“Everyone wants to build innovative high-rise infrastructure but I prefer to renovate the existing water supply” says Honda Y.E.S awardee

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Phyoe Wae Hein won the Honda Young Engineer and Scientist's (YES) Award with a water-related idea in 2018. The Honda Y.E.S award program was introduced in Myanmar in 2014 and is quite renowned among six engineering universities supported by Honda foundation. Phyoe Wae is one of the final year students from Yangon Technological University with a major in Civil engineering and fascinating candidate who got water-related sense at that time. I recently spoke with him about this award and his in-depth idea which brought him success.

Early stage

He was selected as a candidate for the Award with 10 students from Yangon Technological University. Each stage of the award has different challenges to the participants such as writing an essay in English and Burmese about effect of waste and action to reduce waste on a statement of environmental aspects. 

As the program is to stimulate ecotechnology among the emerging professionals, he developed his ecological idea with the theme of water supply system in Yangon.

A successful pitch

Before he participated, he joined Myanmar – Netherlands Water Challenge 2018 on 1 August. From the water challenge, he adopted to harness the water-related concept by learning perception of issues and hinderance in water sector.

In hindsight, he wondered why he was chosen for this award, but his focus on a proposal o renovate the water supply infrastructure – Gyo Phyu pipeline which is a15 kilometers structure to the Gyo Phyu reservoir did manage to attract the attention of the judges.

"Most of the candidates would like to create or build high rise infrastructure and green building, green infrastructure. But for me, I would like to renovate the existing water supply. And I choose Gyo Phyu," he said.

There were also winners from the other engineering fields - Mechanical Engineering, Information Technology and Electronic Engineering from Yangon Technological University (YTU), West Yangon Technological University (WYTU) and Mandalay Technological University (MTU). Each student has his or her own pitch and nailed them down on the final stage which was presented in Japan.

"Preferably, I would like to demonstrate the steel infrastructure corrosion of Gyo Phyu pipeline since it is aging and becoming rusty and fragile: and that is what decision makers need to be better aware of," he said. He presented the condition of water quality with the most reliable indicator of fecal bacterial contamination of surface waters – E.coli. In addition, he was getting into wider scope of learning Gyo Phyu pipline on the Socio-economic perspective. He considered public health standard since everybody depends on water and food.

"Water is for everybody and a daily dose for everybody but nobody consider that water-related infrastructure is one of the development factors to measure the increment of country's advancement," he was proud of presenting his unique idea.


Further intention

After success in stage one, the four best undergraduate students were rewarded a prize grant worth US$3,000.

They can continue by completing a master degree or joining the internship program in Japan. The award certificate is valid for 4 years and within 4 years, they decide to choose their education path.

"I would like to finish my final year thesis this year (2019), I prefer to focus the study on corrosion behavior of steel materials, and will extend it to the fatigue analysis and seismic vulnerability assessment of lifelong pipelines, together with 2040-year plan of Yangon Water Supply system," he mentioned.

Grant money is available when the participants are willing to join the training course or invest in their thesis. It is just like a boost for the education of future generation's dream.

"Definitely I like to explore work experience for about 2 years and then attend the international postgraduate. But I still don't know which university I am going to choose," he said.

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Honda Y-E-S Program|HONDA FOUNDATION

The Honda Foundation has given the Honda Y-E-S Program to aim at the development of human resources to inherit and promote dissemination of ecotechnology.

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