ChemE Future Leaders: Muhammad Massod

Muhammad Masood (ChemE 2T0 + PEY) is in his 3rd year at U of T where he is pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, with a minor in Bioengineering. He is most interested in fluid mechanics, process design, bioengineering, and in particular how chemical engineering relates to the oil and gas industry. Muhammad is a member of U of T’s debate team, and in his spare time he enjoys working out as he has recently developed an interest in powerlifting.

Having worked as a translator on peer-reviewed journals and other engineering-related work, Muhammad is fluent in both English and in Urdu. He has also worked as a coach for Hatch Canada where he taught coding, programing, and problem-solving skills to children.

Muhammad’s goal is to eventually work in industry as a chemical engineer, preferably in oil and gas. “I love being challenged and getting my hands dirty,” Muhammad says, “so the ideal fit for me would be somewhere that offers a lot of hands-on experience and also gives me opportunities to apply my engineering knowledge to solve problems. Most of all I want to have a positive impact on people’s lives and on the world around me in whatever I do.”

 

Q: What are your strengths?

My biggest strength is problem solving, which has really served me well throughout my undergraduate degree. On one project, I had to analyze the T2 Laboratories reactor explosion (which was due to a thermal runaway reaction.) The heat and reaction profiles of the process were analyzed and modeled through the application of complex heat and mass transfer and process modeling concepts. This model also required extensive coding, which relied heavily on my ability to find creative solutions to problems on the fly and to really think on my feet.

I love working in teams, which is important because so much of engineering involves group projects. In my Engineering Design and Strategies course, I was part of a team that was attempting to introduce coding into elementary school curriculum. We all worked really well together with very few hiccups, and the project turned out amazingly well. We all had so much fun that it barely felt like work sometimes!

I also really pride myself on being a good communicator. Being on the debate team, first in high school and now at U of T, I’ve learned so much about different debate styles, such as MUN and parliamentary debating. In high school, I was a national-level debate champion, which really helped me to develop my ability to communicate effectively to a variety of different audiences.

Q: What are your weaknesses?

I have a tendency to be overly critical of myself, regardless of my achievements or my performance on a given task. While I do believe it’s important to constantly push yourself, this can sometimes get in the way of moving onto the next thing on my list. I’m always trying to be mindful to not let the perfect get in the way of good, and I continue to work on finding the right balance between the two sides. I don’t think I’ll ever stop striving to be as close to perfect as possible, but I’m getting better and better at recognizing when that stops being productive and starts getting in the way of my progress.

 Q: How would your friends describe you?

My friends would say that I’m very easy going and approachable, someone who does not get stressed easily, and someone who stays calm and collected even when things get a bit hectic. I think I’m known as someone that likes to enjoy himself when there’s some down time, but can shift gears quickly and be productive when there’s work to be done.

Q: Where would you like to be five years after graduation?

I would like to be working as an engineer for a company that is making a positive impact on the world. By that point, I hope to be an established and valued member of a team and lending my knowledge and expertise to help newer employees.

Q: What are your long-term career goals?

My long-term career goals are to master concepts in chemical engineering and their application to the real world, and to be leading projects that make a real positive impact on the lives of people and to society as a whole.

 Q: Provide a few examples of how you have shown leadership or initiative.

During high school, I was General Secretary and then President of the debate team. In these positions I was responsible for leading a large team of over one hundred people in organizing two national level debate tournaments. I was also responsible for overseeing weekly debate workshops where students were taught the art of debating, public speaking, and critical thinking. This experience helped me to greatly improve my ability to manage large teams and many different personalities, and gave me the opportunity to develop into a much stronger leader.

Q: What makes you a good PEY candidate?

I am eager to learn, and I love to be challenged. I’m also dedicated to continuing to improve myself as an engineer and as a person. I’m a great problem-solver, a strong team player, and I like to face challenges head-on. My skills, attitude, and work ethic mean I can fit in well with lots of different people and in many different environments, and I know that I can make a positive contribution to an engineering team right away.

Interested in hiring a Professional Experience Year Co-op student? Learn more about U of T’s PEY Co-op program HERE


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