Hong Kong faces a shortage of qualified engineers, chairman of the Housing Authority Cheng Hon-kwan warned yesterday. 'The basic ingredient for quality housing is the quality of the people associated with its production,' said Dr Cheng. Citing statistics for the past 10 years, he said the pass rate for the Institution of Structural Engineers higher-level qualifying Part Three examination in Hong Kong was only about 30 per cent. He was addressing a ceremony at which he was honoured after being awarded the top accolade in the structural engineering arena - the IStrucE Gold Medal. He is the 35th recipient of the award and the first Chinese since it was established in 1922. Dr Cheng, 75, was awarded the medal for his 'personal contribution in establishing structural engineering as a pre-eminent profession in [Hong Kong]'. He added there had been 'disquiet' about engineers' supposed inability to express themselves. 'Perhaps we should start with secondary schools and tell the students . . . that engineering is for bright people rather than for those who do not do so well in languages but somewhat better in mathematics.'