The Moment of Engineering Evolution – The HKIE YMC Overseas Delegation 2023 to Germany (By YMC)

Self Photos / Files - ALX00128_edit2


Introduction and objective


Engineering has been at the core of molding and propelling the progress of human civilisation across time, enabling enhancements in the standards of living around the world. It has become more apparent that the engineering field is now undergoing a pivotal evolution. These megatrends are fostered by powerful technological and social forces converging. The needs and demands of society are now experiencing a swift shift expediated by COVID. Simultaneously, there is a growing recognition of the grand challenges of our era, including climate change and sustainable development, which require highly coordinated global cooperation across borders.  


As young engineers, we have a unique perspective and responsibility to shape the future of our profession. Thus, the HKIE YMC organised the Overseas Delegation to Germany under the theme of “The Moment of Engineering Evolution” to  inspire young engineers to proactively reconsider our roles in light of  the megatrends. 


Germany, a country with a long history of being a pioneer in the engineering industry, symbolises innovation and sustainability. Germany is at the forefront of the megatrends of Industry 4.0 and decarbonisation. It is foreseeable that Hong Kong will soon undergo  a transformation  similar to what is happening in Germany now.. The Overseas Delegation 2023 aims to inherit the successful stories of Germany for the benefit of Hong Kong,


Delegation Program Overview


The preparation of this Delegation began in November 2022, aiming to inspire our young engineers from an extraordinary perspective. Sixteen delegates were selected to organise this delegation program. The delegates were divided into study groups, focusing on three areas of study: “Digital Transformation”, “Energy Transition” and “Sustainable City”. To be well-prepared, members of each group focused on studying topics in their respective domains and providing insights from the Delegation. Ten local visits or seminars were organised to allow the delegates to enhance their understanding of the technological status and future planning of Hong Kong. For example, we invited Ms Lillian CHEONG, JP, the Under Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, to introduce us to the future prospects of the Innovative and Technology industry. The trip to Germany was held from 30 March to 10 April 2023. A total of twelve points of interest were visited to explore how Hong Kong could be developed into a smart and sustainable city.


Digital transformation


Digital transformation has become a global megatrend, with the pace of while the implementation varying depending on the economic status of different regions. In Hong Kong, deindustrialisation started in the 1980s following the rise of the tertiary sector. Comparatively, the manufacturing sector of Germany has consistently remained the backbone of its economy. The German government identified the Industry 4.0 initiative as a central area of action in 2014, aiming for a breakthrough in informatic technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial intelligence. The comprehensive supply chain infrastructure in Germany allows the country to rapidly adopt and implement the latest innovative technology. Within ten years, successfully implementations of Industry 4.0 have spread all around Germany. The strategic importance of the manufacturing industries in developing Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology centre is now recognised in the “Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint”. Hong Kong shall not only aim to achieve re-industrialisation but also to pioneer a new era of industralisation by commencing a new phase, leapfrogging the industry development through the implementation of the latest Industry 4.0 technologies and agile modular manufacturing processes. 


Energy transition


The need for energy transition has been recognised since the Stockholm Declaration. However, there is always a tug-of-war between environmental protection and development. After the first submission of the nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement, there is an urgent call for science-based targets. Since then, many countries and cities, including Hong Kong and the European Union, have committed to achieving a net zero emission target by 2050. In Aug 2021, Germany adopted the revised Climate Action Act, ambitiously raising the target​ to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045​ and negative carbon emissions after 2050. The pioneering adoption of renewable energy and hydrogen in Germany provides Hong Kong with a compelling case study. Intelligent peak demand management technology should be fully developed before increasing the penetration of intermittent renewable energy. The need for decarbonisation must be  considered, while balancing energy affordability, Hong Kong could adopt a multi-pronged progressive approach, incorporating with research in focused areas.


Sustainable city


Cities across the globe are now facing an increasing number of challenges that require innovative solutions to ensure long-term sustainability. Promising steps have been taken in both Hong Kong and Germany in areas such as resilient infrastructure, active transportation and green building. For instance, the design of resilient infrastructure not only estimates the return period using historical data but also accounts for the potential rise in sea level and the accelerating frequency of extreme weather events. In addressing these challenges, cities must adopt a holistic approach. In the area of green building, both cities have their green building certificate system, BEAM Plus and DGBN, which provide clear guidance with incentives and successfully motivate the industry to actively participate in sustainable urbanisation. 




The wheel of time turns, and we find ourselves amidst the megatrends. The delegates have seized this invaluable opportunity to understand the current situation in Hong Kong and explore the state-of-the-art technology in Germany. By staying attuned to the latest trends, young engineers can play a pivotal role in driving the engineering industry in Hong Kong to evolve sustainably along the mega-trend through the adoption of emerging technologies and concepts.

本網站採用Cookies工具來改善使用者體驗及確保網站有效運行。閱讀更多 Cookie 相關資訊