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Mohammad Haji-Gholizadeh


Degree: Ph.D. in Civil Engineering

College/School: College of Engineering and Computing

More than 30 years ago, a small boy in Iran fell in love with the natural world. He’d climb the tallest tree to catch a glimpse of a bird’s nest and hike with his father to admire every flower, tree, and mountain peak in the distance. Mohammad Haji-Gholizadeh is that little boy – and today, that passion lives on through his research on one of our most precious resources: water.

Using different methods – including statistical analysis, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Systems – Mohammad has been able to measure the amount of contamination in various bodies of water across South Florida. From this data, he has been able to pinpoint the direct sources of pollution.

Mohammad has published six research papers in the last year, presented three papers in peer-reviewed conferences, and currently has three papers under review.

In 2013, Mohammad was awarded a FIU Presidential Fellowship. Getting by on three or four hours of sleep a night, Mohammad has juggled his studies with being a single father to his son, Mahbod. He has also served as a teaching assistant and has received outstanding evaluations from his students. He’ll be completing his Ph.D. program in just three years.

Mohammad is recently engaged and credits his fiancé, Samira, as a tremendous source of support during his educational journey. Mohammad will continue at FIU in a postdoctoral position and he hopes to become a professor one day.