Reflections on PHTT: Interview with Past Participant

With the application for PHTT 2017 now live, the Core Team got in touch with some participants from last year’s conference for them to share their experiences and advice for this year’s participants. This article is the first of a series that will interview different individuals on their thoughts on the PHTT.

PHTT (P): Please briefly introduce yourself. 

Chandan (C):  I am Chandan Mishra, currently a junior at NYUAD majoring in Electrical Engineering. I come from Nepal.

P: What was the public health issue of the conference where you participated, and how did your team work to tackle this public health issue?
C: I participated in PHTT 2016 which focused on “Combating road accidents in the UAE”. Our team comprised of students from 4 different universities in the UAE studying in fields such as engineering and economics. We used our varied experiences to come up with our intervention plan. We thought that it is very crucial for the drivers/ learners in UAE to get a feel of what it feels like driving on wet roads. Statistically, most road accidents in the UAE happen when the roads are wet, and due to over-speeding and tail gating. We designed the concept of a simulator which would subject the drivers to go through a rigorous practice under these conditions and enable them to develop safer riding habits.
P: How did you decide to participate in PHTT 2016? What was that experience like? 
C: I decided to participate in PHTT because I felt as an engineer it’s a part of my professional responsibility to familiarize myself with public health issues. Whatever technical work I will undertake in the future will definitely include the general public in the longer run, which means I need to be aware about the how my work will impact the general public on a larger scale. The experience at PHTT was amazing in that it enabled me and my team to analyse a public health concern and come up with solutions to tackle it.
P: What piece of advice would you give to the 2017 participants?
C: For the 2017 participants, I would say, it’s going to be a very rigorous and challenging couple of days but you are going to learn a lot. It develops an ability to work in a team by bringing together people from completely different academic disciplines to debate and collaborate to seek out the most effective solutions. It’s a great opportunity, and being open to sharing your ideas and embracing those of others, while also participating in productive debate is the key to making the most out of it!