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Cyrus Tehrani, BENGM '98

(Mechanical Engineering)

Using technology to build community

Over the last 30 years technology has made it quicker, easier and cheaper to do a myriad of tasks. Communities are now looking at how it can be harnessed to power a smarter, safer, more resilient and more equitably connected world.

Building that harness is part of Cyrus Tehrani’s job as Chief Digital Officer for the City of Hamilton.

He oversees Smart City and Digital Transformation initiatives, strategic and community partnerships, as well as the municipality’s Open Data Program and CityLAB which connects municipal staff projects with academic programs and partners.

Working in a large, complex organization that is responsible for more than 70 different lines of service delivery creates fascinating and diverse challenges, says the 1998 Mechanical Engineering and Management grad.

“I think what I love most is that I never do the same things twice and I get to interact with such a large cross section of areas, industries and technologies,” Tehrani adds.

Prior to his current role, Tehrani spent seven years at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton in various roles, including Director, Digital Solutions.

He is involved with the YMCA Community Connections Newcomer Mentoring Program, which he says provides an opportunity for him to give back to the community. The program supports internationally trained professionals who are matched with mentors with shared education and similar work experience to provide guidance, give insights and expand their networks.

Tehrani has also recently become a cabinet member for the United Way of Hamilton & Halton.

Getting involved – both within school and community – is something he urges students to do.

 “Those opportunities will give you a broader perspective than what you may learn within your courses and you will make a lot of social connections that will stay with you beyond graduation,” he says.

“Also be open to getting involved with social good initiatives so you can contribute to your community in some capacity.”