What’s the most unexpected thing about your job?
The abrupt drop in economic development and market sales caused by the US-China Trade War and COVID-19. But I have been using this time to re-think how my company could survive and compete by re-structuring and resource management.
Did you have any role models when you were younger? What inspired you to do the job you’re doing now?
The Founder of Chen Hsong Holdings Limited. Dr. Chiang Chen. Dr. Chen is one of the most influential industrialists in Hong Kong. He is a very stringent but kind person. I once worked at his Company in the summer. He always pushed me to the limit. He showed me how to achieve a goal with full use of the resources he had on hand. This inspired me not to give up once I had set a goal but to try every possible way in order to find the best solution.
Any influential toys during childhood?
During my childhood, I liked to disassemble and reassemble all different kinds of appliances like radios and clocks to understand how they worked. This was the starting point of my interest in STEM.
Your favourite subjects at school?
Technical drawing, strength of material, material science and production technology.
- Executive Master of Business Admission
- BEng. (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering
- Higher Diploma, in Mechanical Engineering
- Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
Your reason for choosing this career?
Engineering is the most favourable subject I have learnt in my life. It is not only a theoretical concept, but also it practically applies to what I am doing. Engineering is the art of science.
Tell me about your career path to date?
I graduated from Mechanical Engineering in 1990 and then worked in an SME company and assisted the owner to manage the mould shop, assemble line and support the sales department. After 3 years working, the company was closed and I thought Hong Kong was not the right place for production so I looked to the EDM market in the South China area as my final year project at the Hong Kong Polytechnic was to “investigate the factors influence of cost of EDM”.
In 1996 the Swiss company AGIE was merged with the Swiss Charmilles company. I was invited by my Swiss Mikron company regional sales manager to be the shareholder and the general manager of Mikron Hong Kong Limited and was responsible for the South China area.
Due to my strong knowledge in mechanical engineering I could learn quickly and write many monthly articles in the local industries magazine about the applications and advantages of the Mikron High Speed Milling Technology. The sales were very successful and the company grew from 4 people to 15 people in 4 years.
In 2001 the Mikron was acquired by the Agie Charmilles group and I started my own business with Swiss PVD technology. I was very lucky that my career established from an SME factory that involved many technical things. Following this I went into the Swiss precision machine tools industries and found out the keys of their success and the know-how to build precision machine tools. From 2001 I started to build a technical company from 4 people. Today we have more than 200 colleagues, cooperating with local universities and hiring STEM graduates to sustain our development.
If you could have any job what would it be? How does it differ from what you’re doing?
I am fully satisfied with what I am doing now. Even when I retire I will still assist my son and daughter as a consultant to help the company remain sustainable and to develop it further.
Your advice to a young person considering a career in STEM?
- Don’t restrict yourself on certain areas. Try to be hungry for learning different things in STEM which you could ultimately use when you grow up.
- Don’t worry about taking on extra work in the early days as you can learn from it.
- Don't panic about facing problems. Try to identify the root cause step-by-step logically and you will figure out the way to solve it.
- Competition is getting higher so you could try to get a double degree in 2 disciplines. I believe the best is STEM and MBA.