Doubra Charles Ambaiowei

A brief history of your career since leaving the University of Birmingham

Since leaving the University of Birmingham in 2010, I have developed extensive and practical experiences in asphalt research, technical studies, and pavement engineering consulting services.

Skills and knowledge from your postgraduate degree have you used in your career so far

I'm convinced that every aspect of the Construction Management modules I undertook at University have been critical to my continued successes. The module on sustainable construction is worthy of mention here. For me, this sparked key thoughts that paved the way for an advanced learning experience in Canada, where I eventually earned a doctoral degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo. My research focus in this field was on sustainable asphalt pavement technology. The core skills I developed from these experiences include technical leadership and team building skills motivated by constant never-ending improvement, which promotes a sustainable learning culture.

Main work activities in your current role

My current role specifically supports all technical requirements to promote the quality use of hot mix asphalt, and all other road building materials and construction best practices in general. It involves advocacy, consultation, training and service delivery geared towards promoting the growth of Ontario’s transportation infrastructure industry.

A typical day in your job

A typical day in my job involves engagement with and the provision of expert advice to the paving industry and road owners across Ontario. It also involves exploring the how’s and why’s of asphalt and its various application. In addition I also research and promote solutions that enhance durability at various committee meetings, seminars, conferences, and road schools/academies.

Main challenges in your role

Getting paving right is itself a challenge. Roads need to be well designed, well-constructed, and well maintained to be of use to anybody. Unfortunately, over the years many stakeholders have come to the agreement that overall standards in paving have dropped, resulting in premature cracking. In the quest to find better approaches to paving solutions, I have to navigate through the challenges of managing stakeholder frustrations. These include: areas of low bid pricing, use of substandard materials, a variety in specifications, budget limitations, and the impact from climate change.

Why did this type of work appeal to you?

My career path and choices are what have led me to this type of work, and I revel in the opportunity to share knowledge from my specific learning experiences. The drive to learn and explore new possibilities related to sustainability make this role even more appealing, and bring joy and excitement to me.

Advice for students looking to enter this area of work?

Perseverance conquers all! Find a path that interest you, believe in your ability to excel at it, burn that midnight candle, and never rest on your laurels. Every achievement begins with a dream.