Meet the graduands of October 2021 Convocation

October 04, 2021

Meet some of our amazing students who are graduating from the Faculty of Applied Sciences from our October 2021 convocation!


BSc, School of Computing Science

Asmat graduates this fall with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Computing Science. After beginning her undergraduate degree in biology, Asmat transferred to the software systems program where she was attracted to the project-based learning and group work that the program offers. She excelled in the program, joined the Software Systems Student Society shortly after, and served as president of the Software Systems Student Society from 2018 to 2019. “The difference between having an okay experience and having a really good experience was getting involved,” says Asmat. “My biggest focus was fostering more of a sense of community.” She also co-founded the club SFU Surge with SFU alumnus Jeffrey Leung, which provides events and project opportunities to SFU students. Her highlight at SFU was meeting new students at frosh week and introducing them to the university. Some of the projects that stood out to her were building a robot in MSE 110 and building an android app in CMPT 276. Asmat received the Inspiring Women in Applied Sciences Award and the EA Linda Srere Award for Women in the Faculty of Applied Science. She is passionate about program management, and worked in a project management role both as an intern for Microsoft and as part of a software systems capstone project, DataPrep, with SFU computing science professor Jiannan Wang. Currently, Asmat is preparing to work at Microsoft as a program manager beginning this winter in Redmond, Washington.


BASc, School of Engineering Science

David graduates this fall with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the School of Engineering Science (ENSC). David’s vast list of contributions during his SFU journey include being elected president of the Engineering Science Student Society (ESSS), sending more than fifty students across Canada to represent SFU’s ENSC program at Canadian conferences, organizing the SFU Engineering Competition 2019 and 2020, planning the ENSC FROSH 2018 and 2019, taking part in SFU Polar Plunge at the AQ Pond for Variety the Children’s Charity in 2018 and 2020 and winning second place for innovation in the 2021 CFES Canadian Engineering Competition. However, amid David’s long list of achievements, his highlight at SFU is his involvement with the SFU ENSC community in the ESSS. From fall 2017 to April 2021, he held many positions such as vice president (VP) of finance, VP of social, SFSS council representative, and the president. These experiences introduced David to people in ENSC of all backgrounds with one thing in common: a passion for technology and engineering. His involvement in the ENSC community help engineering students showcase their talents at the national level and find job opportunities while advocating for equity, diversity and inclusivity. Concurrently, he makes himself available to provide support to students throughout their academic career. We asked David, “What advice would you give to your first-year self?” He answered, “Do not be afraid to make friends in your classes or clubs. Your academic adventure is immensely better when you work together with others!”


MASc, School of Engineering Science

Laffitte graduates this fall with a Master of Applied Science degree from the School of Engineering Science. His favourite moments at SFU were spent meeting different people at the SFU climbing wall or hiking with the SFU Backpacking club throughout B.C. Laffitte’s accomplishments during his SFU journey include two conference abstracts accepted for poster presentations in 2021 for the Flexible and Printable Sensors and Systems (FLEPS) and for Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences Conference (microTAS). These included work from his thesis on the development of a screen-printable, flexible and wearable potentiometric pH sensor printed on clothing for sweat diagnostics and wound healing applications. Laffitte points out that thesis writing takes much longer than expected. Therefore, when we asked him, “What advice would you give to your first-year self?” He answered, “I would tell myself to start working on my thesis research project earlier and to reach out to professors or other students as they can provide a great deal of help in answering questions and accelerating progress.” He is also glad that he was able to volunteer at the 2019 IFETC academic research conference, judge and participate in wall climbing competitions, attend a climate strike, and maintain a balance between his education and social life. Laffitte has started working as a Process Development and Prototyping Engineer at Redlen Technologies. There, he is developing their metal deposition and photolithography processes for X-ray detectors.


BASc, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering

Liu graduates this fall from the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering (MSE) with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree. Liu is very proud of his long list of contributions and achievements during his SFU journey. Most notably, Liu is fond of his time with the Mechatronic Systems Engineering Student Society (MSESS) where he spent four years as an active member positively impacting the MSE community through his involvement in event planning, resource allocation, outreach events and collaboration with professors to improve the curriculum. Liu’s highlights at SFU include taking part in technology entrepreneurship teams, planning for SystemsFair, placing first at SFU FAS Robotics Competition in 2019 and co-chairmanship of SFU Engineering Competition in 2018. Furthermore, he helped organize a fundraiser dedicated to raising funds to promote STEM to young women in Vancouver, took part as a mechanical team lead for the Team Guardian UAV design team, served as a student representative at the MSE Undergraduate Curriculum Committee meetings, and held a research position with Human in Motion Robotics through his co-operative education program. Outside of his vast work experience, Liu’s most memorable moments are shared with fellow engineering students, particularly sprinting down to Tim Horton’s for a coffee and bagel during the 10-minute break between lectures. We asked Liu, “What advice would you give to your first-year self?” He answered, “Try everything. You never know what it will lead to.” Liu will be joining Tellext, a robotics start-up company, as a mechanical design engineer where he hopes to gain useful industry experience and continue building his skillset.


MASc, School of Engineering Science

Lockhart graduates this fall with a Master of Applied Science degree from the School of Engineering Science. She is passionate about medical imaging analysis and incorporating artificial intelligence to improve healthcare technologies. Her research focused on developing and applying computer vision, deep learning and image processing techniques to gather high-level information from embryo images for automating quality assessment for in vitro fertilization treatment. Lockhart’s highlights at SFU include presenting her work at the Multimedia Signal Processing 2019 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and co-organizing a TensorFlow tutorial through the Google Developers Group with approximately 200 people in attendance. Outside of her studies and work experience, Lockhart is committed to inspiring young women around her to engage in the STEM fields. As a mentor for Invent the Future, an SFU AI summer program for youth, she volunteered her time to teach high school girls coding, led discussion on inclusivity and ethics in computer vision, and developed a facial expression recognition project with machine learning and neural networks. As a volunteer in the Google Developers Group and Women Techmakers, she helped organize tech and social events to learn new skills and provide opportunities for attendees to connect with each other. We asked her, “What advice would you give to your first-year self?” She said, “Take a step back when stuck on a problem; take a step forward when presented with a challenge.” Currently, Lockhart is a software research and development engineer in machine learning at Circle Cardiovascular Imaging in Calgary, Alberta.


PhD, School of Computing Science

Nagy is graduating this fall with a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the School of Computing Science. He is passionate about multi-robot systems, and building both hardware and software systems. His research was on biologically-inspired drone behaviours, particularly looking at how flocking patterns for birds can be incorporated into multi-drone flying practices. Through this, he learned about bird behaviours, such as how birds often fly in pairs, and found that these practices can also be helpful when applied to flying drones in groups in both simulated and real environments. In his research, he also focused on finding ways to lower the costs of building drones through 3D printing. His highlights at SFU included first meeting his potential lab mates and travelling to Cornwall, U.K. to observe bird flocking patterns with his research collaborators. This allowed him to work closely with his supervisor, SFU computing science professor Richard Vaughan. While there is a long list of awards, scholarships and fellowships that Nagy received, he is most proud of receiving the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Graduate Scholarship during his time at SFU. We asked him, “What advice would you give to your first-year self?” Nagy responded, “I took a relaxed and balanced, but still serious, approach to graduate school and I think it worked well for me. I wouldn’t change that. If I am to give advice to another first-year, I would encourage them to focus their efforts on what they enjoy.” Nagy is joining Vaughan at Apple as a research scientist this month.


PhD, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering

Ramani graduates this fall with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering. Since 2019, he has been working as a research scientist for Ballard Power Systems Inc. and looks forward to continuing his research activities to contribute in achieving a more sustainable and greener future. His research is focused on developing the fundamental understandings of damage modes and degradation mechanisms in fuel cell membranes relevant to operational automotive systems. Ramani’s research will assist in identifying correlations between damage development and relevant operational factors, and facilitate the fuel cell community’s ongoing efforts aimed at improving product longevity and durability, which is key to this technology’s commercial success. In addition to his research activities, Ramani’s highlights include his five published journal articles relating to fuel cells and X-ray computed tomography. Outside of his research involvement and work experience, Ramani’s most memorable moments are the day he got accepted as a PhD candidate and the day the SFU senate awarded him his degree. We asked Ramani “What advice would you give to your first-year self?” He said, “There's nothing wrong with preparing ahead and thinking about what you want to do next, but don't forget to live in the present moment.”


PhD, School of Computing Science

Sharifi Noghabi graduates this fall with a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the School of Computing Science. He is passionate about the research areas of machine learning and bioinformatics. His research focused on predicting accurate drug responses for cancer patients by designing tools, models and algorithms to analyze data. His highlights at SFU included presenting his research at the Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology conference in 2019 to approximately 500 people and at Mayo Clinic's Artificial Intelligence webinar series. Another highlight was having his papers accepted for publication. We also asked him, “What advice would you give to your first-year self.” He said, “Never be afraid of reaching out to those that you are interested in working with; graduate life will be much easier when you are adaptable and ready to expose yourself to new topics and skills to learn.” He always knew that he wanted to travel the world and conduct research, and feels that moving to Vancouver from Iran to do his PhD made him a better person both personally and professionally. He is especially grateful for the people he met during his time at SFU and for the beautiful trails near Burnaby campus. He even named one of his algorithms after the Velodrome Trail on Burnaby Mountain. Sharifi Noghabi started working at Novartis, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world. As part of the AI for Life Residency Program in Basel, Switzerland, he is working with a team of researchers from different backgrounds to tackle major challenges in pharmaceutical research.


MASc, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering

Shehadeh graduates this fall with a Master of Applied Science degree from the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE). Shehadeh is passionate about energy conversion and management, and the development of renewable energy technologies. Her research, a collaboration between SFU, the City of Surrey, Canmet ENERGY and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), focused on mobile thermal energy storage systems and district energy networks. Shehadeh is also the vice-chair and co-founder of the SEE Graduate Student society. Her accomplishments during her SFU journey included presenting her work at the Thirteenth International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts & Response, publishing an article in the Journal of Applied Sciences, having her research highlighted by SFU News, receiving the Spring 2021 Ralph M. Howatt Family Graduate Scholarship and being awarded the Summer 2020 Graduate Fellowship. Shehadeh is proud of every moment of her SFU journey and is grateful for the continued support provided by her supervisor, Dr. Majid Bahrami, her amazing colleagues at the Laboratory for Alternative Energy Conversion (LAEC), and all the SEE faculty and staff. We asked Shehadeh, “What advice would you give to your first-year self?” She answered, “Start working on your thesis from the very first month. I learned that thesis is a living document; therefore, it is flexible and it grows and changes with the research.” Shehadeh is planning to continue her work in renewable energy research and development.


MASc, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering of Applied Sciences

Zhou graduates this fall with a Master of Applied Science degree from the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering. Zhou’s favourite moments from her time at SFU were the opportunities to experience different academic and medical research fields, set career goals and adapt to multiple work environments. Her accomplishments during her SFU journey include being a research assistant in Dr. Farid Golnaraghi’s Breast Cancer Early Detection Lab at SFU, presenting her poster at conferences, being awarded with multiple graduate fellowships, performing phantom study and analyzing clinical data collected from cancer patients using diffuse optical breast scanning probe. Zhou is most proud of coordinating and conducting a clinical study at BC Cancer Abbotsford to monitor chemotherapy effects on breast cancer patients. This clinical study reinforced to her the importance of research projects, especially in the field of healthcare. She sincerely appreciates all the patients for their kindness and participation in the study, which will help future cancer patients. We asked Zhou, “What advice would you give to your first-year self?” She answered, “Don’t be discouraged by failures, but consider them stepping stones. They will help you grow into a better person if you are willing to devote time and effort.” Zhou is continuing her research journey at BC Cancer - Vancouver as a full-time research project coordinator.