A conversation with Honorary Chairman of the University Court Dr Roy Chung - Shaping a bright future for the next generation
Dr Roy Chung Chi-ping is a distinguished industrialist and a respected leader who is eager to give back to society. He co-founded the Techtronic Industries Company Limited in 1985, which has developed into a multinational company and a market leader in power equipment. Dr Chung is also the Founder and Chairman of the Bright Future Charitable Foundation, which is dedicated to nurturing children and young people. A staunch supporter of PolyU, Dr Chung has served as Honorary Court Chairman since 2017, and had taken on various roles over the years, including Deputy Council Chairman and Court Chairman. He has been honoured with numerous accolades, including the Gold Bauhinia Star, Industrialist of the Year Award, and an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from PolyU.
You have been supporting PolyU for nearly 30 years. What changes have you seen at the University during this time?
My strong ties with PolyU began in 1992 when I started my three-year study of the Integrated Graduate Development Scheme (IGDS), jointly organised by the University of Warwick in the UK and the then Hong Kong Polytechnic. The programme enabled me to complement practical work experiences with knowledge.
In 1994, I was happy to see the Polytechnic gain university status. Over the years, the University’s achievements in various disciplines, such as hotel and tourism management, design, and engineering, have won international recognition. Our interdisciplinary research and impactful innovations have made a significant contribution to society.
For example, PolyU’s optical fibre sensing technology is used in railway systems in Hong Kong and Mainland China, the University’s structural health monitoring system is deployed in the 600-metre supertall Canton Tower of Guangzhou, and our 3D-printed face shields help to protect medical professionals against COVID-19. We are also honoured to have taken part in the Nation’s recent space projects. I take pride in the fact that PolyU is recognised as a leading university with world-class education and research.
What are the unique features of PolyU graduates?
PolyU graduates are well equipped with practical skills and expertise that meet the demands of industry. In addition to know-how – knowledge of how to get something done, our students possess a sound know-why – understanding why we are doing something, and what we are doing. Their skills will help companies innovate and advance, and add value to industry.
Unlike the labour-intensive nature of work in the last century, businesses today compete in innovation and technology. PolyU equips students with an innovative mindset, critical thinking skills and global perspective, all of which are sought-after attributes in this rapidly evolving world.
What advice would you offer to young people who want to be a successful entrepreneur like you?
Young people can realise their entrepreneurial dreams more easily than before, as there are plenty of schemes with support from government and academia. For example, PolyU provides a wealth of initiatives, including the Micro Fund, Maker Fund, as well as mentoring, training and incubation resources to support entrepreneurship development among students.
As the use of knowledge and technology are the main drivers of growth for all industries, young people should equip themselves with specialized knowledge and technological skills. It is easy to start a business but difficult to be successful. Young people should have the persistence and capability to execute their plans.
I also encourage young people to gain more work experience, know more about the world, and learn how to get along with people and widen their perspectives. Maintaining good social relationships is important. To me, success requires support from many people around you.
Can you share with us any memorable experiences from your time at PolyU?
I vividly remember a trip to Sichuan in 2013, witnessing how swiftly and whole-heartedly PolyU acted to support the post-disaster reconstruction in response to the 8-magnitude earthquake there in 2008.
Shortly after the tragedy, PolyU set up a special task force comprising experienced staff members to train Mainland Chinese practitioners in post-disaster care and reconstruction. The teams from different disciplines, including nursing, applied social sciences and rehabilitation sciences, tried their best to offer assistance, such as providing intensive courses in post-disaster care, counselling services, prosthetic and orthotic care. Our School of Hotel and Tourism Management also helped local people boost the tourism industry.
Dr Chung (back row, right) regards his visit to Sichuan in 2013 as his most memorable experience at PolyU. He witnessed PolyU’s efforts in helping to rebuild Sichuan and children’s lives following the 8-magnitude earthquake there in 2008.
Furthermore, PolyU and Sichuan University joined hands to establish the Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction in 2013. I was happy to visit the Institute, and witness the rebuilding of homes, schools and people’s lives in Sichuan.
Do you have a motto that you live by?
Concentrate on your work and keep innovating. Do your best and embrace the future. ( 專注工作，不斷創新，做到最好，迎接未來。)
How do you relieve stress and survive tough times?
I just take things as they come. I try to be optimistic, kind and considerate, and be prepared for the opportunities and challenges ahead. Tomorrow will be a better day.