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Thursday, Apr 29, 2021

Azad Khamforoush’s belief in continuous learning and hard work has helped to propel his career

Man standing inside water treatment plant

From childhood, Mechanical Engineer, Azad Khamforoush, was influenced by his family to set goals and work hard to achieve them, especially academically. In high school, Azad discovered a passion for chemistry and physics, and in university he decided to study mechanical engineering, majoring in fluid mechanics. 

Azad feels fortunate to have gained experience in high profile projects under the supervision of one of his professors, Dr. Shahram H. Marghzar, who was a true teacher and trained him to be a hard-working engineer ready for any challenge. 

As an engineer, Azad enjoys finding the connections between theoretical concepts and real-world problems. Early in his career, he served as a part-time tutor for a university’s mechanical engineering program. Azad soon realized that, as much as he liked teaching, he enjoyed solving technical issues as a design engineer more. That’s when he decided to focus his efforts on improving his design skills. 

Man and woman outdoors hiking

Before immigrating to Canada, Azad had a successful career as a design engineer in consulting engineering in Iran. Coming to Canada and facing a different work environment, Azad says his first challenge was to gain the trust of his colleagues, just as he had done in the past.

“I was lucky that I started my career in Canada at Associated Engineering, a company that values its employees and goes above and beyond to support them to achieve their professional goals.” 

Azad credits his colleague, Dusan Fil, one of his first mentors in Canada, who supported him when he first joined the company. He tells us that passing the license registration process as an international graduate with Professional Engineers Ontario was made possible with the tremendous support of his colleagues and manager. 

Since joining Associated Engineering, Azad tells us that being part of the winning proposal team for the Heating and Air Upgrades project at Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant has been one of his career highlights. “These are critically important capital upgrades to replace the plant’s boilers, chillers, and digester gas compressors at Canada’s largest wastewater treatment plant,” says Azad. “Our group delivered the early stage study and it provided a good opportunity to extend our relationship with the client team.” 

Azad believes that working in a competitive market as a consulting engineer requires a level of skill that can only be achieved by continuous learning and keeping one’s design skills up-to-date, including understanding the many codes, standards, bylaws, and guidelines that apply to our work.

“It’s also important to learn from issues that arise during the construction phase of a project and apply these lessons-learned to future design works.”

Azad says he always reminds himself that his job is to make the lives of our clients easier. He says, “We always think about how we can optimize the capital and operating costs of our projects, while maintaining the performance and value that our clients expect.”

Azad shares that throughout his career he has experienced the value of mentoring, both as a mentee and a mentor. He participates in Associated Engineering’s Mentoring Program, and believes the company truly values the benefits of mentoring. Azad also volunteers with Professional Engineers Ontario and currently mentors EITs under their Licensure Assistance Program.

He says, “Mentoring is enjoyable, but can be a challenge too. In my mentoring sessions, I endeavour to make my mentee’s time worthwhile by providing them with insights from my experiences or the resources that they are looking for.” Azad always encourages junior staff to use mentoring opportunities, to learn, and to get involved with the construction aspects of the projects that they work on. 

Man inside basketball arena

Azad balances his busy work and volunteer schedule, with a variety of activities outside the office. He has learned to play the Spanish guitar and percussion. In the summer, Azad enjoys biking, swimming, and beach volleyball, as well as camping with his wife and friends. In the winter, downhill skiing is one of his favourite activities. Also, Azad and his wife try to never miss watching and cheering on the Toronto Raptors!