Vincent Tse spent the first 20 years of his career as a mechanical engineer, developing the air conditioning systems for some of the world’s tallest buildings. Then at the age of 56 he switched to vertical transportation. At the top of his career, admired by architects, clients and colleagues alike, he remains grounded, modest and full of humility.
Could you describe your career path?
I came to England from Hong Kong to study in mechanical engineering at Manchester Polytechnic. Graduating in 1977, I took a master’s degree in building services engineering at University of Manchester before returning to Hong Kong in 1978.
It was great timing as this was the start of a building boom, and from the beginning I was involved as an air conditioning engineer on large projects, gaining lots experience in tall building design. As my career progressed, I wanted to do something new and at the age of 56, I decided to learn about vertical transportation. This was the start of the second half of my career.
I worked with the same firm for 40 years, first for Parsons Brinkerhoff and then, since 2014, for WSP when the two companies merged. This merger opened up a world of new possibility as, thanks to WSP’s global coverage, I was able to apply the experience gained on China’s very tall buildings to skyscraper projects all over the world – in USA, UK, Canada, Korea, Malaysia and the Middle-East.