Interview: Dr. Raja Rizwan Hussain

Dr. Raja Rizwan Hussain previously participated in our Take Note and Promote series. Recently, we conducted another interview with him.  This interview touches upon many different topics including being a young person in the industry, his editorial board experience, and passion for traveling. We also spoke about the many different types of jobs he’s held over the years, including both private and public sector positions. You can read the entire interview below.

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Dr Raja Rizwan Hussain

Wiley Author Blog: What got you interested in engineering?
Dr. Raja Rizwan Hussain: My grandfather, my father, my father’s brother etc. all are engineers. So, I guess I was born to be an engineer.

You work / have worked in both government and private sectors. What do you enjoy most in your career and did this widen your scope, if so how?
When I was in a government job, the most I enjoyed was the power and authority I had to make the things go as per my wishes. This enabled me to carry out several government construction projects in my designated area/city in my way for the betterment of society. However, the job was less of a technical work and more of a managerial work. But, in the private section, although I don’t have the same capacity of to make the things go my way and have to say ‘yes boss’ even when the things are against my wishes, I still get to do a lot of technical real engineering work instead of just managing things around. This allows me bring out my aspects of engineering, invention and innovation in whatever I do.

You completed your Ph.D in a record short period of 2 years. What pursued you to do this?
I was always fond of studies and always remained in top academic positions throughout my educational life. This led to my several achievements including honors, awards, cash prizes, medals, shields etc. All that made the basis and pursued me to complete my Ph.D in a record short period of just 2 years from the world’s most renowned and top ranking university.

At what point did you decide want you wanted to achieved and what where your first thoughts in how you were going to achieve this?
As I said, I belonged to a family of engineers and being an engineer was in my blood. When I was a kid, I was more interested to break my toys, take out the machinery and play with it instead of playing the actual toy. When I was in my high school, I was always the fastest to build science projects in the labs. So, after I finished my college I already had decided to be an engineer. And when I was in the final year of my engineering, I concluded that I will pursue my education upto the last degree of Ph.D and will involve myself in teaching, research and innovation which I am doing at the moment and is the goal of my life.

You said in your ‘Take Note and Promote’ interview series that :‘The biggest challenge for me was to prove that I am capable of doing much more than what usually people of my age group can do. I have been successful in doing so.’ What struggles did you encounter in getting noticed, as a young person, in your industry area? How did you overcome these? What advice would you give to others who find themselves in this position?
My sincere advice will be not just to make achievements but to let others know as well of your achievements, especially if you are young and seem to be larger than life which was my case as well.

For example, if you are a research scientist like me, then you must make several quality publications as publication is a major measurable output through which others may come to know about your achievements. I have a long list of international publications (126 so far) in my short 5 years post Ph.D tenure including ISI Journal Papers (43); Refereed International Conference Papers (29); US Patents filed (2); Books, technical reports, monographs, papers etc. (37); R&D Government and Private Funded Research Project Grants (15). This helped me overcoming the problems of being noticed as a successful research scientist which I am still young.

How did you become on journal editorial boards such as’The Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings’? What do you enjoy most and lease about being on these editorial boards?
At present I am the editorial board member of more than 25 international journals. If you want to know how, then read my response to the previous question. Once you have a good name in your specialty area, the people will start contacting you by themselves and offer you honorary memberships. Being on editorial boards, lets to keep in touch with the latest research being carried out in your area, make good professional contacts around the world and avail more and more first hand opportunities.

You have achieved many awards – what are you most proud of and how have these got you recognized in your field of expertise?
What I am most proud of is the consistency I have maintained in achieving awards for the past several years instead of occasional achievements. And this consistency in my successes has helped me to get recognized in my field of expertise.

You visited a lot of countries around the world. Where was your favorite place to visit and why? Did this help you in your career/education?
So far I have been to more than 100 cities in 26 countries around the world. I would rate my favorite place to be Canada due to its versatility in culture and citizens, the well groomed behavior of people, manners, job opportunities, natural beauty, quality of life, facilities, medical and education benefits, well behaved society, safety, legalization and immigration.

You post a lot of videos of your travels on your YouTube Channel and your Google + page. Has this helped you in your career, how?
Well! this was something I actually did for my family and friends. But it turned out to be a good support in my career as well, since many people do contact me by knowing me through my YouTube and Facebook postings. I guess, this is the era of media and advertising is a must.

Have you seen any positive responses in your work promoting on Facebook and Twitter?   
Yes! Definitely, Facebook and Twitter allow my personal as well as official contacts to be in touch with me always. I must say that I got several project as well as job offers in the recent years due to them in addition to my other visibilities.

Do you have any general tips on research and writing papers for post docs?
Try to focus on the new things that will be benefits to the society and will be a significant contribution to the state of the art in your area of research. Do not, I repeat, Do NOT re-invent the wheel. Otherwise, it will be a waste of time for you and your institution and funding agency will get mad at you resulting in no further support.

Who do you admire and why?
I admire Bill Gates a lot as he is a successful person not only in earning money but in every walk of life. I have and will always look upon him as an ideal in my life. If I become him in the future (I hope) I will complete the only deficiency he has, a college degree.

What is next up for you in the future, what you looking forward to?
My next task in the future on which I look forward to is to build a near to lifetime maintenance free society infrastructure by improving the quality of non-corrosive steel reinforced concrete as my major area of future research.

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You can read his Take Note and Promote interview here.

If you think you have something to say about self-promoting, being an author, or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us at authorblog@wiley.com!  We are always looking for author input, guest bloggers, and interview subjects.

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