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Yu Tao: Work to the extreme

China.org.cnUpdated: May 3, 2018

In 2007, Yu Tao, a staff member from the Shuangwangcheng Reservoir Administration Office of the Shandong Mainline of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, was conferred the Shandong Provincial Labor Medal. The medal was one of Yu's many awards. In October 2017, Yu represented Shandong Province and placed fourth at China's 5th National Vocational Skills Competition in Hydraulic Industry, in the category of pump station operation. In recent years, Yu has not only won good results in multiple skill competitions held in Shandong province, he was also named "Outstanding Personnel" by the Shandong Provincial Water Resource Department, the Shandong Sub-bureau of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, and the project's Shandong Mainline company.

Winning these awards and honors was not easy for Yu, an ordinary pump station operator. However, since joining the project nine years ago, Yu has consistently exhibited a meticulous attitude towards every single task, and his spirit of doing careful research has received wide praise.

Yu graduated from college in 2009, when the Shuangwangcheng Reservoir had not yet started construction. Yu majored in electric engineering, so he had to start from scratch to learn about project construction and management. The vigorous Yu spontaneously asked for design reports, preliminary blueprints, and all kinds of relevant standards from the reservoir's design and construction institutions. Highly motivated, he studied by himself all those materials day and night. It was not long before Yu was able to develop a sound understanding of the reservoir.

For that, Yu was assigned the task of drawing up rules, regulations and technical requirements before the project officially launched. In less than one week, Yu compiled 25 of them, with the total of more than 40,000 words, each one of them typed by himself. The high quality and efficiency of Yu's work impressed his supervisors, who were surprised that a young man with no professional background in project management could come up with solutions that fast. They were all convinced that someday Yu will become outstanding.

People always have inertia. If they stay in their comfort zone, they will hinder their growth. Only by breaking through the comfort zone and doing things they have never done before, will they have the courage to meet new challenges, overcome difficulties, and force themselves to meet the unknown and improve themselves.

During the construction of the reservoir, Yu took part in project acceptance as a representative of the owner. To do his job well, Yu had to work late at night in order to prepare materials for next day, and he even forced himself to remember dam compaction standards, filling thickness, excavation depth of impervious walls, etc. The construction company stressed that many collapses had happened during the construction of the impervious walls due to soil texture, hence the amount of poured concrete was more than planned. Sent to supervise whether the increased amount of concrete was necessary, Yu stayed in the construction site late into the winter nights with temperature lower than minus 10 degrees Celsius. He even impressed the construction company with his strong sense of responsibility.

Yu kept himself busy even after the completion of the Shuangwangcheng Reservoir. When equipment manufacturers sent maintenance engineers to the reservoir, Yu always offered help and tried to learn from them. Yu's sense of responsibility and strong thirst for knowledge drove him to give up weekends and holiday, using the time to focus on learning and doing things better. He has been widely recognized as a humble young man who seldom complains about work and spontaneously helps others. The more efforts Yu put into work, the more knowledge and skills he gained.

In 2016, during a check by the State Council's South-to-North Water Diversion Project Office, a question was raised that the temperature in the stator of the main motor was not stable. To address this, Yu contacted the manufacturer at first, but he was told that the phenomenon was normal. Instead of accepting the suggestion of changing to another sensor device, Yu tracked the recorded operation data of the device for half a year and conducted data check repeatedly. He even used multi-thermometers to get a more precise number of the sealed device. Based on his experiments and research, Yu changed the configuration of the stator, which eventually solved the problem.

Yu is a rugged man who prefers to question and research when he faces complicated problems or authoritative statements, and he always keeps the attitude of never stopping until the goal is achieved, and he strongly believes that there are more solutions than problems, as long as you work hard enough you will eventually find a solution. Yu says, "The most important thing for me is to get things done nicely. I need to develop a good understanding of all the knowledge that I should master, and I need to firm my belief and have a clear sense of what I'm striving for, be the best of myself."