Dear members

It would be a gross understatement to say that the Presidential visit to the UK has merely lived up to my expectations—simply because it far exceeded them. Over this short week, a disproportionate amount of new ideas came to me from those I met with and listened to. Because of the other speakers’ sharing at our international conference, fresh perspectives on climate-resilient infrastructure development have opened themselves up to me; from local students, entrepreneurs, and practicing engineers, I gained better insights into the real needs of those considering whether to launch a career in Hong Kong; from HKIE members residing there, I heard first-hand accounts of the current state of the UK’s engineering landscape. In truth, I will consider my trip a great success if those I have encountered have drawn half as much inspiration from me as I have from them.

The UK would not be our last stop in our journey of global engagement. From 6 to 9 December, I will be embarking on another trip—this time to Dubai. This trip is particularly significant in that I will be going with three young engineers recognised by the Institution as having demonstrated enormous potential. Awardees of our Young Engineer of the Year Award in 2020, 2021, and 2022, these promising engineers—Ir Tim Wong, Ir Ivy Leung, and Ir Tang Wai Tak—have all been deterred in the past three years by the pandemic from representing the Institution in an overseas conference, which is the prerogative of this Award’s recipients. This year, their turn finally comes around. They will be forming a delegation to the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change hosted by the United Arab Emirates. Apart from myself, Vice President Ir Alice Chow, Vice President Ir Prof Frank Chan, and Chief Executive and Secretary Ir Prof Alfred Sit will join this delegation. In this international meeting where the world unites to decide on concrete climate actions, we will ensure that the voices of Hong Kong engineers be heard.

Our engagement in local affairs has proceeded in parallel with our efforts at global outreach. On 6 October, our Safety Specialist Committee (SSC) held a press conference themed “Can Accidents be Avoided?” in response to the recent series of fatal industrial accidents that took place in confined spaces. In the conference, I joined the SSC’s representatives in recommending some smart technologies and methodologies that can be adopted to ensure industrial safety. The takeaway from the conference, apart from these technicalities, was the principle that “life comes before everything else”. The conference can be revisited at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or_c6pjiii4.

Another press conference was held on 27 October to respond to the Chief Executive's 2023 Policy Address, which had been announced two mornings previously. In it, we addressed the Administration’s proposed measures in the eight areas (ranging from talent attraction to transportation) in which we have previously given recommendations. We also highlighted those of our recommendations that were accepted and reiterated the importance of some others that were not. More details of the conference can be found here: https://hkie.org.hk/en/news/press_release_detail/164/

I remember telling you a while back how busy we were being kept by the preliminaries to the Hong Kong Engineers Week 2024 (HKEW2024). Now that a few months have gone by, we have naturally seen some new developments that I would like to give you a foretaste of: HKEW2024 has been scheduled for early March next year and will boast a series of activities that tentatively include a carnival, career fairs, One School One Engineer Sharing Session, the Greater Bay Area Innovation Competition, and the HKIE Grand Award Presentation Ceremony. A fun week in which pleasure and educational value exist side by side and complement each other—that’s what we can look forward to.

Ir Dr Barry LEE Chi-hong
President
The HKIE