Meet our graduate students

Tina Lin, MaSC, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Tina Lin

The road to graduate studies

While completing her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at Waterloo, Tina was able to gain industry experience through co-op work term placements which eventually led to her pursuing graduate studies.

“The most fun I had while working in my co-ops was actually the research component, and I thought what better way to sort of pursue that a little bit further than to do grad school.” 

Her work experience alone was not the sole reason she decided to attend grad school at Waterloo. Tina reached out to her professors and spoke to different graduate students, and hearing what they were currently researching provoked a newfound interest in her.

Finding a supervisor that fit her desired supervision style was the last element that sealed the deal, and from there, she began her new journey as a grad student.

Taking the work a step further

“The transportation sector is more fast paced and it's extremely complex because it kind of affects every person in one way or another. The movement of people and goods are foundational to our society, and I wanted to delve into that a little bit more.”

Tina wishes to expand the conventional idea of transportation by implementing a more scientific methodology, and as such, her research focuses on emerging technologies and seeing the impacts of data on currently existing models.

“Investigating things through rigorous methods to be able to state if it’s a good or bad model by understanding its limitations more thoroughly, instead of applying things broadly.”

Tina wishes to stress the importance of being careful and diligent about the methodology applied, rather than constantly pumping out new models or tools that aren’t refined to their full potential.

“The freedom to explore your curiosity”

For Tina, the benefits she gained from pursuing grad studies go beyond just the research she was able to conduct. By speaking with professionals and taking the time to learn things thoroughly, Tina was able to build confidence in her technical capabilities.

“You have the ability to explore so many things [in grad school]. You really could sort of expand your skill set to anything that you want.”  

When faced with challenges during her time as a grad student, Tina reached out to her supervisor and spoke with people in the industry to seek advice and valuable input for her work.

She reminds herself that although grad studies allow her to explore multiple avenues, it is important to build a focus on the topic that you are curious to explore.

“Establishing a boundary of what you want to do because the world is your oyster.”

My most memorable experience as a grad student

Taking a look back at her ongoing journey as a grad student, Tina highlighted the importance of not being shy to reach out to the resources and people available, because every person has a different perspective and valuable insights to share.

“All of the candid conversations that I've had with fellow grad students, I think those were probably the most instrumental moments.”

Through those conversations, Tina was able learn from others, bounce off ideas and even teach and help her peers. Grad studies is challenging, and for Tina, these people, along with others, are helping her get through it.