Aung Gyi was born in Namtu, Northern Shan States, Myanmar in 1931. He matriculated in 1949 , and studied science courses for two years before he became an engineering student at the Faculty of Engineering, Rangoon University. He went to USA in 1952 for further studies in engineering on Statescholarship Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge , Mass. He obtained his B.S (Civil Engineering) in 1955, and his M.S ( Civil Engineering ) in 1956 from that Institute
He then worked for about a year as a civil engineer at Tippetts, Abbett, McCarthy , Stratton Engineers in New York, USA, where he was involved in designing of bridges, highways, office buildings,drafting, quantity surveying, and assisting in construction supervision of bridges, highways and office buildings at sites. He came back to Myanmar in 1957 and joined the Faculty of Engineering, Rangoon University as an Assistant Lecturer in Civil Engineering. He was promoted to become a Lecturer in Civil Engineering in 1958. His major responsibilities as Assistant Lecturer and Lecturer were teaching the assigned engineering courses, improving and designing the civil engineering curriculum, doing research; and organizing and supervising some of the extra-curricular activities of the students. He got married in 1959. He again went abroad in 1963 for further studies under Colombo Plan to the University of Alberta, Canada , where he obtained his Ph.D ( Structural Engineering) in 1965. He became a Professor of Civil Engineering at Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) in 1966. RIT, which was formerly the Faculty of Engineering, Rangoon University, became an independent Institute
under the new Education System in 1964. As the Professor and Head of the Civil Engineering Department, he was responsible for teaching some structural analysis and design courses, and administration of the Department, which involved curriculum design and improvement, among other duties. He was promoted in 1971 to become the Rector of RIT. As the Rector he was responsible for running of the Institute academically and administratively. It was the only Institute in Myanmar at that time , where courses in 7 branches of engineering ( civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, metallurgical engineering,mining and petroleum engineering, textile engineering, chemical engineering) and architecture were offered up to the Master degree levels. Aung Gyi was also a member of the Committee, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Education Dr Nyi Nyi ,which established and supervised policy-wise the University Computer Center in Rangoon.
He left Myanmar in 1977 for India to become a Programme Specialist in Applied Sciences in UNESCO Regional Office in New Delhi, India. The major activities as a Programme Specialist were to develop and implement the UNESCO programs dealing with engineering and technical education, and with applied sciences in South and Central Asian region. The work mainly involved the organisation of conferences, seminars, workshops, training courses, and development , administration, monitoring of projects in the subject areas mentioned above.
He migrated to Canada with his family in 1981, and worked for International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as an Associate Director in the Co-operative Programs Division of IDRC. IDRC is the Canadian Research funding Agency, which was established by the Act of Canadian Parliament in 1971 to develop and fund research projects in developing countries for the benefits of the developing countries. IDRC has its head office in Ottawa, Canada with Regional Offices in Latin America, Africa , Asia and the Middle East. The Co-operative Programs Division of IDRC developed and funded the collaborative research projects between the Canadian and Developing Countries’ researchers.
He was transferred to IDRC Regional Office in Singapore in 1988 and then to IDRC Regional Office in New Delhi in 1992 as a Senior Regional Program Officer to develop and monitor science and technology related research projects in the Asian region .He became Regional Representative of IDRC Regional Office in New Delhi in 1994 and was responsible for running the the Regional Office programmatically and administratively according to the policies and programs laid down by the Board of Governors of IDRC. He retired from IDRC service in 1997.
Apart from his official duties and activities, Aung Gyi was an Honorary Assistant Secretary and Treasurer, Association of Engineers in Burma in the late fifties , until it became defunct in early sixties. He was also an Executive member of the Burma Research Society in late fifties and early sixties . He was a member of the Board of Trusties of Shwedagon Pagoda where he was involved in maintaining the physical well-being of the famous Pagoda, among other things.
Aung Gyi now lives in Nepean, Ontario , Canada with his wife. He has a daughter and a son who reside in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with their respective families. He has four grandchildren.