Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Team Member Spotlight

Q+A with Ali Muhammad

Assistant Manager, Civil Engineering, Chicago

How do you describe your job to people outside of the industry?

I do what I have learned and what I’m passionate about. Our work environment is very dynamic and interactive. Most of my coworkers are young and energetic. I work on very challenging projects located all around the world.

Why did you decide to become an engineer?

Growing up in a South Asian country, my parents didn’t leave me with very many choices – it was either an engineer or a doctor! I chose engineering because I was good with drawing and mathematics, and I had no interest in spending my time in biology labs dissecting frogs and other animals!

How would you describe life at Ghafari?

Our slogan is “space to thrive”, and as such, there are always very interesting and challenging projects to work on. A good work-life balance helps you grow personally and professionally. Ghafari shows a will to take good care of employees and offers different activities to socialize among your fellow coworkers. I work in our Chicago office, and the team here consists of people of diverse backgrounds from various parts of the world. It’s nice to interact with people from different cultures.

What is the most exciting thing that has happened during your time here?

Ghafari has given me several exciting opportunities to represent the organization at professional forums, learn about state-of-the-art technology in the architecture and engineering industry, and travel, and I have made the most of those opportunities.

My most exciting trip was visiting Turkey for the new Istanbul Airport project. It was an enlightening experience. I worked on that project from the start till the airport became operational. It was very interesting to see the world’s largest airport appearing on the ground from nothing.

What is a key idea or lesson you have learned while working at Ghafari?

Before joining Ghafari, I had worked as a civil engineer on transportation, site development, and roadway design projects. Ghafari gave me an opportunity to work on aviation and major industrial projects. That was a good learning experience for me. My department manager and teammates were very helpful and approachable, making it easier for me to understand and adapt to new projects a lot quicker.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I love outdoor sports and travel. During my free time, I either travel to explore new places or spend time playing beach volleyball, tennis, or biking along the lakeshore. I definitely enjoy the city life. Chicago is amazing – there is always so much happening in the city that it’s tough to keep up with everything. I enjoy trying new restaurants, street festivals, and movies in the park.