Saad Kibria is from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. He is a civil engineer by profession. In his Bachelor’s programme, he always liked the water-related courses like hydrology, hydraulics, irrigation and drainage engineering. He graduated in the field of engineering and technology in Pakistan, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NUCES). He has worked in the water resources sector as a hydraulics design engineer in one of the leading engineering consultancy organizations (NESPAK) in Pakistan. He worked on a project called Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Investment Programme (PIAIP) which is a joint venture of three engineering consultancy firms, NESPAK being one of them. This project is funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB). Saad has a Rotary International scholarship and is the first and only Rotary Scholar, so far, from his country.
How Saad heard about IHE Delft: ‘’I was applying to various top-notch universities around the world. I already knew about TU Delft, and while applying for it, I also came across the name of IHE Delft, and it piqued my interest, being an institute specially dedicated to the education, research and capacity building in the field of water, and that too in partnership with UNESCO. Also, many people from my workplace told me about IHE Delft, especially a colleague of mine who was already enrolled. This inspired me to explore the Master’s programmes. One of the benefits of studying at IHE Delft is the multicultural environment that one gets to live in. It is amazing to interact with different people from all over the world, with different background, experiences and age groups. It is really an academically, professionally and culturally enriching experience.’’
Saad about the situation with water in Pakistan: ‘’We have one of the largest and best canal-based irrigated agriculture in the world. We have water flowing in the rivers and into the sea, but there is a need to manage the water resources. Another problem is that in the urban areas, groundwater is being fetched privately by people, and thus groundwater reservoirs are depleting. In built-up areas, there is little or no recharge to groundwater. Also, there are droughts and floods occasionally in various parts of the country. Some areas are facing severe water crises, with a threat of water scarcity. On the other hand, some areas receive abundant rainfall, causing floods.”
About the teaching style: ‘’the teaching style is very effective and the teachers are unbiased and professional. They do not mind when students pose them questions. Also, they come to the level of the students, to make sure they understand the subject. Apart from this, the workload intensity and difficulty is really significant, but that is what brings out the best of what we can do. The students are pushed to their limits to make them used to the grind of hard work.”
After his studies, Saad wants to return to his home country and apply his knowledge to address the issues related to water resources. The courses he has selected will enable him to have a better insight into the greater water issues in his country. Being an engineer, this management course will let him have a broader perspective towards realization of problems in the water sector and their solutions in terms of management with applied engineering.
About life in Delft: ‘’I find Delft very beautiful. The street life is so fascinating and cosy. Life here is pretty fast and unstoppable, no matter the weather.’’