JIEP Spotlight (June 2011)

Mr. Adreas Haiduk

Andreas Haiduk

Born some 49 years ago in Germany, Andreas never really knew what he wanted to be. He progressed rapidly through the German school system and started an apprenticeship in a savings bank at the age of 17.  Having gone through the various departments and furthered his education by acquiring a banking executive degree, he could have stayed with the bank until retirement. However, his frequent travels through most of the continents and numerous countries opened his eyes to various environmental problems and it occurred to him that staying with the bank until retirement might not be the most satisfactory path. So, he decided to call it quits, resigned and looked for a suitable university course that would provide him with the knowledge to tackle some of the environmental issues. The University of Paderborn in Germany offered a course that focused on environmental issues affecting the receptors: water, soil and air. He focused on the physical, chemical and biological treatment of potable water, wastewater as well as solid waste.

As Andreas had a rather administrative background through his first career, he had to obtain practical experience. He got this through work in sewage treatment plants, landfills and also through hands-on experience by riding on the back of a truck that collected solid waste! During one of the term breaks, he undertook a stint at an atomic institute in the Ukraine and after this three-week practicum, travelled directly to Bolivia where he, along with a co-student reviewed a project started by a religious group from the USA. The objective of this endeavour was to drill deep wells for the provision of safe drinking water to an Amerindian community. During that time in Bolivia, a German expat invited him to spend a couple months in Cuba in order to undertake studies on the anaerobic treatment of agroindustrial wastewater. This, unfortunately (or as he dares to say, fortunately) never worked out and as an alternative, in 1995, he was offered to continue his practical experience at the Scientific Research Council in Kingston, Jamaica. He regards this development as fortunate, because it was here where he met a beautiful Jamaican girl who was working at that time in the wastewater laboratory, and whom he married in 1996. After finishing the practical term at the SRC, he returned to Germany to complete his studies and in 1996 returned to Jamaica to complete his thesis.

In December 1996, Andreas started as a Water Quality Technologist with the Water Resources Authority (WRA). His main tasks were the establishment of a water quality database, the statistical evaluation of water quality data for the preparation of a Water Quality Atlas and the review of development applications and representation of the WRA at the Technical Review Committee of the NEPA/NRCA. During that time he was also trained in the drafting of Vulnerability and Adaptation Capacity Assessments to Global Climate Change. After some ten years in that post he was promoted to the position of Chief Hydrologist and head of the ‘Data, Resource and Monitoring’ unit. He, along with a team of 13 technicians, focused on the maintenance, expansion and modernization of the hydro-meteorological network as well as the statistical analysis and publication of data.

Andreas has been a member of the JIEP since 2006 and at the end of 2009 he decided to start preparing for the Qualified Environmental Professional exam offered by the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP). He sat the exam in April 2010 and was awarded the QEP on May 25, 2010. Andreas’ stint in Jamaica came to an end when in March 2011 he returned with his family to Germany where he hopes to continue in the field of hydrology or general environmental engineering.

I am leaving with a heavy heart. Jamaica remains for sure my favourite Caribbean island.”

ANDREAS HAIDUK

<< Back to current issue...