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Mother's Day Series: Geotechnical Engineer Ms TING Sui-man

Here we would like to introduce to you a colleague from the government who is also a good mother, Ms TING Sui-man. Ms TING Sui-man, joined the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) as Geotechnical Engineer back in 2011. She has worked in two different divisions, both of which are related to landslide emergency services. A petite and cheerful lady, Ms TING is “Ting Ting” to her colleagues. Coordinating Landslide Emergency Services Currently, Ms TING is mainly responsible for assisting in the coordination of the GEO’s landslide emergency services. With over 200 geotechnical engineers and technical officers working shifts, the GEO provides 24-hour emergency services all year round to give geotechnical advice to government departments on contingency actions to be taken in case of danger arising from landslides. The GEO will, among others, assess the situation at scene and advise whether closure of roads, evacuation of residents from the affected buildings, and urgent repair works should be implemented. When a landslip warning or typhoon signal number 8 or above has been issued by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), the GEO’s Emergency Control Centre (ECC) in the Civil Engineering and Development Building at Homantin will be activated to handle landslide incidents, safeguard public safety, and assist government departments to restore public facilities affected by the incidents. Ms TING is responsible for the coordination of various supporting activities, such as deployment of staff to work shifts, ensuring the proper functioning of equipment and helping in the dispatch of geotechnical engineers to the landslide scenes as soon as possible for assessment. Therefore, she must be prepared to start her work anytime during the entire rainy season. Furthermore, she is also responsible for the arrangement of training on landslide emergency services for colleagues. As a matter of fact, the GEO has introduced virtual reality environment for such training this year. Climbing mountains and wading rivers under the scourging sun and in the rain Having been a geotechnical engineer for years, for a period of time in her career, Ms TING had to make a long and difficult journey to work in some remote areas. Her first position in the GEO was to operate the Landslip Warning System and manage the raingauges operated by the GEO. There are about 90 GEO automatic raingauges all over Hong Kong, with some located in places as far as Fan Lau in Lantau Island, Po Toi Island and Tap Mun. As decisions on whether to issue a landslip warning are made jointly by the HKO and GEO with reference to data collected from raingauges and other information, Ms TING and technical officers have to build and repair raingauges under the scourging sun or in the rain from time to time. This is not an easy task according to Ms TING.Motivation comes from her children A mother of a son and a daughter, Ms TING admits that she is inevitably feeling stressed as she has to fulfil the heavy commitments of both work and family life, which includes meeting her children’s education needs. That said, her children are her biggest motivation. After a day of work, her son would offer his arm for her head to rest on, while her daughter would say she is looking for a book named “100 ways to be happy” to cheer her up. Ms TING says that she does not want to be a “monster mom”, so she would never require her children to be at the top of the class, or to participate in too many talent training programmes. She wants them to be able to grow up in a relaxed and happy environment. Smilingly, she says that some of her fondest moments are seeing her children coming back from school, sweating a lot with dishevelled hair, showing that they must have had a good day at school. However, she does have a certain level of expectation on her children’s moral values, especially as our society is so full of temptations. She hopes that her children will “keep a moral compass”, whereby they can distinguish right from wrong and know what should or should not be done. She believes that by having the right thoughts, taking the right action and saying the right words, they will lead a life of abundance and success.To maintain public safety, they need to remain unfazed and always get prepared to offer emergency service in times of inclement weather. On top of that, they are also shouldering family responsibilities. We hope that everyone will continue to provide unlimited support and encouragement for all the hard-working, good mothers on earth, whether it is Mother’s Day or not. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Technical Officer

The CEDD aims to contribute to society in the development of its infrastructure and in other efforts to keep the environment green and sustainable. It also aims to establish Hong Kong as a city of infrastructural safety. Mannix and Amanda, two technical officers in the CEDD, shared their feelings about the job. Thanks to the experimental work they do on a daily basis, they have become prudent and organized. Let us take a look at this challenging profession which is closely related to our everyday life. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page

Geotechnical Engineer

Owing to its mountainous terrain, Hong Kong is predisposed to flooding and landslides. Protecting our citizens from these natural hazards is the job of not only the disciplinary forces, but also the geotechnical engineers, who are responsible for monitoring every landslide black spot to make high-precision assessment of landslides. Striving to protect the lives of local citizens, Jenny Yeung demonstrates how women can equal men in their fearless performance as geotechnical engineers in the face of the dangers of natural disasters. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page

Civil Engineer

To many, being an engineer simply requires an aptitude for making complex calculations and wholehearted commitment to construction site work. However, Sunny Sun, a civil engineer at the Civil Engineering and Development Department, will tell you that his job involves not only working on construction sites, but also reaching out to the public, so that in the planning process he can contribute to building our city with a human touch. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page