Connecting Hong Kong, Macao and mainland China, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge. Covering a distance of 49.968 kilometers, the construction of the bridge has become a milestone in China’s engineering projects. The key part of the bridge’s construction is the island tunnel project including the east and west manmade islands and the immersed tunnel, involving the most complex and advanced techniques and making it the top difficult challenge of modern transportation construction technology home and abroad. Liu Xiaodong took on the huge task as the vice project manager and the chief designer of construction drawing design.

Liu Xiaodong was born in 1970 in Yangzhou. He graduated from Highway & Railway Engineering in Southeast University in 1992. Later he spent 20 years working in CCCC Highway Consultant Co.Ltd, taking part in designing several famous large-scale bridges in China, awarded with 3 national awards and 5 provincial awards.

At the end of 2010 Liu Xiaodong has made a big decision in his life: quitting the bridge design work that he has been doing for decades and move to a brand new area: becoming the leading person in charge of the construction drawing design of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

The new task is indeed challenging, for it covers various stakeholders, design groups and uncertain surrounding impacts and immature techniques. As the chief designer, Liu knew that it is possible to achieve the success only by making everyone working as a whole. He broke the unit boundaries, arranging working groups based on specification of work and making experts from different cultural backgrounds and areas to develop their strengths to the fullest. Liu followed his principle of “depending on foreign consultant firm but not too much”, he put experts from COWI to the on field management and the studying tunnel master plan, and organizing some well-experienced Chinese engineers to distribute work on the construction drawing design.

At the beginning of the task, Liu set up a standard that the construction drawing design should reach the level of most international companies. He liked to strive to the perfect with every detail and plan. He was very responsible for the design, always reflecting the work from all angles objectively and carefully. He never blindly follow others’ old path, instead he would like to discover his own down-to-earth style way of work.

In the design of tunnel foundation, Liu had argued with some foreign experts basic on his years of experience. Liu insisted on his viewpoint by conducting experiments onsite and the results showed that he was right. It was by this rigorous scientific attitude that Liu’s team has finally reached its goals.

Liu’s design team is full of creativity, hardworking, unity and harmony, thanks to Liu’s sound management style.  His workers regard him as “easy-going, modest and wise”, “a man of high technique skills and a clear mind”, and “a master you can always learn a lot from”. His words: “A good designer should have a basic knowledge of philosophical and dialectic way of thinking”, rings a bell to many of his followers in the years to come.

As a top Chinese engineer, Liu Xiaodong is modest and confident. He is both down-to-earth and innovative in his job, combing excellent foreign experiences with real construction conditions and coming up with a best solution in the end. He keeps the originality of what a Chinese scholar should be, graceful and full of wisdom no matter under great pressure, or standing on the peak of honor.