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Development Activities in Myanmar
UNSW Engineering started work in Myanmar in 2013 when we partnered with colleagues at Yangon Technological University (YTU). After the previous military regime closed the YTU campus to teaching in 1998, it was only permitted to resume enrolling Bachelor of Engineering students in 2012, which provided the inspiration for us to donate equipment, expertise and course material to help rebuild their engineering degree programs. Since then, the partnership has flourished and, in addition to our work with YTU, we have forged strong links throughout the country, undertaking capacity building activities that cover a variety of discipline areas. A timeline of our work includes:
UNSW Engineering donated 60 Apple Macs and Mr Phil Allen, A/Prof Julien Epps and Dr Jayashri Ravishankar, visited YTU and Mandalay Technological University (MTU) to discuss engineering programs, deliver a series of seminars on Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications (EE&T) and share selected teaching materials.
At UNSW Engineering’s invitation, two YTU academic staff spent one week on campus with Engineering schools and staff, to learn about programs, teaching methods and teaching quality.
Three academic staff from EE&T (Dr Ravishankar, A/Prof Epps and Dr Iain Skinner) visited YTU to deliver seminars and discuss a UNSW-led workshop for YTU staff and postgraduate student training across various engineering disciplines.
Prof Eliathamby Ambikairajah , Head of School of UNSW EE&T, was invited by the Myanmar Engineering Council (MEngC) to provide guidance and training on YTU’s Engineering accreditation process, the first international engineering accreditation process in Myanmar’s history. He trained 20 senior engineers and academics and ran an Evaluator Training Workshop for MEngC members from across the country.
Prof Ambikairajah was invited by MEngC to provide follow-up training for 62 senior engineers and academics already on the Accreditation Panel and trained a further 10 senior engineers and academics to become Accreditation Panel members for MEngC throughout Myanmar. He also ran a workshop on learning and teaching for 30 staff at YTU. During this visit Prof Ambikairajah was focused on imparting critical specialised knowledge to enable Myanmar to develop its own internationally recognised engineering accreditation process.
At UNSW Engineering’s invitation, the Vice President of MEngC visited the UNSW campus for three days, to observe the Engineers Australia accreditation of UNSW’s engineering programs. This allowed him to observe the quality of the programs and the accreditation process in action.
EE&T staff A/ProfToan Phung and Dr Ravishankar visited YTU to run a week-long intensive Power Engineering workshop. The training was attended by 10 academic staff members and, after the workshop, complete course materials were shared so they could run the training themselves.
Prof Ambikairajah was invited by the MEngC to observe and advise on a Post Accreditation Workshop and to run a two-day Training Workshop for 37 YTU academic staff, in order for them to prepare for full accreditation.
UNSW’s Global Water Institute (GWI) hosted six engineers from the Myanmar Government at the UNSW Water Research Laboratory, where they completed an intense two weeks of professional development on physical and numerical hydraulic modelling.
Prof Ambikairajah and Dr Ray Eaton supervised the first live accreditation of engineering programs at Mandalay Technological University (MTU). The accreditation was attended by 20 MEngC Accreditation Evaluators and three past Ministers of Myanmar parliament. The purpose of the visit was for Prof Ambiakirajah to give feedback to the MEngC evaluators, and for Dr Eaton to give feedback to the MTU engineering staff.
Two YTU staff members started their PhDs with UNSW Engineering.
In partnership with the Australian Government and through the New Colombo Plan, the first UNSW undergraduates visited YTU for short-term projects. Water filtration expert A/Prof Pierre Le Clech started a project to install teaching experiments around low cost modern water filtration technologies.
With focus areas rapidly expanding into water and wastewater treatment, natural resource extraction and its impacts, renewable and remote area energy systems, and urban planning, UNSW and our colleagues in Myanmar have a joint passion to help mitigate these existing issues and better prepare for the future.