USJ Alumni Stories | Morse Lei Man Sao — "Embracing Lifelong Learning And Seizing Every Opportunities"





In the Alumni Stories interview, Dr. Morse Lei Man Sao, Macau Business Line Director of CSR Macau and Senior Vice-President of Veolia in China & Macau, talks about his journey at the USJ’s Institute of Science and Environment, and why the students need to cultivate long-life learning skills.

“Lifelong learning, enjoying and seizing every opportunity.” Everyone knows about the value of lifelong learning; however, how many people can actually set the learning schedule and effectively execute the goals?

Dr. Morse Lei Man Sao, a well-known environmental conservation expert, is currently working for CSR Macau. As a graduate of the Doctoral Programme in Science at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Macao in the Academic Year 2023/2024 as well as an outstanding alumni of the university, he acknowledges that the path to success often involves sacrifice and perseverance.

Build a dream and Make it come true

“When I was young, I always wanted to be an engineer. Despite, for some reasons, having chosen to major in marketing and later in business administration after secondary school, I ultimately ended up working in the environmental conservation management profession because of my passion for engineering.”

In the process of engaging in environmental conservation work, Morse has come to realize the inextricable connection between work and art. He emphasizes that disciplines such as industrial management, business administration, and even process design all fall within the same realm. These fields encompass knowledge in areas such as cost, operations, and technology. With the aim of enriching his knowledge of the environmental field, Morse decided to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in the Institute of Science and Environment (ISE) at USJ while concurrently working in the industry.

After enrolling at ISE/USJ, Morse found that the teaching approach was quite different from traditional local lectures. He noted that the professors came from various parts of the world, including local and Portuguese professors, legal specialists, and European technicians, which brought a fresh and innovative perspective to the curriculum.

Morse fondly recalled a particular class where the professor proposed using observation methods to explore how to assist migratory seabirds in avoiding collisions with wind turbine blades during flight. Furthermore, when Morse was writing his master’s thesis, he had the opportunity, arranged by a Portuguese professor at USJ, to visit sewage and waste treatment facilities in the Porto region of Portugal. This experience greatly contributed to his knowledge in the field of environmental conservation, broadened his horizons, and opened up new chapters in his academic journey.

Step by step and Put your thinking cap on

Among local higher educational institutions, environmental subjects are generally encompassed within the College or Faculty of Engineering, where one of the disciplines for engineers includes the study of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and environmental knowledge. Taking himself as an example, Morse studied Marketing and Business Administration but chose to further his studies in environmental conservation at USJ. The programme had no restriction on students graduating from an engineering major; he believes that the flexibility setting can reduce limitations and effectively bring benefits to the training of environmental conservation professionals.

At the same time, he pointed out that his current workplace has four management trainees, most of whom graduated from USJ. The advantage of having these graduates is that they already have practical project experience in environmental conservation through the Master’s programme at USJ. For example, he mentioned, “Sometimes students have little knowledge about the smell of wastewater, what a landfill is, or how materials can be reused in a circular economy.” These concepts are better understood and prepared for through internships during their studies, allowing students to have a better grasp of the overall picture of the field and perform more effectively.

Further strengthening the learning motivates

To encourage the next cohort, Morse maintains an optimistic mindset and holds a perspective of “transforming the concept of time from linear to space where multiple skills can be developed simultaneously. Studying cannot guarantee a fruitful career in the future, but it will undoubtedly enrich your life experience.”