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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

‘Cats Walk: Muhammad Tasnim Alam talks family, catastrophe prevention

Muhammad+Tasnim+Alam+smiles+for+a+photo+after+doing+research+studies+for+his+masters+program+in+geotechnical+engineering%2C+Thursday%2C+Oct.+20%2C+2022%2C+at+Alkek+Library.

Muhammad Tasnim Alam smiles for a photo after doing research studies for his master’s program in geotechnical engineering, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Alkek Library.

‘Cats Walk is a weekly segment that will highlight Texas State students. Each week, Web Editor Monica Vargas will talk to a different Bobcat about school, self-love and Texas State.
This week Monica interviewed Muhammad Tasnim Alam who is currently getting his master’s in engineering with a focus in geotechnical engineering. Muhammad received his undergrad, bachelor’s in civil engineering at The University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in the capital city of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Vargas: What exactly is the study focus in geotechnical engineering?
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: There are two things related to this study: hydraulic engineering and water resource engineering, simply said. Geotechnical engineering focuses on the soil. Building on water such as bridges you must know the soil to sustain the infrastructure.
Vargas: What got you into engineering, specifically geotechnical engineering?
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: Well back home in Chattogram, Bangladesh, I worked on projects in infrastructure for the city. I would focus on elevated highways specifically.
Being a non-traditional student previously, I would project manage and oversee civil engineering projects for the infrastructures of my home city. I started to notice some issues arising in water bridges within my region. Where I’m from we battle many flood occurrences that have led to many deaths due to the infrastructures of water bridges not sustaining within the time duration planned. I saw the need for geotechnical studies to be further evaluated and find solutions to help prevent water bridges from collapsing. I personally wanted to help solve the concerns within the infrastructures within the city due to flood occurrences. It stirred a passion to really help prevent these situations from happening again.
I’m currently working on my thesis for my master’s program. My research has come to find that 56% of water bridge erosion collapse throughout the world.
We need more data to help calculate solutions to prevent this issue. Geotechnical engineering is in need throughout the world.
Vargas: Tell me about yourself, your family and where you are from.
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: I grew up with a great father who was a book publisher. A very brilliant man. A wonderful mother who took great care of us, with three brothers and two sisters. They all are highly educated. My brothers are doctors and one is a banker. My sister has her masters in political science and my other sister masters in English. My beautiful wife is a physician in the public health department focusing on disease control. Currently, she is working for an international organization for public health in Bangladesh.
Fun fact, when we were little kids, my dad would buy us fine chocolates and toys as payment and have us help him proofread the books he was going to publish. We learned how to read English and Bengali, the native language in Bangladesh, at a young age.
An interesting fact about my hometown of Chattogram, Bangladesh is it has a 75- miles-long sea beach, which is the largest sea beach in the world.
Vargas: What is something interesting you want people to know about you?
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: When I was in my undergrad, I learned how to play the violin. My roommates could not stand the sounds as I was just learning how to play. Eventually, I came to my dorm and found my violin damaged, never knew who did that to this day.
Also, when I was in college I wrote film and theater scripts. I wrote and directed my own film called “The Narcissist.” The screenplay “Surya Sen” I also wrote. It went into full production in theater. Both screen writings were performed in full production and were displayed to the public.
Vargas: Do you have any personal goals while you are getting your degree?
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: My wife was unable to come here like I was fortunate to, and is pursuing her studies at home in Bangladesh. While I’m here, I want to finish my master’s program within three semesters and do all course requirements so I can pursue my Ph.D. in engineering by the fall of 2023. In that time, I plan to have at least one publication from all the tests, lab work and research analysis. I want to complete this as soon as I can, so I can be home with my wife, my family, and help my hometown in Bangladesh.
Vargas: Tell me three things you love about yourself.
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: I love that I make good friends with the older generation. For instance, my professors have doctorates and many years of experience. I learn a lot from their generation and their morals.
I love that I’m a hard worker, the field I’m studying requires much focus, time and dedication which helps lives now and in the future with safety.
I love that I am compassionate. I care about people and really want to help the locals back home with our infrastructure and resolve the concerns that are needed with all my studies, care and calculations.
Vargas: Favorite song?
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.
Vargas: Favorite book and movie of all time?
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: Book, “Where Ever You Go, There You Are” by Jon-Kabat Zinn. Movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith.
Vargas: What are your dreams after you graduate?
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: I would like to go back home, and try to do something within an international organization as a researcher, specifically in soil. Also, have an article published in a scientific journal from all my research and studies throughout the years.
Vargas: Any advice you have for people in pursuit of a career in the engineering field?
Muhammad Tasnim Alam: I’m currently doing a case study on a wall that was built in South Korea, within three months the wall fell. I learned from all my studies, the analysis throughout the years with hands-on in civil engineering back home in Bangladesh while focusing on those high elevated highways. Stick to the [basic core principles of engineering] and with all the technologies we now have access to, we can avoid many of the catastrophes that have occurred. Many of these cases could have been prevented.
To keep up with students featured in ‘Cats Walk, visit The University Star’s Instagram @universitystar.

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