Lan Duong, NYUAD Class of 2015
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In 30 years, entire cities will stand on what are now my project zones, complete with meticulously-designed neighborhoods, schools, and hospitals, thriving off the invisible veins and arteries running beneath the streets.

Lan Duong, Class of 2015

Water in the desert is a valuable resource and Lan Duong, Class of 2015 is making sure we make the most of it.

As a consultant water engineer with Abu Dhabi-based AECOM, she’s working with others in government to figure out what this region will look like for future generations.

“In 30 years, entire cities will stand on what are now my project zones,” she explains, “complete with meticulously-designed neighborhoods, schools, and hospitals, thriving off the invisible veins and arteries running beneath the streets.”

Duong designs stormwater and sanitation networks to serve new developments throughout the Abu Dhabi emirate, which will pave the way for further population and economic growth. It’s an important job with potentially historic implications: “I am writing my own sentence in an immense story that began hundreds of years ago when the Bani Yas settled in the Liwa Oasis.”

Reflecting back on her time at NYUAD, Duong appreciates how the core curriculum trained her to solve problems across disciplines. She eventually decided to major in strategic Civil Engineering.

“Peeling back the nested layers of interdisciplinary challenges, one by one, set a foundation upon which my current profession and future education are based.”

In her free time as a student, Duong was a volunteer speaker at small Q&A panels for a variety of audiences: disadvantaged high school students, NYU parents, NYUAD candidates, and university guests. These experiences helped her develop public speaking skills in a style she describes as “comfortable, conversational, transparent, and genuine” and that led to more meaningful connections with professors, mentors, and potential employers.

“As a consultant, there’s a great deal of client-facing work, and in the construction industry, the government is your client. I quickly developed a reputation for my ability to make a client meeting feel less like a hierarchical cross-examination and more like a brainstorming session between partners.”

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