Lifelong learning is a great idea - Vanida Salgado Ismodes

Vanida Salgado Ismodes
Chile

"Most graduates these days want to be updated with current knowledge, so it is excellent that there is this wide offer of courses."

Vanida Salgado Ismodes obtained her Master’s degree in Water Management in 2016. After graduation, she started work as a policies engineer at the Superintendencia de Servicios Sanitarios, a Chilean governmental institution that regulates water service providers. Last year, she followed the online paid course Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis in Water Treatment.

Why did you choose Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis in Water Treatment?
After graduation, I felt that I was really up-to-date with technologies for water treatment and sanitary engineering. I wanted to keep learning to stay abreast of new developments. Also, Chile is currently experiencing large droughts; we’ve had an uninterrupted period of dry years since 2010.

With our long coastline, using reverse osmosis to turn seawater into drinking water could be a solution. That is still relatively new, but some companies are already building reverse osmosis treatment plants. As one of my tasks as a policies engineer is to participate in the study and review of environmental guidelines, it is important to have a better understanding of reverse osmosis and its implications.

How was your online learning experience?
The course was well set up. It included an online virtual 3D lab that you could use to simulate running a small reverse osmosis plant on your computer – that was very innovative. All aspects of the technology were addressed. For example: reverse osmosis not only removes contaminants from water, but also healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium. You have to remineralize the water to make it fit for consumption.

The online forum where you could ask questions was also useful. Since I followed the course at night after work, I would sometimes only get an answer the next day because of the time difference. At other times, I would get a reply from another student, so I wouldn’t have to wait for an answer from the course organisers. This interaction with your fellow students is another important part of the experience.

Do you agree lifelong learning is a good idea?
Lifelong learning is a great idea. Most graduates these days want to be updated with current knowledge, so it is excellent that there is this wide offer of courses. TU Delft is a prestigious university, and I know the quality of its education. The level is similar to the Master’s courses, and though it can be difficult to balance your working day with your studies, I never hesitated: I knew the course was going to be good.

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