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Expanding your knowledge with Continuing Professional Development

23 March 2020

As an ICE Member, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a way for you as a professional to show that you're keeping your skills, knowledge and experience up to date. Here, Gavin Wai Tung Wong, a Geotechnical Engineer from Hong Kong, discusses the benefits of the process.

Expanding your knowledge with Continuing Professional Development
Geotechnical Engineer Gavin Wong

"I am a Geotechnical Engineer from Hong Kong. I’m mainly involved in infrastructure and building projects."

"To me, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is not just about learning, but it opens you up to a bigger world. More importantly, it unlocks a door to connect you with another community - not just professionals but maybe the public. CPD does not refer only to attending seminars, but it actually means extending beyond your knowledge - to connect your professionalism to what the community needs."

"Throughout the year, I attend seminars relating to both my own discipline and other professions to be updated on new technology. I also spend time attending activities related to hot topics such as national policies and climate change issues, etc. When I walk out of the lecture hall, I can understand our relationship, as engineers, to the people surrounding us."

You were identified as having exemplary CPD records – what are your top 3 tips for recording CPD?

  1. Record everything – even if it is just a small technical chat with another engineer, you are still learning things.
  2. Expand your interest to non-engineering stuff – things other than engineering can also be useful to your career.
  3. Focus on what you like – It’s always good to start everything with what you like first, it always gives you motivation to do things.

What’s your favourite type of CPD to do, and why?

Voluntary work! You don’t only earn CPD hours, but you earn something more! (Depends on what type of voluntary work you are doing, you can have very different things in return.)

What do you think is essential CPD for all civil engineers and why?

Health and Safety definitely. People with more experience should be keeping their knowledge of health and safety practice up to date just as much as someone with less experience. People could easily be killed by so called “experience”.

What advice would you give to someone to encourage them to record informal CPD experiences?

It’s always hard to remember what we have done after a whole year, especially those without formal records. Just record it whenever you have done some CPD!

What area of CPD do you think is going to be increasingly valuable for a civil engineer over the next two years?

Big data and AI. Civil engineering has been one of the industries that has developed since the start of human history. We have come to a new era. If we want a new and huge breakthrough in technology, big data and AI are definitely the answer.

  • Gavin Wong CEng MICE MSc BEng, ICE Member & Geotechnical Engineer at ICE