Baoying Tong is a chartered electrical engineer committed to developing and improving the construction industry. He is a strong advocate for engineers' role in building reform to improve confidence in the construction industry and champions implementing processes that allow engineers to continuously learn and improve their practice.
Baoying Tong graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology and the University of Sydney in 2015. With the joint program from two top universities in China and Australia, he received two bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering (First Class Honours from the University of Sydney).
At the University of Sydney, Mr Tong began his professional career as a student lighting engineer on the Great Hall Lighting Project. He was mentored by industry expert and University of Sydney alumnus Professor Barry Webb AM. It led to his postgraduate career as a consulting engineer in construction industry.
In 2016, he started work as an electrical engineer for global engineering consultancy AECOM, delivering a number of large-scale and city-shaping projects across Australia. He worked at AECOM for just over five years before taking on his current role as Senior Manager, Building Reform and Projects with Engineers Australia.
In 2016, Standards Australia selected Mr Tong for its Young Leaders Programme (now NEXTgen). He has been involved in committees such as EL-001-14: IEC Coordinating Sub-committee, Smart Cities Reference Group, IT-269: IEC SyC - Smart Cities and IT-268: ISO Sustainable Cities and Communities at the National Committee level, and IEC SyC Smart Cities WG-2 at the international level, reflecting his passion for smart cities and other Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
“My journey with Standards Australia has been very different to what I expected. In my mind, I thought I would join a technical committee and stay on for 30 years. Instead, I can find opportunities that match my career interest, most of which allowed me to influence local industry and international standards.”
In 2019, Mr Tong was selected by Standards Australia as one of two representatives for Australia in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Young Professionals Programme in Shanghai, where he was elected a Young Professionals Leader.
As a Young Professionals Leader, Mr Tong implemented a new project after seeing a lack of African representation.
“Through Standards Australia and the IEC, I was fortunate to network in a cultural and geographically diverse context,” Mr Tong said.
“However, I didn’t see many delegates from African countries; therefore, I wanted to influence the conversation on the international standards stage to promote more cultural and geographical diversity within IEC.
In 2021, Mr Tong finished his term as a Leader. He worked with an international team including six National Committees for his project, which helped three African National Committees start establishing similar national training programs to Standards Australia’s NEXTgen. As a recently elected Australian representative on the Diversity Advisory Committee advising IEC Board, he continues his work on diversity at international level.
Mr Tong has also sat on various industry committees and groups, including Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers NSW Young Engineers Committee, and NSW Government Building Industry Reform - Construct NSW Stakeholder Group.
When discussing Smart Cities, a keen field of interest, he sees standards as “absolutely critical.”
“Smart cities are tricky because there are differing definitions for them. But at a committee level, we are able to park the arguments on the definition and look at what cities are currently developing as common themes,” Mr Tong said.
“We want to be able to see scalability set at a benchmark or best practice on a national level. Australia has formed two national committees mirroring ISO and IEC activities, allowing for two-way communication, and empowering Australia to influence international standards.”
Beyond standards, Mr Tong also volunteers his time for various organisations to promote STEM education through university and professional body outreach and cultural diversity in the engineering profession through mentorship programmes such as SkillMe Project by MetroAssist and the CareerTracker Program. He was named Young Engineer of the Year in 2018 by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Australia and New Zealand.
Last year he was awarded the Edmund Barton Medal for postgraduate leadership by the University of Sydney while finishing his master’s degree in management, and the CEO Award by Engineers Australia, recognising his outstanding performance, impact and role model behaviours aligned to Engineers Australia’s values.
His knowledge and insights that he brings to Standards Australia and standards development, along with his commitment to mentoring and educating other young professionals to inspire them to take the lead in the construction industry is commendable.
For young professionals looking to follow in Mr Tong’s footsteps, he encourages them to get involved with standards development.
“For my achievements in standards, I couldn’t have done it without Standards Australia, my colleagues on committees, nor my mentors,” Mr Tong said.
“Further to that, I encourage young professionals to be adventurous and get involved, starting with opportunities such as NEXTgen,” he concluded.
“Baoying Tong is a hardworking and motivated young man who embodies this series of ‘up and coming’ standards heroes,” said Adam Stingemore, General Manager, Engagement and Communications at Standards Australia.
“Baoying and the many other inspiring and hardworking young professionals are the future of the engineering industry and the future of Standards Australia,” Mr Stingemore said.