MEngCEM 2T3 Alumna Profile: Jessica Dulku

Meet our new MEngCEM alumna Jessica Dulku. We chatted about her journey at the program, her passion for sustainability and her future career goals.

Jessica Dulku (Photo courtesy Jessica Dulku)

Could you introduce yourself please.
My name is Jessica Dulku and I graduated from the Master of Engineering in Cities Engineering and Management (MEngCEM) program in 2023.

Jessica Dulku with her MEngCEM diploma posing in front of the University College after the graduation ceremony, November 2023 (photo provided)
What were your courses (emphasis)? 
 I pursued the Sustainable Energy Systems emphasis.
Do you recall any projects/assignments completed in your program/emphasis, which helped you build your portfolio or helped you during the interviewing process?
The CEM1002: Data Analytics and Cities had a large project that was split into sections throughout the semester. This project was very helpful in understanding data and how to extract important information. I found this to be an aspect many interviewers were looking for – being able to clean large, messy sets of data and make data visualizations that can be easily interpreted for presentations/reports.
Why did you decide to pursue an MEng degree at U of T?
The University of Toronto is known to have excellent engineering schools, with leaders specializing in the topics I am interested in, including sustainability, building science and renewable energy integration. I also found the MEngCEM program description to be unique as it included not only technical courses but also a focus on policy, data analysis, and theories in economics.
What was your favourite study spot on campus?
My favourite spot to study has to be sitting in the bamboo forest inside the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. However, if I want a more quiet place to study, you would find me at the upper levels at the Bahen Centre.
I adopted a holistic approach as taught in the MEngCEM program, examining each project and linking it to current events and the challenges cities are facing.
How did your practicum go? 
I completed my practicum with a design firm called HOK, where my title was Sustainable Design Intern. During my practicum at this prominent design firm, I enjoyed the experience of immersing myself in a new environment. Leveraging insights gained from my policy class and sustainable energy studies, I successfully applied this knowledge to the various projects I worked on. I always looked at sets of data and created presentations internally, for clients, and educational seminars. Additionally, the work I did included adapting current policies and standards set by the government – and I was able to digest the language better after learning strategies in the program. Learning about how different systems combined and affected one another, in a city, was the main concept taught in the program, and I was able to apply this thinking to every project I worked on. In essence, I adopted a holistic approach as taught in the MEngCEM program, examining each project and linking it to current events and the challenges cities are facing.
What are you doing now?
I am taking a much-needed R&R [rest and recuperation] break until the new year! However, I will continue my pursuit to decarbonize the cities we build and grow.
What are your plans for your future career or academic goals? 
I aim to keep working towards making cities better in my career, especially by prioritizing sustainability. I want to be in an environment where tangible progress is being made, helping us achieve our goals of reaching net zero and promoting a greener world. In terms of academics, I might be back to pursue a PhD, but that’s something I’d consider down the line.
Any suggestion(s) for future MEng students?
I recommend future MEng students make the most of their time in this program. Although it’s brief, tailor your courses to subjects that genuinely interest you or that you’re passionate about exploring further. The professors and staff at U of T are incredibly supportive and always willing to help you navigate the direction you want to take if you’re confused.  I also suggest students explore extracurricular activities — both on and off campus — there are plenty available to network, connect with peers, learn new skills, and enjoy a social aspect of your academic journey.
Can we get an inspiring quote from you in closing? 
Ride the waves of learning, go with the flow of curiosity, and let your journey take you to unique, extraordinary places.
By Galina Nikitina