The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) organises a summer internship programme every year, giving post-secondary students in different professional fields an opportunity to put what they have learned into practice and accumulate work experience. At the same time, the interns will know more about the department’s daily operations and major areas of work. This year, the CEDD has recruited about 40 students under the programme for six to eight weeks of summer internship. This time, I have invited the Head of the Sustainable Lantau Office (SLO) of the CEDD, Mr FONG Hok-shing, Michael, to have a chat with three interns attached to his office about their internship and experience.
Appreciating the balance between development and conservation
Intern Ms Sharon KAN, a student of the Master’s Degree Programme in Urban Planning and a resident of Lantau Island, says she is particularly happy to be deployed to the SLO as she could assist in planning for her district and gain hands-on experience. The Government is promoting the sustainable development of Lantau with “Development in the North, Conservation for the South” as the principle. Through workplace experience and practices, Sharon has gained a deeper insight into the Government’s efforts to seek a balance between development and conservation. Besides, she also has had chances to go on site visits to Lantau with her colleagues, the aim of which is to try to unearth “treasures” of different areas in order to attract visitors to these areas within their carrying capacity.
Among the projects of the SLO, the one that has impressed Sharon the most is a minor improvement works project implemented in Ma Wan Chung by the SLO in conjunction with a non-governmental organisation and a local art group. The project comprises the making of a 3D ground painting at the Tung Chung Public Pier to promote the fishing village characteristics and local culture of Ma Wan Chung. Sharon shares with us her feeling that, to make a connection to the public, the implementation of any “rigid” works projects can also involve public participation.
Understanding the importance of communication
Mr Karl CHAN, a student of Civil Engineering, has been deployed to a construction site at Tai O for his internship. His duty is to assist resident site staff to manage the site and implement local improvement works. A new bus terminus and public sitting-out areas are some of the projects he has participated in. He shares with us that working on a construction site has given him a deeper understanding of the cooperation and division of work between government departments, especially between works departments. He has also learned some special terms used on construction sites, which he believes would be very useful when he joins the works industry in the future.
Karl has also realised that the actual work on a construction site is far different from what he imagined. Although it is generally believed that civil engineering work is mechanical, communication with others is in fact a vital part of it. For instance, to gain public understanding and support when implementing a project, it is important to maintain coordination between departments and communication with different stakeholders, such as local residents, at the design or construction stage of works.
Making interesting engineering animation
There are different ways of communication. Ms Ellia KWOK, an intern under this programme and a student of Communication, has helped manage the SLO’s Facebook page to promote the work of the office and other nature conservation programmes during her internship. Ellia says that many government projects are closely related to our daily lives, so she wants to introduce each and every project to the public. Among the work she has done, the most special is the short video idea that she has come up with. The video of animation presents in an interesting way the sustainable and environmental-friendly dry latrines specially designed by the CEDD. The video, in-depth and easy to comprehend at the same time, enables the public to understand more easily the operation concepts and advantages of the new dry latrines.
I agree with the Head of the SLO of the CEDD, Mr Michael FONG, that the internship programme has enabled the students to understand the real working environment before graduation. More importantly, by meeting staff of different departments and members of the public, they now understand the importance of communication, which will be very helpful when they consider their future direction and enter the workforce.
1 September, 2019Back