Murad Al Qurishee
Hometown: Noakhali, Bangladesh
Job: Graduate Transportation Associate, Research and Development of the Intelligent Transportation
System, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).
MS Program: Civil Engineering
Why did you choose UTC CECS?
One of my best decisions of my career was to choose the graduate study program in the UTC CECS. I chose UTC because of the advanced research opportunities, good number of lab set ups, and friendly faculty members. The helpful faculty members empowered me to complete the graduate program without any failure in any subjects.
What is your career ambition and how is the MS program helping you get there?
My career ambition is to work for government agencies to directly help the citizens. Finally, before completion of the Masters program, I received a full time offer from one of the important government agencies of Tennessee called Tennessee Department of Transportation which serves as a state government agency having approximately 5,000 employees. My agency serves roadways, aviation, public transit, waterways, and railroads in the Tennessee. In my MS program, I took Advanced Pavement Design, Infrastructure System Analysis, and Special Topics on the Intelligent Infrastructures. These courses filled my current job requirement and enabled me to join in the Intelligent Transportation System which is defined as a very specific and advanced area of transportation in the USA. Hence, I should say the UTC MS program has helped me to fulfill my career ambition 100%.
What have you liked about the MS program?
I liked the certification program that was offered with the MS program. Along with my master’s degree in civil engineering, I got a Construction Management Post-Baccalaureate Certification without any extra cost. I graduated with a master’s degree in civil engineering (GPA of 4.0 out of 4.0) and a Construction Management Post-Baccalaureate Certification (GPA of 4.0 out of 4.0) from UTC.
Did you take any online courses?
I took Advanced Engineering Economy and Technical Project Management. The quality of the online courses is good. I found UTC has made an easy access tool to get the online course materials, homework, as well as grade point tracking in a very handy way. Students don’t need to be an expert to submit, download, and communicate with the course instructors. Among all the amenities, I have found that the instructors were very active responding to email in a very short time, and their answers were also satisfactory.
What opportunities have you had during your degree to gain other skills?
I was the president of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) Civil Engineering branch. I got a fully-funded tuition waiver with a Teaching Assistant position. I worked with Dr. Weidong Wu’s research group specially on
- Artificial Intelligence,
- Remote Pilot, and
- Structural Health Monitoring (SHM).
In recognition for my works, I received
- Outstanding Graduate Student Award from UTC in the year of 2018
- 1st Place Award of the Student Competition at the ASCE, Tennessee Engineers Conference
- American Concrete Institute (ACI) Bertold E. Weinberg Scholarship Award, 2019.
- Hatch It by Gary W. Rollins College of Business Award.
Have you had support from CECS faculty/staff?
These faculty in particular have positively influenced my studies:
- Dr. Weidong Wu
- Dr. Arash Ghasemi
- Dr. Mbakisya A. Onyango
How has the program helped you?
The research that I did with Dr. Wu had created a door of opportunity in the Transportation Field. During the interview in TDOT, my boss selected me as a must-hire candidate out of 20 qualified candidates because of my strong academic background and research profile that I had gained from the UTC Master program. Before my graduation, I was selected as a prospective PhD student with a fully-funded tuition waiver and research assistantship position from the top ranked engineering universities in the United States including Purdue University, University of Iowa, University of Pittsburg, George Mason University, and Missouri Science and Technology. I should give special thanks to Dr. Wu who provided such a research opportunity and a teaching assistant position at UTC. At the end of the two years of graduate study, I had published six peer-review journals and two peer-review conference papers, and another three journal submissions under review. I got calls from professional engineer clubs to make presentation on my thesis. Furthermore, my research article outcome was published in a famous Bangladeshi newspaper Prothom Alo which has 6.6M readers, and the title of the article is “Applications of Drone in Various Purposes”.
What has been the best part of your experience?
The civil engineering department has very good, helpful faculty members that I have ever seen in other universities. Moreover, the UTC international office serves as a parent in the USA. I can describe working with Dr. Wu as his teaching assistant in the area of Drone and Artificial Intelligence is the best part in my experience.
I made this drone footage while I was a student at UTC.
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