Civil Engineering PhD candidate receives UBC Killam Doctoral Scholarship

Kishoare Tamanna, a PhD student in Civil Engineering and a UBC Killam Doctoral Scholar at the School of Engineering, is making waves in the field of sustainable infrastructure development. Working at the Applied Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Structures (ALAMS) under the guidance of Professor Shahria Alam and co-supervised by Professor Tony Yang at the UBC Smart Structures Lab, Tamanna’s research is focused on developing high-performance, seismic-resilient, and low-carbon precast concrete buildings.

Growing up in Dhaka, one of the top twenty high-earthquake cities in the world, Tamanna recognized the importance in building new structures and retrofit existing structures to be seismically resilient and sustainable in the long run. This is what incited her to pursue Civil Engineering with a focus on Structural and Earthquake Engineering.

Tamanna began her academic journey at UBC Okanagan in 2016, pursuing a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. During her time as a Master’s student, she delved into the potential of using recycled waste materials to create green structural concrete. Following her graduation in 2018, Tamanna continued her research work as a research assistant at UBC. In 2020, driven by her passion for sustainable and seismic-resilient structures, she made the decision to pursue a PhD.

Tamanna’s work has far-reaching implications, as it enables the creation of low-carbon, sustainable, and seismic-resilient structural precast concrete components, accompanied by design guidelines.

This sustainable approach contributes to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of the precast concrete industry by curbing CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions associated with cement production and the extraction of virgin aggregates. Ultimately, this research positions the precast concrete industry as a leader in construction innovation, paving the way for low-carbon smart precast structures in Canada and beyond.

The Killam Doctoral Scholarship awarded to Tamanna highlights her exceptional contributions to the field of civil engineering and her commitment to sustainable infrastructure development. Approximately 25 awards are offered each year to the top doctoral candidates in the Affiliated Fellowships competition. Their primary purpose is to support advanced education and research at five Canadian universities and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Expressing her gratitude and excitement, Tamanna shares, “I am truly humbled and honored to receive the Killam Doctoral Scholarship this year. As one of the most prestigious awards available in graduate studies at UBC, the Killam recognition is a major accomplishment in my academic journey. This recognition motivates me to exert myself to live up to scholarly expectations and contribute to society through my work.”

As a female researcher in a traditionally male-dominated field, Tamanna acknowledges the challenges and opportunities she faces. However, she remains steadfast in her belief that every individual, regardless of gender, possesses unique abilities and can contribute meaningfully to society.

“Prioritizing to focus on one’s journey and pace rather than comparing with others helps to improve oneself consistently in career and thereby contribute positively to society”, said Tamanna.

Looking ahead, Tamanna envisions achieving exemplary global innovations by developing an environmentally friendly novel structural system that utilizes sustainable materials. Through her research, she not only aims to benefit the precast concrete industry but also contribute to the environment and circular economy of Canada.