Meet Matias Hede, our YWPDK profile for May 2017. Matias is an environmental engineer at the consulting company Orbicon. He is working with different fields within water managements, among them, climate adaption and related business cases, and have been an active member of the YWPDK the latest years.
What is your current work title and what is your background/degree?
I’m working as an environmental engineer in the consulting company Orbicon. I have a wide arrange of work assignments, like business cases and climate adaptation plans, and my main projects are typically within the fields of climate adaptions, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and sewer constructions.
I graduated as an environmental engineer from The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in 2014, with a Master degree specialized in Urban Water Management. My graduate project was an economic assessment of climate adaptions in Copenhagen, which combined economics, statistics and hydraulic modelling.
What is your motivation for working with water?
I’ve always been very interested in climate change, of which water is a huge part. Especially the challenge of creating climate adaptation solutions in dense urban areas. Assessing a technical issue in a context that affect a lot of people, is what got me into environmental engineering in the first place I guess.
Creating climate adaptations is not just a matter of technical solutions, as the context in which the solutions are to be applied, is much bigger than just hydraulic equations. In dense urban areas, climate adaptations and water handling is more of a fusion between politics, architecture, sociology and engineering, and the objective and process of finding such a solution, is what drives and thrives me.
What are your main interests within this field?
Climate change is one of my main interest fields, both in terms of engineering practice but the aspects of landscape architecture and political planning. Moreover, I find it intriguing to map the possible solutions to a technical issue, using an engineering approach, and discussing the pros and cons of such solutions with people both within my own field and people from other academic areas.
What was your motivation for becoming a member of YWPDK and how did you hear about the network?
A friend of mine introduced me to YWPDK, and I soon realized that this was an appropriate forum for me, where I would have the opportunity to network with people who share the same field of interest, academics and age as me. I attended the second yearly YWPDK conference, and I have been hooked ever since.
What are your thoughts on the challenges that we, as young water professionals, face in the coming years?
Networking is still one of the main focus area of the YWP community, and I think one of our greatest asset both also our greatest challenge, is the ability to communicate across distance and professional areas. Having such a great amount of potential right in front of us, is a huge opportunity to create something fantastic – we just got to figure out how to assess it and who to talk to. To me, that is what the YWPDK forum is all about.