The photos are provided by Saya Bilal Raschid (A)
Sayagyi U Ba Hli
- Saya U Ba Hli served as Professor of Civil Engineering and Principal at GTI.
- Became Professor of Civil Engineering and the first native Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Rangoon University.
- He is credited for the “Twinning” with the prestigious universities in the USA.
- Per request of Saya U Aung Khin, Dr. Freddie Ba Hli wrote about his father in the commemorative issue of “RIT Alumni International Newsletter” for SPZP-2000.
- Saya headed three generations of engineers :
U Ba Hli (C)
Dr. Freddie Ba Hli (EE, son)
U Thar Hlaing (EC83, grandson)
Dr. Freddie Ba Hli (Son of Sayagyi U Ba Hli)
- Dr. F. Ba Hli received his Sc.D. in Electrical Engineering from MIT.
- He helped Sayagyi Dr. Aung Gyi and Sayagyi U Min Wun, who were two of the first undergraduate engineering students from the University of Rangoon to be given State Scholarship as part of the “Twinning” program.
- Spouse : Daw Myint Thwe is the sister of Sayagyi U Tin U (C), Sayagyi U Ba Than (M), Dr. Daw Win Hlaing, Dr. Myo Tint, U Tin Htoon (A60), Saya U Myo Min (UCC), U Thaung Lwin (EC66) and Daw Cho Cho Hlaing.
- Children : TinT in Hlaing, Tha Hlaing, Min Thet Tun
- Ma Tin Tin Hlaing (UCC) is the spouse of Ko Htay Aung (Victor, EC80, UCC, nephew of Saya U Sein Hlaing (Professor of EE)).
- Ko Tha Hlaing (EC83, UCC) stood joint first with Ko Thaung Tin (KMD, former Deputy Minister) in their final year. He, his father and his paternal grandfather form Three Generation of Burmese engineers who are sayas or alumni.
- Min Thet Tun did not smoke or drink, but succumbed to lung cancer. He lamented why some people who drink and smoke lived long.
The commemorative issue of RIT Alumni International Newsletter for the first RIT Grand Reunion and Saya Pu Zaw Pwe paid respect to Sayagyi.
Saya U Aung Khin (former Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and the driving force behind SPZP-2000) wrote an introduction to the special article written by Saya Dr. Freddie Ba Hli (the only child of Sayagyi U Ba Hli).
PROFILE OF LATE SAYAGYI U BA HLI
by Dr. F. Ba Hli
Starting from about 1925 when he became an assistant lecturer in Civil Engineering at the Government Technical Institute (GTI), Insein, Burma, year after year (except for a few years during World War II when the GTI was closed and he worked as Deputy Director, Irrigation Department of Burma) he continuously taught one group of engineering students after another at GTI as Lecturer and later as Principal of the GTI.
Then in 1948, while Sayagyi U Ba Hli was the Principal, GTI, he was appointed by the University of Rangoon to be the first (Burmese national) Professor of Engineering at the B.O.C. College. From that time he began to produce batch after batch of B.Sc. (Engineering) graduates. After the B.O.C. College became the Faculty of Engineering, University of Rangoon, he was promoted to the post of Dean of Engineering. His office also was shifted to the new multi-storeyed and multicolored building on Prome Road, (now called Pyay Road).
Those of you who attended classes at this campus (before the Faculty became the Rangoon Institute of Technology at the Gyogon campus) will remember him as “a good teacher and strict administrator” as told to me by one of his former students (and now my neighbor in Sydney, Australia), Dr Norbert Saw Kuhl who got his Ph.D. in engineering from Glasgow University, Scotland.
You see, though I am his son (his only child), I never was his student so I do not know how he was as a professor of engineering. That is why I am quoting Norbert’s opinion. Norbert praised Sayagyi U Ba Hli for his part in obtaining higher education abroad for so many Burmese engineers such as
- Saya U Kyaw Tun (E.E)
- Prof. U Aung Khin (M.E)
- Dr. U Aung Gyi (C.E), Rector of RIT
- Prof. U Min Wun (C.E)
- late Prof. U Sein Hlaing (E.E)
- Prof. U Khin Aung Kyi (Chem.E) who later became Rector RIT
- Chief Architect of Construction Corp U Aung Myint
- Chief Sanitation Engineer of Rangoon Corp U Aung Kywe
- Prof. Maung Maung Than (Textile E.)
- Prof. U Ba Than (M.E)
- Dr. Hla Myint (Chem. E)
and many more who went for further studies in the U.S.A, U.K. and U.S.S.R.
As the Sydney Olympics and athletics are currently the topics of interest today I will tell you something about Sayagyi U Ba Hli as an athlete. In his younger days he was very fond of gymnastics on the parallel bars. In fact, he attributed his short stature (as his brothers were all tall) to spending too much time on that sport. Later he played tennis when he was at the GTI and was a much better tennis player than me.
Finally I am glad to say that my elder son Ko Tha Hlaing got his B.E. from RIT (standing first in the Final Year EE Class with his classmate Ko Thaung Tin) and my son-in-law Ko Htay Aung also got his B.E. from RIT and stood first in his class earlier.
Last Journey of Dr F Ba Hli
Funeral program details of Dr. F Ba Hli are as follow :
- 6 July 2015 Monday
- 3:00 pm
- Castlebrook Memorial Park Cemetery, Windsor Rd, Rouse Hill NSW 2155, (02) 9629 1477
As per family’s request: it would be greatly appreciated if you wish to contribute donations toward ‘Heart Foundation‘ instead of memorial/sympathy flowers.
Sein Win [C80, President, Association of Myanmar Engineers in Australia]
Brief Bio and Sad News
Sayagyi Dr. F. Ba Hli (Sc.D., MIT) is the son of Sayagyi U Ba Hli, first Burmese Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Rangoon University and the initiator of the “Twinning Program” with prestigious universities in the USA and UK.
- Wrote an article about his beloved father in the commemorative issue of SPZP-2000 RIT Alumni International Newsletter
- Taught part-time at the EE Department while serving as Director General of UBARI (Union of Burma Applied Research Institute).
- Advisor in the Ministry of National Planning
- Board Member for UCC Project
- External Examiner at UCC and DCS.
He celebrated his 93rd birthday on June 28, 2015.
He had a heart attack on June 30,2015 and was taken to West Mead Hospital. He passed away at 3 AM (Australian Standard Time) On July 1, 2015.
He is survived by Daw Myint Thwe, sister of Sayagyi U Tin U (C), Sayagyi U Ba Than (M), Dr. Daw Win Hlaing, Dr. Myo Tint, U Tin Htoon (A 60), Saya U Myo Min (UCC), U Thaung Lwin (EC 66) and Daw Cho Cho Hlaing.
Daw Tin Tin Hlaing (UCC) and U Htay Aung (EC 80, UCC), and U Tha Hlaing (EC 83) are planning for the funeral service of their father.
Sayagyi Dr. Aung Gyi wrote :
Ko Hla Min,
I am very sad to know that Dr F. Ba Hli has passed away recently.
As I have mentioned before in my contributing article to the History of Engineering Education in Myanmar, Dr Ba Hli was one of the nicest persons that I had the privilege of knowing in my life. He was helpful in every way to me and U Min Wun so that we were able to adapt successfully to our studies at MIT.
I send my heartfelt condolences to his family.
Saya U Soe Paing wrote :
Please convey our condolences to Daw Myint Thwe, Htay Aung, Tin Tin Hlaing and the family of Saya Freddie Ba Hli.
Dr. Ba Hli was an active member of the UCC Board of Management.