Shakar Bradost is a senior in the chemical engineering Bachelor of Science program. He is also the current American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) student chapter president. Shakar grew up in Hawler, Kurdistan; a place that didn’t have electricity which, among other things, restricted him from watching football (AKA soccer) games on television. Due to his experience as a kid, it was the energy side of chemical engineering that initially drew Shakar to this major as he knew he wanted to work in a field that would allow him to help others. Shakar candidly admits that he didn’t know much about chemical engineering until his freshman year, but he quickly realized that selecting this major was one of the best decisions of his life. His favorite courses were all of the junior level classes because they taught him to think like a chemical engineer. He finds it very rewarding that he has been able to apply the knowledge obtained from these courses to his current place of employment.

Throughout his schooling, Shakar has been very involved in undergraduate research. He began by working with Dr. Whitty at the end of his freshman year on the Chemical Looping Combustion with Oxygen Uncoupling project. The goal of this project was to reduce carbon emissions during solid fuel combustion. During this time, he helped his research group build a lab-scale fluidized bed system. This experience taught Shakar a lot about research. It also enabled him to apply this new found knowledge in his classes, develop analytical skills, and build up his resume.

Last summer, Shakar landed an internship at Rio Tinto Kennecott where he worked with the Process Safety Management (PSM) group. The small group he worked with had over 100 years of combined industrial experience. He met people who have worked for Rio Tinto Kennecott since the late 1960’s who have yet to explore all the sites that extend from Bingham Canyon to Magna, but being in process safety, Shakar had the opportunity to do this within a couple of months.

Shakar has received a number of awards from AIChE and the University. Most recently, he was a recipient of the 2017-2018 Kennecott Scholar award from Rio Tinto Kennecott. He states, however, that the award he is most proud of and holds dearest to him is getting to know the people in the Chemical Engineering department including his friends, staff, and the faculty.

Shakar is graduating this May 2018 and has already accepted an offer with ExxonMobil. As part of their Research & Engineering group he will be able to take advantage of their exceptional training program, gain skills and experience, and give back to the company. ExxonMobil also supports and offers funding for graduate degrees so Sharkar will be considering graduate school as an option in the future.

His advice for current and future chemical engineering students is to take advantage of the resources provided by the University and the department. Get involved in research labs and participate in student club activities. Get to know the people in your class and in the department. He’s made remarkable memories with his fellow ChE students or as they call themselves “the collective”, spending countless hours in the ICC getting homework and projects done which he feels has been the highlight of his undergraduate experience.

Last words of wisdom from Shakar: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be confident in your abilities. You’re on your way to becoming a chemical engineer, and getting a degree in the most prestigious engineering field (and any other field perhaps) out there.”