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My Ph.D study so far...

I'm now in my 4th semester of my Ph.D studies. I will be lying if I say that doing Ph.D is easy. It's not as easy as that. I told my wife few months ago that preparing the project report for my Institution Engineers Malaysia (IEM) interview (to be a professional engineer) was tougher than doing my Ph.D. I'm wrong!!! Maybe that time, I was not really focus on my Ph.D. But now, as I'm more focus with my studies, I am well aware that completing this study is not as easy as it seems to be. It is so tough. Ask anybody who successfully completed their Ph.D... Nobody says it is easy.

Suddenly I felt time is very limited. I'm beginning to feel the pressure. I have more or less one year to complete my studies. I need to start working on my experiments. My experimental rig is fine and I believe it will be ok as I already tested it several times. The only concern for me is the quartz reactor that is brittle in nature. I need to keep sufficient stock of it. In addition, I also need to ensure my other equipments and consumables have spare as well. When talking about the experimentation work, the Gas Chromatography (GC) should also be in perfect condition for me and my Iranian colleague (Maryam) to analyze our products. The GC is the basically the heart of the study besides the rig reactor and process. I'm going to start my experimental work tomorrow officially and I hope everything will be fine... (Need to pray a lot!!!) OK ...enough about the experimental work.

Journal Paper... This is another thing hunting my back and consuming a huge chunk of my time. I have a draft prepared and submitted to 2 reputed publishers only to see on both occasions it got rejected for funny reasons (the first one) and out of scope reason (the second one). I admit that I felt miserable being rejected just like that. Well... I need to bounce back and fight to improve my draft paper and then send it again to other journal.

Thermodynamic modeling... Yeah...not only experimental work, I also need to work on the thermodynamic modeling of my catalytic reaction. This is quite interesting but at the same time it is my weakest part. I'm slowly working on this section and I hope I can complete this study in the next 2 months... (also, I need to pray to God a lot on this). I'm receiving some help from Maryam on this. She has been helping me when I got confuse and lost.

There are certainly a lot more to share about my research journey as a Ph.D student. I think I should reserve the rest for future sharing. For the time being, I just need to focus on my study for a while. Wish me luck... :)

Before ending... I would like to thank my other half of her undivided support for me. It is good to have a partner who is also in the same chemical engineering field. She understood what I'm doing and at the same time provided me precious input and ideas.

Also, my other colleague in the lab... All of you are great...haha...especially Emm2020...who has been next door to me in the lab...Let's finish this together!!!

p/s: Sorry if this post is not of any benefit to you guys. I just need to vent off some tense in me.

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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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