Graduate Spotlight: Jeffrey Oke

Jeffrey Oke in a tunnel

`I wouldn’t be where I am today without my partner, Diana. I am forever in her debt - mostly because she is carrying my child… and despite all my research, studying, extra-curriculars, and perseverance, that is something I can’t do.``

Hometown: Grand Bend, Ontario

Graduate Research Focus:

Understanding the mechanical response of the Umbrella Arch temporary support system when installed in weak ground tunnelling.

Why I chose to do graduate studies:

Upon graduating from the Royal Military College of Canada in Civil Engineering, there was still so much more I wanted to learn and understand about my field. I wanted a challenge and saw geomechanical engineering as the answer; it would provide that challenge while simultaneously providing me an opportunity to use my structural engineering background. I came to Queen’s for my Masters, which developed into a PhD candidacy, and I haven’t looked back since.

Student involvement/extracurricular activities I am involved with:

-Boys and Girls Club of Kingston – Teaching underprivileged elementary school kids how to skate and play hockey – Since 2006 (December to February each year)

-Big Brother and Big Sister of Kingston Ontario – Big Brother - Since 2010

-Jolliffe Club Treasurer – Since 2010

-Academic tutoring for the Royal Military College Varsity Men’s Hockey Program – Since 2010

-Kids for Kids Hockey Skills Competition – On ice volunteer instructor - Since 2011 (annual event)

-Professional Engineers of Ontario, Kingston Chapter - Executive Member – Since 2013   

The professor(s) or course which has influenced me the most:

I have most been influenced by my Introduction to Calculus and Advanced Differential Equations professors at Lake Superior State University and University of Ontario Institute of Technology, respectfully, who questioned me about my chosen post-secondary path. Since finding the right one for me, I have further been influenced by Dr. Vlachopoulos for introducing me to my research topic at the Royal Military College of Canada, and also Dr. Diederichs for advice on both my research and my life, solicited or not.

After I graduate, I plan to:

Hunt down a job so that I can provide shelter, food, and clothing for my unborn daughter, due in February.

One big goal I’d like to accomplish during my lifetime:

There isn’t one specific thing I aspire to accomplish, but in everything I endeavour, I intend to push the limits, so that one day I will find myself lying in the hospital bed with my wife by my side, saying “I told you so.”