A team of young civil engineers from Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) has scooped the much acclaimed “Merit” Silver Salver trophy, and are the first Hong Kong team to win the competition.
Winning team Synergy - made up of team members Gordon Kwok, Dickie Chan, Henry Lam, Ellen Wong, Davy Chan and Dave Cheung - were one of six teams from around the world at the 2014 Management Enterprise Risk Innovation and Teamwork (Merit) final last month.
The annual competition tasks teams with making decisions about managing a simulated construction company by generating realistic scenarios of its business market and conditions. The young civil engineers then have to work together to competitively manage a virtual company.
Decisions range from bid estimation to managing company capital, and helping to support graduates with practical training and preparation for a commercial environment.
Team Synergy entered the final in third position, but went on to improve its management technique in each of the next eight rounds, and pipped the other contestants to the post to win the competition.
The judges remarked that competition among the six competing finalist teams was “closer than ever”, with the sixth place team achieving a score that would have secured them the championship in a previous competition.
ICE management board chairman David Kyte presented the winners with an inscribed Merit trophy. Meanwhile, the five runners up from Mott MacDonald, Atkins Hong Kong and Arup were awarded cash prizes, donated by Chartered Institute of Building and training body CITB.
Merit was first developed in the 1970s as part of research into Contractors’ Bidding Behaviour to explore how contractors responded to fluctuating market conditions. Balfour Beatty Construction later sponsored the development of this research into the National Construction Business Game for ICE’s continuing professional development (CPD) programme, which was used as the basis for the Merit contest from 1994 to 1998.
To date, 25,000 people have participated in the programme worldwide, accounting for some 40,000 CPD training days.
Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the competition next year, organisers of the Merit competition are planning a special event to celebrate the success of this training vehicle and encourage more graduates to become involved.