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Rajat Gangrade


Senior Tunnel and Geotechnical Engineer at Arup

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Hi, I'm Rajat Gangrade. I am a Senior Tunneling Engineer with Arup in the San Francisco office, and I'm mostly involved on soft ground tunnel projects. It's been seven years into the tunneling industry, and specifically about, I want to say three years into the North American tunneling industry. 
I was a PhD student earlier for four years at Colorado School of Mines, and I had a good opportunity to work on projects then, as well. I think the most fascinating part about the industry is the multidisciplinary collaboration among different segments of the industry, people with structural engineering background, geotechnical engineering background, civil engineering, people of mechanical engineering coming together and developing solutions. 
Every solution is unique because every project is unique. So that excited me to be a part of this industry. Try it out in the underground. It is the future with cities expanding and the urban environment needing solutions and also tunnels are always going to remain.  So try this industry out. You're going to love it. It's more supportive than some of the other civil engineering industries I've seen. So it is just fabulous to be a part of this community. 
I've been a UCA member since 2017, so six years now. Well, at my first conference, it was NAT in Chicago. That's when I got first introduced to UCA, the activities UCA does, the kind of support they extend to students, the kind of events you see organizes. And then that's how I got involved, just talking to people. 
I think the UCA events like these conferences are one of the biggest pluses that the organization does. Also, we get new talent. I mean, I'm a product of the support UCA has provided to schools and student chapters, and they've been very generous and kind with that support. So yeah, you see it gets good future professionals as well. 
One thing that Down for That is currently doing that is amazing is organizing the student field trips. So I see that program growing in that particular direction where more student chapters get involved. And it's our responsibility as professionals to tap into the student chapters and identify and get the best talent because we want to grow our community and the talent in community. 
So in that sense, I think organizing that field trips as is going to help, plus the Teach the Professors program as a part of Down for That, I think it's a fabulous initiative. That's one segment that is going to help Down for That, the UCA and this community grow. 
As a young professional, we are in our mid-careers and we don't have any extreme expertise in anything either. We are at the start of our careers. So it's important in that sense where we understand what kind of roles we want to play in the future. It helps us interact with some of the senior leaders, the professionals, the principals, and also keeps us in touch with the younger crowd who are just about to graduate. So it's a good mix and people see us as someone who is looking to grow them or grow ourselves professionally. So I think it's a fabulous group. 
I really, really like coming to these conferences. These are these are absolutely the premier event for the North American tunneling industry. I love the sessions. I love the technical interactions, the social events, the exhibit hall. I think I think these are fabulous. And I would like to thank the UCA for organizing all of this, putting it into the right sense and creating that environment where everyone just feels home. 
It feels like we are meeting our extended family after a year and it feels the same way every year. So, thank you for that.