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VIDEO: Anne McIsaac: Master's candidate in civil engineering

 

Video transcript:

Hi, my name is Anne McIsaac

I am currently working on my Master's

of Applied Science in civil engineering

here at Queen's University under the

supervision of Dr Amir Fam.

Personally, I'd love to go into the building science

the restoration side of civil engineering which

is somewhat what my thesis is on but I

really want to take old structures, whether

it be a historic structure, just one that needs

a little love, and fix them up and make them

up-to-code and useable.

I actually worked for a construction company

every summer during my undergrad and I interacted

with a lot of different consultant firms and a

lot of people at those firms had a Master's degree

but what they actually had was a Master's in

engineering, which is the course-based Master's

I started off doing. I applied and was accepted to the MEng,

then Dr Fam actually approached me to do a Master's of

applied science and he showed me all the benefits of doing it.

Doing a Master's of Applied Science teaches you many

soft skills, whether it be project management or even

just communication skills that you don't necessarily

get out of an MEng since it is mainly, at least for

civil engineering, mainly a course-based Master's

I'm currently working on the rehabilitation of

concrete structures, existing structures with

fibre reinforced polymers. What I'm doing a bit

different is I'm looking at bio-based resins

so trying to remove some of the petroleum-based

resins that we're using and replacing them with

more sustainable alternatives. On a day-to-day

basis I typically come into the office, have my coffee

read emails, we get a lot of emails, but then I go down

to the lab, that's my favourite part, whether it's being

in the lab whether it's fabricating specimens or testing

them, and then we get to analyze the data

On a normal day sometimes it's more time in the

office, more time in the lab. It varies. The relationships

you form during your Master's or ever your PhD are

completely different than the ones you form during your

undergrad. First of all you interact a lot more with the

professors, whether it's your supervisor or the other

professors because you can always just go to them

to get help and also, your fellow students aren't

working on the same project as you.

We each have different projects but we all come

together and help each other. It's not like in your

undergrad where you're like, 'Okay, let's have a study

session and cram all night. No, it's more cooperation.

You build a good team spirit with your colleagues.

I think the main advice I have for anyone looking

into pursuing graduate studies is to shop around

with different professors and different projects

because you are focused on one specific project

You go from this very diverse undergraduate degree

to a very precise research topic, so you better make

sure it's something you're going to enjoy doing,

something that you're passionate about

It's really taking the time to choose your project

and choose who you're going to be working with.

Hi, my name is Anne McIsaac

I am currently working on my Master's

of Applied Science in civil engineering

here at Queen's University under the

supervision of Dr Amir Fam.

Personally, I'd love to go into the building science

the restoration side of civil engineering which

is somewhat what my thesis is on but I

really want to take old structures, whether

it be a historic structure, just one that needs

a little love, and fix them up and make them

up-to-code and useable.

I actually worked for a construction company

every summer during my undergrad and I interacted

with a lot of different consultant firms and a

lot of people at those firms had a Master's degree

but what they actually had was a Master's in

engineering, which is the course-based Master's

I started off doing. I applied and was accepted to the MEng,

then Dr Fam actually approached me to do a Master's of

applied science and he showed me all the benefits of doing it.

Doing a Master's of Applied Science teaches you many

soft skills, whether it be project management or even

just communication skills that you don't necessarily

get out of an MEng since it is mainly, at least for

civil engineering, mainly a course-based Master's

I'm currently working on the rehabilitation of

concrete structures, existing structures with

fibre reinforced polymers. What I'm doing a bit

different is I'm looking at bio-based resins

so trying to remove some of the petroleum-based

resins that we're using and replacing them with

more sustainable alternatives. On a day-to-day

basis I typically come into the office, have my coffee

read emails, we get a lot of emails, but then I go down

to the lab, that's my favourite part, whether it's being

in the lab whether it's fabricating specimens or testing

them, and then we get to analyze the data

On a normal day sometimes it's more time in the

office, more time in the lab. It varies. The relationships

you form during your Master's or ever your PhD are

completely different than the ones you form during your

undergrad. First of all you interact a lot more with the

professors, whether it's your supervisor or the other

professors because you can always just go to them

to get help and also, your fellow students aren't

working on the same project as you.

We each have different projects but we all come

together and help each other. It's not like in your

undergrad where you're like, 'Okay, let's have a study

session and cram all night. No, it's more cooperation.

You build a good team spirit with your colleagues.

I think the main advice I have for anyone looking

into pursuing graduate studies is to shop around

with different professors and different projects

because you are focused on one specific project

You go from this very diverse undergraduate degree

to a very precise research topic, so you better make

sure it's something you're going to enjoy doing,

something that you're passionate about

It's really taking the time to choose your project

and choose who you're going to be working with.