March 2024 OES Beacon

Hong Kong IEEE CE/OES Joint Chapter runs the Young Engineer Conference (YE-23) at the Hong Kong University

Paul Hodgson, Hong Kong Chapter Chair and Dany Cho, OES Senior Member

The IEEE CT/OES Joint Chapter in Hong Kong has been organizing Young Engineer conferences since 2019. The purpose of the conference has been to provide students an opportunity to practically solve real-life problems and YE-23, being the fourth Young Engineer Conference held, presented the most interesting projects we’ve seen yet.

YE-23 has been the year where projects have converged towards a space concept, with examples including a multi-functional CubeSat Design, ways to terra-form sand into growing medium, and data results from a JOVE Radio Telescope that was installed inside a school’s classroom. Our chapter, taking note of this, decided to integrate the concept and start pushing a Future Explorers theme – where we realized the niche methods students were utilizing, such as hydroponics and Bokashi composting, are actually viable skills in a planet like Mars. To us, this is truly significant, as frequent headlines about technological revolutions from Virgin Galactic and SpaceX must be taken into account by the IEEE. These apparent changes may be hints towards an imminent shift in industries and, who knows, maybe a space economy is closer than we think.

HK IEEE Chairman – Dr Kenneth Wong

Back to the initiative, for those unfamiliar, our chapter provides a chance for students to pursue a real-life problem of their interest. They begin by initiating research on their chosen topic, and are then guided through the process of producing three things: a poster, presentation, and paper. We give a certificate with IEEE credentials and students can benefit in their university applications.

To promote innovation, students are essentially given free rein in what they pursue. However, at the CT/OES, we want to reduce the impact humans have on the planet, particularly ecosystems, and so there are two simple pieces of criterion kept in mind. One, the mandate from IEEE, which is “Advancing Technology for Humanity,” and two, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. With this in mind, the conference program has been building momentum since it was conceived. Momentum has been building in terms of the number of presenters and schools involved. YE-19 had 16 student presentations, and YE-20 had 19.  In YE-22, we had 43 projects. For YE-23 there were 40 projects.

The conference was held at the Hong Kong University over the 11th and 12th of November, 2023.  It was officially opened by the HK IEEE Chairman, Prof. Kenneth Wong.  The keynote speaker was Prof Anthony Chan from the Hong Kong St. Francis University giving everyone a lecture on a very important topic at the moment–the future of AI.  This was followed by a talk on the history of the Young Engineer’s Conferences and the future of the Future Explorers, the latter given by the current HK CT/OES Chairman, Paul Hodgson.

Growing Food with Bokashi

The projects in YE-23 covered a very diverse range of topics and addressed issues that humanity currently faces. The list is below:

Space Themed:

1/ Simple Cubesat Frame

2/ Growing Food with bokashi

3/ Solar Panel Angle Efficiency

4/ Radio Telescope Results

Health & Human Body

1/ Allowing Blind People to see Colours

2/ Safe Intelligent Construction Helmet

3/ Checking for Scoliosis

4/ Health via Blood Conductivity

5/ Pollen Detector

6/ Smarter Chair

7/ Collective Memory Therapy for Alzheimer Patients

8/ Motion to message

Maintenance Indicator for Consumer Products


1/ Classroom Air Quality

2/ Blast Fishing in Sabah

3/ CoralWatch result at Coral Beach, Hoi Ha Wan

4/ Active Noise Cancelling

5/ Dolphin Soundscape

6/ Drone Data Collection

7/ Maintenance Indicator for Consumer Products

8/ Tree Damage by Typhoon Prediction

9/ Node Type Pollution Monitor

10/ Investigation of Light Pollution in Hong Kong

11/ Coral Reef Fish Populations in Hong Kong

12/ Household CO2 Detection

13/ Illegal Fishing in Hong Kong Marine Parks

CubeSat for training local school students


1/ Underwater Robot Direction Indicator

2/ Seawater Quality Survey


1/ Current Sensing for Solar Panels

2/ Anti-reflective Coating for Solar Panels

3/ Waste Heat Salvaging via Peltier Device


1/ IoT Speeding Car Detection

2/ Investigation of Peltier Cooling Devices

3/ Effectiveness of UV Protection Materials Properties

4/ Ethanol Sensing with ZnO Nanowires

5/ Drainage Clogging Detection

6/ Using Simulation to solve Tunnel Traffic Congestion

7/ Minibus routing

8/ Digital Aquarium

9/ Using AI to detect AI in Essays

Making Solar panels more efficient

The students worked either individually or as a team of up to six members.  They could operate school based or independently.  They selected a project topic, or an issue of interest, and carried out the work needed to develop a solution.  Criteria for YE-23 conference acceptance were that the project should be in-line with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainability Development Goals and the students should apply or advance technology to address the problems facing Humanity.  Basically, the IEEE motto: “Advancing Technology for Humanity,”

Prizes were awarded to the following projects:

Project Awards:

First: ISF 15.

How Accurately Do AI Detection Systems Detect the Use of AI in English Analytical Essays?

Second: HKAGE-3

How Does Collective Memory Therapy Improve Cognitive Functions of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients?

Third: CDNIS-1

Terraforming sand to grow food using Bokashi and hydroponics

Poster Awards:

First: ISF-11

Anti-Reflective Coatings on Solar Panels

Second: CDNIS-4

Fast Scoliosis AI Screening Mobile App Using Deep Neural Network and Bare Back Images

Third: ISF-5

An investigation of Peltier Air-Cooling devices: Modeling to test the feasibilities of implementing Peltier systems cooling

Judges Special Mention:

1 CDNIS-6 Maintenance Indicator for electronic/electrical appliances

2    TSK-2              Motion-to-Message Translator

3    SPCC-1           Using Simulations to Solve Tunnel Congestion

4    HKIS-3            Hand-Held Pollen Detector (Laser Light Scattering Particle Size Analysis)

The HK CT/OES Joint Chapter is very grateful to the Electrical and Electronic Department of the Hong Kong University for the sponsorship of the conference venue.  Other sponsors include the Rotary Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong, Lingnan University and TelcoX.  Technical sponsors were OASA and the Oceanway


Special mention and thanks for the hard working people who made the event happen, particularly, George Woo, Jacky Liang and Min Ng.  Many others helped out on the day including Lee Kwan Yue, Hugo Tsoi, Enson Peng, Lam Wing, Lam Yu and Tony Pang.

For those interested, the web site with all of the details is located at: Links to the poster and paper formats are given.

The next Young Engineer’s Conference will be the YE-24 and the tentative date is the 16th and 17th of November, 2024.  We have already started accepting projects for this conference and if anyone is interested please contact for more details.

Group Photograph