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Mother's Day Series: Senior Engineer Ms LAM Sze-mei, Janet, of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department

Here we would like to introduce another colleague from the government and also a good mother, Ms LAM Sze-mei, Janet. As a Senior Electrical and Mechanical Engineer of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), she is responsible for leading more than 200 colleagues of Hong Kong Island to carry out maintenance and repair of electrical and mechanical (E&M) facilities in government buildings. She also performs standby duty around the clock to handle emergency incidents. She is going to share with us her daily work and her own feelings as a working mum. Maintenance for “Ventilation, Fire, Water and Electricity” Janet joined the EMSD as an Engineering Graduate in 1997 and has served the department for more than 20 years. Currently, she is responsible for leading her colleagues to maintain and repair the E&M facilities that are commonly known as facilities of “Ventilation, Fire, Water and Electricity”, i.e. the air-conditioning system, fire service installations, water supply system and electrical systems, inside government buildings on Hong Kong Island. For example, they provide routine repair services, carry out periodic inspection and testing, follow up on malfunction and complaint cases, and implement improvement and enhancement works. The buildings under their purview include the Central Government Offices at Tamar, the Justice Place in Central, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and the three buildings at the Wan Chai Government Offices Compound, etc. Operation of real-time remote monitoring system Janet says that in recent years, the EMSD has strived to introduce advanced technology to optimise the performance of E&M systems in government buildings so as to enhance the efficiency of repair and maintenance works. One example is the implementation of a pilot project by installing the integrated Building Management System for E&M facilities of different government departments, which enables the integration of electrical, mechanical, air-conditioning and building services systems into a single platform. This allows colleagues of the EMSD to be able to remotely monitor the operation of E&M facilities in real time anywhere through an online platform. In case if any deviation from the design parameters and particular circumstances is identified, staff will be immediately deployed to follow up so as to ensure predictive maintenance is accomplished at an early stage to prevent potential failure. Enhancing energy efficiency Besides, Janet says that the above system can also work with the Building Energy Management System to collect and store building energy data, such as the efficiency, electricity consumption and carbon emission of E&M facilities. In this manner, colleagues can analyse and assist various departments to formulate the most appropriate energy optimisation strategies to save energy costs and attain the targets of energy saving and emission reduction. Recently, the department has undertaken related work at the North Point Government Offices, resulting in reduction of the electricity consumption of the building by 3 to 5%. To further enhance energy efficiency, the EMSD plans to install relevant systems to the E&M facilities of more than 400 major government buildings under the Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund – The 2nd 5-year Strategic Plan (i.e., from 2018/19 to 2022/23). Unforgettable experience: Typhoon Mangkhut hitting Hong Kong Talking about unforgettable experiences in her career, Janet recalls what happened when Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong. Although her team had taken proper precautionary measures for E&M facilities in government buildings beforehand, the typhoon was so fierce that her mobile phone became inundated with group chat messages from frontline staff deployed at different locations, all reporting emergency situations to her during the typhoon. Janet describes that she felt like fighting a battle of one versus one hundred when dealing with those phone messages. While worrying about the safety of her workmates, she had to make immediate decisions to handle unexpected incidents. According to Janet, strong waves flooded the switch room in the Government Logistics Centre near Heng Fa Chuen at that time. With the series of contingency measures, such as pre-checking of circuit diagram information for emergency repairs, emergency preparations made with the power company, and backup power arrangement, having been drawn up by her team beforehand, the building was able to resume 90% of its operations immediately after the typhoon had passed. After Mangkhut, the department, in collaboration with the Architectural Services Department, identified another location as the entrance/exit of the switch room to prevent similar flooding incidents in the future. Besides, a remote monitoring system for the switch room and a remote switch control system for the emergency generator are in the pipeline. Teaching daughter to pursue dreams Janet feels the pressure of being a working mother because of her hectic work life. She also feels sorry for her daughter who has just entered secondary school. Therefore, she tries her best to spend the weekends with her daughter and travels with her family during long holidays so that they can enjoy family life together. She smilingly says that she has certain expectations for her daughter, but luckily she is not much of a “tiger mom” in her daughter’s eyes. As her daughter has had many dreams ever since an early age, Janet hopes to focus her parenting on teaching her daughter about the pursuit of dreams, so that she can find her path to happiness, enjoy learning and foster good character. Janet says that her daughter had always wanted to learn horse riding, so she arranged a riding course for her two years ago. Sometimes she is heartbroken to see her daughter fall off from the horseback, but she is pleased that her daughter is able to get up after a fall and ride back on, knowing that she can overcome difficulties and pain all by herself. No matter what her daughter does in the future, Janet hopes that she will have the courage to overcome any obstacles, look afar and jump even further. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)

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)