UCC Memories

UCC : U Soe Paing

Saya Paing

One day, the people on the UCC ferry shouted, “Saya Paing”. To their amazement, ICS U Paing (Saya’s father) came out.

Saya U Soe Paing in Singapore

Saya U Soe Paing is the second son of U Paing and Daw Oo Yin (Daughter of Sir Po Tha and Lady Tha).

Golf Champions

Saya and his siblings Dr. Myo Paing, U Win Paing (Sayadaw U Wara, ChE70) and U Kyaw Paing (Putra Cup Player) are excellent golfers and Champions at RGC (Rangoon Golf Club) and BGC (Burma Golf Club).

St. Paul’s High School

Saya matriculated from SPHS (St. Paul’s High School) in 1956 along with U Ko Ko Lay, U Win Htein, Percy Maung Maung, U Than Se (Richard Khoo), and U Ba Min.

Saya stood 13th in Matriculation and was awarded Collegiate Scholarship.

Rangoon University

Saya won two Gold Medals for excellence in the Intermediate of Science.

He scored the highest marks in the I.Sc. examinations.

He scored the highest marks in Mathematics in I.Sc. along with two other students.

Since the original endowment for the Gold Medals did not cover the rising cost of Gold, Saya’s family had to give K150 for each Gold Medal.

Saya rowed and coxed at RUBC. Saya won prizes including the Inter-Hall Fours.

Stanford University

Saya was selected as a States Scholar to attend Stanford University along with Saya U Ko Ko Lay and Bohmu Percy.

Saya received his BS and MS in EE (Electrical Engineering).

Saya did programming for his studies and also worked part-time as computer operator.

RIT Electrical

Upon his return to Burma, Saya joined the EE Department as Assistant Lecturer. His sponsor supposedly was UBARI (Union of Burma Applied Research Institute).

At a research congress held in the Main Campus, Saya presented a paper covering Digital Logic and Circuits,. Dr. Chit Swe was impressed. Through Saya U Nyi Nyi (EE saya, who moved to the UK), Saya Paing gained contact with Saya Chit. The rest is history.

Saya Paing would help Saya Chit with the UCC Project.

It would take a few years before the UCC Project got approved by UN and funded by UNDP.

UCC – RIT Connection

Saya Paing promised Saya Chit to recruit his top students to join the UCC Project, but the long delay of the Project to get funded made the task difficult.

Ko Tun Aung Gyaw (EC69), Ko Hla Min (EC69) and Ko Soe Win (EC70) joined UCC as Maintenance Engineers.

Ko Hla Min (Pauk Si, EP70) joined UCC as Chief Operator.

Ko Aung Myint transferred from the RIT EE Laboratory to join UCC as Maintenance Technician.


Saya transferred to UCC as Manager of Systems Division. He managed Maintenance Engineers, Maintenance Technicians, System Programmers and Software Librarian (to name a few).

Saya did another Masters (this time in Computer Science) at Southampton University in UK.

Saya would later manage the Operations Division as well.

Saya allowed Ko Aung Zaw and me to co-author Lecture Guides and Training Manuals for use at UCC.


Saya served as Project Manager / Advisor for UN projects in several countries.

For details

For a detailed story of Saya’s life and work at RIT, UCC and overseas as a UN Advisor, read his articles in English and Burmese. They are available in SCRIB_D.

Saya wrote “Computer Ah Sa UCC Ga”

Sayagadaw and Classmate

Saya U Soe Paing in California
Saya U Soe Paing in New Jersey (2018)
Saya U Soe Paing in 2009

Sayagadaw Daw Saw Yu Tint (Alice, T69) was my classmate at RIT.

She and Saya Paing have hosted several UCC mini-gatherings at their house.

At one of the gatherings in 2007, Ko Po (U Htin Kyaw, Peter Wun) not only attended the gathering, but gave me a ride back home. He also briefly mentioned about his four-month detention.

After retirement

After retiring from the UN, Saya would visit UK, USA and Singapore to spend time with his children and grandchildren.

During his trips to New Jersey, there would be several UCC-RIT gatherings.

Ivan Lee (Khin Maung Oo, M69) has hosted the annual RIT-UCC gatherings for a decade or so. He would invite Saya Dr. Aung Gyi and Ma Ma Emma to stay at his house. The timing is chosen to coincide with Saya Paing’s visit to New Jersey.

Saya is healthy, but he had two operations :

  • by-pass heart surgery
  • surgery for the back

Saya meditates and plays golf. Saya stopped both activities when he had a minor ailment (hurting his back and leg). Per advice of Alice’s medical friends (MEHS Alumni), Saya had a surgery in Singapore. Saya has resumed playing golf. He now uses a golf cart ant the Seniors’ Tee.

Categories: UCC Memories

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