we are fuelled by our ultimate purpose of advancing world-class development. Soon we will be launching two new video series, namely “3-minute Engineering Discovery” and “Meet an Engineer’s Master Engineer十載工情” to provide young audiences with insights into distinctive engineering triumphs, engineers who are in their mid-career, their outstanding achievements, and their career paths.
Let us carry on the good work and remind ourselves constantly that we should be proud to be engineers!
Ir Aaron BOK Kwok-ming