The last time we spoke, I got so carried away by the new-found opportunity to explain my Presidential Theme—“We Engineer, We Serve” (知行合一 成就專業)—that I spent relatively little time on the specifics of the initiatives on my agenda. As I sat down to write, the thought occurred to me that I owe it to our members to talk at some length about the Institution’s future work. This being a month rather rich in events for us, I thought that I would take this chance to give you a preview of what is to come in the month of July.
For starters, there will be the preliminaries to the Hong Kong Engineers Week (HKEW). The HKEW 2023 was such a blast—and was so great a help in promoting the engineering profession—that almost every member I have spoken to has asked, with great interest, if and when it will be repeated. And repeated it shall be, next year in 2024. As with last time, we will be accepting sponsorship for the event, and 7 July 2023 has been set as the date for the commencement of sponsorship invitation. Prospective sponsors are invited to keep a sharp lookout for news on our social media platforms and elsewhere.
For me personally, 10 July 2023 will be an equally meaningful day. On that day’s afternoon, I will return to Aberdeen Technical School (ATS), my alma mater, with five other distinguished members who are also its alumni for a meeting with the Principal and the teaching staff there. My sentimental attachments to ATS aside, the visit will be an official one, with a specific mission: to introduce the Institution and its STEAM promotion schemes, brainstorm ideas about the best ways to support STEAM education, and discuss the Charter of Cooperation with secondary schools and teachers’ eligibility for the HKIE affiliate membership.
On 14 July 2023, the opening of the new HKIE facility “工程薈 EngHub”, an office at the Kwun Tong Grade-A commercial building HK NEO, will mark another milestone in the history of the HKIE. At approximately 2,000 square feet, the facility will make a convenient and comfy workspace for Divisions, Disciplines, and Committees to conduct their meetings, seminars, and social events in a relax environment round the clock. To celebrate the occasion, an opening ceremony cum cocktail reception will be held with government officials, Legco members and others as guests.
The new facility will see its first significant use shortly afterwards—on 21 July 2023, in fact, exactly a week after its opening—with the signing ceremony of the Charter of Cooperation with some engineering-related organisations. Significant, because the Charter will be an indispensable component in our plan to promote our membership and set up Scheme “A” Training across the industry. Nothing can be more fitting, in my view, than for a facility conceived with members’ benefits in mind to find its first task in an enterprise that prepares the ground for the profession’s continued success.
We began July with matters concerning the HKEW, which unites the local industry. Nevertheless, it is as important to strengthen the bond with our counterparts outside Hong Kong as to cultivate solidarity among the stakeholders within. Our visit to Macau on 22 July 2023, and in particular to the Macao Institution of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (AEEMM) and host the first ever cocktail reception for our members in Macau to meet and chat with the delegates from HKIE in various disciplines, will therefore be a fitting conclusion to our initiatives this month.
The working group members supporting my initiatives are also working hard on liaising with various shops, organisations, and training institutions to explore the possibility of offering special benefits and training courses to our members. In parallel, another working group of members are busy in drafting guidelines and working closely with the corresponding organisation for the accreditation of the HKIE’s newly established qualifications in emerging technical areas.
There is really nothing in what I have listed that I am not eagerly looking forward to accomplishing. My only hope is that all of you, looking back from August, will be able to say that the first month of my presidency was a tolerable success.
Ir Dr Barry LEE Chi-hong