Exploring Geophysics

As the youngest child in his family, Abdul Qadir’s parents were reluctant to send him to study abroad. Leaving Pakistan for Winnipeg was fueled by the appeal of Winnipeg’s small city atmosphere, affordable education and ICM’s small class sizes. While the decision wasn’t easy, ICM’s appeal eventually won over and Qadir headed for a new life in Canada.

Initially enrolled in ICM’s UTP Stage II Engineering program, Qadir switched to geophysics for the remainder of his University of Manitoba degree. We should mention that with a geologist for a father, and his passion for math and physics, it wasn’t a surprise to him or the family. Qadir’s passion for exploration, and dreams of working in the oil and gas field, helped solidify the decision. Upon entering the Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources, Qadir experienced a similar atmosphere to ICM, such as small class sizes, friendly professors and a welcoming group of classmates.

Field work and exploration seem to drive Qadir’s passion for geophysics. While his love for math and physics is clear, it’s his passion for exploration, research, and field work that fuel his love for what he does. This passion for hands-on learning led him back to his home country of Pakistan last summer, where he took part in exploratory fieldwork in the country’s remote regions. He gained very valuable experience working alongside American, Chinese and Pakistani oil and gas companies.

qadirQadir has gained lasting friendships at home and in his faculty, not only with classmates and fellow geophysicists but also with professors. It’s no surprise that the professor of his favourite subject, seismology, is a close friend. He attributes this to the success of small class sizes and the close relationships that come out of such environments. So, you might be wondering, what is seismology? Qadir explains it as the main technique currently being used for exploration in the oil and gas field. Not to mention that it involves shooting dynamite in a 300-400 km2 area and exploring it afterward. Cool! Outside the classroom, he can be found at conferences and conventions, including the largest geophysics conference through The Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Qadir wants future geophysicists to know that you can expect to take courses in math, physics, geology and geophysics. In a typical week, you might do some field work, lab work, and of course, spend lots of time in the computer lab. Geophysicists have to gain experience on much larger scales than what is provided by field work, and that’s where collaboration with other students and professors becomes crucial. He encourages students to explore their different options before making a decision on what faculty to choose. As far as he is concerned, he’s thankful for all the support he’s received in making the decision to switch from engineering to geophysics and looks forward to all the different and exciting job prospects that the field has to offer.

To learn more about UTP Stage II: Environment, Earth, and Resources click here