Civil engineering visit to HKU

Students were lucky enough to hear from the experts.

On Saturday 13th of January we accepted  an invitation to attend an event to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the institution of civil engineering (ICE) at Hong Kong University entitled “Engineering our future: Masterclass for Tomorrow’s Global Leaders”, we first heard from Professor Lord Robert Mair, the CE president 2018 and currently professor of Civil Engineering at Cambridge University, who gave us a clear introduction of what civil engineering is and a bit about his career in this field of work.

We then heard from experts in the fields of key areas that will shape the future of civil engineers which included guest speakers talking about vulnerability and resilience to landslide hazards; future resilience in urban drainage system; and the need to be creative and agile in shaping the cities of the future.

After a short coffee break we were divided into groups with students from other schools/ universities in Hong Kong and we had to prioritise the three most important issues facing the world of the near future from prompt cards we were handed. We then regrouped and presented our findings and solutions to address the identified issues. I felt it was really interesting to hear the views of other people who are lucky enough to travel the world and see their point of view on these pressing issues. Yvonne from Y11 represented her group and won a voucher for her group’s ideas.

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to go to one of three places around Hong Kong to see civil engineering in action. Our school visited the Happy Valley underground stormwater storage scheme which had only been completed a couple of months prior. During a short presentation, we learnt that the facility could hold up to 80000m3 of water in times of heavy rain. The unique feature of the project is a movable weir which opens once the water level reaches critical levels, and the water is then stored in the main storage facility and used at a later date for such things as watering the pitches and other irrigation around Hong Kong.  The picture illustrates the size of the storage facility.

Overall the day was extremely informative and engaging for all of us present and It opened our eyes to the broadness of civil engineering and the issues we must tackle in the near future.

Eddie and Jasper Y12, Yvonne Y11, Allan Y10