Dessie Tibebu

Modeling Molecular Simulation Through Wood Cell Wall
Stavros Avramidis
Addis Ababa
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I am interested to solve the challenging problems in the environment, specifically in wood science, as well as to understand small-scale level phenomena.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I want to solve the problems related to wood-water interactions, in particular, sorption mechanisms that are not fully understood at this time. In addition, I am also interested in studying the reaction mechanisms between polymer components in the wood structure, which hinder the utilization of wood products. I found that UBC is the best university in this area. Because of this reason, I decided to continue my study at UBC.

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

Because wood is a colloidal, porous, non-homogeneous and anisotropic material, it is quite challenging to process and utilize. This is why I have always been interested in studying it.

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

Vancouver can seem like a pretty expensive place but at the same time there are amazing events all over the city that I can take part in while I leave my wallet at home.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

Because wood is a colloidal, porous, non-homogeneous and anisotropic material, it is quite challenging to process and utilize. I am trying to understand and solve these challenges in a systematic way that can be utilized efficiently.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

I can see that some of the archival material I’ll need to examine for this project may be difficult to access. I’m hoping to undertake training in archival practices and to seek advice from my supervisor in order to develop these key skills early in my project. This will be not easy and I might be faced with big challenges.

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

I’m keen to share my passion to a wider audience. I’m hoping to maintain a public-facing blog documenting my research. I am also keen to seek training to solve these challenges.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I’ve enjoyed my academic work so far, but I feel I’ve got more to offer as an independent researcher. I’m also passionate about this subject and don’t feel enough attention has been paid to the questions I’m looking to address. These experiences pushed me to join in UBC, which is the best university in the world.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I like to attend Talking Stick Festival.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

My advice for new graduate students is that this is THE place to study and live.


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