Raha Hakimdavar, a second-year PhD candidate in civil engineering and engineering mechanics, has won a Fulbright research grant to further study and develop a sensor- and satellite-driven network for flood management in areas with high flood risk. Sponsored by the Netherlands America Foundation (NAF), a bilateral group that supports educational, cultural, and business exchange between the Netherlands and the United States, this Fulbright award will fund Hakimdavar’s ongoing flood management research focused on the southwestern coast of Haiti.
For Hakimdavar, who actually wanted to be a journalist before she ultimately found her way to engineering, winning the Fulbright grant is a great honor. “But more than that, it feels wonderful to have somebody believe in your ideas and potential enough to invest in you,” she says. “I feel very fortunate for the opportunity because not only do I get to expand my knowledge on work that I’m very passionate about, I also get to experience something entirely new in my life.”
Southwest Haiti in particular poses numerous challenges with respect to flood management, explains Hakimdavar, because of its extreme deforestation, soil degradation from poor agricultural practices, high urbanization rate, and susceptibility to extreme climate and climate change. With the Fulbright award, Hakimdavar will conduct studies in the Netherlands—a nation that has a long history with flood management and where researchers have already made headway in developing successful approaches to understanding and mitigating flood risks in the country. She will apply what she learns from this research to her work in Haiti. Read more...
For biomedical engineering PhD candidate Kacey Ronaldson, the monthly L2 Ladies Luncheons hosted by the School’s GradSWE (Society of Women Engineers) chapter have been more than just a nice meal with friends — they’ve been an invaluable career development experience as well.
Ronaldson, who is president of GradSWE at the Engineering School, initiated these monthly luncheons to help women sharpen their networking skills as well as connect with successful women engineers who share their own personal experiences balancing life, career, and professional development.
“I do feel women innately do not network in the same way that men do,” says Ronaldson. “Providing opportunities for women to network with one another, and more importantly, to learn how to effectively network, is very important to me.” Networking also means supporting one another to “reach their fullest potential,” she adds, “and to develop a foundation to support one another whenever needed or to just share a laugh.”
The L2 Ladies Luncheon series, co-sponsored by the School's Office of Graduate Student Affairs, began last year as a way to provide networking opportunities and facilitate mentorships and collaborations within and across engineering disciplines. Featured luncheon speakers have included Read more...