Technology workshop nurtures logistics management talent

Regina Lau

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Fifty-seven senior form students from 14 schools in Hong Kong are taking part in the Siemens MEEM Technology Workshop, held from 14 to 17 August at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

The workshop introduces the participants to the basic concepts behind logistics and related technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and robot technology. It enhances students’ understanding of how technology and management are integrated in solving practical problems in the industry.

Organized by CityU’s Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management (MEEM) and sponsored by Siemens Ltd, the workshop demonstrates CityU’s excellence in the teaching of logistics and engineering management and its dedication to reach out to secondary schools.

One of the highlights was the RFID Robot Technology Competition, held on 16 August, in which participants developed an engineering management strategy to tackle a logistics problem; programme the robot to implement the management strategy; and apply RFID to solve the problem. This then gives participants a golden opportunity to apply straight away what they have learned during the workshop.

In the competition, the students were divided into 15 teams. The major task was to design a pathway for delivering materials from a plant to three warehouses. Each team assembled and programmed a robot and determined the most profitable pathway. The team attaining the maximum profit within 10 minutes was the winner.

The results of the competition were announced during the prize presentation ceremony, which was officiated by Mr Charles Cheung, Vice-President (Automation & Control) of Siemens Ltd, and Professor Chan Chi-hou, Dean of CityU’s Faculty of Science and Engineering and Acting Head of MEEM.

“After going through the learning experience, the student participants now find that engineering science is interesting, practical and closely related to the economic development in Hong Kong. With skilful application of RFID, for instance, engineering professionals help enhance the competitive edge of the logistics industry in Hong Kong,” Professor Chan said.

“Siemens is committed to working for the community because corporate citizenship is one of the company’s core corporate values,” Mr Cheung said. “As a caring company, we support and contribute to Hong Kong through our involvement in various kinds of community programmes, such as educational activities. The application potential of RFID in daily life is wide-ranging. It is good to see how these students are actively involved in today’s competition and how enthusiastic they are about the RFID applications.”

Both RFID and the logistics industry are thriving in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region at the moment. Catering to the growing demand for logistics management talent, MEEM is launching the Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) programme in e-Logistics and Technology Management in the 2006-07 academic year. In addition, MEEM has established the RFID Technology Laboratory to further promote research in RFID application in industry.

MEEM has been organizing the annual Technology Workshop for secondary school students since 2003. Chu Pui-keung, a Form Six student from Aberdeen Technical School, is joining this year’s workshop for the third time. “There is so much to learn from the workshop: lectures, laboratory tour, competition and the visits to local companies. And the competition is getting more challenging every year!”

Supporting organizations for this year’s Siemens MEEM Technology Workshop include Adtio Group Ltd, EPCglobal Hong Kong, GP Batteries International Ltd, Hong Kong Parents Association, Federation of Parent Teacher Association—Kwun Tong District, and the Hong Kong Educational Technology Association.

Results of the Competition

Prize

School

First

Aberdeen Technical School

Second

Kwun Tong Maryknoll College

Third

STFA Seaward Woo College

Outstanding Design Award

St. Francis of Assisi’s College

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