Karin van Dijk
History: Young Expert at Denys Engineers & Contractors B.V. - Zambia
YEP period 2016 - 2018, batch 8
Position after YEP
Junior Advisor Urban Water Management at Aveco de Bondt, the Netherlands
The project I was involved in in Lusaka covers the restoration of an old pipeline and the creation of three new pipelines in order to increase the capacity of the drinking water network in the capital of Zambia.
My role within the project included covering many aspects of the management of a project of this scope. I started in the role of logistics manager, which involved planning, dealing with Zambian bureaucracy, and more technical aspects of creating a drinking water pipeline as well as managing local personnel in order to keep the project running smoothly. After. I assisted with mitigating the environmental and social consequences of a water pipe project of this scope. This involved arranging soil tests, dealing with local inhabitants that were displaced or disturbed by our project, and reporting the outcomes of the work to our client.
I’m a Dutch young professional with a strong grounding in water, environmental issues, and languages. I have international experience and have successfully finished water projects together with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. I thrive when I am being challenged by complex problems or difficult conditions, and love learning new skills and gaining new insights in the field of water and environment as well as people, languages, and culture. I’m flexible, insightful, and especially enjoy working in a team towards a common goal.
Education: I am a young Dutch graduate with a bachelors in Environmental Science and a Master in Water Science and management, both at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). During my Master studies, I worked on technical topics such as drinking water, surface water, and protection against flooding as well as topics related to the human impact of these issues such as stakeholder involvement and ethics. During this time I also studied languages on my own, leading to good skills in French as well as a some skill in Russian.
Experience before YEP
I wrote my thesis at a water board in the province of Utrecht on the topic of surface water pollution with nitrate and phosphate. I modelled water flows and nutrition in the rivers, channels and ditches of this water board in order to provide exact information on measures which could be taken to decrease the pollution and being able to continue farming in these areas while also keeping negative environmental influences of these activities in check.
My first experience in the international water world was in Ahmedabad, India, where I participated with the Wetskills India 2015 project. During this project I worked in a neighborhood where drinking water problems, flooding issues, and drought problems were recurring interrelated problems. This made me realize that I’d enjoy working on these issues on a larger scale and in more meaningful ways, which led me to Denys Engineers and Constructors as my first employer after graduation.