Borna Hajimiragha, MEng 12, had always wanted to start his own business and was looking for something the world needed.
Through connections he made at Concordia while earning his master’s degree in mechanical engineering, he not only found his focus, but also started on a pathway that led to his founding of B&B FRP Manufacturing Inc. The Toronto-based rebar company employs more than 50 people and offers an improved version of an in-demand construction material.
Starting at Concordia in 2009 after earning his undergraduate degree in Cyprus, Hajimiragha’s first step on his business journey was to talk it over with his family. His father offered support for a business, and his brother, a civil engineer, said he had heard a lot of positive news about composite materials. The next step for Hajimiragha was to visit one of his professors, Suong Van Hoa, who had been working on composite materials since 1979.
“I knocked on his door in late 2009 and I said I’d like to find an opportunity in the construction industry using composite material,” says Hajimiragha. “That's where Dr. Hoa said, funnily enough, that he had some funds available to work on composites, rebar and concrete. So I started doing research and testing, looking at different manufacturers and current bars in the market.”
The research eventually led to using a pultrusion machine at Cégep de St. Jérôme, to start testing materials. “I learned a lot by doing my own research. We had a fairly successful test run of the first bendable rebar on the market,” says Hajimiragha.