Khaled Ghaedi

Ph.D. S.E., A.M.ASCE, M. ACI, M. BEM
Dr. Khaled Ghaedi has experience in both the academia and industry fields. Over the course of many years career growth, he has built his professional career through his involvement in many research and business projects, holding different positions such as the research and teaching assistant, senior structural engineer, BIM modeler and manager, structural checker and quality control manager. He is currently the technical director of the software engineering services and solutions provider in Malaysia to support the engineering industry in Southeast Asia. Because of his practical skills with multiple engineering software and being familiar with engineering topics, he has been invited by various national and international firms and universities to improve engineers and students' technical skills. He has provided consultancy for many projects such as MRT Putrajaya line, underground parts (tunnels), in Malaysia (costs RM13.11 billion) and Pavilion Damansara Heights (costs RM7 billion) among others. He is also the member of several famed organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Concrete Institute (ACI) and Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). He is presently taking part as the associate committee member of the international structural design code, ASCE7-22 (to be published in 2022). As a researcher, he has frequently published his researches in well-known journals in different engineering fields such as materials, seismic design, structural control systems and structural damage detection of buildings, bridges, dams, etc. He has also contributed to the process of knowledge sharing through his roles as the editorial board member and reviewer of eminent engineering journals (such as the Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, Journal of Construction and Building Materials, Journal of Computers and Concrete, Journal of Engineering Structures, American Journal of Structures (ACI), and Applied Soft Computing), conferences and institutes. He has also been invited in several international conferences as the committee member. He has always shown his support to students, in different universities, in order to help them to become an important part of their community. Through his high technical experience and skills in both engineering and academia, Khaled has surely given value, benefit and asset to the engineering community.

In what ways can you be an exemplar for others in engineering?

During my career, I have carried out many different roles in different projects. Taking such opportunities enables you to develop and grow. I have often been asked who my role models are and I believe we need to identify the characteristics of others, which resonate with us and not seek a single role model to follow. Be yourself but learn from others.

How do you keep yourself up to date with the latest technical knowledge in engineering?

It is hard to find time to be technically up to date, but working on projects together with reading helps. I am very lucky because I have a very special and expert skilled team, known as PASOFAL, as we have many internal communications to keep ourselves up to date. Alongside skills, networks for sharing our questions and quickly getting responses from our team around the world helps to keep my structural knowledge updated. Furthermore, my engagement in giving consultation for different types of structures for different companies around the globe, give me a great chance to boost my structural knowledge in the field of civil, structural, mechanical and architectural engineering. Likewise, my involvement in high-ranked engineering journals and conferences as editorial board, reviewer and technical committee member allows me to think about the broader challenges. That is why I always look to engineering and technology to help myself in providing solutions.

You mention to PASOFAL. Could you tell us more about that?

PASOFAL is a professional and multidisciplinary structural engineering services group recognized for solving the most significant engineering challenges and delivers the utmost solutions for valuable projects.
PASOFAL also offers practical, elegant and economical structural design solutions for all types of structure and infrastructure projects irrespective of their size or complexity. We have achieved an impressive portfolio of work with an extensive list of clients, all recognizing PASOFAL’s quality, reliability and expertise.

What are the biggest challenges facing the firms todays?

Managing growth and delivering the right skills is going to be a challenge for every firm. There is pressure to recruit new staff and integrate them into the organization. In the projects that I do, I have come to recognize that delivering the technical skills and resource levels are not enough. It is but also essential to getting the right team and developing strong relationships within the team as well as with our clients. I believe these are the key points to success.

What are your favorite projects, which you have been involved?

It would be easy to pick one of the beautiful structures, but some of the feat projects that I was working on are transforming a wide areas and communities through a railway system. The MRT Putrajaya Line (PY Line), previously known as the MRT Sungai Buloh–Serdang–Putrajaya Line, is one my favorite project that I took a part as one of the BIM engineers. The PY line is a great example of how a loved, modern rail stations can be transformed into a dynamic transport interchange and become the catalyst for regenerating the wider area, while the importance of train stations for cities is really needed. It is worth noting that, HS2 (a state-of-the-art high-speed railway system) will be critical for the low carbon transport in future. It will provide much-needed rail capacity across countries; helping rebalance the economy.

You are a senior technical engineer and researcher. What type of supports and training courses you offer to your clients? ​

To date, I have offered a variety of engineering support and services. I have requested by many engineers and firms to check their structural and mechanical models, analyses and design files; I do highly appreciate all those who have trusted my expertise. Our structural engineers in PASOFAL work collaboratively with clients to achieve responsive designs and integrated systems to propose flexible, efficient, and cost effective solutions. We specialize in not only design of building expansion and new construction projects for the commercial, residential, educational, government, and industrial markets, but we provide several engineering services and consultations for any type of structures whether it is dome, dam, bridge, skylight, offshore or any other special structures. We offer our clients with effective solutions to structural situations by incorporating new ideas and architectural concepts. All of our projects are managed at every stage by a senior member of the firm. Our services can be tailored to suit our clients’ particular requirements. Besides, we offer several engineering training courses. Our training courses marked its 14 years of excellence. We have grown today as one of the biggest network of skill training provider in CAD software and CAE software solutions including but not limited to CSi products, Bentley Systems, CYPE Structural Suites, Autodesk Products, Dassault Systemes Technologies, ADAPT Solutions, TEKLA Products, IDEA StatiCa Modules, etc. In PASOFAL, we host a wide range of engineering courses, placement assistance and career planning tools to help students and professionals get the most from their education and career. Our related engineering supports and courses includes but not limited to:

- Building Information -Modelling (BIM)

- Sustainability

- Earthquake Engineering

- Seismic Design

- Blast Loading

- Finite Element Analysis

- Computational Fluid Dynamics

- Structural Design

- Structural dynamics

- Design of Post-tensioned Structures

- Performance-based Design of Structures

- Structural Control Systems

- Software Training

- Advanced Modelling Methods

- Engineering Troubleshooting

- Journal Writing Consultation

Why engineers, companies and universities should choose you as the trainer?

It is my pleasure to say that, during my professional career, I have been in several national and international firms and universities to train engineers and students in different sectors and divisions. HSS (Malaysia), Arup Malaysia, Minconsult (Malaysia), Mestron Engineering (Malaysia), Rohas-Echo Industries (Malaysia), SSP (Malaysia),Asia Metal Engineering & Trading (Singapore), Dexion Asia, MMC Engineering (Malaysia), AECOM (Malaysia), TUV Malaysia, Meinhardt (Malaysia), Sahaviriya Steel Industries (Thailand), T. Y. Lin International, JYT Design and Construction (Philippines), PT. Global Bangun Sukses (Indonesia), Bangun Energi (Indonesia), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, University of Malaysia, Hormoz Beton (Iran), are good examples amongst others. When it comes to training, it is important to cover the basics and set a good foundation. However, only covering the basics or “check-the-box” solutions could leave the trainees short on skills, as the content often lacks the connection back to their specific job roles and responsibilities. When learners cannot connect the training content back to their daily responsibilities, they are often unable to apply the new knowledge they received. By adding solutions tailored and customized to the organization’s unique needs, we can create more opportunities for our trainees to gain the skills they need to perform and develop in their roles. By giving the necessary skills to the engineers, they can be better positioned and motivated to help their organization achieve the goals they have established. We understand the importance of infusing the right instructional elements at the right time to promote an engaging, yet highly effective and job-relevant learning experience. To help maximize the training investment, we, at PASOFAL, can help prioritize their learning strategy, develop short and long-term plans that support the training goals, develop custom courses designed to close skill gaps and work within our clients’ budget. Attending one of PASOFAL training courses will ensure our clients maintain the key competencies necessary for their lifelong learning and career development. In addition to the above points, we do not leave our clients and they have our ongoing technical supports.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep effect on livelihoods. How do you benefit others through these hard times?

We have built and tested our business continuity programs to ensure we operate well and deliver our services with no delay. Our teams and supports are available to support others as usual and our technical environments are monitored 24/7. In terms of training courses, we have also offer an amazing online learning experience; some are even deeply discounted, to ensure engineers can focus on skilling up and their career from the comfort and safety of their home or desk. I have an absolute commitment to the health and safety of our learners, instructors, and colleagues. For each upcoming public and on-site program, we will make postponement and/or cancellation decisions following up-to-date guidance from local and national government, which will have a direct effect on the local, domestic, and international attendees. We feel confident that as a community, we can get through these hard times together.

How much should a firm invest in research before starting a major project? What is your opinion as a researcher?

It is due diligence related to an organization’s project viability and impacts. I have worked with a number of organizations contemplating major projects since 2005. These projects have ranged in cost from 500 thousand dollars for rehabilitation of a medium-sized structure to upwards of 3 billion dollars for a new special structure. Our experience reveals an interesting finding. The line item for a project successful due diligence including market research generally equates to approximately 1% of the project’s total cost and yet many organizations still seem to prefer spending millions and just hoping for the best. I can suggest 1% at the project’s inception to evaluate its potential outcomes. Too often, we overlook or undervalue the investments necessary to maximize the projects successful conclusions. Not only that, the greatest benefit of market research may not always be to maximize gains but to minimize losses. Sometimes data will suggest not to proceed with an expensive project, this is where a 1% investment in research can save an organization from wasting an additional 99% investment in bricks and misguided programming expenses. Research is not always the best part of a projects development, but it may be the most important.

What contribution can a structural engineer make to designing and delivering a sustainable structure?

Structural engineers face major challenges in the 21st century and amongst them, global environmental challenges must be a main concern for our profession. On a planet with limited natural resources and an ever-growing built environment, futuristic engineers must be thoughtful about the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of structural design. To achieve a sustainable built environment, engineers must be involved at every stage of the process. Thus, the engineers must consider sustainability parameters in their design. In short, a sustainable design must reduce material consumption, improve the quality of life for people, provide better economic performance, and preserve natural resources for future generations. Engineering design in the 20th century has neglected the life cycle costs of infrastructure, and has not addressed the global environmental impact of the construction industry. The lead companies are endeavoring to fill this gap in the 21st century through the researches, new advanced technologies and materials.

What advice would you give to other young engineers who would seek positions similar to you?

Their learning and practicing is important. When they finish school, it should not be the last time to open a textbook or read technical material. Also, they should keep their life-work balance by being more organized and by learning personal advancement skills. People might think working full time and teaching would be overwhelming, but learning those personal skills teaches them how to balance every thing in their life.

How can customers communicate with you or PASOFAL?

We are always available to assist engineers around the globe. They can get in touch with us by visiting our official website. PASOFAL has also its social media channels including YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. They can just simply google our channels. Engineers and students can subscribe to our channels and newsletters to get our latest important updates and special tutorials.
I will also be happy to share my personal contact number, if any body wishes to reach me out directly.

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