2015 Top 40 Under 40: William Hui, P.Eng.

Sept. 18, 2015
William Hui, P.Eng., Systems Engineer, TransLink (South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority)

William Hui, P.Eng.

Systems Engineer

TransLink (South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority)

  • Alma mater: University of British Columbia
  • Fun Fact: William doesn’t drive — doesn’t even own a car. On one trip he took public transit from Vancouver, Canada, to Salem, Oregon.
  • Favorite TV Show: "Star Trek"
  • Favorite Hobby: Curling

William Hui’s interest in transportation began at a young age when there were career days in elementary school and high school. As a child he initially wanted to be a bus driver. While that didn’t come to fruition, he has come to work at Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority TransLink as a systems engineer.

As a system engineer, Hui’s responsibilities include leading the technical development of the Access Transit program for the Compass Project, which involves launching the region’s smartcard system so that it is fully integrated with conventional and custom transit.  A critical aspect of his work is to develop the business rules with particular focus on the fare calculations and backend processing so that all customers have a seamless experience with the Compass Card.  Furthermore, William is actively involved in the integration of the Compass card with the new Evergreen rapid transit line that is slated to be in operation in the fall of 2016.  TransLink is expecting to have more than 200,000 customers using the Compass Card by September 2015 and William’s role on the project has contributed to the project’s success.

In addition to his responsibilities at TransLink, Hui is extremely active within the professional community. It is also because of his appreciation of the experiences he had in elementary school and high school that he has wanted to give back to students as a young professional so others have that same opportunity.

He is currently the chair of the Vancouver chapter of the Young Professionals in Transportation. The Vancouver chapter is the first YPT chapter to be established outside of the United States, and Hui played a critical role as one of its founding members. As a testament to the chapter’s success under Hui’s leadership, the Vancouver chapter is currently ranked 11th out of 21 in terms membership amongst all YPT chapters.

Hui is also an active member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).  Most recently, he was a member of the planning committee of the 2015 ITE QUAD Conference, which was held in Vancouver. He led the development of the conference and provided technical and logistical expertise in delivering the conference. His work on the conference is the latest in his contributions to this group, as he participated on the 2009 ITE QUAD Conference planning committee and has served as the Vancouver section’s webmaster since 2007.

Prior to entering the workforce, Hui was active on the executive team of the UBC ITE student chapter between 2004 and 2007, serving as chapter president in his senior year.  His contributions within ITE as well as his professional contributions at TransLink earned him the Young Professional of the Year award in 2010. Hui was the first recipient of this award when it was introduced by Greater Vancouver section of ITE.

Hui has also demonstrated his passion in transit and advocacy through his contributions to the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA). He was a co-chair of the 2011 British Columbia Youth Summit on Sustainable Urban Transportation. The event was geared toward young leaders in the community and is designed to build capacity and foster advocacy for better alternative transportation options. Hui successfully led the conference consisting of 50 delegates from across the province, some of whom are now working in the transit industry.

It is also worthy to note that Hui was a delegate of the 2006 National Youth Summit, held in Montreal, and was a recipient of the CUTA Centennial Scholarship in 2007.  To further demonstrate his interest in transportation advocacy, Hui was a delegate to the first World Youth Assembly for Road Safety, which was held in Geneva in 2007.  Stemming from this, Hui co-founded the Canadian Road Safety Youth Committee (CRSYC) and has served as an executive member throughout his involvement with this group, culminating with his role as chair between 2011 and 2012.  During his time with the group, Hui promoted road safety amongst young people, with special emphasis on distracted driving.  In building this committee from the grassroots level, Hui developed strong partnerships with other established groups such as the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP) and worked collaboratively to deliver the annual Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference between 2008 and 2012.  Hui’s contributions over the years resulted in the recognition of the role of youth in road safety, a legacy that remains in place to this day.

Hui’s interest in transportation extends far beyond his employment and role in professional groups.  At a young age, Hui has kept a collection of transit memorabilia, which includes transfers, schedules and more recently, smart cards.  One of his favorite items of his collection is a bus schedule/route map that was given to him in elementary school. It is from the early 80s and is special to him not only because it pre-dates him, but because it was given to him when he was young because people recognized that he had an interest in public transportation before most people figure out what they want to do in life.

Outside of his interest in transportation, Hui is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and a recipient of the Governor General’s Bronze and Silver medals, awarded to the student with the highest average in their secondary and post-secondary schools, respectively.  Hui is also an avid ultimate Frisbee player in the summer, captaining one of his three teams, and an avid curler in the winter.  Hui is also an active member within his church, serving in several different ministries.

"I’ve always felt it’s important to give people a chance to experience this industry. It’s not like Microsoft or Google where there’s a lot of glamour, but it is for people who are interested in making a difference in their community."

"I enjoy doing something that makes a difference in the community. To plan something or design something and then seeing it being implemented and seeing the effect of what you’ve done and how that’s impacting people using your transit system."

"What I want to see in my lifetime is that public transportation is seen the way we see it around the world like London or Hong Kong or New York. For cities to thrive and people to come together, public transportation is a key of this and we need to recognize that in North America more so than we have."