Master Talk: Sha Tin Water Treatment Works

The Master Talk is designed not just to acquaint students with key infrastructural landmarks of the city, but also be the window that peers into the construction industry as they set forth in their careers.  Accompanying the educational tour to the Sha Tin Water Treatment Works were insightful sessions on academics and career prospects, led by experienced engineers, to help students strategically navigate their way into the industry's future. 

A group of middle-school learners from Shatin Pui Ying College visited the Temporary Office of the Sha Tin Water Treatment Works (South Works), where they were met by the project's engineers and consultants from the Water Supplies Department.

Commissioned in 1960, the South Works facilities have shown signs of wear over the decades, compounded by the challenges brought on by a growing residential population. As such, a reprovisioning project began in 2015 and is expected to be completed by 2025. At the beginning of the sharing, engineers gave an overview of the daily operations of the treatment facilities and highlighted the significance of the reprovisioning project. The engineers also gave students an introduction to the diverse sources of water it manages, such as local catchment, Dongjiang water, and seawater utilized for flushing. The session delved into the innovative application of intelligent technologies within the project. Students gained practical experience with Building Information Modeling (BIM), learning how digital 3D models have revolutionized project tracking, dramatically reducing errors like pipe collisions and cutting down construction costs. Moreover, the visit to the Smart Site Safety System offered a firsthand look at how artificial intelligence is reshaping site management and enhancing safety protocols.

The discussion that resonated most with the middle-school students was the career planning segment. Students eagerly asked about pathways into engineering-related subjects. Engineers from the Water Supplies Department shared their own journeys toward fulfilling their aspirations, underscoring the essential role that English and Mathematics play in the profession. They pointed out that industry jargon is predominantly English, and international collaboration with construction or consultancy firms is commonplace in large-scale projects. Furthermore, they stressed that a strong foundation in Mathematics and Physics is crucial in their daily tasks. The engineers delineated three primary career trajectories in the sector: roles within government, consulting firms, or building contractors, advising students to reflect on their preference for field or office work before pursuing a career in the field.