A trip of a lifetime

As part of the historic CIBSE YEN trip to Hong Kong, which saw all the major YEN groups meet together for the first time, CIBSE President-elect John Field travelled with them to speak at the YEN Conference.

After the trip, John writes about the experience, and those to whom the YEN group is now indebted.

The phrase ‘trip of a lifetime’ is an overused one – after all, it’s not often that going abroad on business or on holiday can actually change the course of your career or your life. But in the case of the young engineers who set off last Sunday on their visit to Hong Kong, those are exactly the kinds of stakes were talking about.

The trip was organised by the Young Engineers Network (YEN), a worldwide group of regional centres stretching from Scotland to Australia that acts as a forum for ideas and a support network for engineers just starting out in the industry.

The Young Engineers and I thank our hosts for a great trip
This particular trip was even more exciting, because it was the first time ever that all the major CIBSE YEN groups have sent representatives to meet at the same time, effectively marking their largest and most diverse gathering yet. The opportunity this presented to the young engineers is difficult to overstate – not only did it provide an opportunity to share ideas with colleagues across the globe, it was also possible to meet seasoned experts in Hong Kong too, one of the world centres of engineering excellence.

For this opportunity, we must first of all thank the group’s hosts at the Hong Kong branch of the YEN. It was through their hospitality that the young engineers were able to visit some of the biggest and most complex examples of their craft in the world, from the world’s largest casino to a unique district cooling system in Kai Tak.

My speech at the Next Gen Technology Conference
The demanding programme for the week was faultlessly planned and executed by the Hong Kong
YEN Centre with Chair Eve Leung taking the lead supported by Vice Chair Marcus Chan. There was close co-operation with CIBSE HK Branch, Chair CM Chung, and YEN Global's Carla Bartholomew and Karen Settle. Eve and Marcus supported the group tirelessly throughout and were able to calmly shepherd a group of 30 excited engineers through complex bus trips, ferry terminals and passport controls to and from Macau without losing anyone!

Also to be acknowledged for initiating it all are last year's Hong Kong YEN Centre Chair Mandy Wong and CIBSE Branch Immediate Past President PL Yeung.

The young engineers also got to attend the Asia Pacific Conference on the Built Environment "Next Gen Technology to make green buildings sustainable" with a kick-off summary of extensive government initiatives by the Hong Kong Secretary for the Environment KS Wong. With YEN's presence the conference could maybe have been renamed "Next Gen Engineers"! 

A ferry successfully navigated!


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