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McMaster Engineering graduates celebrate milestone in-personDecember 3, 2021

Over 50 McMaster Engineering PhD, masters, and undergraduate students donned caps and gowns to accept their degrees in-person for the first time after nearly two years.

May Haggag, PhD in civil engineering, was the first engineering graduate to cross the stage at L.R. Wilson Hall and receive that honour.

Haggag, both tearful and jubilant at the achievement, gathered with her friends and immediately face-timed her family in Egypt to share the special moment. 

The graduate was among those who attended in-person events at the end of November and start of December. The celebrations accompanied a virtual ceremony recognizing all McMaster leaders of the Class of 2021 who had reached these impressive milestones.   

“You’ve accomplished so much and shown resilience and adaptability during challenging times. As the world undergoes immense change, we know that your passion, creative ideas and hard-earned skills will serve you— and all of us – well,” said Acting Dean Heather Sheardown. 

“As you embark on your next chapter, you’ll encounter societal, economic and political challenges. When you do, remember your foundation and all that you’ve learned here at McMaster. Consider how your skills can be applied in new and innovative ways.” 

“Thank you for being part of our campus community and for making McMaster such a vibrant and energizing place to be. We’re proud of your accomplishments and know you’re ready for what’s next. We can’t wait to see all the ways you’ll make our world brighter.” 

Here’s a look at some of these McMaster University graduates and how they’re advancing to change the world. 

Hosnee Mobarak 

Hosnee Mobarak, PhD in electrical and computer engineering, described the gratification that came with being hooded by his supervisor and holding his diploma in hand – a mark of perseverance and dedication to a goal he set years ago.  

“It was a recognition of my achievements and it’s also the recognition of my promise, that I was able to fulfill it. The same promise that I actually made four years ago when I joined my PhD to contribute to the field of research. So I was happy with that.”

Mobarak, who specialized in electric vehicle charging loads and renewable energy, has started working in the industry. His PhD dissertation was ranked as excellent by all dissertation committee members, including the external examiner.

His partner and 8-month old son joined him at the event to celebrate his achievements. 

Reflecting on how the achievements of his fellow graduates came amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mobarak encouraged current Faculty of Engineering students to stay tenacious.

“My advice would be not to lose hope,” he said.

Jaime Jewer

 Jaime Jewer, masters of applied science in materials engineering, takes great pride in defending her thesis – the graduate looked at hot stamp parts for cars and automotive applications to see how they would corrode and perform over time.

As Jewer moves forward in her new role as metallurgist at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, she remembers highlights that stretch back to her time as an undergraduate student at McMaster. 

She leaves with fond memories of forging friendships and collaborating in the study room. 

“Just work hard and always be optimistic. Just believe that you can do it and that you could make it through this program and that you’re going to be able to succeed.”

Mohammad Chowdhury

Mohammad Chowdhury, PhD in mechanical engineering, shared a heart-warming message to those still pursuing their degrees about commitment in the face of obstacles. 

“There’ll be troubles and problems and a lot of struggles as well. All you need to do is just believe in yourself and just be at it,” he said. 

Chowbudry, who is currently a Postdoctoral fellow with McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute, said he was savouring the moment. 

“It means a lot. Last one-and-a-half years it has been quite hard with everyone, interacting with people and everything. It’s actually good that you can at least enjoy your moment with family, enjoy this achievement with family.”

Jessica Lei

Jessica Lei, bachelor of applied science honours computer science, said she found her passion after taking advantage of the McMaster Engineering Co-Op program.

Lei completed two co-ops during her five years of study and will join Amazon as a software engineer. The graduate spoke about putting in extensive effort to push through difficult course work and her excitement at crossing the finish line. 

“Remember what your dream is. When I started my first year, I didn’t know what I was looking for. But after all the years of job finding and studying at McMaster, I got to know what I was really looking for and I was able to get a job that matched my field of interest.” 

Blake Patterson

When Blake Patterson accepted her degree – masters of applied science in chemical engineering – she had inspiring the next generation of learners on her mind.  

The graduate is currently in teacher’s college with dreams of teaching math and science to high school students.

The program, Patterson said, was challenging but rewarding. She encouraged students to build relationships with their peers and professors to soak in as much knowledge as possible.  

“You’re going to find so many like-minded people that are around you, especially at McMaster, as well as people who come from all different areas, different backgrounds, have different interests. So I’d say make lots of connections with those people because it’s going to help you learn and grow as a student academically, but also as an individual,” she said.

Interdisciplinary spotlight: Leila Mousapour

Leila Mousapour, masters of science, computational science and engineering, was looking forward to an in-person celebration for her graduation.  

The night before taking the stage, her elation grew after discovering she received a job offer to become a software engineer.   

Mousapour, from Iran, pointed to McMaster University’s scholarships for international students as instrumental in helping her achieve her goals. She urged students to grasp the opportunities.

“I think the most important thing that I can give students is that McMaster provides us with so many resources – priceless resources – that once we are graduated we do not have access to those. While we are here, we should definitely take advantage of those amazing professors, amazing resources, libraries, everything. Just amazing computational resources that we have access to.”

“I think it is definitely the role of McMaster in building a very bright future for me.”