Civility, Compassion, and Change for Good
Riding Out the Storm with Science and Technology - LAU King Heng
LAU King Heng
(Earth System Science, Year 5)
CUHK Earth System Science student LAU King Heng has been interested in typhoons since a young age, and has devoted himself to the studying and research of atmospheric science.
As a budding atmospheric scientist, final-year Earth System Science student LAU King Heng has clearly set his eyes on one day contributing to his hometown Hong Kong via science and public service. Hong Kong is frequented by tropical cyclones on an annual basis, and ever since he was young, Lau had been enraptured by the destructive force of tropical cyclones. Now that he’s older and armed with a solid training in the sciences, with a concentration in atmospheric science, King Heng intends to apply numerical modelling to research on how climate change affects the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones. In addition, his research shall also help citizens be better prepared for impending severe weather, potentially saving lives and properties.
King Heng has received support for his journey in atmospheric science, including The Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships.
With high aspirations to contribute to science and society, King Heng has also garnered the support of two major scholarships, namely the Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships in 2018, and most recently the Innovation and Technology Scholarship in 2021, in his pursuit of scientific advancement and personal growth. Recipients of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships are referred to as “JC Scholars”, and are outstanding students recognised for their intellect, character, leadership qualities and commitment to service. King Heng expresses his appreciation and gratitude for the scholarship, “Through the scholarship and its programs, I was very fortunate to meet with many outstanding students from different universities in Hong Kong. Their commitment to their goals and the society of Hong Kong have really motivated me to continue my own pursuit to become an atmospheric scientist that will contribute to Hong Kong’s long term sustainability.”
King Heng (rear, first from right) is also a recipient of the Innovation and Technology Scholarship.
Young talent like King Heng can also be supported by the Innovation and Technology Scholarship (ITS). Established jointly by the Innovation and Technology Commission, HSBC, and The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, ITS offers outstanding undergraduates opportunities to widen their international exposure and gain industry experience, while also nurturing their passion and commitment towards science and technology. Besides support for his academic research, ITS also offered Lau participation in its mentorship programme, and the experience has been illuminating for Lau to say the least. Former Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, LAM Chiu Ying, gave Lau some wise words of advice, which Lau recalls vividly, “He stressed that if you’re passionate about the environment, you must learn to ignore negative comments, look beyond setbacks and soldier on.” This persevering mindset is just what Lau needs to face the tough challenges ahead, as he feels that his work could have tremendous impact to society in the future, “In forecasting tropical cyclones for instance, there are so many rapidly changing parameters that if we could upgrade our accuracy, it would be a tremendous boon to mitigating the damage.”
Besides his impending research set to be conducted in the summer of 2022, Lau hopes to embark on graduate studies overseas in atmospheric research. He hopes that one day, he will take his expertise in studying tropical cyclones back to Hong Kong and develop a career in academia or meteorological public service.
* Thank you to King Heng for providing photos and sharing his experience.