Sharing Engineering Resources
Civil engineering senior Sarah Seraj is following her dream of learning to develop infrastructure to improve people’s quality of life.
She was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a small developing country in Southeast Asia. The city has a population of more than 15 million people, making it the largest city in country and the 9th largest city in the world.
“Although the country has a fair amount of resources, it lacks the infrastructure to utilize them efficiently,” she says. “Not only that, Bangladesh is very disaster prone. Every year, there are floods which cause widespread damage to homes and crops. Witnessing these issues firsthand made me want to study civil engineering so that I could one day design infrastructure that could improve people's lives and minimize the destruction caused by natural disasters.”
Outside of academics, she keeps focused on her goal by serving as president of the local university chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW).
“What originally drew me to the organization was its focus on tackling real world sustainability challenges around the community through technical projects,” says Sarah. “I initially got involved with ESW’s E-waste Project, which collaborates with dorms and the Campus Computer Store to recycle electronic waste. Through ESW I have met many like-minded individuals who are passionate about sustainability. Hence, ESW has been instrumental in both my personal and professional growth.”
When she visits her home country, she works with a local environmental organization called Green Channel. Green Channel has played an important role in her life, because while helping coordinate a lake cleanup with the organization during the summer of her first year of college, she realized her passion for protecting the environment.
She is also involved with the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Projects for Underserved Communities in Tanzania. The team will help harvest rainwater in the country’s Tanga Region.
Sarah plans to enter graduate school in the field of environmental engineering.