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Civil Engineering Education (1957 – 88) [2]

Updated on March 15, 2019

By Min Wun: March 12, 2012

Staff Development

To fulfill staff requirement for the graduate courses Civil Engineering staffs were encouraged to attend graduate courses for Master Degree. Many were also sent abroad for further studies. The following list indicates that almost all the staff were trained abroad or locally to pursue graduate studies.

1. Structural Engineering staff

Dr. Aung Gyi was sent to Canada to pursue post graduate studies in Structural Engineering.

The late Saya U Kyaw Thein transferred to R.I.T. from Construction Corporation.

Dr. San Hla Aung was sent to M.I.T. to study Structural Engineering. He was also sent to Germany for training in Structural Laboratory Techniques.

U Tin Maung, U Nyi Hla Nge, U Khin Maung Tint, U Aung, and U Aung Kyaw Myat attended M.S. Course in Structural Engineering at R.I.T.

Dr. Myo Khin was sent to Japan to study Building Construction Technology, one of the Engineering electives for Regional Colleges.

2. Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

Saya H. Num Kock was sent to England for to study Soil Mechanics Laboratory Techniques.

U Allen Htay was sent to the United States of America, and Dr. Aung Shein was sent to England to study Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

3. Water Resources Engineering

Dr. Win Thein was sent to Russia, U Thein Tan was sent to England, Dr. Daw Khin Ni Ni Thein, and Dr. Daw Nilar Win were sent to Netherlands, and Dr. Htin Aung and Dr Khin Maung Win were sent to the United States of America to pursue post graduate studies in Water Resources Engineering.

4. Surveying and Photogrammetry

I was sent to England to do research in Photogrammetry at University College, London. I collaborated with a post graduate student to do research on measurement of deflection patterns of a typical Railway Bridge by Terrestrial Photogrammetric method.

Dr. Aung Soe was sent to East Germany to study modern Surveying Techniques.

U Khin Maung Phone Ko was sent to the University College, London to specialize in Photogrammetry. He pursued graduate studies at the University of Glasgow.

U Aye Win Kyaw was sent to Paris to train in Terrestrial Photogrammetry.

U Ye Myint and U Khin Maung Maung were sent to the Netherlands to study Photogrammetry and Aerial Photo Interpretation.

5. Sanitary Engineering

Saw Christopher Maung, U Kyaw Win, U Khin Aung Han, the late Daw Yin Yin Myaing were sent to Netherlands.

6. Others

Saya U Myat Htoo , U Thein Kyaw, U Tauk Lin, U Samual Nay Than, U Kaung, and Tan Kyi Kong were some staffs who left the Department to go abroad. Daw Kyi Ngwe, Daw Yin Tint, and Daw Cho Cho pursued graduate studies at R.I.T.

Practical Training

Summer training program was coordinated with various Government Departments, such as Construction Corporation, Department of Irrigation, Department of Water Ways, etc and in some departments students were also paid.

Summer Surveying Training was part of the requirement for 4th Year Civil Engineering students. The first survey practical training was held during the summer of 1961 in Maymyo [PyinOo Lwin]. The Department of Survey, under the Ministry of Forest and Agriculture allowed us to establish the Survey Camp in one of their Office Buildings, where there were big office rooms for evening classes and for students to do survey data compilation, checking and calculations, and also to draw a topographic map. The training lasted four weeks and it was a good opportunity for the staff to get more acquainted with the students, thus creating a lasting and intimate relationship between the staff and the students.

On-the-job Training with CECC

In September 1976 Civil Engineering Construction Cooperative [CECC] was organized to create job opportunity for Civil Engineering graduates. I was assigned to lead as chairman with Sayas U Tin Maung and U Thein Tan as vice-chairmen, and student members were U Toe Maung as secretary with U Tin Ohn and U Myo Thant as executive members. Retired Charter Account U Ba Win was employed to supervise budgeting and accounts branch. U Mya Than, a retired Superintending Engineer of Construction Corporation, was also employed to supervise design branch. With the permission of Department of Higher Education laboratory technicians were also employed part-time to use the laboratory facilities to help CECC.

All the members were assigned to rotate on-the-job training through design branch, construction branch, procurement branch, etc. The purpose of the rotation program was to train all the members to be ready to assume any assignments and to be able to take charge of a project independently. CECC is still a strong and active construction cooperative. Many ex-CECC members are working abroad, especially in Singapore, as construction engineers.

In the beginning we started to work for free until we were awarded contracts to earn profits. With the support of the Ministry of Cooperatives CECC was awarded contracts to do the following:

1. Site development project for 100-ton rice mills.

2. Kyaik Hti Yo development project. My article “Kyaik Hti Yo Development Project 1979” was published at the www.ex-rit.org

3. Micro hydro power project for Tachilaik Township.

4. Township market building project.

5. Aerial Mapping project for Bassein-Monywa highway.

6. Terrestrial Photogrammetric mapping of ancient monument [stupas, pagodas, etc] in Pagan

7. Exhibition Stalls construction project for 12 Divisions and 12 States during Union Day Celebration event, etc.

Special Assignments

I came back from London on July 4th 1975. Pagan earthquake of July 8th 1975 destroyed the once awe-inspiring panorama of Pagan. Almost all the monuments were affected to a greater or lesser extent. The beautiful silhouettes of giant monuments, Thatbyinnyu, Ananda, Gawdawpalin, etc changed within a split second into ugly heaps of debris.

On July 9th 1975 a National Commission for Restoration of Pagan Monuments was duly formed, headed by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Construction. The Commission comprised of expertise from the Department of Archaeology, Universities and Institutes under the Department of Higher Education, and the Construction Corporation. Dr. Aung Gyi, U Myo Myint Sein, and I were also members of the Commission. I was with the Commission until I retired in December 1988.

From 1981 to 1988 I was assigned to become a member of the National Calendar Committee [Naing Gan Daw Pyeikkadaindaw Set Ah Phew]. Sayadaw U Thilasara of Patheingyi Kyaung of Mandalay was the chairman. Well known astrologers from Upper Myanmar and Lower Myanmar were appointed as members. Annual Myanmar Lunar Calendar was compiled and I also participated in computing planetary positions to determine Thinn Gyan duration and to fix the Myanmar New Year Day. It involved many hours of hand calculations based upon Surya-Siddhanta, Myanmar version of the archeo-astronomy. A Fortran Program was introduced to help the hand calculations and save time. Comparative studies on [a] Myanmar Almanac and Nautical Almanac, [b] Myanmar traditional methods of calculations for Solar eclipse and Lunar eclipse, [c] Identification of 27 Asterisms (Nakshatra) on a Star Chart based upon visual observation as shown by Sayadaw U Thilasara, etc were also presented to the NCC.

When Regional Colleges were established I was assigned in 1981 to work as National Counterpart with UNESCO expert, Mr. Harris. We were involved to help establish institution buildings for 20 Regional Colleges, curriculum development and reviews, staff development, etc.

In May 1981 a group of staff from Universities and Institutes under the Department of Higher Education took part in the inspection tour of the Industries on the West bank of Irrawaddy River. The tour began from Yangon to Bassein to inspect the Glass Manufacturing Factory. The entourage of motor vehicles continued with the inspection of the Bassein-Monywa road, Heavy Industries in Sin Te, and inspection of the Ngawin Dam.

The group presented reports at the end of the tour. My presentations were [1] How to prevent bullock cart tracks on the slopes of the earth embankments of Basssein-Monywa road, and [2] Justifications not to cover up the upstream embankment of Ngawin Earth Dam with concrete blanket to prevent seepage. I was glad that my presentations were accepted and the proposal for the concrete blanket was reversed.

Conclusion

The above recount of the History of Civil Engineering during my tenure at R.I.T. is compiled as far as I could recall. I’m sure there are some omissions, errors, or mistakes. Please help to correct them to be incorporated in the final edition.

I would like to say in conclusion that my 31 years of teaching career was not only a rewarding experience but also an opportunity to contribute toward upgrading the standard of Civil Engineering education in my motherland. I’m proud to say that R.I.T. graduate engineers are well qualified to assume responsibilities at home and abroad.

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