Where are you from?
I am an international student from Iran.
Why did you choose UB?
Before I came to UB, through communication with some alumni, I learned that UB has the largest campus in SUNY and that its department of civil engineering is among the best in the USA. Also I realized that funding and scholarship opportunities for international students are available. I gave my luck a try, and I am happy that it worked out.
What do you like most about engineering at UB?
The diversity of students, faculty and staff at the school of engineering is something which, in my opinion, makes UB very special. People of various backgrounds and different experiences look at each problem from a different point of view and this generates ideas and perspectives that others may not have ever been aware of.
Why did you choose to go into engineering?
The main reason I chose to go into engineering is that it is a field that solves some of the most impactful problems in the world. Engineers are constantly changing the world with inventions and solutions that affect the lives of everyone. The skills that a person develops as an engineer are incredibly valuable, highly sought after, and can be applied anywhere.
What is your favorite place on campus?
I love “Baird Point” at UB north campus. I would call it my “luck” or “happy” point.
What else do you do on campus?
I have worked as a coordinator for National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) at UB, helping to train high school students on the foundations of transportation engineering. As the president of the Iranian Graduate Student Association, I put a lot of effort into introducing Iranian culture to the UB community and anyone interested in Persian culture, through holding multiple cultural events on and off campus. I also volunteer as a graduate student employee union (GSEU) mobilizer and lead underprivileged students in doing scientific experiments through the Science is Elementary program and STEM Camperoll.
What have you done that you are most proud of?
One of the most important things I am really proud of learning after all these years, is to grow not just in one direction but in several personality aspects. I have learned how to manage a busy PhD and research work life while pursuing my personal interests and improving my leadership and soft skills. This has been mainly achieved through my involvement in extracurricular activities and interacting with people of different backgrounds. I have learnt that spending time to promote other people’s experience is not an expenditure but an investment in my own characteristics and abilities.
What are you passionate about?
I am so passionate about improving my leadership skills. To me, the leadership journey is about being the best that you can and bringing out the best in others to make a difference in a good way.
What is your research and its impact?
My research is about the application of big data analytics for improving the safety and efficiency of transportation systems. My work is inherently important to the public because transportation systems are part of the everyday life of all people, whether for moving people and goods, business and economic development, public safety, health, or social needs.
What are your future plans?
In a few years, I’d love to build my own research lab in transportation engineering and conduct collaborations with researchers and students from all over the world.
Do you have any advice for prospective students?
My suggestion for prospective students is to make the most of your college experience. University isn’t just about hitting the books. In addition to taking advantage of the numerous learning opportunities are accessible to you, enrich your student life by getting involved outside the classroom and office. The activities I pursued outside my research and classes taught me valuable lessons and skills that I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to challenge.
Faeze Ghofrani received a 2019 Leaders in Excellence Scholarship from the UB Engineering and Applied Science Alumni Association (UBEAA).