In modern metropolises, building services engineers have to deal with complex projects, and contribute towards sustainability of the urban environment. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) offers a master of science in intelligent building technology and management to train engineers who are specialists in creating green buildings.
Professor Christopher Chao, director of the programme, says: "It does not only focus on technical aspects, there are management elements to prepare students to move up to higher managerial roles."
Many applicants are graduates from mechanics-related disciplines who move on to work in the building service industry. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, architectural science, building services engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, physical science or related fields.
The course is a top-up master's degree programme to meet the corporate membership requirement for the building services discipline of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.
Students are able to choose to study full-time for one year to 18 months, or study on a part-time basis for two to four years. There are two intakes every year in September and in February. About 50 students are accepted in the two intakes combined.
Wesley Lau, who has an undergraduate degree in building services, took the course to gain in-depth knowledge and the necessary academic qualification to be a chartered building engineer. "The prospects in intelligent building [design] are bright as the government is pitching the importance of buildings that conserve energy," Lau says. "I think the management elements of the course really helped me prepare myself to move into a higher post."