Problem-solving skills win Raymond Tang the Young Engineer of the Year award

Raymond Tang is Project Manager at CR Construction Company Ltd. Described as being a strong leader and communicator, CABE’s judges commended his problem-solving skills and innovative approach to resolving project challenges, which have achieved time and cost savings without compromising quality. Building Engineer found out more.

Raymond TangRaymond Tang began his construction career in 2012 when he enrolled on a three-year Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) training scheme as a graduate engineer with engineering consultancy firm Meinhardt (C&S) Ltd.

He confesses, however, that he first became interested in becoming a building engineer in 2015 when he joined his current employer, CR Construction Company Ltd as a structural engineer. Raymond proved himself to be a high achiever. In 2021, he was promoted to Assistant Project Manager and took on his current role last year. 

Modular integrated construction

In nearly 10 years, his roles at CR Construction Company Ltd have exposed him to a diverse range of different construction challenges, such as industrial and residential housing, food factories and transitional housing projects, otherwise known as modular integrated construction (MiC). These, he says, have been the most challenging of the lot. 

"MiCs are a kind of innovative construction method in Hong Kong," he explains. 

"They refer to a construction whereby freestanding integrated modules – completed with finishes, fixtures and fittings – are manufactured in a prefabricated factory and then transported to site for installation in a building."

The successful delivery of MiC projects requires close collaboration and coordination among multiple stakeholders, including architects, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors. 

This is where Raymond’s exceptional leadership and collaborative skills have come to the fore, helping to manage the different relationships and also ensure smooth coordination throughout the lifecycle of each project. 

One of the defining characteristics of MiC projects is that they often involve complex supply chains, with different suppliers and manufacturers providing the modular components. 

Through his involvement in these challenging projects, Raymond says he has developed a sound understanding of supply chain management principles, including procurement, logistics, inventory management and quality control.

He adds that this experience has also enabled him to effectively manage the sourcing, delivery and installation of the modular components so that projects are executed seamlessly. 

When Raymond won the Young Engineer of the Year award, CABE commended him on his problem-solving skills and innovative approach to resolving project challenges. He has been able to highlight these qualities throughout his various projects, demonstrating how he has had achieved time and cost savings without compromising quality.

Raymond explains how the MiC projects were also instrumental in developing his skills in quality assurance and control.

"Maintaining high-quality standards is crucial in MiC projects to ensure the integrity and performance of the modular components,’ he explains.

"I became well-versed in quality assurance and control processes, including inspection protocols, testing procedures and compliance with relevant industry standards and regulations."

Working on these challenging projects has also required Raymond to establish robust quality management systems. What’s more, he’s had to closely monitor the manufacturing, transportation and installation of these builds to ensure the final product meets superior quality standards.

Current role and project

As CR’s Project Manager, Raymond has been working on the New Research Building 1 project for the past year. 

The eight-storey physical sciences and technologies building is part of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and is due to be completed in December this year.

The New Research Building 1 project involves extensive demolition, external, installation and landscaping works and Raymond’s role is to manage the overall construction to ensure it is completed safely, on time and within budget while meeting the highest environmental and quality standards.

As part of this project Raymond provides progress updates and holds technical coordination meetings with the client (HKUST), the architect and other design consultants. His team also supervises and manages the subcontractors for the different trades operating on site. 

One of the things CABE’s judges noted was Raymond’s ‘exceptional leadership and interpersonal skills’ and how they have been instrumental in managing his team and fostering a collaborative environment with multiple stakeholders. He’s demonstrated these qualities extensively on the HKUST project.

‘As a Project Manager and team leader on this project, communication, problem solving, decision making, adaptability and flexibility are the key leadership and interpersonal skills,’ he argues.

Raymond also recognises the importance of providing ‘clear, open and effective communication’ to help resolve any potential concerns and conflicts that might arise, as well as to foster a sense of trust and transparency.’

He adds that he always encourages a collaborative approach to problem solving, drawing on the different perspectives and expertise of his team.

Key to a successful delivery

CABE’s judges also cited Raymond’s implementation of systematic and pragmatic construction management approaches, noting how they were central to his successful delivery of projects. 

He reflects on this comment and highlights the importance of following a few critical steps: planning and scheduling; risk management; cost control; and performance monitoring and evaluation.

For the first, Raymond explains that the aim is develop a well-structured roadmap that guides the project from start to finish. Second, he emphasises the importance of proactive risk management. 

"Regular monitoring and review of risks throughout the project lifecycle ensures that any potential issues are resolved promptly," he argues.

To keep costs under control, he says that regular financial analysis and reporting are extremely beneficial. Doing this helps to identify cost-saving opportunities, manage cash flow and to make informed decisions that will keep the project within budget.

Finally, he identifies key performance indicators that can be tracked through a project to assess progress and identify areas for improvement. 

"Regular project reviews help to identify lessons learned and to implement any corrective actions that might be necessary," he adds.

Raymond is clearly ambitious and is keen to develop himself professionally. He intends to enhance his professional standing within the industry through the pursuit of relevant qualifications in Hong Kong, such as attaining MiC certification. He would also like to become an accredited NEC4 Project Manager.  

In addition to his professional development, Raymond has aspirations to take on a more senior role within CR Construction Company Limited, whether that is as a senior project manager, a construction manager, or even a director or executive in construction management. 

"More senior leadership roles will allow me to shape the strategic direction of projects and organisations, mentor and develop other professionals, and drive innovation and excellence in the industry," he confides.

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