“Engineering is ever-evolving and full of potential. All you need is the right attitude and determination. That’s what I love about engineering. There is always a place to do something more or new,” he explains.
Students and staff at EIT fondly know Dr. Rahman as AK, and his teaching style reflects a dusted-off approach where pop culture is intertwined with traditional engineering practices. He even started using GIFs as a means of communication when presenting online lecturers to really bring knowledge and skills development into a new decade.
“EIT is advanced in its deployment of online and remote education strategies. Being focused on online education, EIT has provided the platform to reach ground-breaking technology that is slowly (but surely) being integrated with academia,” AK mentions.
According to him one of the biggest advantages new students have is the use of remote labs that EIT provides. They offer specialized practical experience for the individual needs of students.
“It is definitely the most useful tool for students from different parts of the world to get access to industry-standard software and bulk of highly-functioning hardware. This is the biggest achievement of EIT from an engineering point-of-view,” he says.
It’s a huge point of discourse when you consider AK’s credentials within engineering and pathway education, which spans years and continents.
In 2012, AK started his engineering journey at the American International University - Bangladesh (AIUB) in BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. A succession of academic highlights followed, including the completion of his Ph.D. from Swinburne University of Technology in 2019.
Before adding the lauded title of Doctor to his credentials, AK was a lecturer and coordinator for the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Uttara University in Bangladesh and a Research Assistant at Deakin University.
He gained eight years of teaching experience in that time but nourished his own research interests that include cloud networked robotics, task offloading, Industry 4.0 Automation, energy efficiency, optimization, smart manufacturing, and of course the Internet of Things (IoT).
Having brevity in research topics is something that aids him as a lecturer.
“I would say I was not a natural at teaching, rather I trained myself to improve by gathering help and suggestions where needed. Over time, I have learned what students find useful and how to deliver it to them. I am still finding new tools to integrate into my teaching arsenal,” he says.
The global nature of EIT, and the fact that many students are working professionals, is something that has proven to have great value within engineering education for AK.
“I had an instance where I was teaching about power plant safety and provided an example case study of a power plant. Interestingly, one of the students was working in that power plant and shared his version of the accident, which was enlightening for me as well as the rest of the students. This can only be done with the model EIT provides,” AK mentions.
He also sings the praises of online resources like EIT’s e-Library. The amount of resources within the library is one that he gets really excited about, and one of the reason’s he’s not likely to extend a student deadline for assignments.
He also promulgates an attitude of never giving up.
“As students, you are looking for opportunities to progress in your career and life. My suggestion would be to keep persisting. I got my scholarship for my Ph.D. after 39 failed attempts. Your opportunity is on its way, you just have to hold on for the time being and never give up.”
In line with that, he also thinks engineering students especially have the opportunity to start small and cultivate ideas into projects that carry monetary and informational value.
“Make your opportunities. If you don’t have the tools to do something big, then start with small projects. Build smaller projects as “Proof of Concept”. Use them to gain exposure. Then use that knowledge as a base for your next target. You will see results very soon,” he concludes.
A Lecturer’s Day in a Nutshell
AK starts work at 9 am with a coffee and an inspiration quote shared on EIT’s internal Teams group.
His mornings are usually dedicated to going through emails related to his teaching responsibilities. Emails are usually concerned with student questions, lecture notes, and assessment design.
AK likes to take a 5-minute walk every two hours to refresh his mind, and these breaks often include conversations with some of his colleagues.
After lunch, you will usually find him taking a look at his admin responsibilities like unit reviews, lecturer allocation, teaching and learning schedules, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), and industry engagement. AK usually knocks off at 17.30 pm where he destresses with music when leaving the office in Melbourne, Australia.
However, on Fridays, he starts the weekend playing Fuse Ball with an EIT colleague. When not on the clock at EIT, AK and his wife spends a much time as possible together, and he also checks in with his family that lives abroad. Evenings usually include movie nights or playing video games. For him, home is the center of personal relaxation.
Some of AK’s achievements
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