After a 5-year long journey as an undergraduate student in West Yangon Technology University, I was finally awarded a Bachelor of Civil Engineering Degree in the year of 2016. Following my graduation, I got employed as a project assistant engineer at National Engineering and Planning Services Co., Ltd. and I was assigned at environmental section to support and contribute to field surveys, organization of consultation meetings, administrative tasks and draft report presentation.
I never thought that the environmental issues are primary concerns for developmental projects, and I began to realize that environmental studies are essential to mitigate negative impacts and promote positive ones particularly for bio- physical and social environments affected nearby.
After working there for one and a half years, I found a new opportunity to work as an environmental engineer at a French-oriented engineering company called ARTELIA which is specialized particularly in Project Management Consultancy, Water Resources and Environmental Services. I was working in various environmental studies in industrial, hydropower and oil & gas sectors from September 2017 until December 2021.
Concerning the responsibilities of an environmental engineer at ARTELIA, I was obliged to environmental & social baseline studies, stakeholder engagement, facilitation of consultation meetings, project coordination, administrative tasks, GIS mapping and environmental draft reporting.
- Age: 29
- Ethnicity: Burmese, Rakhine
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Mahidol University
- Master’s, Environmental & Water Resources Engineering
- 2nd Year in Program
- Loan Amount: $4,800
- Amount Left To Fund: $4,550
- Contract Duration: 12 years
- Status: In School
What Others Are Saying About Soe
According to 5-year professional experience in environmental studies, one of the challenges in doing environmental projects in Myanmar is lack of interdisciplinary approach despite having environmental regulations. Potential negative impacts will arise due to lack of comprehensive studies and hence, it is hard to reach sustainable development that will be beneficial to project owners, community and bio-physical environments. As an example, without proper environmental impact assessment, environmental degradation is inevitable.
Most industrial parks in Myanmar do not have a proper wastewater treatment system that eventually results in nearby degradation of water quality and health issues on nearby communities. These days, it is evident that poor environmental practices in Myanmar are one of the main reasons for environmental degradation. I believed that these issues can be tackled with deep understanding from professional and academic perspectives.
Therefore, I decided to study Mahidol University’s Master of Engineering Program in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering since it will enhance capacity development for young environmental practitioners like myself with more or less experience in environmental projects by studying a range of courses such as water quality engineering, solid and hazardous waste management, life cycle assessment and so on.
My learning and development will be aided by the program’s emphasis on key practical skills such as analytical skills, presentation skills, report writing as well as developing ethical sense when preparing thesis. Therefore, studying the program will help strengthen the ability of environmental practitioners to conduct environmental studies effectively and train environmental students for future environmental leadership positions.
Following the completion of the study, I firstly intend to enhance capacity development for young environmental practitioners through networking with a number of environmental organizations locally and regionally at which I can engage a number of young professionals. In order to do so, I must be a master’s degree holder who, based on my own experience, has a good effect on trainees in order to be eligible. By increasing capacity development, a growing number of local environmental practitioners with a variety of skill sets and expertise will emerge, thus alleviating the shortage of well-trained practitioners.
Another point to mention is that I have noticed that a number of corporations being requested to include environmental practices that must be incorporated into their projects/organizations in line with local and international requirements. Thus, it is anticipated that there will be a significant need for Environmental Project Managers or Directors. These positions will require a high degree of academic preparation with course-developed skills, years of professional experience, supervision of more experienced individuals and sense of responsibility.
With the knowledge and expertise that I have gained through my schooling and work, I feel confident in my ability to assume environmental leadership roles and use those skills to develop sustainable businesses by incorporating environmental principles into them. In the long run, positive results will show that more and more corporations are shifting their operations to be more eco-efficient by integrating environmental practices. Someday, I am confident that the professional and academic goal I have set for myself as an Environmental Expert and my Mahidol’s Master’s Degree would contribute to enhancing inclusive growth, developing and promoting interests for Myanmar communities.
Written by Soe with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“Studying environmental engineering will enhance capacity development for young environmental practitioners like myself with more or less experience in environmental projects by studying a range of courses such as water quality engineering, solid and hazardous waste management, life cycle assessment and so on. ”
“I am confident that the professional and academic goal I have set for myself as an Environmental Expert and my Mahidol’s Master’s Degree would contribute to enhancing inclusive growth, developing and promoting interests for Myanmar communities. ”