Abdullah Al-Digs

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Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

During my undergraduate degree, I came to understand the growing demand for energy and the role of electricity and electrical engineers in meeting that demand. Subsequently, acquiring a graduate degree to contribute to the field at a greater capacity became my goal.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I am particularly keen to study at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UBC because of their various research interests and their reputation of excellence in these fields. The domestic and international reputation of this premier institution attracts such a variety of students which I believe is a stimulating environment in which to study at a doctoral level.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The presence of highly venerated faculty members such as Professors Jose Marti, Hermann Dommel, and Christine Chen is a source of inspiration for me to contribute to the field in a greater capacity. I strongly believe that attending the program here at UBC will not only enable me to gain in-depth knowledge, but also prepare me for my future career path providing me with the ability to apply acquired expertise to practical problems of present day power systems.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

Coming from the middle east where the weather is nice pretty much all of the time, I learned to appreciate the weather here in Vancouver. Apart from all the rain, I am most surprised by the beauty of the nature in and around Vancouver.

The domestic and international reputation of UBC attracts such a variety of students, which creates a stimulating environment in which to study at the doctoral level.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Being the son of an electrical engineer who is a former employee of BC Hydro and currently the Research and Development Manager for ABB’s air-insulated switchgears, I have been in touch with the electrical field since my childhood. My inspiration comes from my father, since he was one of the key persons involved in laying the foundation for the technology transfer and process integration between Germany and Saudi Arabia for the manufacturing of ABB’s switchgears in Saudi Arabia. I was further inspired when I had the privilege to see the world’s largest manufacturing facility for medium-voltage vacuum interrupters and circuit breakers.

Throughout those years encouraged by my father, I gained a substantial knowhow from him about the industrial and type testing processes. I came to understand the growing demand for energy and the role of electricity in meeting that demand. Subsequently, acquiring an electrical engineering degree became my goal. After fulfilling my dream of completing my bachelor’s in electrical engineering, I was interested in applying for the Master’s of Applied Science program because it would allow me to gain the additional knowledge and skills required for me to continue my current career trajectory. I strongly believed that this would enable me to apply the acquired knowledge to practical problems of present day industrial power systems.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I play sports for fun and relaxation. My hobbies include soccer, swimming, volleyball, and hiking. Apart from sports, I enjoy spending time with friends and family on the beach and many other outdoor activities.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

The world progresses at an ever-growing pace. Consequently, the need for making the resources and technology within the reach of everyone has become indispensable. Having been brought up with strong values, aiding humanity and maiking a difference – no matter how small – has always been my ambition. I have come to respect education, as it provides many opportunities for me to develop both as an individual and as a member of the society.

Know what you want out of your graduate degree and enjoy the journey towards your goal. A few skills I find to be essential for effective research are: time management, idea presentation, writing, writing, and writing.


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