Ural Federal University: PhD Student from Egypt Successfully Defended His Doctoral Thesis

Graduate students from other countries choose Ural Federal University more and more often to pursue their careers in science. Mohamed Sayed Ibrahim Koubisy, a postgraduate student from Egypt, who successfully defended his PhD thesis and remained very satisfied with his years at the university, is a notable example.

“My path to Ural Federal University began with enrollment in the Russian language school for foreign students in 2016. A year later I was accepted to the graduate school of the university, where I studied condensed state physics under Professor Anatoly Zatsepin and worked in the Research Laboratory “Physics of Functional Materials of Carbon Micro- and Optoelectronics” of the Institute of Physics and Technology at UrFU. The laboratory staff were mostly young people, and we quickly found a common language. During my studies, I improved my Russian and got to know colleagues from different countries, such as the USA, Brazil, Colombia, and Russia. It is very important that there has always been cooperation with the laboratory staff, both in the practical part and in the interpretation of the results and writing articles,” he says.

During his studies, the future PhD wrote more than ten scientific articles in the authoritative journals included in the databases Scopus and Web of Science, and participated in ten international conferences.

“The support of my colleagues and wise leadership made it possible to transfer the results of our work into the format of articles, and to write a PhD thesis. The topic of my dissertation is “Optically active defects in glassy silicon dioxide implanted with rhenium ions”. Quartz glasses are used everywhere: in optical fibers for telecommunications analytical devices, as UV spectrophotometer cells, in military fire control devices, as interferometric plates, etc.” adds Mohamed Sayed Ibrahim Koubisy.

The scientist emphasizes that UrFU provided him with many opportunities both in the domestic (university housing, scholarships, assistance with insurance and visas) and scientific aspects (sample preparation, laboratory measurements, trips to conferences). His work in the laboratory in the group of UV spectroscopy, which has spectroscopic equipment, allowed him to obtain unique scientific results in the study of the optical absorption edge of rhenium-modified quartz glasses.

During the past calendar year, two foreign postgraduate students from the Research Laboratory “Physics of Functional Materials of Carbon Micro- and Optoelectronics” of the Institute of Physics and Technology at the Ural Federal University have already defended their PhD theses in the field of condensed matter physics.

“At the beginning of 2017, I had two foreign graduate students in my group at once, one from China and the other from Egypt. Despite the language difficulties, the guys quickly joined the team, our subjects, and actively engaged in research. They often surprised me. They surprised me on the scientific level, when in a few hours they had to prepare and edit abstracts for a conference, or perform a complex calculation in a new software environment, and they succeeded. They also surprised me in everyday life, when I saw how steadfastly they endured the Ural cold and long travels across Russia to participate in conferences,” says Professor Anatoly Zatsepin, head of the Research Laboratory “Physics of Functional Materials of Carbon Micro- and Optoelectronics” of the Institute of Physics and Technology at UrFU.

Anatoly Zatsepin is sure that it would be difficult for students to achieve high results in publication activity and participation in conferences without university support, modern equipment and grant incentives.

“In my opinion, one of the most important areas for attracting more international students is expanding our technical base. By combining specialists, teachers, scientists, and providing first-class equipment, we will create fertile ground for growth and reach the same level as the world’s educational giants, such as Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Moscow State University,” Zatsepin emphasized.

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