Life is like a rugged mountain trail, one cannot overcome the ups and downs without a strong will. When Lai Lok Kei Rocky completed Secondary 3, he chose to study electrical engineering under the Apprenticeship Scheme of VTC. Having climbed up the huge mountains of studies and work step by step, he is now in the position of Engineer II, Power Systems, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, providing power supply solutions and grid designs for clients. Rocky enjoys mountain climbing in his leisure time. In 2019, he challenged the limit and reached the Mount Everest summit with his team representing the Hong-Kongers. Be it the mountain or life trail, Rocky keeps his unyielding faith through all peaks and valleys.
Advancing Unceasingly on the Study Path
Rocky’s career in electrical engineering originates in his interest as a child. When he was a child, he liked to assemble and disassemble electrical appliances, and was curious about the structure and design of the electrical appliance parts. Against the backdrop of the take-off of the engineering industry in the 2000s, he was determined to devote himself in the industry. Accordingly, when Rocky completed Secondary 3, he chose VTC's electrical engineering programme with the support of his family and started his engineering profession step by step.
Although Rocky's training path is not as winding as a mountain trail, it is still a long one compared with ordinary engineering training. Rocky had studied at the VTC for 13 years unceasingly. "Time flies when you are studying. To consolidate our knowledge, our instructors arranged internships for us which provided opportunities for us to put into practice what we had learnt. After completing the basic technical courses, I joined CLP Power Hong Kong Limited and made use of my spare time for further studies. During the part-time study period, not only have I enhanced my theoretical knowledge in the classroom, I also brought my strengths into play in my workplace. What makes me more nostalgic is the memory of fighting with my classmates!" Their precious friendship is hard-earned.
With the rapid advancement of science and technology, one cannot stagnate as it would be like "sailing against the current, sink or swim". Rocky previously enrolled in a doctoral degree programme. Having studied for so many years, he admits that he is eager to learn new things every day. As the public is more and more concerned about environmental protection, alongside continuous development of renewable energy technology, Rocky believes that the development of clean energy in Hong Kong and in the world is a major trend in the future. Hence he changed the major of his master degree to energy engineering so as to have in-depth study in this area. "In the future, the application rate of renewable energy will increase significantly. It may increase from the current 2% to more than 10%. I hope to contribute to Hong Kong's progression towards a future of cleaner and more sustainable development." However, with the heavy demands from work and study, Rocky admits that he has to sacrifice time spent with his family and friends, luckily they are very understanding. Besides, his supervisor and colleagues are also very supportive, especially during his exam periods.
Grasp the Nettle with Positivity
Speaking of work challenges, Rocky reckons that the work of an engineer is always full of tests. "Each client has its unique requirements, systems, technologies, and geographical constraints. Therefore, we need to discuss with clients in order to come up with feasible and efficient solutions. It may require repetitive processes in design, revision, and monitoring. To complete a project, you must think outside the box and attempt in multi-faceted approaches.” Despite the abundant challenges, Rocky still enjoys the fun and sense of accomplishment. He shared that one client expressed gratitude to him and his team members for their tremendous time and effort put in helping the client solve technical problems to successfully connect a large-scale solar system to the grid.
Rocky has reached some new heights at the work; during his personal time, he is also adventurous to climb challenging mountains. "I always love outdoor activities, especially mountain climbing." To Rocky, the greatest appeal of mountain climbing lies in the indescribable satisfaction that it gives you when you overcome challenges and reach the summit to unveil the beauty lies on top of the mountains. Rocky loves mountain climbing not only because of the exquisite beauty of nature, but also the process is inspiring. "Mountain climbing is not easy. It is always an exhausting and enduring experience, in particular, climbing Mount Everest!" In 2019, Rocky formed a Hong Kong team to climb Mount Everest. The project lasted more than two years from selection, training, studying to overseas training. Although the mountain climbing project was planned, executed, and completed by the team a whole, during the climbing process teammates would not climb side by side and might even climb in distance due to technical reasons, difference in pace or environmental factors. Accordingly, teammates had to take care of each other: "Likewise, in daily life, we cannot accomplish everything on our own. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. People have to work as a team to complement each other in order to reach their goals." Life is like climbing a mountain, through which Rocky not only learns the importance of teamwork, but also understands that life is not always smooth sailing. "Mountain climbing teaches me how to go up and down slopes, just like facing the gains and losses in life. When we were climbing Mount Everest, we passed by a dead body, whom we later found out to be an acquaintance. In mountaineering, many people overlooked their ability with the goal to the summit. They did not save energy for going down, and did not abandon the goal in time. In the end, the loss outweighs the gain.”
Never Stop, Never Surrender
Through mountain climbing, Rocky understands that one has to take challenges according to its ability. Failing a challenge does not equal to giving up. You know your shortcomings in the process and hone your faith. He wants to give a message to VTC’s younger generations, "Never Stop! Never Surrender!" in work or in life, be fearless even in adversity; with positivity, one should be able to solve any problems.
As Rocky plans to climb mountains in Georgia, Tajikistan and other places, he is currently learning Russian to equip himself to meet the future challenges and look forward to exploring more mountains.