Career Advice Archive

URS engineer drafts his goals

Edmond Chan, an engineer at URS Hong Kong, joined the company as part of its Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) Scheme “A” training programme after graduating from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2007. After becoming a chartered member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 2011, he now manages engineering projects both locally and in countries as far away as Australia.

As a chartered civil engineer, Chan manages a small team in providing clients with engineering services and solutions, such as drafting design details for the production of drawings. “My job includes design work like calculations and drafting drawings, hosting regular team meetings for projects, and meeting with international clients,” he says. “I work on a range of port and harbour projects in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia and the Philippines. These projects have included oil and gas terminal developments throughout the region, the site formation for the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, and Port Botany in Sydney.”

The challenge for Chan is to develop value-for-money, innovative solutions for clients, while also maintaining the safety and quality of the projects. “I am always on the lookout to introduce sustainable engineering concepts into the maritime projects that I work on,” he says. “This is an important part of URS culture and the company aims to instil this in each staff member.”

Chan thinks URS has provided him with valuable development opportunities to enhance his career. “The company holds various training courses and I get the chance to travel abroad to work on global projects and to experience different cultures,” he says. “My longer-term career plans include becoming a URS certified project manager, which will allow me to oversee major projects and improve my technical, commercial and leadership skills so that I can run a department one day.”

Chan advises those interested in a vibrant and challenging career as an engineer to have a clear picture of what they want to do. “After you have entered university to study to be a civil engineer, it is never too early to start planning your career,” he says. “There are many different specialisations in civil engineering, so I advise students to think about what they want to do. Maybe they can pick a speciality while choosing the topic for their final-year project. Doing summer internships to gain work experience also helps get you prepared.”