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McMaster Education Smooths Transition to Employment August 22, 2017

Askhan is currently employed by Exp Services Inc. and works in the Hamilton office as a structural designer on an array of remediation and renovation projects. He believes the McMaster experience helped ensure a smooth transition to work.

Daily life in his native Iran helped spark an early interest in the relationship between the built and natural environments. For example, what can be done to address chronic water shortages and other national challenges stemming from record high temperatures and rapid urbanization? This question launched Ashkan Ezazi on a global search for a leading graduate engineering program with a specialization in sustainable development. He landed on the W Booth School and hasn't looked back.

He enjoyed all aspects of the school's engineering design program, especially opportunities to engage with community partners involved in diverse projects ranging from mobility infrastructure for aging populations to an inventory of gas pipelines that traverse a protected watershed. "I like Hamilton and all the people I've met," said Ashkan.

Ashkan finished his W Booth School course work in 2014 and was approaching graduation. That's when opportunity knocked. With the support of his faculty advisor, Ashkan transferred to a master's program offered by the McMaster Faculty of Engineering and focused on civil engineering. Under the supervision of professor Tracy Becker, Ashkan completed a thesis that explores innovations in the design and construction of buildings that are better able to withstand earthquakes. He now holds a Master of Applied Science (McMaster University, 2015) and the door is open for the possibility of PhD studies.

Askhan is currently employed by Exp Services Inc. and works in the Hamilton office as a structural designer on an array of remediation and renovation projects. He believes the McMaster experience helped ensure a smooth transition to work. "My employer says I have expertise on both sides of the business, technical and management," says Ashkan, noting the tangible value of soft skills training in areas such as team work, creativity and communication. "I developed these skills at the W Booth School."

While gaining new competencies through more complex work assignments and increased onsite interaction with clients, Ashkan is preparing for P. Eng. licensure in Canada. He hopes to build his career in Hamilton - great news for a city eager to retain top talent.