Civil Engineering Technician John Wong joins UBC 25 Year Club

The Department of Civil Engineering congratulates Engineering Technician John Wong on his induction into the UBC 25 Year Club. Established in 1971 by President Walter Gage to recognize non-faculty staff with 25 years of service to the University, the club honored a total of 117 new members at their annual dinner in May.

After earning an electrical engineering technology diploma at BCIT, John spent many years in the research and development industry before joining the Department of Civil Engineering in 1989. At the time of his hiring, John was given sole responsibility for managing the Electronics Lab which provided for the electronic instrumentation and control needs of the Department; which ranged from equipment development for labs and research, repairs and maintenance to lab and office computer equipment, and software support. At that time, PCs were only just becoming mainstream in the workplace, and there was no IT Support Group in the Faulty of Applied Science. John provided computer support and connectivity to the Civil offices in addition to his laboratory duties, and notes that he “went through the computer revolution” with the Department.

Today, most of John’s time at work is devoted to research projects and equipment in the labs. He is responsible for equipment development, setting up research and testing equipment, training students, troubleshooting, and making repairs. He is also responsible for the general oversight of the research projects, assisting faculty and students to ensure their projects run smoothly. John describes what makes his job enjoyable: “You face different challenges every day, and satisfaction comes from being able to complete the projects and solve people’s problems when they depend on you.”

When asked if he has experienced any career highlights during his years in Civil Engineering, John says with a laugh: “Too many!” One particular point of pride was his completion of a UBC Internet Systems Administration certificate, which he pursued in the evenings for two years while working full time in the Department (John extends much gratitude to Dr. Sexsmith, Department Head at the time, for his support of this endeavor).

John reflects that his 25 years in the Department have been “challenging and ongoing.”