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Impressive Ph.D Stories

Today, one of my colleague, Fawzi from Libya defended his Ph.D thesis. If my calculation is correct he submitted his draft thesis to our supervisor after 2 years and 7 months. In general that is very fast duration for a Ph.D student. I'm so proud of him and his success kind of boosted my motivation. Few months before that (last year) another Ph.D student in my research group, Jawaid Akhtar from Pakistan also successfully defended his thesis and earned the title "Dr". So, within a space of 6 months, 2 Ph.D students in Chemical Reaction Engineering Group (CREG) graduated and earned their doctorate degree. Once again I would like to humbly congratulate them.

Recently, I met a lecturer while servicing my MPV. We chatted about his experience doing his Ph.D knowing I'm still in the battle. I know him and he is not the boosting or snobbish type of person. He told me that, he managed to publish 8 journals while doing his Ph.D. Yep, you heard that right. 8 journals and not 8 conference papers. Wow! I was impressed. I asked him, "How long did you take to do your Ph.D?". He responded, "I took 2 and a half years". Once again...Wow!!! That is very impressive. His VIVA took a mere 15 minutes only. The examiners just asked him some very general questions. The reason for that is because there is nothing more to be asked as he has already published massively. Indeed so good. That reminded on another ex-CREG member, my colleague, Dr. Istadi whom if I'm not mistaken published 6 or 7 journals while doing his Ph.D. But he took 4 years to complete his study. This guy, sitting next to me in the workshop, published 8 journals (with impact factor) in 2.5 years!!!

I asked him, "How did you manage to do it?" His answer was simple. He met his supervisor each week and reported whatever work he has done. In another angle, he said that his supervisor is very strict and ordered him to meet him on a weekly basis. He added that his supervisor asked him to produce 1 journal every quarterly. That answered how he can produced 8 journals in 2.5 years.

2 days ago, I met another colleague who is currently doing Ph.D in Korea. He is also a staff in the UTM. He has basically completed his Ph.D. However, he has not defended his research yet because the university in Korea only allow students to have VIVA after he or she managed to publish 3 journal papers. So far he has managed to complete his thesis and published 2 journal papers within a period of 2 years and 9 months. Another impressive record. I asked him how he did it. How he managed to complete so fast? He said that he has to work from morning till night each and everyday. He walked to the university with his wife (who has completed her Ph.D) every morning and returned together at night. They have 3 daughters who are staying in Malaysia. Since the cost of living is extremely high in Korea, they have to school their daughters in Malaysia. That means they are separated from their kids. Both of them has the drive and goal to finish the Ph.D as fast as possible so that they can be united back with their 3 beautiful daughters. Well, that's another amazing Ph.D success story.

What about me? It has been already 2.5 years for me. I'm still working and struggling on my Ph.D. One of my journal is under review. Another one is on the way. There are another 3 journals that I have to publish but they are not ready yet. I have 3 conference papers published already and 1 scopus journal in hand. I have another 1 month of experimental work to do. I have some thermodynamic modelling to work on. Comparing myself with the stories above, I'm no where yet. Nevertheless, I'm not giving up. I'm fighting to end this battle by this year, if God will. Please pray for me.

For those of you who are is currently doing Ph.D, keep up the believe and spirit. Planning is very crucial. Remember the saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". For those who are in the 4th or 5th year or more (some of you are my colleagues), don't worry. Just do it. Be persistent and put in more effort. We know Ph.D is full of unexpected problems. The challenge is how we act to the test.

So, in conclusion, some aspects that are very crucial in ensuring success and speed in our Ph.D are as follows:

  • Always meet and report your work to your supervisor. At least once a week.
  • Set a goal and reason why you want to complete your Ph.D. That will drive and motivate you to finish your study.
  • Publish your work in reputable journals with impact factors. That's like an insurance policy during the VIVA.
I'm trying to fulfill all there imperative points above. Let's do it.

I strongly believe this story is motivating and inspiring although it is short. If you like it, I appreciate it very much if you can share it by LIKE it below (with Facebook).

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 9:01 PM,


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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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