Time move so fast that 2012 has just left us just like that. 12 days has passed since we entered the new year 2013 and I have not yet wish you, my readers, a very happy new year. This was mainly due to my hectic research activities such as writing several technical papers related to my study and this year I must submit my Ph.D thesis.
How time move so fast?
I began my career as an academician in July 2008. I still recall lecturing one of my first class in my first semester where the students are also new first year chemical engineering students that time. They look energetic, fresh, innocent, some of them quite naughty...haha :)... 4 years after that in 2012, I noticed that particular batch of students have graduated while I am still struggling with my Ph.D (which I started in July 2009). I am not that close to that batch of students but I know the progress of some of them. I noticed that one student has decided to pursue her masters degree in Sheffield University in UK after successfully obtaining a study loan. One of the student continued to pursue Ph.D in the same research group that I am in. Many of them worked in the industry as engineers. I learned that one of them has just purchased a brand new sports car after working for few months in a national oil company.
Wow!!! This chemical engineering ex-students are really progressing well. I am so happy for them. They graduated and become a more matured person and hopefully will contribute to the society and nation.The same cycle will occur for every student that graduate every year.
I have experience the same thing in 1999 upon graduating. Now that I witness this ex-students change their life in 4 years time, I feel that I need to significantly improve my career and life in 2013. My life and career seems quite stagnant for a couple of years already. Of course I had some precious experience along the way, I need to make full use of my experiences, skills and knowledge.
My 2013 Goals
Hence, I have decided to set some important goals this year. The goals that are set here are mainly related to my career development as a chemical engineering educator and researcher.
1) Getting my Ph.D. I am planning to submit and defend my Ph.D thesis this year. This will be significant milestone of my career.
2) Publish a minimum of 5 ISI journals. This is crucial for my career and at the same time luckily I love to write and published technical papers. Some of the papers I have published can be read here and here.
3) Apply a minimum of one research grant. A research needs funding and that is why I need to seek for a research grant to ensure I can run my research.
4) Write and publish minimum 2 books. On top of the intention to publish 5 ISI journals, I also need to contribute to the engineering society some of my knowledge. This will be done partly by writing books. Some of my previous publications can be read here, here and here.
5) Get my first postgraduate student after completing my Ph.D. I don't care if he or she is a master or Ph.D student. I just want to recruit, train and get him or her graduate in the stipulated time. If I have more, that will be better.
6) Secure a project for my chemical engineering consultation work. I am not seriously thinking about this now since I am busy with my study, but this will surely come soon after I graduate.
OK. I think that is enough. I have some other related goals but I think the above goals are enough for public sharing. The others and a more detail approach on how to accomplish remains personal.
How to achieve the goals
This is certainly not a big secret. In fact it is very simple. What I always do is list down my goals clearly on a paper. Then, I will work on them one by one. That is very important in order for me to stay laser focus. I will normally break it down to daily, weekly or monthly affair in order to execute and complete the task depending on how tough is the nature. Then after completing one of the task, I will cross it from the list. The satisfaction of completing the task(s) and seeing them be crossed on the paper list is great.
What about you?
How about you? I hope you also have your own targets to be achieved this year. Let's hope that 2013 will be a prosperous one for all of us.
I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. I'm now employed as a chemical engineering lecturer, but now I'm on my Ph.D study leave. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. TQ!
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