Alumnus testimonial

Fen-Yu Lin — Junior project manager at Blue21

After finishing her master's in Climate Studies at Wageningen, Fen-Yu Lin (also known as Vicky) continued working in the same company where she did her internship. She always had a special interest in sustainability and circularity aimed at solving climate change so her master's programme was a good step to start her career in this field.

I would really like to help make our cities more resilient and adaptive for future challenges.

Since you graduated, what kind of jobs did you have?
"I continued to work in the same firm in which I did my master’s internship called Blue21, a small design and engineering consultancy firm that specialises in floating development."

What is your current job?
"Initially I worked as a researcher, now I am a project coordinator and a junior project manager. At the beginning of the year, I also became a general chair of the organising committee for a conference that we are organising in Rotterdam in October, called 'Paving the Waves- 2nd World Conference on Floating Solutions'."

This is a photo of my colleague and me together with other partners from a consortium that works on a very innovative floating solar project called INNOZOWA. The photo was taken at the opening in September 2019.
This is a photo of my colleague and me together with other partners from a consortium that works on a very innovative floating solar project called INNOZOWA. The photo was taken at the opening in September 2019.

Is this what you always wanted to be? Or what has changed?
"
The fact is that I never knew where I would end up working. I only knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to creating a more sustainable, circular and healthier world and that I was fascinated with water innovations that contribute to solving climate change."

What are your future goals?
"I want to continue to be inspired and inspire others. I would really like to help make our cities more resilient and adaptive for future challenges."

How do you contribute to a better world and what role did studying in Wageningen have to achieve this?
"My work focuses on sustainable floating city development. Unlike land reclamation, which is the traditional way for coastal cities to expand to sea, floating development is a much more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly, climate adaptive and future proof alternative solution to creating new land for catering the ever-increasing urban needs of the 21st century.

I selected the thesis track integrated water management (nowadays called: water systems and global change), which was about coordinating development and management of water, land and other resources amongst various stakeholders, with an aim to maximize economic and social welfare and without compromising the sustainability of the ecosystems.

This applies perfectly to what we need to do for developing floating cities. There are many wicked problems that we need to solve and bring together stakeholders from various fields to make development on the water possible. The main difference is that instead of focussing on inland water bodies like most of our studies at WUR, at Blue21 we look mostly into the open sea and maritime sector. Which is a new field for me to learn: how to bring together the urban and offshore industries into developing sustainable floating cities for living and working purposes in the future."

What choices have you made that have helped you to get where you are now?
"A variety of extracurricular activities (e.g., hackathon), additional study programmes such as Climate-KIC master’s label and compulsory internship at WUR all provided me with abundant experiences and knowledge that really have enriched my life during my study.

This was a photo of my groupmates during the 5-week Climate-KIC summer journey. Our group ended up winning the best “business plan” award with our “sustainable diaper laundry service” business idea.
This was a photo of my groupmates during the 5-week Climate-KIC summer journey. Our group ended up winning the best “business plan” award with our “sustainable diaper laundry service” business idea.

For instance, I think an internship really helped me to connect with the industry and continued to pursue a professional career. At first, I thought this was normally included in a master’s programme. However, I later learned from friends from other Dutch universities that internship was not compulsory for them and that they all wished to have the chance to do an internship."

How did studying in Wageningen helped you overcome the challenges that you have encountered in your previous and/or current job?
"
Studying in Wageningen prepared me to approach water-land development and management issues from multidiscipline while keeping in mind the importance of contextualization and stakeholder involvement.

In my current job, I had to learn knowledge from new fields such as real estate development, urban planning, maritime regulations, or even electrical engineering. Instead of losing myself in different disciplines, I was able to practice how to integrate knowledge from various fields and facilitate with communication between stakeholders, which really added to the success of a few projects that I was involved in."

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