University of Oklahoma Construction Science graduate student Samira Rasolkhani recently collaborated on the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s 2019 World Small Hydropower Development Report. Based on her contributions, Samira has been asked to contribute to the report again, when it is updated in 2022.

Read on to meet Samira and learn more about why she chose to study Construction Science in the OU Haskell & Irene Lemon Division of Construction Science.

What brought you to OU? What do you hope to do after graduation?

I have 12 years of work experience in the field of construction projects (mostly heavy civil). About 2 years ago, I moved to the Norman, Oklahoma, and got married. After immigrating to the United States, I needed to reevaluate my plans for the future. In the U.S. job market, one of the hottest sectors is construction. I found that my own field of work, hydropower projects, is not applicable in all states, especially Oklahoma where I am planning to live with my new family. I have selected this major at OU to have more opportunities to find a construction related job with a reasonable income in the future.  

How did you get involved in the 2019 UN World Small Hydropower Development Report? What did you learn from the process of helping to prepare the report?

Before moving to the U.S., I was working as a senior engineer at Poyry, an international company with many offices all around the world. There, I was working on international hydropower projects. Since Poyry has collaborated with the United Nations in the past, including to produce the world small hydro-power development report, they recommended me to UNIDO as the hydro-power expert for the 2019 edition (Iran section) of the report. I also got invited to complete 2022 revision of the report.

What is your favorite part about the Construction Science program at OU?

Since I am interested in the fields of construction and management, I believe this curriculum helps me to expand my skills toward being a project manager or supervisor in the future. Construction Management at OU fulfills my managerial personality traits and completes my technical knowledge. 

What advice do you have for other Gibbs College students to help them succeed in their studies or their professional lives?

Here what I believe in in my life (work, study, personal life): working hard; not getting disappointed; not wanting fast results, but being patient and believing in the process; changing the approach and trying new ways, while sticking to the initial goals!