Alumnus, PhD (2014), Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
“The University of Toronto stands out as an intellectual powerhouse.”
I’m a first-generation Canadian—my cultural ancestry is from India. I am the first in my family to attend post-secondary education, and am currently in my final year of PhD studies in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.
I decided to attend the University of Toronto because of its prestigious global reputation, and its leadership in embracing diversity while offering a high-quality research and instructional experience. Most importantly, it was because U of T stands as a symbol of education for the betterment of society. My family and I have always looked up to this place as an institution that initiates progressive change and it is a pleasure and privilege to be contributing part of this cutting-edge global experience.
From my experience as an undergraduate alumnus, PhD candidate, teaching assistant, student representative on University governance bodies and so on, this institution isn’t a place where one comes to be trained; rather, it is a place where one comes to learn and develop transferable skills.
The University of Toronto stands out as an intellectual powerhouse and has a community of scholars that is inclusive and accessible. The aspect of U of T that I find most remarkable is the efficacy of such a large and complex public institution to effectively serve the needs of its students while still preserving the individual identity and significance of each of its contributors.
I plan to continue contributing to society, using the hallmark standard of excellence that U of T symbolizes, as an academic serving in public policy and governance. I’d like to inspire others to learn about and apply the magic of engineering to help make society a better place for all. My goal is to research and apply engineering concepts of systems design and optimization to maximize accessibility to education for people of all types of diversity.
Incoming grad students need to be aware that the University of Toronto is a large place with lots of opportunities to learn. Make the most of your learning experience by exploring and understanding what learning means to you.
Chirag is Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Director, First-year Curriculum, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering. See also U of T News, “New Engineering Prof Eases the Transition.”