Atheer graduated from the MSc in Structural and Foundation Engineering. He is currently undertaking his PhD studies at the Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Can you tell us a bit about what you're currently doing?

I am in my first year as a PhD student doing research in increasing the sustainability of concrete bridges using Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP) materials.

How is the work you do influencing tomorrow's world?

Sustainable development is a key issue in tomorrow's world, the research fits in the category of using new reasonably priced material in retrofitting concrete structures that will expand the service life of the structure with low cost of maintenance.

Why did you decide to come to Heriot-Watt over other places offering similar courses?

I navigated via internet through many universities that offer MSc programmes in civil engineering and found that Heriot-Watt is unique in offering a degree in Structural and Foundation Engineering in addition to its excellent campus with beautiful Scottish environment. 

What was your experience of doing a postgraduate degree at Heriot-Watt University?

It was a nice experience for me personally as an international student. I found the modules during the first semester are slightly difficult but in the second semester I became more familiar with the teaching system. I made good friendships with many students and staff from UK as well as from other countries.    

I learnt new topics during the courses which provided me with a solid background of knowledge which has helped me a lot in my current PhD project. Also, I've gained very good skills through the experimental work that I've done in my research semester (dissertation).

What advice would you give to a postgraduate student considering embarking on their studies at Heriot-Watt?

Heriot-Watt University is unique in its diversity in programs; especially the School of the Built Environment has a wide spectrum of specialities that will fit in with the ambition of any student. Since my time at HWU I have encouraged many students in different countries in the world to complete their postgraduate studies at HWU.