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Hamidreza Khederzadeh

"Graduate courses offered at Ryerson are based on real practice that engineers face in industry."

Hamidreza Khederzadeh

Age: 36

Hometown: Shiraz, Iran

Program: PhD, Civil Engineering

Undergraduate degree: BSc in Civil Engineering, Yasouj University, Iran

Master's degree: Civil Engineering, Ryerson University


Why did you choose Ryerson for your Master's and PhD education?

First, Ryerson is well-known as being an academic/practical-based university that connects you to industry since most of the faculty members are working with industry. The doors are open when searching for a job. The second reason I chose Ryerson is because of its location. It’s conveniently located in the downtown core, which is accessible to shopping malls, restaurants and many social events and activities.

What is the focus of your current research?

The main task is performing experimental investigation of the ultimate load carrying capacity of bridge barriers reinforced with glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars that are newly developed civil engineering materials. A long, full-scale bridge barrier was constructed at the Texas Transportation Institution in the United States to perform both crash and static tests as per Canadian highway bridge design code. I travelled to Texas in June 2012 for a project with partnerships of Ryerson University, Pultrall Inc. and the Texas Transportation Institution. For the crash test, a van-type tractor trailer was supposed to hit the barrier with specific speed and impact angle. The crash test was conducted against the barrier structural adequacy, occupant risk and vehicle trajectory after collision. The static test, which is the test to complete collapse of the barrier, was carried out for the aim of investigating the ultimate load carrying capacity of the barrier wall.

Why does this research appeal to you?

I had conducted research on bridge segments during my studies in my master’s program, and also I had some experiences in bridge design and construction. I preferred to conduct research on similar topics during my PhD program to gain more valuable knowledge in bridge fields.

Can you give an example of a memorable research experience?

We had to conduct one part of my research at the Texas Transportation Institution site in the United States in mid-June when the temperature was 40˚C. The lab technician and I were supposed to stick carbon fibre sheets on the bridge deck prior to testing special glue. We had a very hard time because of the hot weather. It was so hot that the glue we were using was about to catch fire and I saw dark smog from the glue in the bucket, and suddenly the glue hardened.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Whether I continue working in the engineering industry or find an academic position at any Canadian university, I hope I can continue advancing to a more senior role within my field of expertise.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a graduate student at Ryerson?

The most rewarding thing being a grad student at Ryerson is that Ryerson will help get you the job because of its co-operation with the industry. I’ve seen many of my friends and classmates that already graduated from Ryerson are now working in their field of study.

What do you think of Ryerson’s graduate student life?

It is important to maintain a healthy study/life balance because being a grad student is not just about the academics. Research and studying is a major part of the daily routine, but sports, recreation and social activities shouldn’t be ignored. And Ryerson provides all of these activities for grad students.

If you could describe your experience so far as a Ryerson graduate student in one word, what would it be?

Optimistic. I’m optimistic about the future.

Why should students come to Ryerson?

The industry connections. My master's research project was incorporated with and funded by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO). During my PhD program, the project received additional funding from MTO and Pultrall Inc. Pultrall supplies the glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars which were used in the research for MTO bridges. Most of the faculty members are working with industries and this will help students find jobs in the future in their field of study. Also, most graduate courses offered at Ryerson are based on real practice that engineers face in industry.

Compiled by Yasmin Jaswal.