Professional Development Seminar


The CHBE Grad Club arranged another successful seminar this month. The club hosted Dr. Shahram Tafazoli on April 9th.

After completing a PhD from Electrical and Computer Engineering at UBC, Dr. Tafazoli founded Motion Metrics International Corporation and is currently the President and CEO. He also holds an Adjunct Professorship position with ECE, and is a full member of the Institute for Computing, Information, and Cognitive Systems (ICICS). In addition, Dr. Tafazoli is a member of the Precarn Incorporated’s Board of Directors as well as the TEC Canada which is the Canadian arm of an international member organization for Chief Executive Officers.

At the beginning of the presentation, Dr. Tafazoli described how he started the company out of his graduate research work with the help of his research supervisors. When other graduate students of his time were moving to industry or academia after degree completion, he continued to work hard developing his new business ignoring attractive job offers.

Dr. Tafazoli shared his experiences in details of starting and running an innovative company. Throughout the presentation, he discussed many important steps he had taken, as well as their rationales, which brought success to his business. He always believes in small and steady gains that are sustainable in the long run. He suggests that graduate students attend conferences, make connections, learn about industrial problems and try to fit those problems with academic research questions.

The audience had so many questions at the end of the presentation that the Q&A period was actually longer than the presentation itself! As with previous seminars, this one was attended by large number of graduate students including some from other engineering departments.

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