PSP is a section board member of the Southern California AACE section and
hopefully destined to become first section president of AACE’s China section. Feng’s
past year has been quite exciting with organizing multiple AACE board envoys
to China. Feng envisions starting AACE’s China section because he is
inspired to bring project controls best business practices to China.
Feng credits following his mentor Prof. Shizhao Ding’s footsteps for his passion to introduce AACE to China. Prof. Ding is retired Dean of the School of Economics and Management at Tongji University in Shanghai. Prof. Ding was the first doctor abroad in Construction Management in China and was instrumental in introducing project management methodologies and systems to China. Prof. Ding introduced the British Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) to China in 1980s, which now has more than 700 members in China and has become the most prestigious association in Chinese construction society.
Feng attended Tongji University, which is the top rated University in China for Engineering and Construction, and graduated with a bachelor degree in construction engineering. After graduation Feng worked a few years in project controls for the Shanghai Project Management company. His first projects involved building commercial high-rise buildings and constructing Shanghai’s first subway. Prof Ding encouraged him to go abroad and continue his education so Feng applied to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT. Feng went to MIT and obtained a master’s degree in Civil Engineering.
Subsequent to graduation, Feng began work as a project management assistant for the Massachusetts Port Authority to help the China team to build a new international Airport in Guangzhou, China. Feng was thrilled to learn western style construction management techniques to build and operate airports in the United States. Feng was then enticed by the rotational management program of Washington Division of URS to join their industrial processing group working as construction engineer in several automotive plants across New York, Michigan, and Ohio. At URS, Feng enjoyed a number of opportunities to across multiple industrial plants learning automotive plant construction techniques.
In 2004, Feng accepted a transfer to URS’s Infrastructure group in Los Angeles. Feng began working on the light rail program to build the Metro Gold Line East extension to East Los Angeles. Feng flourished working several years covering all aspects of project controls. It was during this time that Feng discovered AACE. URS encouraged their employees to obtain professional certifications and Feng embarked to obtain his Planning and Scheduling Professional, PSP certification. URS offered financial incentives to employees for getting certified so Feng took advantage became certified and active in AACE.
Feng accepted a position on the Southern California AACE section board managing the scholarship and student outreach program. Feng jumped at the chance to expand his leadership potential and grow with the networking opportunities available in AACE. He found AACE fascinating because of the professional development opportunities offered such as certification, training, and publications such as Skills and Knowledge and Recommended Practices. He was attracted to the opportunities to expand his knowledge in new and emerging trends and technologies.
Feng dined with the AACE Board of Directors in January 2009. The board was attending meetings in Los Angeles and invited section board officers to meet them. Feng was fortunate to sit next to the AACE President and the AACE President-Elect. Feng spoke at length about his vision and mission to bring AACE to China. Feng mentioned that China represented a huge opportunity for AACE to get involved in the largest construction market in the world. With Feng’s connections in China, the President and President-Elect scheduled two visits to meet with leaders from China Engineering Cost Association and China’s leading construction companies in Beijing and Shanghai. These visits lead to additional trips and delegations to pave the way for creating an AACE section in China with the support of Tongji University. Also, Feng accepted the challenge to coordinate the translation of Skills and Knowledge into Chinese.
Feng says that 2009 was ripe with opportunities and he has recently begun work for Stantec on behalf of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro). Stantec is the largest and most prestigious engineering firm in Canada; and among the leading engineering consulting firms in all of North America. Feng is helping LA Metro to manage the multi-billion transportation infrastructure program and in his spare time is managing the translation of AACE’s Skills and Knowledge into Chinese. Feng offers these words of wisdom to those reading this article ‘always follow your dream and you will be amazed how things work out.’