Even when she was still a university student, Jenny knew clearly what she wanted to do with her life: contribute back to society. And as an engineering graduate, she felt that the government – which coordinates large-scale engineering projects based not on monetary gain but rather public interest – was the best choice for her.
Jenny joined the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Government right after graduation. Though she had chosen to specialize in geotechnical engineering, her knowledge and training allowed her to attain two other professional qualifications in civil and structural engineering, in addition to the geotechnical discipline all within a year. Striving for professional excellence, she acquired the British Chevening Scholarship in 2001 and completed her MPhil study in the University of Cambridge with research on rainfall induced landslides.
Back to the GEO, her responsibilities have ranged from exercising geotechnical control on new development projects to designing, upgrading and stabilizing works for older slopes, and a memorable part of her job was attending landslide incidents and providing advice on emergency measures right on the spot. In 2010, she was seconded to the Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government for more than four years, where she was responsible for coordinating major infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, particularly in pressing ahead cavern and underground space development. Jenny was elected as a Member of the Election Committee (Engineering Sub-sector) of the HKSAR in 2011. She was awarded the Secretary for the Civil Service's Commendation in 2012 in recognition of her continuous outstanding service to the Government and the public.
In February 2016, she was promoted to Chief Geotechnical Engineer and became the first and only female taking up the post in the Government. She has been overseeing four sections, each responsible for different aspects of the Hong Kong Slope Safety System, including crisis communication and landslide emergency system.
Her commitment to giving back to the community does not end with her work, however, and Jenny has been heavily involved in the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers (HKIE) since 1993 when she was only a Year 2 student. She has served as a key member in the Young Members Committee and various other committees, and has been a Council Members for eight years. She is passionate about upholding Hong Kong engineers' professional standards as well as promoting the field of engineering to the general public and encouraging more youths to become engineers. She was among one of the first HKIE volunteers to arrive in Sichuan after the devastating earthquake in 2008, and joined in the efforts to rebuild a local schools. In recognition of her dedication and services, she was awarded the Trainee of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year by the HKIE in 1997 and 2006 respectively.
As part of the very first batch of civil engineering students at HKUST, Jenny was heavily influenced by the pioneering spirit and dedication of Professor Woo Chia-Wei, the founding President of HKUST, and his fellow colleagues who gave up high-paying jobs at famous institutions overseas to come back and teach at this newly-established university. Their passion has strongly influenced Jenny, who often returns to campus to share her experiences with current students and pass the "can-do" spirit and generosity of the University's founders to the next generation.
Know more about Jenny from:
A Career in the HKSAR Government - Conversations with Alumni
Ta Kung Pao - September 19, 2016