This edition of Member Spotlight highlights the engineering experience of Simon Tong FIEAust CPEng, current Hong Kong Chapter President.
When did you first know you wanted to be an engineer?
In my final year of high school, I attended an exhibition on ‘Building and Construction’. I was very impressed by the scale of building and infrastructure development in Hong Kong at that time. This triggered my ambition to become an engineer.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
An engineer must act professionally and with integrity.
What are your top two career highlights?
The first highlight would be when I joined a construction company to build the first immersed tube tunnel across Victoria Harbour for the Mass Transit Railway in Hong Kong.
The second would be when I then joined a consultant firm as Chief Resident Engineer to supervise a network of flyovers (using segmental construction method) and highways linking Tuen Mun Town and the Shenzhen Western Corridor that spans across Deep Bay.
How does being Chartered assist in your career?
Being chartered gives me recognition and the trust of my peers for my professional achievements, thereby giving me a brighter and rewarding career to serve the public.
What advice do you have for graduate engineers?
They should gain sound technical knowledge through training, put engineering theories into practice and learn to work as a team.
How has the profession changed over your career?
In the past, we relied on hand drafting. These days we use computer aided design and drafting, and also Building Information Modelling (BIM). In the past, the profession was also dominated by male engineers, but now we have many competent female engineers in this profession.
Who would you like to sit next to on a plane and why?
I would like to sit next to Lo Ban who was a famous Chinese carpenter, architect, engineer, inventor and philosopher born 507 BC. I would wish this patron saint of Chinese builders and engineers, to bless my career.
What was the most recent thing you have done to promote the profession of engineering?
In August I was a key speaker in a career talk sponsored by two top local universities. I explained to the students how to get into the engineering profession and the career path needed to become a chartered engineer.