Academics People and Community

Collaboration ‘truly distinguished my educational experience’

Munir Hafeel found a tight-knit community within the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Munir Hafeel
Munir Hafeel will join Oracle’s hardware development group as an embedded software engineer after graduation. 

Originally from Colombo, Sri Lanka, Munir Hafeel decided to pursue a career in computer engineering at the University of Miami to learn how he could leverage the problem-solving skills he would develop during his coursework to enhance fields like agriculture and health care.

“My passion for combining technology with farming began in high school when I experimented with growing food in unconventional spaces around my home in Colombo,” he said. “This experience sparked my interest in how technology could automate and optimize urban agriculture, making food production more efficient. I centered my application to UM on an idea to use computer engineering principles for growing tomatoes in urban spaces.”

Read about his experiences at the University and what lies ahead.

What attracted you to the University? 

Being an international student, I couldn't visit UM before making my decision, so my impressions were formed through extensive online research. What really stood out to me about UM was its prime location in vibrant Miami, a city known for its rich culture and dynamic atmosphere. 

What kept you here?

My decision to stay at UM was heavily influenced by the close-knit community I found here. The friendships I formed, with students from various backgrounds, truly made Miami feel like a second home. These relationships provided me with a supportive and enriching environment, crafting a memorable chapter in my life.  

What were you involved in as a student?

I was able to land an opportunity to work with UMIT my freshman year, and I have worked with a few teams there throughout the last few years. This was a pretty cool experience since I was able to meet individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes with the sole intention of improving experiences for students and faculty.

How did the University help you to identify a career choice or path?                                           

I had great mentors in the College of Engineering who played a pivotal role in my career trajectory. They helped me discern my true interests as I took a wide range of challenging courses offered by the electrical and computer engineering department. It was through this exposure that I developed a passion for hardware systems and embedded programming, which I am excited to pursue professionally after graduation.

How has the University prepared you for the future?                

The classes I took provided me with a solid foundation in both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. They equipped me with the necessary skills to secure internships related to my major, offering hands-on experience in an industry where practical skills and project experience are often valued more highly than academic credentials alone. 

Who or what made a great impact on your collegiate career?

One of the most impactful aspects of my collegiate career at UM was the tight-knit community within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The opportunity to interact with faculty on a personal level truly distinguished my educational experience. This close collaboration is something I cherish, especially knowing that many larger programs often lack this level of personal engagement and mentorship.

What experience or accomplishment are you most proud of?

I was able to tie my interests in growing food with my major when working on my senior capstone project. We grew basil inside a building on campus and gave it away to students and the dining hall, which I thought was a pretty cool experience.

Who or what will you miss the most about the University? 

The friends I’ve made who have profoundly influenced my college experience. I’m going to miss catching up at random spots on campus, venting in the library, and enjoying nights out in Miami.

What’s next? 

I’m moving to the Bay Area to join Oracle’s hardware development group as an embedded software engineer.