Professor Bica (Romania): from feeling resistant towards Wetskills to becoming a fan



Ioan Bica, is professor in Hydraulics at Technical University of Civil Engineering, of Bucharest Romania. When he heard for the first time about the Wetskills concept, he felt a small resistance, thinking that two weeks are not enough for a such project. However: during the first Wetskills Water Challenged in Romania in 2013, he changed his mind. In 2017 he was involved for the third time in a Romanian Wetskills Challenge. ‘This multicultural collaboration is important for students, for universities, for companies and for our joint future.’


Getting to know Wetskills

Professor Bica: ‘When Wetskills came to Bucharest in 2013, I coordinated the students of Romanian Universities. On the first day of my first Wetskills Challenge, I was an expert during the Brain Hurricane. The mixed Dutch-Romanian teams with different educational backgrounds consulted me to gather relevant information for their cases. Based on this information they could developed their solutions.’


Positive surprise

Professor Bica was surprised to see what happened in the two weeks after the Brain Hurricane. ‘ The participants only get a short description of the case. It was amazing to see how young professionals, working under time pressure, worked together, shared knowledge, learned from each other and came up with out of the box, but realistic solutions. The case owners were happy with the results. Unfortunately not all solutions have been brought into practice. I think here lies a big task and responsibility for the universities: to pick up these cases and solutions and to make sure that they get developed to the next level. A two week project is to short to do that.’


Learning form other cultures

‘The Romanian culture is different from the Dutch culture. In General, Romanian students and young professionals are more focused on theory, whereas Dutch participants are more pro-active. They are eager to put their knowledge into practice. These tendencies have a lot to do with how our educational system trains young professionals. Exactly because of this I’d say that it’s very valuable for Romanian participants to cooperate with their counterparts from another culture. Not only to solve local water problems, but also to develop their ‘soft skill’s, like working in a team where everybody has a different role, communicating, networking, taking responsibility and becoming more independent.’


Together for a better future

Professor Bica: ‘ Wetskills is not only valuable for young professionals and students, but also for universities and companies. Universities can contribute a lot to solutions for actual water related problems. Companies have a chance to submit important and interesting cases. For two weeks they get their own team with young specialists. They don’t just get innovative solutions, they can also make themselves visible as a possible employer for young professionals. In the end, everybody benefits from the Wetskills concept. However, young professionals are the core of the concept. By working together like they do, they become friends that exchange ideas, knowledge and procedures. This is the basis for the cooperation that we need for the future, to solve water issues, related to climate change.’

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