Get to Know Your TA

The “Get to Know…” series is meant to introduce incoming students to the people in ECE and learn more about the ongoing research and work happening in ECE!

Mustafa Hammood is a 4th year PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UBC! Mustafa completed his BASc from UBC in 2017 and specialized in the field of semiconductor optics and photonics right after his graduation, working in the silicon photonics industry.

He is developing optical filters for silicon photonics technology, specifically on integrated semiconductor silicon chips. Mustafa’s thesis centres on the creation of these filters for integrated circuits, enabling the efficient splitting and combining of wavelengths on compact optical waveguides made on the traditional silicon chip. The goal of these optical filters is to enable applications traditionally made on and reliant on large, meticulously aligned free-space optics to be easily made on mass-producible, compact, monolithic silicon chips. This technology has potential applications in fields such as optical communication, quantum optical computing, and optical biosensing, among others.

In this instalment, Mustafa shares his current research focus, the course he will be TAing, and advice for second-year ECE students!

What course will you be a TA in? 

I have TA’d several terms of ELEC291, ELEC301, ELEC412, and ELEC582. This winter I will be TAing ELEC412 (Optical waveguides and photonics) for one last term! 

What advice would you give to second-year students to succeed in their ECE studies?

My advice would be to seize every opportunity you’re exposed to. You never know what a simple summer volunteer opportunity could lead your career to. Create opportunities for yourself by offering your help and knowledge to those around you. Finally, have friends and colleagues who you can look up to and be your role models and mentors (both personally and professionally) and who can push you in times of uncertainty and when you need guidance.

What is your favourite coffee/tea drink to order?

My favourite drink right now would be Saffron tea: saffron, mint, ginger, and a cinnamon stick (hot or cold) – a perfect summer drink!

Favourite hobby?

Naturally, photography (analog and digital)!

Where is your favourite spot on campus? Favourite place in Vancouver?

My favourite spot on UBC campus would be tied between Nitobe Memorial Garden and that small sloped park by the IKB clock tower (a perfect spot for a quiet afternoon nap). In Vancouver, it would be VanDusen Garden.

For more information about Mustafa’s research, visit