This year the Hong Kong LN celebrated its 25th anniversary. To honour its successes members took part in dragon boat races and the Hong Kong Marathon, as well as hosting an anniversary dinner and golf tournament, reports Keri Allan.
The Hong Kong Local Network (LN) is one of the IET’s largest, with 5,000 members. A very active community, its members give advice to the Hong Kong SAR Government and share knowledge through seminars, forums, technical visits and competitions – aimed at both the local engineering community and the general public.
The LN also works hard on educational projects, as immediate past chairman Dr Angus Cheung highlights: “We strive to promote the engineering and technology disciplines in Hong Kong, especially in an effort to nurture future engineers. One of the major annual events that we organise includes the Hong Kong/Asia Regional Contest of the Underwater Robot Challenge. We also initiate or jointly organise many events with other institutions and organisations for the young, for instance, the Young Professional Exhibition and Competition. In addition, we cooperate with local tertiary institutions to establish mentorship programmes.
“This year, we launched the IET Faraday Challenge Days for the first time, which have previously only been held in UK schools and colleges,” Dr Cheung adds. “Committed to encouraging youngsters’ interest in engineering and technology, IET Hong Kong is delighted to be the first overseas IET Network to launch this event in local schools.”
Over the past 25 years, the Network has grown to become one of the major professional organisations for engineers in Hong Kong. It began with volunteers working with the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of the University of Hong Kong, and the Network had a small office at the City University of Hong Kong.
“It was beneficial to have our branch office associated with the universities in order to maintain a good long-term membership growth and support,” notes Dr Cheung, “but as the branch grew we got our own office and became independent of our university partners.”
In 1991, with over one third of the LN’s members being young professionals, the Network realised the importance of providing professional assistance to its younger members and formed its Younger Members Section (YMS), the first of its kind overseas.
Over the following decade it then went on to improve communication for professionals within specific communities, again being the first international Network to pioneer sectors. These covered everything from electronic and communication, informatics and control technologies and manufacturing to industrial engineering, power and energy, railway and transport and management.
These are just two of the achievements that the LN is hugely proud of, but the Network also takes pride in its status and professionalism being recognised by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
“We actively participate in providing feedback to the government on various engineering consultation and policy papers,” Dr Cheung notes proudly. “Our different sections play key roles on consultation and indeed some of our members are sitting in various Government advisory committees while corporate members are voters of the IT Functional Constituency in the Legislative Council Election.”
With such successes to shout about the Hong Kong LN wanted to celebrate 25 years in style and so launched a series of events including the publication of a commemorative book, an anniversary dinner and a golf tournament.
The Hong Kong 25th Anniversary Dinner was held on 6 September at the Regal Kowloon Hotel and around 300 local engineering leaders and IET members attended, including the Under Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Yau Shing Mu. The IET president sent a video clip congratulating the Network for its first 25 yeas and each section of the LN performed in a talent show.
“As a record of the HK LN’s history, the commemorative IET HK 25th anniversary booklet was produced, which included interviews with former IET Hong Kong chairmen, and covered the Network’s history and development,” says the Network’s honorary secretary Dr Johnny Ng. “This was distributed to all participants of the anniversary dinner and to other interested parties including peer and tertiary institutions, as well as universities.”
To celebrate, members also participated in other local events including the Hong Kong Marathon and several dragon boat races.
“The IET Hong Kong Dragon Boat team participated in races including the Mui Wo Dragon Boat Race Open and the ShaTin Dragon Boat Race 2013, and IET Hong Kong runners from the YMS successfully completed the 10km race in the Hong Kong Marathon 2013,” Dr Ng enthuses.
Members have been taking part in these events for many years as a way of promoting the IET, as Network chairman CK Lau highlights.
“The marathon and dragon boat races are famous sports events that attract international attention. To further improve the value and brand of the IET to members and to attract membership, we will continue our participation in these local sports events.”
Looking forward, the Network has plans to continue with its good work and hopefully expand this further. It aims to continue holding successful events and training sessions as well as keeping up with its excellent track record of organising many high quality local and international conferences such as APSCOM, ICRE, APRS and the Power Symposium. It also plans to work hard on educational activities, ties with universities and membership drives, as well as continuing to work closely with government.
“The Hong Kong government has and will launch a series of consultations, including the Digital 21 Strategy, waste management, energy mix and electricity market etc. We will promote our image and influence by making professional and quality responses to government consultations. In addition we plan to partner with government departments in promoting suitable and relevant engineering and technology events,” says Lau.
“The Network will follow the four key drivers of the IET, namely value, knowledge, international presence and agility in our operations and planning of activities so as to make a positive difference to the society, the government and peer institutions. We plan to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our various stakeholders,” Lau concludes.
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