Magdalena Bäuerl

East Africa WASH advisor, Austrian Red Cross


Grow with the task! If it can excite you, you will succeed.

What do you do?

Provide technical support in the field of WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) in joint interventions with our Red Cross and Red Crescent partners in East Africa.

Why did you choose this field?

I wanted to contribute to reducing man-made damage on nature, so I studied environmental engineering to become specialised in alternative forms of energy. But then I got this interesting offer to join a programme on faecal sludge management in due course of my master thesis. I was enthralled by the encouraging environment and endless opportunities working in the field of sanitation. So I stayed in this field.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

It is important to never stop learning. However I saw myself as an apprentice longer than I should have and realise that I have a specialisation and unique knowledge to offer because of my experience.

Why do you love working in STEM?

Engineers find solutions. In my field of work (WASH) these solutions are applied to improve the life of people and the environment. Exploring solutions to contribute to a better world is the most interesting thing I can imagine to do.

Best advice for next generation?

Grow with the task! You don't have to be an A-student or cliché nerd to start exploring STEM. If it can excite you, you will succeed.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

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