Congratulations to Maha Abdallah, PhD, awarded the 2022 FPA Teaching Excellence Award for a Contract Instructor! Here’s a recent extract of a conversation between IPIS Director Dr. Alex Wilner and Dr. Abdallah.

Wilner: Congratulations Maha! What wonderful news. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Abdallah: Thank you, Alex! I’m thrilled and honoured to have been recognized by FPA. I received my PhD from the University of Sherbrooke in 2018. My major is in structural engineering with a focus on strengthening and rehabilitation techniques of infrastructures. I have been teaching the Infrastructure Engineering Principles course (IPIS 5103) since Winter 2020.

Wilner: From a classroom perspective, Maha, how do you approach learning and teaching?

Abdallah: Simply put, teaching is a passion of mine. I aim to inspire students and influence their lives as a caring, encouraging, and compassionate teacher. I experience the joys and rewards of connecting with students and supporting them during their own learning processes. I really value student learning; I feel learning should be the focus, rather than teaching, and thus my role is to create an environment where learning can take place. To achieve this, I assure the transfer of correct, direct-to-point, and ambiguity-free course materials to recipients.

Wilner: Amazing. Our students are lucky to have you lead them through the learning process. How does IPIS itself fit into your approach to teaching and learning?

Abdallah: As I see it, the main objective of the IPIS program is to bring knowledge of engineering and policy making together to ensure safe, secure, and durable infrastructures. To succeed, students need to have a solid understanding of engineering design regarding materials, loads and dimensions. And yet, infrastructure engineering and mathematical models are themselves much easier to grasp when real-world applications are presented. That’s IPIS in a nutshell. So, I aspire to offer real applications for the theory so that students have an incentive to learn the material and not only strive to pass the course, and also, to keep their enthusiasm which will help them create and develop new ideas.

Wilner: Superb insight, Maha. Thanks for the chat, and congrats again!