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Civil Designer Ali Sekkat’s creativity shines through in his solutions for municipal and drainage projects, and is supported by his desire to learn, grow, and try new things. Trying something new is also what brought him from Morocco to the Midwest. As a young engineer, he enjoys learning and growing among seasoned professionals within a multi-disciplinary firm. Let’s get to know Ali and what he loves about civil engineering.

Have you always wanted to work in civil engineering?

I’ve known I wanted a career in civil engineering since the eighth grade. My father is a civil engineer who specializes in geotechnical and structural design. Growing up, he would take my brothers and me to explore his projects. I got to witness a role model using science to give back to the community in a way that improved the quality of life in rural and urban areas. He worked on dams, ports, and slope stability projects that helped shape the infrastructure systems of Morocco. It’s through his work that I realized I wanted to become a civil engineer and make a positive impact on communities.

Used to dry, hot weather, I focused my college search on U.S. universities located in areas with colder climates, eventually landing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. From there, it's all been ISG history!

What does a typical workday look like for you?

My job is a combination of design work in the office and field inspections of ongoing projects. Being in the field while inspecting projects provides insight into the practicality of designs so we can give our clients the best product possible.

Can you tell me more about how commitment to service has shaped your career?

As a teenager, I volunteered organizing medical, clothing, and food drives in the outskirts of Marrakech (which is the City I grew up in) for an association called Generations of Morocco. This organization truly opened my eyes to the true meaning of service and commitment. I was able to meet and help people from all around my community, which allowed  me to really reflect on my upbringing, and support. That experience reinforced my belief that I wanted to improve lives at a larger scale and do my part to give back in any way I can.

moroccoI believe civil engineering is one of the leading ways of giving back to a community. I have witnessed, first-hand,  communities where individuals had to walk for miles in order to have access to clean water, and we, as engineers, have the tools to change that. We can build transportation systems, hospitals, homes, and water distribution systems that improve the quality of life for communities, connecting individuals to vital resources and support systems.

What do you see on the horizon for civil engineering?

Due to climate change and recent periodic hurricane events, I am expecting a rapid evolution in the areas of hydrology and hydraulics. I believe that new cost-effective methods and designs will be developed to tackle this worldwide environmental issue.

As someone who is well traveled, can you tell me your favorite place you’ve ever visited, and why?

istanbulMy favorite place that I have visited is Istanbul, Turkey. Constantinople, which is modern day Istanbul, was a City that was controlled by the Roman Empire and then conquered by the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, Istanbul is a City rich in history where you can see rare Islamic and Christian mosaics side-by-side.

It’s also a City that has parts in both Asia and Europe connected by a system of bridges. Oh, and I can’t forget the delicious Turkish cuisine!

Ali will be taking his passion and expertise to his alma mater's hometown, moving from #ISGIowa to #ISGMankato until the Midwest winter gets too cold; that’s when he goes back to Morocco for a visit!

Join the conversation #ISGCivilEngineering #ISGIngenuityatWork #EmployeeOwned
Sam Boeck

Meet Sam Boeck

Sam leads talent engagement at ISG, focusing on providing innovative and strategic direction for talent engagement initiatives, including professional development, culture, and recruitment. Frankly put, Sam embodies ISG’s culture and...

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