Traveling the world and experiencing different cultures have always been high on the list for Katrine Orland Led, 26, who joined the Danish part of Ramboll’s global water unit a year ago.
With a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from University of Waterloo in Canada and work experience from another consultancy, Katrine had different potential career opportunities to pursue after her graduation. However, she actively applied for an opportunity with Ramboll Water because of the global reach and fair amount of international water projects.
“The opportunity to go to other places and make a real difference for people that live under different circumstances than we do here in the Nordics is a very important factor for me. So, when I heard about our project in Cambodia, where we help design and implement wastewater treatment plants and pipeline infrastructure in six different cities, I did an effort together with my Head of Department to become a part of the project team,” Katrine explains.
The plan worked, so in February, just before COVID19 changed all travel, she left Copenhagen and joined the project office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
”Cambodia is probably the most underdeveloped country in Asia. Today, they have two wastewater treatment plants to serve the whole country, but through our project – which we are carrying out in close collaboration with local contractors – that total number will increase to nine by the end of 2024. Also, we are designing 500 kilometers of pipeline infrastructure which is quite fascinating given that a five-kilometers pipeline is actually considered long in a country like Denmark,” says Katrine.
She had a great time in Cambodia although COVID19 was a gamechanger.
“COVID19 was a challenge, but we managed to keep working together in person in our core project management team. I really enjoyed the atmosphere in Cambodia despite the pandemic, and I would love to come back at some point. I also think that you do need to be present locally when you work on a project like this. It gives you the important feel of the local culture and makes it evident that we can really make a sustainable difference.”
The project in Cambodia is a good example of a project that both supports a sustainable development and also allows for internal collaboration across divisions, departments and countries. For instance, Ramboll’s Engineering Center in India is going to do the detailed design of the pipeline infrastructure.