Computational Intelligence and Operational Water Management – Interview with a Myanmar Delegate
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education is the largest international graduate water facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands. The institute offers MSc and PhD Programmes as well as a wide range of short courses. These intensive and highly specialized short courses are effective for early to mid-career professionals in upgrading and regenerating their knowledge and skills.
We made an interview series with IHE-Delft short course participants from Myanmar, who shared their experience with us upon their return from the 3-week course.
This month, we interviewed Chit Yan Toe who has studied the IHE Delft short course on Computational Intelligence and Operational Water Management from the 2nd to 21st of March 2020. He is a Junior Engineer at Myanmar Maritime University (MMU) and also responsible for teaching River Engineering, Hydraulic Modelling, and Coastal Dynamics to undergraduate and master students in MMU. Also, he has been conducting a number of researches relating with water quality, riverbank erosion, and sedimentation.
This course is on how to connect or apply the computational intelligence in controlling the operations in water management. The course provides information on real-time control systems for operational water management and the use of computational intelligence methods to build data-driven models.
There are two main parts within the short course: data-driven modelling using computational intelligence and operational water management. The course was coordinated by Prof. Dimitri Solomatine; the principles and techniques of optimization were firstly introduced to solve the problems related to modelling and water management. Then the idea of how to apply data-driven modelling using computational intelligence techniques selecting proper tools and methods was practiced. In a case study, he learnt how to build a hydrological model using data-driven methods as an assignment.
The operational water management part contains real-time control of water systems. Its purpose is to understand the main principles of data assimilation using related techniques and to apply the principles and techniques of real-time control, and anticipatory water management. In this part of the module, there are also reports and a field trip to North-West Netherlands, but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the field trip was canceled and some of the remaining classes had to be carried out online accordingly. Though, he still managed to continue the study through online classes and successfully finished all the reports and assignments.
Thoughts & Feedback
"Water management is a complex process; there might be some uncertainties and consideration of various sectors or aspects within the process. Computational intelligence provides solutions for such problems by optimizing all the variables, thus it is a comprehensive way of controlling the water management operations," Chit Yan Toe shared his thought on the importance of computational intelligence based on his experiences.
Concerning what he has gained from the course, he said "I learnt the operational water management processes more practically, which I had been known mostly theoretically before. I have also improved new software skills like GLOBE, WEKA, NEURAL MACHINE, etc."
He is currently working as a Junior Engineer at Myanmar Maritime University (MMU) and contributing the knowledge he has learnt from this course to his colleagues. The short course helps him a lot by providing practical skills in conducting the current researches and further studies.
"The hand-on exercises of this course are truly effective. I got a lot of practices in modelling and operational water management during the lectures and thus, the short course was indeed very helpful for me," he explained and suggested attending the short course.
This article is written by Thinzar Mon, a final year student from Yangon Technological University.