Kelvin Hon Leung Wong BEng (Hons) MEng MPhil CEng MIFireE MSFPE

kelvinLocation: Beijing

Organisation: Arup

In Brief:
Education and qualifications: BEng in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Master of Engineering in Fire Protection Engineering from University of Maryland
Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers
Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE)
Current job title: Senior Fire Engineer
Length in current job: ten years
Staff currently employed by Arup: over 10,000
Based in Beijing, China.

In 2001, after graduating from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a MPhil in Mechanical Engineering, Kelvin soon found employment as a graduate fire engineer at Arup. Over the next few years he worked on a wide range of projects and undertook several professional training courses to develop and enhance his knowledge and understanding of fire engineering. In 2008, he applied for professional registration as a Chartered Engineer with the IFE and following a professional review with interview, he received confirmation of his success in March of that year.

In the same year Kelvin was transferred to Arup Gulf and promoted to senior engineer. Three years later he transferred to Arup Shanghai to support the city’s fire business for three months. He expects to remain in Beijing for the next six months. Kelvin speaks to IFP about the benefits of being a Chartered Engineer and the range of projects he has been involved with.

IFP: Have you worked on any unusual or high profile projects?
Kelvin: I have been fortunate to work on a number of projects, including the fire safety strategy and fire engineering design on super high-rise towers such as a 500 metre mixed used development, innovative structures (ie the CCTV building in Beijing) and heritage buildings such as churches and other listed structures. I have also carried out on-site fire system inspection before handover on a number of projects, including the ones in the Middle East during the summer.

IFP: What attracted you to become registered as a CEng?
Kelvin: I have always recognised that professional registration as a CEng provides status and recognition from the engineering community. This is something I have always strived for and in gaining CEng, I have achieved it.

IFP: How did you become registered as a CEng?
Kelvin: Firstly, I was fortunate to work for a company that provides and supports relevant training programmes. This, together with a combination of work experience, benefitting from mentoring from senior engineers, CPD courses and attending part- time courses enabled me to become registered.

IFP: How has professional registration as a CEng benefitted your career?
Kelvin: For me, gaining professional registration as a CEng is recognition of my engineering achievement and demonstrates this to the wider engineering society. I have also benefited from having increased responsibility within the organisation as well as enjoying a higher salary.

IFP: What advice would you give someone considering professional registration as a CEng?
Kelvin: I would highly recommend professional registration as a CEng to any engineer working at the right level, it brings with it respect, recognition and status.

IFP: What is your employer’s attitude towards professional registration?
Kelvin: Professional registration is highly recommended to all engineers within the company.

IFP: Were they supportive while you were working towards professional registration as a CEng?
Kelvin: The company is very supportive of my professional registration as a CEng. It is a company policy to encourage colleagues to acquire professional registration when we have gained sufficient experience. The senior members of my team share their experience on writing the professional review report and provide advice on interviewing skills. On the day of interview (which is usually in the evening for the IFE in Hong Kong), we are allowed to take leave to better prepare for it.

IFP: How does your employer benefit from you being professionally registered as a CEng?
Kelvin: In having a strong team of professional CEngs within the company, Arup benefits by having a competitive edge when bidding for contracts.

IFP: What are you greatest achievements?
Kelvin: As a fire engineer working in a global engineering and design firm for more than ten years, I work side by side with some of the most highly respected engineers and specialists in the world. I can contribute to significant projects and deliver quality work that I think has a positive and lasting influence on the community and the environment. These include public infrastructures such as airport terminals, public transportation interchange, museum, metro system, tunnels, heritage buildings, etc. In addition, there are a number of exciting projects that I feel proud of involved in, including super high-rise structures, theme park, retail complex, etc.

IFP: So the people you work with are very important to you?
Kelvin: Absolutely. I used to work in a specialist group with an experienced team of engineers covering a broad range of skills relating to the fire industry. The team consists of members from our various offices based in different continents. In addition, when working with the international design team, I have the chance to travel frequently in projects located from Asia to Middle East. I enjoy meeting people from various cultures and being exposed to different working environments. I therefore chose to relocate to the Middle East for a few years and worked on projects there locally. Afterwards, I moved to China and currently I am based in Beijing and have the chance to travel throughout mainland China.

IFP: It sounds like you have had an interesting and varied career.
Kelvin: Yes, the scope of work that a fire engineer includes the development of fire safety strategy from the conceptual stage of a project to the commissioning and inspection when completion. This gives me well- rounded training in my engineering career.

IFP: What are your future goals?
Kelvin: To continue to contribute to the community by creating a safer world in terms of fire safety.