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Guardians amid the Epidemic: Consumer Services Inspectors in Water Supplies Department

The stability of water supply is more valued amid the epidemic. Consumer Services Inspectors of the Water Supplies Department will set off for site visits across the city and assist in solving water supply problems if needed. They safeguard the stability of our drinking water supply. Thank you, Consumer Services Inspectors! (The video is in Cantonese)

Guardians amid the Epidemic: Waterworks Chemists

Hygiene is the top priority in our fight against COVID-19. Thanks to the joint efforts of all the staff from the Water Supplies Department, water quality is ensured. In the midst of the epidemic, Waterworks Chemists have to keep their minds clear and be precise throughout the monitoring process. Let’s salute these guardians of our drinking water! (The video is in Cantonese)

Tree labels with QR codes

There is a large number of trees in the territory. Different tree species can be seen along roadsides and in parks. For trees to grow healthily, apart from the comprehensive risk assessment and regular maintenance of trees carried out by tree management departments, the co-operation of the public is also very important. The Development Bureau (DEVB) is now launching a scheme of tree labels with QR codes, hoping to raise public awareness of trees and their maintenance so that Hong Kong people can work together to reduce the risk of tree failure. Currently, about 1.7 million trees in Hong Kong are under the regular maintenance of the Government and amongst them, about one million are in areas of high pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow. In view of the wide distribution of trees in the territory, the Government adopts an “integrated approach” for tree management, under which departments are responsible for managing the trees in the facilities and land within their purview, so that appropriate routine tree maintenance can be carried out having regard to the characteristics and locations of different trees. On the other hand, trees located on private land are under the care of respective private lot and property owners.Facilitating the public to report problematic treesThe DEVB has been actively exploring ways to apply smart technologies in tree management to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness. Displaying tree labels with QR codes is one of the new initiatives. Tree Management Officer, Ms Chan Yuen-man, Paula, of the DEVB says that through the use of QR codes, the scheme brings convenience both to the public in reporting problematic trees and to the DEVB in providing more tree knowledge, such as tree species, whether the species are indigenous or foreign, tree characteristics and other fun facts. The work to display QR-coded labels has commenced and will be completed in phases. The DEVB expects to first display QR-coded labels on about 200 000 trees along roadsides in early 2022. Tree labels placed at pedestrians’ eye levelsMr Chan Yuen-king, Paul, Landscape Architect of the consulting company implementing the scheme, tells us that tree labels with QR codes will be hung on trees at the eye level of pedestrians. Tree labels carry basic tree information including Chinese, English and botanical names. The labels mainly have two functions. Firstly, in case a problematic tree is found, the public can report to the authorities by, for example, calling 1823. As each tree has a unique number printed on its label, the public can tell the accurate location of a tree. Secondly, the public may scan the QR code on the tree label with a mobile phone to enter the website of the tree management authority for more tree information. Covering locations with higher pedestrian flowMr Paul Chan says that the scheme of tree labels with QR codes covers the whole territory, involving trees at locations with higher pedestrian flow, such as major transport nodes which include areas outside MTR stations and ferry terminals. About 10 000 tree labels for around 100 tree species will be produced for distribution to various districts across Hong Kong in the first phase of the scheme. He says that as Hong Kong is a dense and compact city where people and trees are closely related, he hopes that the scheme will raise public concern about trees. Tree information being scientific and interestingCurator of Shiu-Ying Hu Herbarium of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr Lau Tai-wai, David, who is responsible for collecting and compiling tree information, says that he is excited that the herbarium can take part in the scheme. With the dedication of his colleagues to collecting information, the tree information thus compiled is both scientific and interesting. Quoting an example, he says that there is a tree species called Autumn Maple in Hong Kong. It is an indigenous species of ecological significance under the family of Euphorbiaceae. One Autumn Maple growing in Lai Chi Wo of Sha Tau Kok has a history of more than 100 years and is registered as an Old and Valuable Tree. The most interesting information is that the fruits of Autumn Maple can be used for brewing wine while leaves can be used as a spice for preparing a dish called “Jia Dong Ji (Autumn Maple Chicken)”. Harmonious co-existence of the community and treesDr David Lau says that the public can simply scan the QR codes on the tree labels for more detailed information to understand tree species from various perspectives. He hopes that the scheme will inspire the public to respect and cherish trees more to achieve harmonious co-existence of the community and trees, which is also the aim of his team in compiling tree information. Trees are integral parts of our outdoor environment. They provide amenity areas, moderate temperature, improve air quality and enhance biodiversity. It is hoped that, through the scheme of tree labels with QR codes, the message of tree care can be integrated into the daily life of the public and a positive attitude towards tree care will be fostered, so that our trees can grow more vigorously and healthily and Hong Kong will continue to be a safe, livable and sustainable city. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

What you need to know when applying for MSO II (Management Services Officer II)

Roles and DutiesManagement Services Officers (MSOs) are the main members of the Efficiency Office. As management consultants, MSOs help policy bureaux and departments find opportunities for improvement, facilitate and implement change, and accelerate innovation and technology adoption for better services. Types of consultancies include business process re-engineering, departmental management reviews, organisational review, performance measurement, design thinking, knowledge management, shared services, public sector innovation, information technology application studies, streamlining of government services and review on business facilitation as well as market and financial analysis. Deployment of MSOsMSOs may be posted to work in different policy bureaux and departments of the Government. They work in close partnership with colleagues of different grades in providing service in the areas of general consulting, resource management and other fields.General Consulting- Conduct management consultancies (e.g. business process re-engineering studies, organisational reviews) on the services, operations or processes of the departments concerned.Resource Management- Provide resource management support, assessing proposals for manpower, financial and accommodation resources.Other Fields- Take up a variety of roles in policy bureaux/departments, such as assisting in the implementation and daily management of information technology systems and equipment, stakeholder engagement and publicity of certain government programmes.. Entry Requirements1. a bachelor's degree from a university in Hong Kong, or equivalent; and2. Level 2 in the two language papers (Use of Chinese and Use of English) in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE) or equivalent results ;3. a Pass result in the Aptitude Test paper in the CRE; and4. a Pass result in the Basic Law Test (BLT) (Degree / Professional Grades).  Remuneration Package1. Starting SalaryThe entry pay for an Management Services Officer II is Master Pay Scale Point 14 which is at present HK$30,235 per month2. Annual Vacation LeaveAnnual vacation leave of 18 days per year3. Fringe Benefits - medical and dental benefits.4. Fringe Benefits - housing benefits. For more details, please visit the website of Efficiency Office. The application for Management Services Officer II (MSOII) Post for 2021-22 is closed. Applicants could watch the video below for better preparation of the interview.(The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)  

What you need to know when applying for EO II (Executive Officer II)

Roles and DutiesExecutive Officers are professional managers who specialise in resource and system management. Posted around different government policy bureaux and departments, they enjoy a wide variety of work and have the opportunity to work with people of different backgrounds. They will be provided with structured training at various stages of their career to develop them into professional resource and system managers.The Government looks for quality people with leadership potential and commitment. Executive Officers should have good analytical ability and judgement, as well as good interpersonal and communication skills. They should also be versatile and innovative. Above all, we look for talents who share the Grade's vision to serve Hong Kong by providing the highest quality of service in the management of public organisations. 2021-22 Recruitment Exercise Timeline- Application Period for the Executive Officer II (EOII) Post -> 18 Sept 2021 to 8 Oct 2021 5:00pm. (The recruitment is closed)- Joint Administrative Officer / Executive Officer / Labour Officer / Trade Officer / Management Services Officer / Transport Officer Recruitment Examination (JRE) -> Early December 2021- Selection Interview -> February to May 2022- Earliest Batch of Offers of Appointments (subject to clearance of all recruitment formalities) -> End of April 2022 *The above information on timeline is for reference only. Entry Requirementsa. a bachelor's degree from a university in Hong Kong, or equivalent; andb. Level 2 in the two language papers (Use of Chinese and Use of English) in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE) or equivalent results ;c. a Pass result in the Aptitude Test paper in the CRE; andd. a Pass result in the Basic Law Test (BLT) (Degree / Professional Grades).  Remuneration Package1. Starting SalaryThe entry pay for an Executive Officer II is Master Pay Scale Point 15 which is at present HK$31,750 per month2. Annual Vacation LeaveAnnual vacation leave of 18 days per year3. Fringe Benefits - medical and dental benefits.4. Fringe Benefits - housing benefits. For more details, please visit the website of Civil Service Bureau. The application for Executive Officer II (EOII) Post for 2021-22 is closed. Applicants could watch the video below for better preparation of the interview.(The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)  

Smart Planning in Digital Era

Smart city development can improve people's livelihood and make Hong Kong a more liveable city. Earlier on, the Planning Department (PlanD) has completed the feasibility study on the “Development of a Common Spatial Data Infrastructure - Built Environment Application Platform” (CSDI-BEAP Study), which aims at developing prototype applications on specific areas such as city planning, infrastructure and environment based on spatial data, in order to facilitate implementation of works and projects, increase efficiency in planning and development, and enhance collaboration among Government bureaux and departments to provide better services to the public.Enhancing efficiency in planning through technologyThe PlanD is committed to enhancing the efficiency of its town planning work through innovation and technology. These include the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in surveys and preparation of 3D spatial data; application of satellite images, remote sensing and geo-informatics to provide an updated overview on the distribution of land uses and vegetated areas; development of the 3D Planning and Design System, which displays the cityscape of Hong Kong through 3D photo-realistic models and, by applying the existing planning data and information, helps town planners to formulate and analysis design schemes. Moreover, the PlanD completed the CSDI-BEAP Study in early 2020.From “Supermarket” to “Kitchen”The Government is pressing ahead with the implementation of the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI) to facilitate integration, exchange and sharing of geospatial information. Mr Wong Wai-yin, Vincent, Senior Town Planner of the PlanD, says that the CSDI is like a “supermarket” in which a wide variety of data and services are available, while the Built Environment Application Platform (BEAP) is like a “kitchen”, where selected ingredients (i.e. the spatial data) from the supermarket can be processed into applications relating to built environment. Under the CSDI-BEAP Study, a total of ten prototype applications on different thematic areas have been developed, including those on “planning and land use”, “infrastructure and engineering” and “landscape, environment and conservation”. Planning and land use analysisMr Vincent Wong shares with us two prototype applications relating to town planning and livelihood. The first one is on “Government, Institution or Community (GIC) Facilities and Open Space Analysis”. This prototype application displays the type and location of the existing and planned GIC facilities and open spaces in a 3D map environment, and generates a summary table to facilitate analysis of future demands for these facilities based on the population projection inputs of a particular area and the standards stipulated in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines.Town planners are also concerned about with the spatial distribution of different types of community facilities. The prototype application on “GIC Facilities and Open Space Analysis” helps town planners conduct service area analysis to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the distribution of community facilities and residential buildings, so that new community facilities can be set up at the most suitable locations.Visualisation and Analysis of Urban Green InfrastructureThe other prototype application is on “Visualisation and Analysis of Urban Green Infrastructure”. Mr Vincent Wong says that, for a city closely packed with high-rise buildings like Hong Kong, green and blue assets (i.e. urban infrastructure relating to water and vegetation) are vital for maintaining its livability and sustainability. This prototype application displays different types of green and blue information, and provides more reference materials for built environment planning.Encouraging more greening studiesMr Vincent Wong adds that in the CSDI-BEAP Study, academic research results on green indices are compiled and added to this prototype application. With information such as vegetation covers, town planners can better analyse the impact on the green indices brought by development projects. Such information is also useful in environmental analysis, e.g. urban heat island effect and microclimate impact, and can be applied in district planning in respect of tree planting, pedestrian facilities and walking environment enhancement and more. It is hoped that this prototype application will encourage greening-related studies and thereby enhance the quality of town planning.International and local recognitionIt is grateful that the CSDI-BEAP Study won three international and local awards, namely, the best Asia Pacific Smart City project under the “Urban Planning and Land Use” category of IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards 2020, the 2020 Grand Award for Excellence under the International Society of City and Regional Planners, and the Certificate of Merit of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners Awards 2020. The PlanD expects to leverage the prototype applications developed under the BEAP, to help build Hong Kong into a smart, green and resilient city, and to foster co-creation among the Government, industry, academia and the public to further promote smart city development in Hong Kong for the benefit of the public. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

EMSD’s outstanding achievements at International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has all along been proactive in applying innovative technologies to enhance service quality, and ensuring that electrical, mechanical and energy technologies are harnessed in a safe, reliable, economical and environmentally friendly manner to continuously enhance people’s quality of life. EMSD has attained outstanding achievements at this year’s International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. Four Gold Medals and four Silver Medals have been awarded to the department. Major annual event for inventorsThe International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva is one of the major annual events for inventors across the world. Due to the pandemic, the international jury of specialists evaluated around 600 inventions and projects from over 20 countries and regions via video conferencing for the first time. This year, the performance of the Hong Kong delegation was excellent. The EMSD teams received international recognition for quite a number of their research and development deliverables. Artificial Intelligent (AI) Nylon Optical Fibre Sensing Escalator CombsOne of the award-winning inventions is the AI Nylon Optical Fibre Sensing Escalator Combs. This Gold Medal-winning system is developed by the EMSD in collaboration with the industry, a start-up company and a university. Senior Engineer/General Legislation of the EMSD, Mr Au Tze-wai, William, says that it is of particular importance to ensure the safe operation of escalators because we use them almost every day. This newly developed system uses optical fibre sensing technology and AI big data analysis to monitor escalator operations in real time. Besides, 3D scanning and printing technology are used to enhance the design of escalator combs.Sending out alarm signals when obstacles are detectedIntroducing the features of the system, he points out that it can detect obstacles on an escalator by monitoring the vibrations of the escalator combs with the use of optical fibre sensing technology. If an escalator is stuck by obstacles, the system will send out alarm signals and alert management staff via a mobile phone application, so that the obstacles can be removed as soon as possible to reduce the occurrence of “accordion-style” escalator crash incidents. The system will also calculate pedestrian flow along an escalator to enable repair and maintenance workers to know about the utilisation rate of the escalator. Hence, workers can find out which escalator parts will have a higher level of wear and tear and carry out timely preventive maintenance to reduce the risks of accidents. Combining 3D printing technologyIn addition, using nylon material together with the latest Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, the award-winning team has enhanced the design of the traditional escalator combs. Dr NG Chun, Curtis of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University tells us that combs made of nylon, which is a type of plastic, have greater flexibility. In the case of traditional combs made of aluminium alloy, although they are harder, their aluminium alloy teeth are comparatively easier to break and pop out when stuck with hard objects. Also, by extending the top coverage by five millimetres to reduce the gap between the combs and the steps, the team’s design is more effective in preventing hard objects from getting stuck in an escalator.Favourable test resultsCurrently, the system is being tested on-site on eight escalators at outdoor covered walkways, government complexes and large shopping malls, and the results are favourable. Following EMSD’s effort in promoting the system, there are plans for the Airport Authority Hong Kong, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Limited and various government premises to adopt it. The Vocational Training Council has also expressed interest in applying the invention to teaching purposes. Air Filter 2.0Another award-winning invention is Air Filter 2.0, an energy-saving air filter technology developed by the EMSD for centralised air-conditioning systems. It was awarded a Silver Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.Incorporating a retractable deviceProject Officer (Innovation) of the EMSD, Mr YIP Kim-ming explains that Air Filter 2.0 has combined two advanced technologies, the first being a retractable mechanism that can operate on a need basis. Traditional air filters are fixed installations and air must be filtered before flowing out. Contrarily, Air Filter 2.0 incorporates a retractable device. Upon detection of good indoor air quality, the air filter will automatically retract, allowing air to pass freely without filtration. With lower resistance to the airflow, the fan can operate with reduced power and achieve energy saving; just like it is easier for us to breathe with the face mask off. Introducing acoustic-aided technologyThe second advanced technology adopted by Air Filter 2.0 is an acoustic-aided technology that can enhance filtration efficiency. Acoustic waves are injected into filtering materials, so that suspended particles in the airflow will vibrate more intensively while passing through the filter, hence more likely to be blocked by the filtering materials. As a result, filtration efficiency is improved.Reducing 20-30% of electricity consumptionMr Yip Kim-ming points out that Air Filter 2.0 has been tested with good results. Compared with traditional air filters, Air Filter 2.0 consumes 20% to 30% less electricity, attaining the goal of saving energy and reducing emissions.As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Using innovative technologies to send alarm signals and carry out preventive repair and maintenance work has become a new direction for the electrical and mechanical industry. Moreover, energy saving has always been an important issue and is critical for Hong Kong to continuously reduce carbon emissions. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

Smart site of Civil Engineering and Development Department

The Tung Chung New Town Extension (TCNTE) is the first trial project for developing a smart low-carbon community on Lantau Island, adopting city concepts that are smart, green and resilient to the environment and climate. Under the project, the Tung Chung East reclamation works are being carried out on schedule. The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) has adopted over 30 innovative technologies in various aspects of works, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud systems, Artificial Intelligence (AI), satellite navigation and smart safety measures, to usher in smart city development. Staff members from the CEDD will take us to the Innovation Hub of the Tung Chung East reclamation works (InnoTCE) to explain how the project team utilises innovative technologies to enhance site management and operation efficiency as well as to further improve site safety.The “brain” of the InnoTCE – digitalised management platformInside the InnoTCE, there is a room with computer screens of varying sizes, which acts as its “brain” - a digitalised management platform. Mr Yan Chun-ho, Geotechnical Engineer of the CEDD, says that the platform utilises the latest Digital Twin technology to collect and consolidate various kinds of site construction data and records through IoT sensors. Such data and records are then sent to a smart platform adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology to simulate the operation of the construction site, creating a real-time “digital twin” of the site in the virtual space. This enables the project team to monitor the entire construction site in real time, allowing quick and accurate decision-making, as well as facilitating day-to-day site management and collaboration in the project team. Introducing AI technologyEnsuring site safety is a matter of utmost importance. Mr Chung Wing-wah, Geotechnical Engineer of the CEDD, says that the project team is using AI technology to monitor high-risk tasks, so as to enhance safety performance and effectiveness. Among the technologies used are the AI cameras installed on the construction site. Equipped with analytical and machine-learning technologies, the cameras are able to monitor the main vehicular access and some restricted areas with potential risks within the site in a round-the-clock manner. An example is the intelligent vessel intruder warning system designed for offshore works. The system is able to differentiate between construction and non-construction vessels; if the latter are spotted within the warning zone, the system will alert the monitoring staff immediately to request and instruct the vessels to leave.Real-time tracking and monitoring system for dump trucksFurthermore, to manage the environment of the construction site more effectively, the project team also utilises AI cameras to analyse and monitor the cleanliness of construction vehicles leaving the site, reducing the possibility of carrying the mud and debris to the nearby streets by the vehicles. The TCNTE is the first public works project adopting a real-time tracking and monitoring system for dump trucks. By recording and monitoring the trucks’ locations and travel routes, the system aims to deter illegal dumping of construction waste which is a cause of pollution. Dump trucks are installed with tilting sensors and AI cameras so that if any of them is suspected to be dumping waste at a non-designated location, the system will immediately notify monitoring staff for follow-up. Real-time monitoring of ground settlement of reclamationThe application of technologies can also save manpower and enhance works efficiency. According to Mr Chung Wing-wah, ground settlement monitoring is an important part of reclamation works. In the past, survey officers had to go to every monitoring point to measure data manually. As reclamation sites covered extensive areas, the manpower and amount of time required were therefore enormous. The Tung Chung East reclamation project has adopted a technology called the Global Navigation Satellite System to monitor the extent of ground settlement of the reclamation in real time by connecting the monitoring points to satellites and making use of cloud computing, which can help enhance construction efficiency and quality. Frontline workers in support of the use of innovative technologiesBesides, the InnoTCE has set up a number of training zones equipped with a Virtual Reality (VR) system that combines digital imaging with a real-life operation for workers to learn in a safe environment. Frontline worker Mr Cheng Cho-Wai shares with us that, in the past, the design and construction of building projects were illustrated in drawings, which made it very difficult for workers to understand the complicated procedures involved. With VR training, workers feel as if they are in a real work environment and will have a deeper impression of the construction work plan. Also, it will make them more alert to the potential dangers of various construction procedures. Incubation platform for technologiesApart from providing digitalisation of site management, the InnoTCE is also an “incubation platform for technologies”. Mr Yan Chun-ho tells us that the project team has been proactively collaborating with the industry, academics, and the scientific research sector to research and develop construction technology that can upgrade engineering techniques and quality. The Passive Radiative Cooling Coating is the latest example and the InnoTCE is the first field trial site for the coating in Hong Kong. Unlike traditional cooling systems, the Passive Radiative Cooling Coating is an energy-free cooling technology that requires no refrigerant. Applying this coating to a building’s roof or external walls can reduce the surface temperature, thereby saving the energy needed for air-conditioning. Meanwhile, the project team is also working with scientific research institutes to test a technology that can promptly dry wetted inert construction waste to facilitate its quicker reuse. (The video is in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)