Mohamed RafiquzzamanMohamed Rafiquzzaman in his lab at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Photo by Tom Zasadzinski.

Engineering alumnus remembers roots in career rise

Mohamed Rafiquzzaman has managed Olympic events, advised the White House on technology policies, and worked on an economic recovery team for California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He’s launched a global company that manufactures lenses for cataract patients and published 18 books that have been translated into Russian, Spanish, and Chinese.

But he never forgot his start at the University of Windsor.

Dr. Rafiquzzaman (MASc 1972, PhD 1974) remembers working diligently to prove himself to professors who challenged him to be his best. He also remembers those same professors welcoming him to holiday gatherings in the staff room and joining him for a burger break at the Harvey’s restaurant near campus.

“When you worked, you worked very hard, but I learned how to enjoy life there too,” Rafiquzzaman says. “Where I am now is because of Windsor — and that’s the truth.”

Rafiquzzaman was born in Bangladesh and moved to Canada in 1970 with his family to pursue master’s studies in electrical engineering at the university that presented him the most competitive offer on both sides of the border.

His thesis advisor, William Miller, helped him and his wife and son settle in a new country they now called home and introduced Rafi to computers, which he had never seen before.

To this day, the two still talk and visit each other when they can. Rafiquzzaman followed in Dr. Miller’s footsteps and became an electrical engineering professor, now teaching at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Read the full profile, “An alum’s rise in engineering and politics,” in the latest issue of WE, the Faculty of Engineering’s annual magazine. The publication is distributed annually to alumni, students, faculty, staff, and industrial and community partners of the faculty. To receive WE electronically and UWindsor Engineering’s quarterly e-newsletters, join the faculty’s mailing list.

—Kristie Pearce