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photo of Mr Billy Lam Chung Lun
2015 University Fellow
Mr Billy Lam Chung Lun

Mr Billy Lam joined the administrative service of the Hong Kong Government upon graduation from The University of Hong Kong in 1970. He later completed an Administrative Development Course at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and obtained a Master’s degree in Management Sciences at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in the United States. With an illustrious career in the public service spanning more than 30 years, Mr Lam has worked in a wide range of areas, including housing, environment, lands administration, financial services, procurement, and infrastructure developments. From 1993 to 1997, he was Director of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office, responsible for helping to ensure all ten infrastructure projects related to the new airport were completed on time and within budget. From 1998 to 2000, Mr Lam was seconded to the Airport Authority Hong Kong, assuming office as its Chief Executive Officer after the opening of the Hong Kong International Airport. Under his leadership, the new airport achieved swift improvements in its operations and soon became one of the leading airports in the world. From 2002 to 2008, Mr Lam served as Managing Director of the Urban Renewal Authority, where he strived to take forward urban renewal work under a comprehensive strategy encompassing “redevelopment, rehabilitation, conservation and revitalization,” and laid a solid foundation for renewing older districts of Hong Kong.

Dedicated to serving the Hong Kong community even after retirement, Mr Lam is now a member of several governmental advisory committees, including the Country and Marine Parks Board, the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service, and the Lantau Development Advisory Committee. He is also Director of the Life Education Activity Programme, a charitable organization aiming to prevent substance abuse among youths by helping them develop a healthy lifestyle through education.

Over the years, PolyU has benefited from Mr Lam’s wisdom and guidance. From 2009 to 2015, he was Member of the PolyU Council and served on its Campus Development Committee. Mr Lam has also contributed greatly to the development of PolyU’s new vision and mission by serving on the University’s Strategic Planning Task Force in 2011. As a current Court Member of PolyU, Mr Lam has zealously supported the development of PolyU.

Mr Lam’s valuable contributions have been recognized by the HKSAR Government on numerous occasions. He was awarded a Silver Bauhinia Star and appointed Justice of the Peace in 2002 and 2004 respectively. In 2008, Mr Lam was honoured with a Gold Bauhinia Star for his distinguished public service.

Chairman Yang, University Council Members, President Tong and Honoured Guests,

I am deeply honoured by this conferment of University Fellowship. My relationship with PolyU was not long. Well, I did attend a very short course in the Hong Kong Technical College way back in 1974. It was a preparation for a qualifying examination for Engineer and Ship’s Master of pleasure crafts. The real connection began six years ago when I was appointed a Council Member. Before then, I had little involvement with the education field in my 30-odd years of government service. Therefore it was with a lot of curiosity that I embarked on this service, little did I know what a rewarding learning experience it was for me in my two terms of office.

I am most impressed with the University in the following three major areas:

First, Direct Application - PolyU has lived up well to its motto of “To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind.” It is truly a tertiary institution where “innovation meets application.” This has led to flourishing disciplines like engineering, land surveying, physiotherapy and rehabilitation sciences, optometry, textiles and clothing, design, hotel and tourism management, just to name a few. The PolyU-developed monitoring technologies in high-speed rail, space tool for lunar exploration and environmentally-friendly electric vehicles are some well-known examples for research applications.

Second, PolyU Culture - The affinity of the alumni with the University is particularly strong and many alumni have made a successful career in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, especially in the Pearl River Delta in the past four decades. Their contribution and influence are significant in both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, leading to an excellent network. The alumni’s loyalty and overwhelming support for their alma mater is obvious in PolyU’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

Third, Quick Response to Changing Needs - The change to “3+3+4” new academic structure created new demands to which the University responded with the provision of new student hostel, faculty and teaching facilities and administrative support. Hotel ICON and the Jockey Club Innovation Tower are the pillars on which future development in various sectors in Hong Kong could rely on to meet the needs of the fast-changing community. New development programmes like the collaboration with Boeing in establishing the Aviation Services Research Centre is a great example - soon to be enhanced by Bachelor’s degree and top-up degree programmes in Aviation Engineering and Management, thereby fostering Hong Kong’s role as a unique aviation hub, and in the process, bringing PolyU to new heights.

I have learned a lot from the energy and vision of Chairman Yang, President Tong, fellow Council Members, many of the professors and faculty staff I had the honour to work closely with. And last but not least, all the interesting and stimulating conversations I had with many young students whom I met on various occasions, especially during lunch hours at the student canteen, are most memorable to me.

In conclusion, let me state the obvious. PolyU has all the ingredients to cater for the practical needs in the context of Hong Kong’s role as Asia’s World City and our country’s “One Belt, One Road” strategy.

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