Omer Faruk graduating with a Masters of Engineering in 2016, and is currently working on the Site C hydro-electric dam in Fort St. John, BC.
What drew you to the MEng program at the UBC Okanagan campus?
I am originally from Bangladesh, and raised in Saudi Arabia. I wanted to pursue my higher studies at a leading university in Canada that provided internship opportunities in the field of Civil/ Structural engineering. UBC’s MEng degree is specifically designed for this experience. Along with that, UBC offers an exceptionally enriched academic and research environment encompassing all forms of diversities which attracted me to opt for studying here. Thus, I gladly accepted the offer to pursue a MEng degree at UBC Okanagan.
What was the experience like?
It was an amazing experience being a graduate student in Engineering at UBC Okanagan. Being exposed to a whole new environment was a unique experience for me. I thoroughly enjoyed all the challenges I have faced in academics and settling down in Okanagan with the help of my teachers and my colleagues. Moreover, being actively involved in the various student organizations helped me to learn a lot and stay engaged productively beyond studies.
What are your fondest memories of your MEng?
UBC Okanagan has a lot to offer in terms of experiences, communities, and clubs. There is something for everyone! One of my favourite experiences was volunteering for Bangladeshi Students Association (ABS) and Muslims Students’ Association (MSA). Another event I must mention is all the fun activities of Jump Start, where I got introduced to different opportunities that UBCO has to offer for the newcomers and helped me to connect with others and make friends.
What did you do when you weren’t studying?
Kelowna is a very beautiful place with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, especially during summer. I explored different areas of Okanagan with friends when leisure time was available. I also enjoy watching and playing cricket and football with friends. I loved to explore and try different cuisines.
How have you benefited from completing your MEng?
MEng program in UBCO offers various courses to select from. It was easy for me to select the courses that I thought would be valuable for me. The knowledge I gained during my course works on structural and geotechnical engineering and construction management helped me to excel in my work that I am currently involved in. Beside the course works, I was fortunate to work in laboratory research project with Dr. Sumi Siddiqua and Dr. Shahria Alam where I have gained valuable knowledge construction material sustainability.
How did the MEng program prepare you for your current role?
While I was doing MEng, I choose course works based on my interest for my future career. I worked very closely with my teachers and built good relationship which helped to build industry network. I have participated in the Co-op program offered by MEng program, which groomed me to be ready for job interviews and helped me to find Co-op job.
MEng program’s course works including two 4-month Coop terms, provided me a well-rounded base knowledge relating to different engineering disciplines, which I found that my current employer really valued. My Co-op experience of working in large team gave me an advantage, since I was already familiar to work in the integrated multi-disciplinary teams. I highly recommend UBCO’s MEng program because it made me ready for the job market.
What does the future hold for you?
I do not plan years ahead. I keep short-term goals and focus on achieving them in the best possible way which leads me to the long-term goals. Currently I am working in one of the Canada’s largest renewable infrastructure project, Site C Hydro-electric Dam. I would like to see myself working in the similar projects in the future while I can contribute to the global effort of limiting CO2 emission. I also have desire to go back to Bangladesh and do something remarkable with all the experience I received in Canada. For example, creating sustainable infrastructure project.