Each year The HK Institution of Engineers selects Young Engineer only and give him/ her the Young Engineer Award of the Year. Incidentally three of these Young Engineers between the Years 2010 and 2016 are graduates from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong.
Herewith in information in respect of their awards:
Ir LEUNG Man Yee Mandy (Graduate of 1998)
Recipient of HKIE Young Engineer of the Year Award 2010
The presentation of the Young Engineer of the Year Award 2015 was made at the 40th Annual Dinner. This year’s Award went to Ir Ken T K Chan. The award is to honour an outstanding young engineer who has made commendable contributions to the engineering profession, to the community and to the Institution.
Ir Ken Chan received his BEng (Electrical Energy System Engineering) and MSc (Electrical and Electronics Engineering) from the University of Hong Kong in 2003 and 2005 respectively. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Department of Building and Real Estate, where he is researching on the implementation of partnering in project management.
Ir Chan began his engineering career as a graduate trainee at CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd (CLP) in 2003, where he was exposed to various aspects of the electricity supply business, including transmission substation design, procurement, public affairs and distribution network construction. As an Engineer I in CLP, Ir Chan leads a team of engineers to implement distribution network projects in Lantau, Peng Chau and Cheung Chau, providing a reliable and timely electricity supply to major infrastructure and residential developments in these areas.
Ir Chan advocates innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration for solving engineering challenges. One example is the development of an innovative, cost-effective and energy-efficient earth mat construction method that combines civil and electrical engineering processes. This innovative method won him the Certificate of Merit of the HKIE Innovation Awards for Young Members (Category II) in 2009.
Over the last decade, Ir Chan has assumed an active role in promoting engineering to the younger generation and the general public. He has been a speaker and mentor in the “CLP Young Power Programme” since 2005. He has also organised for the Association of Hong Kong Professionals the Professional Internship Programme for secondary school students since 2013 to help young people plan their careers. He also participated in the RTHK Community Broadcast Programme, promoting the engineering profession and highlighting the contribution of engineers to society.
Ir Chan is committed to serving the HKIE and the community. He was a Committee Member of the HKIE Young Members Committee for six consecutive years, from 2005-2010, and has also delivered school talks and public talks to promote the image of engineers. He is keen to encourage young professionals to get involved in community affairs and social issues for the betterment of Hong Kong. Towards that end, he has initiated various discussions between policymakers and young professionals. The discussion forum on sustainable infrastructure development, which was held in 2014 and attended by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR and more than 200 professionals of various disciplines, is an excellent example of Ir Chan’s initiatives.
(above information provided by the recipient)
Ir Dr. PONG Wing Tat Philip
Recipient of HKIE Young Engineer of the Year Award 2016
Once upon a time not so long ago, when there were no Kindles or iPads, when the internet did not exist, let alone Wikipedia or Google, books were the main source of comfort for the curious. For those with a keen interest in all things scientific, there was a series of books called “One Hundred Thousand Whys” (「十萬個為甚麼」) that answered children’s questions regarding natural phenomena.
Ir Dr Philip Pong, this year’s winner of the HKIE Young Engineer of the Year Award, was among them. Not only did he read the “One Hundred Thousand Whys” series of books, he also read his brother’s physics books. These books, however, were soon to give way to the World Wide Web. As personal computers became popular in the 1990s and dial-up modems opened up a new virtual world, Ir Dr Pong became increasingly interested in electrical and electronic engineering, eventually ending up studying the subject at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
After taking first class honours at HKU, he decided to pursue a PhD overseas.
“I was young and wanted to see more and learn more,” Ir Dr Pong said. “The University of Cambridge accepted me; they had just started a nanoscience programme that fitted well with my interests.”
Supported by the Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholarship and the UK’s Overseas Research Students Award, he spent 2002-05 at St John’s College, conducting research into scanning probe microscopy (SPM) to detect single electron spin at the university’s Nanoscience Centre. His desire to continue with his research led him to the US next. He found a position at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), where they were developing ultra-sensitive sensors.
“I learnt how a big national research institute conducts research and develop engineering applications,” he said of his time in the US. “The group I worked under there develops sensors for measuring the magnetic field. There is a wide spectrum of applications for this type of sensors, from the aerospace to military industries. Apart from the research methodology, I also learnt how to run a laboratory, which was precious experience.”
In 2008, Ir Dr Pong returned to Hong Kong and assumed an academic position at his alma mater. Nanoscience and sensors are the focus of his research – which places him at the forefront of today’s technological revolution thanks to the increasing demand for nano materials, particularly in biomedical applications; and sensors for internet of things (IoTs) in smart city and smart grid applications.
“Today we talk about energy management, with sensors measuring energy consumption at home in order to use energy efficiently. In the future, a smart grid will be able to detect problems in our power network and fix them before disruption occurs. It will be self-healing. Fluctuations in energy supply associated with the use of renewable energy can be monitored with advanced sensors and matched with demand to enhance stability and reliability,” Ir Dr Pong said.
To make this a reality, he and his colleagues are working hard to improve sensor performance and sensitivity, which increasingly depends on the type of nano materials used to make them. Along with the large-scale deployment of sensors in our environment, sensors with higher sensitivity will improve data collection, but what is to be done with the data collected? How can it be handled to yield useful information? Ir Dr Pong suggested that engineers would have to acquire new skills for the age of big data.
“Engineers must learn how to process and extract useful information from big data as well as to implement different policies to improve smart cities. They must know more about statistics, hardware and software,” he said. “They may also need to know how to make use of computational intelligence.”
Informed by his own experience and the multidisciplinary nature of his academic work, Ir Dr Pong is keen to nurture the engineers of tomorrow by developing a global engineering curriculum. The idea is to have universities around the world collaborating in an engineering programme that offers students the opportunity to learn under different environments. He believed the Washington Accord, which confers recognition on the engineering qualifications of member signatories, could play a role in facilitating the development of such a curriculum.
“This would be an elite programme. Hong Kong has an advantage as a superconnector and through the HKIE and the Washington Accord we can build such a programme. We can attract more gifted students to engineering and stimulate more innovation by exposing them to new ideas. The next generation of engineers needs a global horizon,” he said.
Ir Dr Pong has already taken tentative steps towards turning his idea into reality, having advocatedit at a Faculty of Engineering brainstorming session and looked for like minds at the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), where he is part of the management team of the IEEE Magnetics Society. He is also the founding chairman of the IEEE Magnetics Society – Hong Kong Chapter.
Ir Dr Pong began his involvement with the Electronics Division of the HKIE in 2009 and has been an active School Ambassador as well. The divisional event that made the deepest impression on him was the 2013 Hong Kong Electronics Symposium, which has now become the Division’s annual flagship event.
“We didn’t have such a big event in the past, but now it has become a respected event in electronic circles,” he said proudly.
More, however, needs to be done to promote electronics engineering.
“Our electronics programme may need repackaging,” he said. “Robotics are popular and maybe one channel for attracting new students, especially drones; the electronics is just as important as the mechanics in robotics because the sensors and software are so important.”
There is plenty to keep him busy. With teaching and research work as well as the HKIE commitments and work on government committees to attend to, this year’s Young Engineer of the Year certainly knows how to inspire the next generation of engineers to contribute to both society and the engineering profession.