156 Stalwarts Chronicle HKUST's Growth and Rise

Group photo of the Long Service Award Presentation Ceremony 2023

HKUST has established the Long Service Award Presentation Ceremony since 2010, celebrating the dedication of its long-serving staff. This year's ceremony acknowledged 14 employees who have served for 20 years, 141 employees who have served for 30 years, and one employee who have served for 35 years.

HKUST President Professor Nancy IP receives the 30 years Long Service Award

HKUST President Professor Nancy IP receives the 30 years Long Service Award

Mr. Vicky YAU Chi-Ming receives the 35 years Long Service Award

Mr. Vicky YAU Chi-Ming receives the 35 years Long Service Award

Mr. NG Ching-Yat receives the 30 years Long Service Award

Mr. NG Ching-Yat receives the 30 years Long Service Award

Founded 32 years ago, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has played a pivotal role in nurturing a diverse pool of talents over the years through its commitment to teaching and research, thus bolstering Hong Kong’s economic and social development. Beyond the dedication of frontline educators in unlocking students’ potential, the steadfast contributions of back-office colleagues ensure seamless operations of the University. They foster an environment where all staff and students can thrive and excel with peace of mind.

To honor the invaluable contributions of its employees, HKUST has established the Long Service Award Presentation Ceremony since 2010, celebrating the dedication of its long-serving staff. This year’s ceremony was held on April 18, 2024 in recognizing 141 employees for their 30 years of service and 14 employees for their 20 years of commitment. Notably, among the awardees was HKUST President Professor Nancy IP, marking her three decades of service. This year also commemorated the inaugural recognition of an employee with 35 years of service in HKUST’s history.

We have invited two awardees to share their thoughts on serving HKUST and witnessing its growth and development.


A “Veteran” with Staff Number 00002

Mr. Vicky YAU Chi-Ming

  • Assistant Campus Services Officer
  • Awarded for 35 years of service

Mr. Vicky YAU Chi-Ming holds the distinction of being the first employee of HKUST to serve for 35 years, bearing the staff number 00002. As a true “veteran” of the University, his tenure predates HKUST's founding 32 years ago. Many are curious about Vicky’s role prior to the University's establishment.

“I began my employment on September 12, 1988, as the private chef to the president. At a time when HKUST had not yet been formally established, I worked in the president’s official residence in Fei Ngo Shan (Kowloon Peak), managing the daily culinary needs for the president and his family, as well as catering for guests.”

Vicky worked as a private chef for 18 years, having the privilege of serving two presidents, Professor WOO Chia-Wei and Professor CHU Ching-Wu. When reflecting on memorable moments from his career, he recalls that preparing banquet dishes for the presidents had become a breeze after an occasion where he single-handedly catered a buffet for 60 guests!

In 2007, the University phased out the role of private chef, leading Vicky’s transition to the Campus Services Office. Here, his duties shifted to regular inspections of the campus cafeteria kitchen to ensure smooth operations and hygiene standards, along with handling administrative tasks like hygiene reports. As Vicky had spent the first half of his career in the kitchen, it took time for him to transition from a culinary career to clerical duties. Thankfully, HKUST provided him with the opportunity to expand his skill set by sponsoring him to undertake a food hygiene course. “I didn’t even know how to use a computer back then, but my supervisor encouraged me to enhance my own value. I learned through hands-on experience. The transition from being a chef, constantly wielding a wok turner at work [cooking], to becoming a clerical staff who needs to wield a pen to write reports, has truly felt like discovering a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!” Vicky remarks with a smile.

From a private chef to an Assistant Campus Services Officer, Vicky has worked diligently throughout the years. As the first employee to serve HKUST for 35 years, he credits his family as the driving force behind his uncompromising dedication. “In the past, our family resided in staff dormitories. The academic atmosphere at HKUST has a positive impact on the upbringing of my sons,” Vicky shares. “The campus was a place where they often played different ball games after school and even learned how to swim!”

Vicky was a member of the HKUST Staff Association Football Team. This photo was taken in February 2003 when the team took on all challenges from other local universities to win the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s 40th Anniversary Soccer Tournament 2003.


Vicky (back row, second from left) with the second HKUST President Professor CHU Ching-Wu (back row, first from right) and the late renowned mathematician Mr. CHERN Shiing-Shen (front row).



A Committed Guardian to Protect Life 

Mr. NG Ching-Yat 

  • Senior Lifeguard
  • Awarded for 30 years of service

Mr. NG Ching-Yat, who serves as a Senior Lifeguard at swimming pools in HKUST, is among the 30 years of service awardees. 

“The role of a lifeguard reflects a profound sense of purpose!” says Mr. Ng, who, as a lifeguard at HKUST, has rescued countless individuals throughout the years. In addition to responding to emergencies, he stresses that the daily responsibilities of lifeguards entail thorough preparations to prevent accidents. “My primary focus includes designing and organizing drills twice a month covering lifesaving techniques, land and water first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and bandaging. It’s crucial for a lifeguard team to uphold agility and collaboration to safeguard the well-being of swimmers.”

“Lifeguarding is my passion. I’m thrilled to bring my passion into my daily work,” says Mr. Ng, a sports enthusiast who closely follows sports news and integrates real accident scenarios into his training sessions. While lifeguard and first aid certifications typically require renewal every three years, Mr. Ng takes a proactive approach renewing his certificates annually out of dedication to his role. “A lifeguard’s duty is to save lives, it is imperative for us to participate in ongoing training, revisit established knowledge and embrace new learning,” he stresses.

With 30 years of dedicated service to HKUST, Mr. Ng has also witnessed the remarkable development of the University. “When I first joined, there was only one standard outdoor swimming pool,” he recalls. “In April 2000, the opening of the indoor swimming pool provided an additional amenity for teachers and students. Reflecting on the transformation on campus, I saw a number of construction projects over the years near the outdoor pool, including several new buildings for dormitories.” 

His bond with the HKUST community runs deep, akin to that of old friends. “There was a student who admitted in 2000, often practicing with the swimming team back then. After graduation, he returned to teach at HKUST,” Mr. Ng shares warmly. “And there is a retired professor who still makes daily visits to swim, morning, afternoon, and evening. We exchange greetings whenever we meet!”

HKUST is a tight-knit community, thanks to every member of the University for their stalwart efforts and dedication in fostering its growth and rise.


Mr. Ng (front row, first from left) poses for a photo with the second-generation lifeguards of HKUST.


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