Charles Whittaker

It is said that water knows hydraulics better than we do. My goal is to know hydraulics enough to tell water what to do, so I can share and tell others how to make water operate.

Latin America and the Caribbean
Jamaica Latin America and the Caribbean

Charles is from Jamaica, an island in the Caribbean. In 2014 he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Technology Jamaica. After graduating, Charles worked for a private company called Civil & Structural Engineering Ltd (CSE) in The Turks and Caicos Islands. After working for some time, Charles started to realise that one should have more impact in life, and therefore decided to continue his journey by following a Master’s programme at IHE Delft.

Charles was part of a student Association, “Jamaica Institute of Engineers Student Chapter” which was how he first got to know about IHE Delft. The Cooperate body of the Association informed the participants/members about the offered scholarships in Master’s programmes at IHE Delft for Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). Charles had been working for some time for the company, with a focus on structural design, nevertheless he was still interested in doing a Master’s Programme at IHE Delft, with a focus on water.

Charles was encouraged to choose the Institute based on his employer’s advice, and because he believed that he should have an impact on his society and region. In addition, he believes that the programme “Land and Water Development for Food Security” will give him the opportunity to be part of rural development, where he believes he will be able to contribute more, rather than the overpopulated and crowded city life of which he was a part. Another reason for choosing this programme is more related to the current problems in the Caribbean: recent weather patterns have shown extremes, the region has been experiencing drought, resulting in a decrease in the yield production and less water. With the continual change in weather patterns, this will probably escalate if no action is taken. Furthermore, the Caribbean is surrounded by salt water which can have negative impacts on farming and production. Obtaining knowledge and skills from IHE Delft is therefore a great opportunity to help tackle these issues.

In 2016, Charles decided to continue his studies and chose IHE Delft, where he is pursuing an MSc in Water Science and Engineering, Land and Water Development for Food Security. Charles is enjoying his stay at the Institute. He says: ‘IHE Delft offers the best academic education and has a nice environment, with people from all over the world with different cultural backgrounds”. He believes it provides great exposure, where you can meet diverse people and exchange experiences and knowledge. In addition, everyone is very welcoming: the staff members, students and the seniors.

Charles believes that the teaching style at IHE Delft is great but intense. Nevertheless, it prepares students for real life situations. In addition, the professors have a wealth of knowledge. Charles “I am fascinated about this subject and this is what I see myself doing”.

Charles also likes the city of Delft. He believes it’s a beautiful city, with welcoming people. Although, the weather is often too cold and rainy most of the time, the Netherlands is a breath of fresh air with its beautiful windmills and fields.

The main goal of Charles is to acquire adequate knowledge and skills in water science and engineering in order to contribute to his home country Jamaica, as well as his whole region, the Caribbean. Charles aims to go back and utilise the knowledge and skills he has obtained during his Master’s studies in his region. He aims to have an impact and offer his skills and services to the government and the company where he works.

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