Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Born and raised on the bank of the holy river Ganges in India, I learned about the importance of water and its service to humankind early on. I believe that a pragmatic understanding of this critical ecosystem is essential for the progress of our civilization, and for the protection of this most precious resource. Over the past eight years, the idea of developing low-cost and reusable water treatment technologies for the benefit of humankind has motivated me to delve deeper into the field of environmental engineering. My doctoral research at the intersection of water treatment and environmental protection now grants me an opportunity to work towards the betterment of communities in need, following the example that great rivers like the Ganges set.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC is the perfect place for me to pursue my doctoral studies because of its renowned faculty in water treatment, as well as its state-of-the-art Environmental Engineering facilities. My supervisor, Dr. Mohseni also works closely with IC-IMPACTS to resolve water treatment issues across India and Canada. Consequently, I choose UBC for my graduate studies as it motivated me to learn from global experts in my field while becoming a leader in service around the world, including my homeland, India.
I wish to delve further into my research interests in the field of environmental protection and water treatment during my doctoral studies. Particularly, I hope to contribute to the work on low cost technologies for water reuse applications.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
My line of research is such that any advancements that I make in my field will be a form of community service. In addition to providing me with valuable skills in leadership and effective interpersonal communication, my program (and supervisor, Dr. Mohseni) had also helped me further broaden my understanding of community-based solutions for issues surrounding drinking water potability around the world. This was made possible via courses and opportunities on developing environmental leadership. A key component of these leadership skills focused on passion for community service, a key component aligning with my line of research.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
My academic journey in the city of Vancouver has been a great learning experience. A city which has long been a melting pot of different cultures, tribes and linguistic traditions has strengthened my belief in the power of perseverance and team-effort. I have made friends with people across the globe ranging from the Aboriginal Dene people to Olympic athletes. The stimulating exposure has instilled in me a respect for others and as I discover the stories that people around me live, I come to know myself better. I have grown not only academically but also culturally.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I would say involvement with sports has taught me valuable life lessons. It has strengthened my belief in the power of perseverance and team-effort, both of which play critical roles in a graduate student's life.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I play. I was a part of the Thunderbirds Badminton Team at UBC and now play at the Vancouver Rackets Club. I continue to strive for personal improvement and team excellence as I compete with other high-level athletes. On weekends, I play cricket as a part of the INDCAN cricket club under the British Columbia Mainland Cricket League. On days, I am not playing, I am probably out of town (and sometimes even the country) exploring the world.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
It is a one-time opportunity, make the most of it. Take breaks, travel, play and enjoy the time at UBC.