Student Spotlight: Yalda Saadat

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Yalda Saadat

Year in Program



Dr. Bilal Ayyub

Research Interests

Network Analysis

Recovery Analysis

Resilience of Supply Chains

Resilience and Reliability Assessment

Sustainable Design and Renewable Energy

Risk Assessment and Resilience of Infrastructure and Urban systems

Dissertation Topic

Enhancing Resilience of Complex Networks: Washington D.C. Urban Rail Transit as a Case Study

What drew you to engineering?

There are two reasons I am drawn to engineering: One is, growing up in a family where many of
my family members have been engineers, I could see the satisfaction they got out of their
careers. The other reason is, I have always been curious about things around me, their forms,
designs and their applications. I always look at them through the lens of math. Even with abstract
and conceptual things, I would like to find the math behind them. So, Engineering fit nicely with
my personality.

What made you decide to come to UMD and the ENRE Program?

I think UMD is a prestigious and quality University with amazing faculty and students. The
aspiring environment of UMD inspires me. I wanted to breathe in this environment.
Currently, I am in a structure group. However, my research is all about resilience assessments
and network analysis, which matches more with the mission of the ENRE program. I think I am
involved in a very exciting research area and I believe the program supporting those research
topics, which are not necessarily in line with traditional engineering instead requiring
interdisciplinary knowledge, is a well-thought and well-designed program.

What do you want people to know about Reliability Engineering that they may not know?

The world around us is full of uncertainty. The recent catastrophic event, including the Pandemic
uncertainties and their impacts helps societies find better ways to cope, which is important for all
human beings. Of course, we should not necessarily rely on engineers to deal with all aspects of
uncertainties, everyone should make  ourselves familiar with fundamental and basic knowledge,
which can help put uncertainties in perspective. That is why I wish a probability and statistics course
was a core course in the curriculum of all majors and not only science and engineering majors.

What does it mean to you be selected as one of the CEE Rising Stars?

I know the selection process for CEE Rising Stars is very competitive and the selection field
includes many of the greatest female students of Civil Engineering in the nation. Among all
applicants only a few are selected as rising stars. Definitely, to be selected as one of those
excellent students made me very happy. I am honored to be representing UMD in the CEE
Rising Stars program among students from many of the top Universities in the United States.
UMD has given me the opportunity to thrive and rise, in return, I could elevate its name through
my inclusion in this prestigious program.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

Laughing, sometimes crying ☺, dancing, reading, having passion about people, hanging out with
them and listening to their stories. 


Published October 30, 2020