Dean's Message
Spring 2013  No.23
Miss and Mr Young Engineers!

As the first intake of the four-year undergraduate degree program settles in, four outstanding Year 1 students discuss why they have chosen to make the School of Engineering their new home and the different opportunities it is already providing to explore their potential

Ka Ki Fong
NTHYK Yuen Long District Secondary School

Who comes to mind at the launch of a space shuttle? Probably the astronauts. But to me, it is the engineers – designing and making the spacecraft – who are the most important in a journey into space. I hope to become one of them. But who dares to tell her parents that she would like to be an engineer? After all, isn't engineering a male-dominated field that involves dirty jobs such as climbing underneath cars to carry out repairs? However, as I read more, I found that I was wrong. Engineers are problem solvers and leaders. They are passionate and creative. And women engineers are powerful.

Engineers are problem solvers and leaders. They are passionate and creative.
And women engineers are powerful.

I was not the only one with misconceptions about engineering. Surprised at my choice, one teacher exclaimed: "What a waste!" Other pathways, such as medicine and journalism, were suggested by my family, teachers and friends. But after much contemplation, I decided that I didn't want to abandon my dream because of what others said. Engineering is where my strengths and motivation converge. It is a worthy calling. Most importantly, it is a decision I won't regret.

After being admitted to HKUST School of Engineering, people asked me another question: why HKUST? I can easily list the reasons: high world rankings and an international outlook; young and forward-looking; and approachable professors, to name just a few. Two further and particularly appealing factors are the University's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program that allows inquisitive students like me to experience the research world early; and the Women in Science and Engineering community that encourages prospective female students to study science and engineering through summer camps.

In the first semester, the School has offered opportunities far beyond my expectations, including participating in a robot design contest, and all bringing me closer to my ambition to specialize in aeronautics.

Carolina Garcia
Colegio Salvadoreno Ingles
El Salvador

I am a 19-year-old girl who comes from a beautiful country called El Salvador in Central America. I love reading and singing, and since I can remember, I have had a passion for any science-related topic, or anything that includes numbers and solving problems. So I knew engineering would be perfect for me.

I always had this dream of studying abroad. But as I grew up, I started giving up on the idea. I thought: "How can someone like me be accepted into a good university when there are thousands of smarter and more qualified students who are striving to do just the same?"

However, a miracle happened. In my country, in order to graduate, all students need to take an exam that encompasses all the material covered during high school. I remember taking it and thinking, "I am going to fail for sure", but when the results were released, I couldn't believe it! I had the only perfect score in the entire country.

I was immediately attracted by HKUST's academic excellence, international outlook and mesmerizing campus.

As a result, the government decided to give me a full scholarship to whichever university I wanted. I was shocked! You might be thinking I am either very lucky or very smart, but the truth is that the credit is not mine, since I know it was God answering my prayers through those results, and without Him I wouldn't be where I am now.

I started looking at different options, and when I came across HKUST, I was immediately attracted by its academic excellence, international outlook and mesmerizing campus. In fact, I was so sure that this was the perfect university for me that I didn't apply to any others.

I can definitely say I don't regret my decision to come to HKUST since it is everything I expected and more. I hope that my story can inspire others who might be thinking they are not good enough. Trust me, with hard work and God’s help anything is possible!

Jeffrey Chun On Lee
STFA Leung Kau Kui College

I have a passion for both science and computing, and friends sometimes ask me why I have chosen engineering rather than science. The reason is simple. Science is the study of Nature – how species evolve, why an object falls whenever we throw it. But I want not only to understand problems but to tackle them. As engineering is the application of scientific knowledge, it can help to solve real-life issues. That is why I am single-minded about studying engineering.

In particular, I love anything to do with computers, especially networking and programming. Recently, I developed an iOS app called "iNavigations". The idea arose from my habit of taking a nap on the bus after school and constantly finding I had missed my stop, which was very inconvenient. During the last summer break, I decided to develop an app to solve this problem. It took me a long time to learn what to do, design and test it. Then, at the final stage, after I had started at the School of Engineering, I asked the advice of Prof Wai Ho Mow, Electronic and Computer Engineering. I modified the app and, finally, it was accepted by the App Store.

If you have a great idea and make
enough effort, you can be the one
who alters our lives.

You see, while Gauss, Newton, and Einstein developed some incredible mathematical and scientific theories, technologies are not fixed and immutable. The light bulb, for example, has experienced many transformations since Thomas Edison's version and is still being improved on today. So if you have a great idea and make enough effort, you can be the one who alters our lives. I hope that every student in our large School of Engineering family will strive to pursue their dream. And one day we can proudly say we have invented something that has changed our world.

Marcus Tsz Hing Lo
Lok Sin Tong Yu Kan Hing Secondary School

While my fellow schoolmates shared their aspirations, let me unveil my first-semester experience with you. To me, life at HKUST is like a box of sweets with colorful wrappers illustrating different scenes and many flavors I can try.

After arrival, I met up with members of my "clan" (each four-year first-year student in the School of Engineering is assigned to a group, or "clan", to build friendships and ease the transition from school to university). We took group photos and enjoyed a fun-filled School of Engineering orientation.

I would like to learn more about society and the world, gain different types of knowledge, and explore my interests before pursuing
a career as a pilot. It's looking good
at HKUST to be able to do so.

A team-building day camp was also arranged. As you can imagine, starting out at university can be rather lonely without any familiar faces around so the team-building activity was a wonderful chance to meet new people. We were put into teams and set many tasks to accomplish together. Although the members of my group did not know each other initially, by the end of the day we cheered as one. They became my friends, we kept in touch, and I was no longer alone.

On the studying front, in the first two weeks, I found it hard to keep up with the schedule. Here, my peer mentors greatly helped me to adapt to the new learning environment. I overcame my difficulties and finished the semester with a satisfactory result.

There were many other opportunities to make my box of sweets rich, such as dancing in the Gangnam Engin Style@HKUST music video, sharing my experiences at Info Day, and having a dinner with professors at the Dean of Engineering Scholarship presentation ceremony.

Looking back, I thank my clan and peer mentors for putting me on the right track. Looking ahead, in the next four years, I would like to learn more about society and the world, gain different types of knowledge, and explore my interests before pursuing a career as a pilot. It's looking good at HKUST to be able to do so.