From Badminton to Powerlifting

May 2017

Nimra Dar

Schulich Leader at University of Saskatchewan

Wow time has really flown by. It's been two years since I started my journey in Saskatoon. I look back and it's truly been a rollercoaster of learning. From taking on new opportunities to making new friends, university has changed my outlook for the better.

First year was full of new adventures, moving to a new province and getting accustomed to the university life. I can honestly say I have never taken my mother's cooking for granted after the first semester. Living on campus was an entirely different experience in which a lot of independency was developed and multiple friendships made. Although living away from home had its ups and downs, the Schulich scholarship helped tremendously in which I was able to put my full focus on my university experience.

Along with focusing on academics I tried to squeeze time for extracurricular activities throughout the past couple of years. Deciding on whether to take an option with my engineering degree I spent some time delving into a variety of choices by joining a few clubs. I got an interesting perspective on where I wanted to take my degree by being a part of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Metsoc and Metallurgy student chapter clubs. I was kept quite busy handling executive roles for both clubs but learned much more from the industry tours and guest lecturers. It was also a great stress reliever spending time away from studies to volunteer on campus whether that was for an open house or for the Islamic Awareness week. I learned great skills and met many like minded individuals. In the upcoming fall I look forward to being on the Chemical Engineering student society in which I will be able to facilitate events for the entire discipline. One of the highlights of last year was helping out with the Cameco Spectrum Engineering Exhibit, an event that takes place every three years known as the largest student-run exhibition of science and technology in North America. The exhibition showcases student projects, recent developments, and inspires young minds through unique learning experiences in engineering, science, and technology.

Last summer I had the honour of working side by side with a chemical engineering professor on his research. The research was focused on the fluidization of binary mixtures involving biomass particles. Alongside with two masters students I would spend my free hours when not in summer class in the lab toying around with a variety of experiments. We focused on the fluid-like properties of mixtures, such as glass particles and wood pieces, when pressured air was passed through it. It was a privilege to be working in the lab with such intelligent minds.

In spite of my numerous commitments to volunteerism and academia, I like to take time to enjoy my passions kickboxing and playing badminton. Along with being in a new environment, I've been very eager to try new things such as belly dancing and squash. Although spraining my ankle last semester I continued with a new found hobby of mine, powerlifting.

This summer I look forward to spending time with my family and friends, summer classes and seeing what else life has in store for me.