The quality of civil engineers in Hong Kong

From: ewrr4 ([email protected])

The quality of civil engineers in Hong Kong

While there are good civil engineers in Hong Kong, there are many
incompetent ones. The main reason for their incompetence is that they cannot
express themselves clearly, interpret the construction contracts or
documents correctly or communicate effectively with the relevant parties. I
know some engineers, including Chartered Engineers, who cannot even write a
grammatically correct report. (Since ten years or so ago, the Civil
Engineering Departments of the Universities have not been being able to
attract good quality students.) Some may say that grammatical mistakes are
tolerable. However, if such mistakes would lead to ambiguity or vagueness,
they are not acceptable. As such, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and
the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK (ICE) should be more stringent in
assessing the candidates' ability to communicate precisely in English when
they consider whether such candidates can be qualified as Members. There
should be a more rigorous mechanism to monitor the performance of the
Members and those who are below standards should be suspended from
practicing or removed from the list of Members.

Moreover, the civil engineers are not good enough for being project
managers,
site agents, project-co-ordinators in building construction projects,
because
they lack training in contract administration, quantity surveying, law,
finishing
works and building services etc.. This is one of the reasons why the
construction projects in
Hong Kong cannot be run smoothly. Some construction companies think that
project managers, site agents, or project co-ordinators do not need quantity
surveying
experiences, but this notion is not correct. Managing the costs and finance
and contract
administration of the projects are essential, because a project manager can
manage nothing
if they cannot be properly dealt with. He has to take them into
consideration in making many decisions. Quantity surveying is the profession
which provide advice on project costs, finance & contract administration
etc.. If the quantity surveyors have more experiences on site, they can
integrate their site experiences with their theoretical knowledge
fruitfully, provided that their English communication skills are good
enough. Unfortunately, many quantity surveyors either lack site experiences
or satisfactory English communication skills.

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