Utility surveys (now utility specialists industry) have not been paid enough attention in the past. On 23 July, 1994, a disastrous landslip happened in Kwun Lung Lau (the Kwun Lung Lau Event) in the Western Area in Hong Kong Island. Professor Morgenstern lead an investigation to find out the cause of the accident. In 1996, the Works Branch of Hong Kong Government published the Code of Practice (COP) on Inspection & Maintenance of Water Carrying Services Affecting Safety of Slope signed by Ir H.S. KWONG, the former Secretary for Works (retired in 1999).
The COP was revised in 2004/06 with inputs from government departments, ArchSD, BD, CEDD, DSD, HKHA, HyD and WSD and two professional institutions namely, The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) and Hong Kong Institute of Utility Specialists (HKIUS). The COP was published in Nov, 2006 and has then become the major reference for CCTV Survey, Manhole Internal Condition Survey, Water Leakage Detection and alignment location survey.
After the Kwun Lung Lau incident, more and more surveys regarding utilities were requested by the market especially for those on the slopes. In the past, not much concerns were paid to the utility surveys which only a few understood utility survey well.
Due to this reason, the survey standard varied among different companies. To resolve the issue, there was a need to establish an institute to standardize the requirements and formats. During 2000-2002, a steering committee chaired by King WONG completed the formation of HKIUS by registering as Society with Hong Kong Police Force in 2002 and HKIUS was formally established on 1st April, 2003 by its first committee.
In over 15 years, HKIUS has taken initiatives for discussions on utility survey (Location and Condition) and Utility safety and management, its industry and its membership issue with ArchSD, BD, CEDD, DSD, EMSD, HyD, HKHA, ETWB (Environment, Transport and Works Bureau) / DevB, EMB (Education and Manpower Bureau), LD (Labor Department), WSD, etc. A lot of feedbacks were received which helped HKIUS to flourish.
History and Milestones
Pre 1994, few people understood about utility survey and believed that GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) was the prime and only method for utility surveys. However, it was not correct.
In late 1995, soon after the Kwun Lung Lau Event, Housing Department awarded a pilot contract for the inspection of Buried Water Carrying Services (BWCS) which was completed under the supervision of King WONG as Site agent and Deputy Contract Manager.
In early 2000-2002, King WONG steered to set up a meeting to discuss the issues in utility survey industry including setting up of standard requirements, training, specifications, report formats, etc.
In 2000, a training course was introduced to Hong Kong by UTI - “Utility Training Institute” (管綫學院), for standard coding of Conduit Condition Evaluation (CCE-CCTV & ME) by using man entry and non-man entry methods.
In 2001, an additional training course of CCE-CCTV&ME (i.e. CCTV) discipline was introduced by UTI. The theory and practice were adopted from Australia and was widely used in Australia in the industry which is compatible to that using in the United Kingdom and has been adopted by Singapore.
In 2002, HKIUS was established by the Steering Committee of 10 members from 8 companies chaired by King WONG and this formed the core and ascertained the establishment of the Institute. It was firstly named as “ Hong Kong Institution Sub-Surface Surveying & Surveyor (HKISSS)” and in the early 2003, it was registered with the Hong Kong Police Force as a society formally as “ Hong Kong Institution of Utility Surveyors” (香港地下管綫測量師學會) and the direction of the institute were set at the same time.
At the same year, King WONG completed the study on “the Strategy Planning Changes for Companies Working on Leakage Detection Contracts Affecting Slopes” which confirmed the need of the institute. UTI invited the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), to jointly organize some training course for utility surveys including CCE-CCTV & ME, MHICS, US, WLD and BWCS. The courses have received wide acceptance from government and private parties and graduates have good chances in securing a job in the industry.
On 1st April 2003, the first Executive Committee was formed and Mr. Mike ARDEN was elected as the President of HKIUS during the time from 1st April, 2003 to 31st March, 2004. Mr. Zico KWOK became the acting President during 1st April, 2004 and 31st March, 2005 for Mr. Mike ARDEN resigned for personal issue.
In November 2003, UTI and HKIUS jointly organized an Open Forum “The Public Interest in Reducing Road Opening, Safer Excavation and Better Slope Maintenance by using GIS based Utility Information Centre” chaired by Ir H.S. KWONG, GBS, JP. Over 500 attended including those from government departments, academics, consultants, contractors and supplies joined the forum.
In 2004, in view to improve the professionalism of HKIUS members, HKIUS requested members to attend CPD courses and to be trained with at least the Mandatory Safety Training Certificate (Green Card) and Confined Space Work Certificate. Meanwhile, the chinese name of HKIUS had been renamed as “香港管線測量師學會”.
In 2004-2006, HKIUS joined as working group members for the “Code of practice on Inspection and maintenance of water carrying services affecting slopes”. The COP was published by ETWB in late 2006.
On 1st April 2005, the second Executive Committee was formed for 2005-2007 and
Ir S.M. FOO was elected the President of HKIUS with Ir Damien KU and Mr. Zico KWOK as the 1st Vice President and Vice President respectively.
On 10th September 2005, a technical seminar was organized by HKIUS and UTI named “Contemporary Legal Issues in the Utility Industry of Hong Kong” which attracted 300 people to attend and concerns on consequence of utility incidents was highlighted.
Commenced in September 2005 to October 2007, with the aim to arouse the awareness of consultants, contractors, practitioners, students and the general public on safety of slopes and roadwork, especially for the best protection of Underground Utilities (Gas, Water, Power, Telecom, Drains, etc), and to promote the professional standard in the utility industry, an open competition was jointly organized by HKIUS, HKIE-SSC, HKAAST, and UTI. The competition was titled “Utilities Protection, Slope Maintenance and Work Safety in Excavation- Drawing, Slogan, Creative Writing and Practical Competitions” which attract more than 3000 people to take part in the competition.
In April 2007, the Hong Kong Institution of Utility Surveyors had formally changed its name to “Hong Kong Institute of Utility Specialists” (香港管綫專業學會) while its objectives, vision and mission remained unchanged.
On 1st April 2007, The third Executive Committee was formed for 2007-2009.
Ir Damien KU was elected as President, 1st Vice President by Mr. Zico KWOK and Vice-president by Ir Jim KO.
In September 2007, approved by the Education Bureau, Applied Learning Course (應用學習課程) on “Utility Profession & Applications” was jointly organized by Department of Civil Engineering of The University of Hong Kong (HKU-Civil), Utility Training Institute (UTI), supported by the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (PolyU), HKIUS and HKURC - “Hong Kong Utility Research Centre” (香港管綫管理研究中心) and other professionals was launched. With the Objectives of equipping all Form 4 full-time secondary students to be qualified in the future for engineering, surveying and utility practitioners.
In April 2008, a dinner was organized in celebrating HKIUS 5th Anniversary and HKURC Inauguration. The evening gathered government officials, representatives from utility related associations and academic institutes and was successfully held with the witnesses of 12 guests of honor and over 200 other guests.
In April 2008, HKURC was formed which aimed to study on methods, materials and survey accuracy improvements. Ir Prof. Dr. William KO was the Founding President and presented the topic “Utility Profession in the New Era” before the dinner.
In 2008, the BSc in Geomatics (Utility Management and Surveying) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University was approved by the UGC (University Grants Committee) and first cohort would be received in September 2009.
In March 2009, the First International Conference on Utility Management and Safety (ICUMAS 2009) was held from 1st to 4th March and was jointly organized by HKIUS and HKURC, while co-organized with Construction Industry Council and Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics of PolyU. The overall conferences had attracted 500 participants and succeed in facilitating a platform for utility knowledge and technological exchange; meanwhile, it provided a golden opportunity for networking among the participants. The formation of IIUS was suggested by speakers from overseas.
In April 2009, UTI’s publication Hong Kong Conduit Condition Evaluation Codes (HKCCEC) for the standardization of utility profession was published.
On 1st April 2009, the forth Executive Committee was formed for 2009-2010.
Ir Damien KU was re-elected as President.
In June 2009, USRC – “The Utility Specialists’ Resource and Technical Assessment Centre” (管綫專業資源、培訓及技術評核中心) for offering technical assessment to non-HKIUS members and resource centre (with a library) for members and the public with appointment. It was officiated by Ir C.S. WAI (Director of Highways), Mr. C.K. AU (Director of Buildings), Ir Prof. William KO, then Ir Damien KU, The Hon. M.F. LEUNG, reps from DSD, WSD, consultants and contractors with over 100 other guests.
In September 2009, HKIUS’ Registered Training Organization (RTO) UTI launched a Professional Diploma in Utility Survey and Management. At the same time, The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong launched its BSc stream in Utility Survey and Management.
In 2009, HKIUS started to accept application from professional members as Recognized Professional Utility Specialist (RPUS).
On 1st April 2010, the fifth Executive Committee was formed for 2010-2011. Mr. Zico KWOK was elected as President, 1st Vice President by Ir Jim KO and Vice-president by
Mr. Stephen Mark Davies.
In 2011, HKIUS modified its publication on Method Statements, Particular Specifications, Work Procedures and survey forms and funded by PSDAS, HKIUS published Pamphlets and Guidelines for all 12 disciplines.
In March 2011, the 2nd ICUMAS was held with over 300 people attending. Ir Dr. King WONG was appointed as the convenor for IIUS formation.
On 1st April 2011, the sixth Executive Committee was formed for 2011-2013. Mr. Zico Kwok was re-elected as President.
In June 2012, the first batch of students of BSc stream in Utility Management and Surveying from The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong was graduated.
On 1st April 2013, the seventh Executive Committee was formed for 2013-2015. Ir Dr. King WONG was elected as President, 1st Vice President by Ir Jim KO and Vice-president by Mr. Patrick YUEN.
At the same time, a new discipline – Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Infrastructure had been established.
In September 2013 to March 2015, an open competition – “1Call Utility Competition 2014/15” had been held in order to promote the professional standard in the utility specialist industry and to promote to the world. This was a comprehensive competition comprising practical for open, slogan for secondary students and drawing for primary students which was arranged to further uplifting the awareness on slope safety, safe digging and better utility survey accuracy over 3,000 participated.
On 5th September 2013, the first batch of Professional Diploma in Utility Survey and Management students graduated from UTI, the graduation ceremony was held in the HKIUS 10th Anniversary Dinner, in which Ir C.S. WAI, JP was the Guest of Honor.
In the meanwhile, in order to show the appreciation to our Past President, Ir Damien KU, HKIUS established the Ir Damien KU scholarship to commemorate Ir KU’s contribution in utility industry.
On 30th Oct to 1st Nov 2013, the 3rd ICUMAS and the 8th WCEAM was held at HKCEC with some 300 abstracts received.
On 1st Nov 2013, the formation of IIUS in Hong Kong.
HKIUS is in full support of the formation of IIUS (International Institute of Utility Specialists) in which Ir Dr. King WONG was appointed in ICUMAS 2011 as the convenor for its formation and IIUS had been formed on 1st Nov, 2013.
On 9th Aug 2013, a press conference had been arranged between HKIUS and Hong Kong’s Press to announce the current situation of our underground’s world and discuss about the possibility for the similar case of gas explosion in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on 31st July 2013 will be occurred in Hong Kong.
In 2015, HKIUS arranged courtesy visit to several related government department such as Architectural Services Department, Buildings Department, Civil Engineering Development Department, Drainage Services Department, Highways Department, Lands Department and Water Supplies Department etc. in order to discuss improvement about the policy and works of underground utilities and engineering field.
On 1st April 2015, the eighth Executive Committee was formed for 2015-2017.
Ir Dr. King WONG was re-elected as President, 1st Vice President by Ir C.K. NG and Vice-president by Mr. Patrick YUEN.
On 16th July 2015, HKIUS 12th Anniversary Dinner cum the award presentation of Utility Competition 2014-15 was held. With great honor of attendance by our Guest of Honor – Ir Chi-keung HON, JP, Permanent Secretary (Works) for Development, Development Bureau.
On 31st August 2016, HKIUS had discussed with and confirmed by Construction Industry Council that under the “Construction Workers Registration Ordinance Designated Workers for Designated Skills” and among the 139 trade divisions in the CWRO, there is no trade for operating of water jetting machines, cleaning pipelines by jetting method or installing lining into pipelines. Utility Specialists, as HKIUS mentioned in the meeting, are not required to personally carry out “construction work” thus they are outside the scope of the registration under the CWRO.
On 29th Mar 2017, HKIUS 15th Anniversary Dinner and the welcoming dinner of The 5th ICUMAS 2017 was held in Regal Kowloon Hotel by attendance of 200 guests.
On 30th & 31st Mar 2017, The 5th ICUMAS 2017 on “BIM, Control & Utility Management for Smart City and The Sponge City” was officially held in Regal Kowloon Hotel by supported by 34 local and 20 non-local organizations, over 250 participants on Day 1 conference and 200 participants on Day 2 conference which also attracted over 40 distinguished local, mainland and overseas speakers from USA, UK, Israel, Malaysia & Brunei.
On 1st April 2017, the ninth Executive Committee was formed for 2017-2019. Ir C.K. NG was elected as President, Ir Dr. Peter TSE and Ir Jim KO as Vice-President.
On 22nd May 2017, chaired by Ir C.K. NG, a conference co-organized by CIC & HKICM – “BIM Contract International Conference 2017 – Showcase on BIM Procurement Methods” had been held successfully in Charles K.Kao Auditorium, Science Park with around 300 participants.
On 10th Aug 2018, a one-day conference had been organized with IIUS and successfully held in Dorsett Hotel, Tsuen Wan with around 250 participants from government departments, contractors, consultants and universities etc.
On 25th Sep 2019, Inauguration Ceremony of HKIUS Council (2019-21) and IIUS Executive Committee (2019-23) (HK Chapter) was held in Regal Kowloon Hotel. The ceremony has completed successfully, with over 200 guests attended! Honorably, we had Ir LAM Sai-hung, JP, Permanent Secy (Works) of Development Bureau being the Guest of Honor.