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Henry Chang

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Henry Chang was born to struggling parents in Taiwan on May 4th, 1949. At a young age, he joined the Chinese merchant marine, where he learned the skills and developed the knowledge necessary to become an engineer. He worked his way up to the rank of Chief Engineer and earned command over six merchant marine ships.


In 1980, he emigrated to The United States with his wife, Xiu Qin, and attended the Technical Career Institute of Manhattan from 1983 to 1985. After graduating, Henry worked as a plant manager at multiple private institutions, including St. John’s Hospital, before joining the civil service in the year 2000.

Henry spent his first four years of service as a Stationary Engineer for 111 Centre Street, the New York City Civil Court building. In 2004, he was offered a transfer to The Long Island

City Courthouse, offering him a chance to work closer to home. Henry graciously accepted, going so far as to deliver a handwritten thank-you letter to his supervisor. He would go on to work over six years at LIC Courthouse, where colleagues remember him as an admirable man with a passion for details and extensive knowledge of his craft. At 59 years of age, his service came to an untimely end after a fatal on-the-job accident.


Henry Chang lives on through his wife Xiu Jin and son John, and through the Henry Chang Memorial Center for Mechanical Engineering named in his honor.


Today, the City’s Mechanical Maintenance Operating Engineers based at the Department of Administrative Services (DCAS) along with DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo and Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) Commissioner Pauline Toole formally dedicated the Henry Chang Learning Center at 31 Chambers Street. The Learning Center was established in honor of deceased City engineer Henry Chang.


A section of the Municipal Library is now a dedicated engineering resource center named for Chang, a revered and inspirational DCAS engineer. The Henry Chang Learning Center is equipped with specialized software, hard copy materials, and implements used to calculate potential energy savings. The goal is to educate students and the general public on how to use technology to reduce our carbon footprint—at work and at home. In developing the Chang Center, the Library staff has also consolidated and made available existing materials on mechanical and civil engineering. The Operating Engineers, a voluntary group, funded the software and engineering equipment. The Computers were donated by the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems.

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