Mohamed Essa

 
Real-Time Safety and Mobility Optimization of Traffic Signals in a Connected-Vehicle Environment
 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

During my undergraduate studies, I enjoyed studying various topics in civil engineering in general. However, the most interesting courses for me were those related to transportation engineering such as traffic engineering, transportation planning, and road design. I learned how transportation systems can significantly affect economy, environment, and people’s life. After my graduation, I had been working as a transportation engineer for four years. I found myself consistently interested in learning more about transportation engineering. This motivated me to think about beginning my grad studies in this field.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I first heard about UBC from a friend who was pursuing his PhD there. I heard how prestigious UBC is, how the campus is beautiful, and what a wonderful city Vancouver is. This encouraged me to read more about UBC. I got more information about the university's ranking, the available graduate programs, the current research topics, and the funding opportunities. After that, UBC became one of the universities that I was dreaming to join to pursue my grad studies.

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

The amazing research done by my supervisor, Dr. Tarek Sayed, in the civil engineering department caught my attention when I was reading his profile. Dr. Sayed is a leading and distinguished scholar on transportation engineering with several years of experience in the field. He has authored and co-authored more than 250 journal/conference papers and has won several prestigious research and teaching awards. Of his published papers, I found interesting topics related to transportation engineering that coincided with my research interests, such as road safety and intelligent transportation systems.

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

The best surprise for me was that bikes are everywhere! I bought a new bike in my first month at UBC.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Accept new challenges. Be patient when you try new research ideas. Don’t be alone. Make friends and socialize.