Alumni Profile

David Kwok

David Kwok

BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering 1990

David Kwok is Chief Executive Officer and owner of technical company Techmart Industrial Limited, which was founded in 2001 in Hong Kong. In the last 20 years the Sunderland graduate has grown the company from having a few members of staff in a small office to more than 200 employees in eight production facilities spread over Greater China. He is also proud to have cooperated with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in collecting lunar samples from the moon in 2020.

Techmart Industrial Limited, together with its affiliated companies, has two major business lines: 1) Supply of PVD and CVD Diamond coating machine and turnkey solutions; and 2) PVD and CVD Diamond coating services.

David explained: “The aim of PVD and CVD Diamond coating is to apply a super-hard thin film on workpieces such as cutting tools, mould & die and components, with magnitude of nanometre scale to several micrometre (around one twentieth of the diameter of human hair), to boost up their performance multiple times.”

David operates under the motto “tiny things can make big improvements”, and that is exactly what he has been doing.

His business rationale for Techmart Industrial Ltd is “Swiss Original, Hongkong Base, Serve China”, to help customers compete internationally with his goods, products and services locally.

Asked about his biggest achievement to date, David replied: “I would say is the cooperation with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to deliver solid lubrication coating on the moving parts of the Surface Sampling and Packing System of Chang’e 5, in order to successfully collect lunar samples from the moon in 2020. I felt privileged I was able to participate in an historical task.”

Regarding the biggest challenge he has faced so far, he says it is the abrupt drop in economic development and market caused by the US-China Trade War and COVID-19. It forced him to re-think how the company could survive and compete, by re-structuring and managing resources. 

After obtaining his Higher Diploma from the Hong Kong Polytechnic, David decided to pursue further education before starting to apply for jobs and came to the UK to study at the then Sunderland Polytechnic for one year.

He explained: “Due to the resource allocation from Sunderland Polytechnic, I was assigned to study more subjects relating to material science, instead of my major, mechanical engineering. Because of this special arrangement, I learnt how to operate SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) and study microstructures. This experience has been very valuable for the work I’m doing now so I can understand how to study and analyse the coating from a microscopic point of view.”

David is a firm believer in providing opportunities to recent graduates and his company offers a two-year Graduate Trainee Program for graduates of Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing & Industrial Engineering. The program complies with the requirements of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE). After the professional training, guidance and practices, the graduate can establish a good technical foundation with practical experience to start their career path successfully. Once becoming a corporate member of HKIE, graduates can transfer to IMechE or IET and attain chartered engineer status. 

That is why David’s advice to recent engineering graduates is to join some sort of trainee programme to build up their foundation.

He advised: “They can apply what they learn at university to solve problems in the real world. I also suggest that graduates keep exploring and learning after finishing their degrees.” 

David recommended some don’ts for those entering the job market: “Don’t restrict yourself to certain areas and try to keep an open mind. Don’t worry to do extra work as you can learn from it. And finally, don’t panic when facing problems, try to identify the root cause step by step logically and you would finally figure out the way of solving it.”

David also shared some of his preferences when hiring new staff. In a selection process he prefers to select a candidate who has an Engineering degree and also a second degree in business (like MBA or EMBA) to combine both technical and business aspects. 

Finally, asked about his plans David said that, after working for more than 30 years, he would like to retire in 10 years and is passing the company duties to his son and daughter. His son joined the company two years ago and his daughter will start her career here this year after she graduates. 

Besides, during this 10-year plan, David’s goal is to become the biggest PVD coating supplier for tungsten carbide cutting tools in China. 

He concluded: “I studied at Sunderland Polytechnic with the dream of becoming a good engineer and I think I achieved this with my own company. I still use what I learned at university in my daily work and hope my story can inspire others in how to pave their career path.”

For further information, please visit http://www.techmart.com.hk/Industrial_Machinery/index2.php

David Kwok and Prof. Yung of PolyU (Project Leader for the Sampler of Chang’e 5)

L-R: Prof Yung of PolyU (Project Leader for the Sampler of Chang’e 5) and David Kwok.

Applications of Functional Coating by Techmart

Applications of Functional Coating by Techmart.

David Kwok with colleague in 2019

David Kwok with his colleague in 1990 at the University's City Campus in Sunderland.

Robotic Arm and Samplers of Chang’e 5

Robotic Arm and Samplers of Chang’e 5.

David Kwok and his son in 2019

David Kwok and his son in 2019 at the University's City Campus in Sunderland.

The first PVD coated drill at Techmart in 2001

The first PVD coated drill at Techmart in 2001.

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