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Shah joins young professional leadership of Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Alumnus Falak Shah has been named to a select group of young leaders who represent the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ next generation, the Young Professionals Ambassadors. (Photo Courtesy: Falak Shah)

Alumnus Falak Shah has been named to a select group of young leaders who represent the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ next generation.

Shah is part of the 2017-2018 class of YP Ambassadors, who represent about 2 percent of the council’s young professional members. Their job is to recruit new young people to the organization and support its mission to “bring the world to Chicago and take Chicago to the world,” as Shah put it.

“One of the overarching aims of the council is to make the world a better place. And since I live on this planet as well, I figured that being more involved will make my life a little bit better as well,” said Shah, who earned his civil engineering Ph.D. in 2014. “But in a larger sense, I am dedicated to the council’s mission to bring more knowledge to complicated issues and debates about our present and future — issues that will impact us all, issues where more knowledge can only enrich the debate and the potential solutions we develop.”

Shah has been working as an associate at engineering and scientific consulting firm Exponent since he finished his doctorate, specializing in understanding complex engineering failures. He said that work and his involvement with the council have turned out to be surprisingly complementary.

“My involvement with the council provides a nice respite from my day job at Exponent, analyzing design issues and failures of engineering systems,” he said. “I guess, in a way, the two things go hand-in-hand: from investigating critical structural components to analyzing complex global issues.”

Shah said he also enjoys being part of the council because, since the very first event he attended, it has reminded him of his time in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“It was almost like being in grad school at Georgia Tech again,” he said. “I was surrounded by bright, engaged people who came from all walks of life and from all the different parts of the world.”