Monday, November 27, 2017

Masoud Sobhani - From Petroleum Engineer to Load Forecaster

Today (November 27, 2017), Masoud Sobhani just defended his MS thesis on data cleansing, the first BigDEAL thesis authored by a non-Chinese student.

Masoud was a petroleum engineer in Iran. He migrated to the U.S. several years ago. He first came to my office in 2015 with inquiries about our MS Engineering Management program, when I was the program director. At that time he could barely speak English. Nevertheless, I admitted him to the program mainly because of his solid academic background and industry experience in the energy sector.

He started the program in Spring 2016 to pursue a non-thesis master degree, planning to graduate in Summer 2017. Due to the challenging nature of my courses (see some student comments HERE), most of the non-thesis master students in our MSEM program try their best to avoid them. Masoud is certainly an exception. He managed to take all my courses during his tenure in the program. At Npower forecasting challenge 2016, Masoud took a top 3 place.

In Spring 2017, he came to me to discuss the possibilities of pursuing a PhD under my supervision. Recognizing him as the top student in the program, I agreed to take him as my doctoral student with the condition that he completes a MS thesis by the end of the year. He took the challenge. From May to November, he passed SAS Advanced Programmer certification exam, identified his thesis topic, designed and implemented a novel data cleansing algorithm, and finished his 10,000-word thesis. The defense was very well done.

Congratulations, Masoud, and best luck with your PhD journey!

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