Life as a foreigner at UNAM

Amira Ahmed

Graduate Student at Biyikli Research Group

BSc. Biophysics, Ain Shams University, Egypt


Why did you choose UNAM as your graduate institution?

I got to know UNAM at the 4th Cleanroom Workshop, held at the institute in June 2014. I found the facilities to be quite impressive, and especially appreciated the cleanroom organization, since I used to work in a cleanroom in my previous university back in Egypt. The systems available in the cleanroom, along with the quality of the ongoing research in the institute, were the main reason for me to join the UNAM family.

Which research group do you belong to, and what is the topic of your research?

I’m a member of the Bıyıklı Group. In particular, I’m working on the applications of functional oxide thin films with Dr. Eda Goldenberg, under the supervision of Dr. Necmi Bıyıklı.

What can you say about UNAM?

UNAM has many strong points that I think are missing in other research entities:

Assigning equipment and services to students as an obligatory responsibility. I have research experience in four universities and two research institutes, and none of them practiced such a system.

Weekly seminars from national and international speakers. This is a really good effort to keep us, the students, up to date

Do you have any suggestions to improve the quality of research and teaching at UNAM?

Given the quality of the ongoing research projects, I think UNAM should found its own startup company.

Mustafa M. Fadlelmula F.

Graduate Student at Strongly Correlated Materials Laboratory

BSc. Materials Science and Engineering/Anadolu University/ESKISEHIR


Could you detail the main research subjects investigated by your lab?

We are working in the development of new types of transistors, using transition metal oxides and especially vanadium dioxide crystals. We fabricate these from scratch and document their electronic properties, such as their metal-insulator transition characteristics. We aim to use these properties in order to introduce a new class of transistor materials – that is, if things work out.

Which methods are most frequently used in your lab?

So far we are growing vanadium crystals by physical vapor deposition and investigate the composition of these crystals by Raman spectroscopy. Later in the project, we will be using SEM, TEM, AFM and other types of characterization techniques in order to identify the structural defects created in the materials and investigate the new properties resulting from our experimental results.

In your opinion, why should a student choose UNAM in general, and your lab in particular?

I believe UNAM is well equipped institute, in terms of both instruments and academic staff. This combination provides a good environment of research. As such, UNAM is good choice for these who seek to pursue a higher education. I myself had previous experience with vanadium oxides during my undergraduate program, and therefore wanted to continue building up upon my fundamentals on that field.

Could you explain the work environment of your lab and UNAM?

First of all, in a place like UNAM, where everybody is committed to their work, people are easily motivated by their colleagues to work harder and achieve more. As for my lab, I am working with a very enthusiastic young adviser, Assist. Prof. T. Serkan Kasırga. As such, I am always being motivated and pushed to my limits to achieve the best of what I can do.

Arbab M. Toufiq

Postdoctoral Associate at Bayındır research group

PhD, University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China

E-mail: toufiq(at)

Could you give the details about the research topic you are currently working on? How long have you been working on the subject?

My current research project is based on high-power fibre Lasers and I have started working on it on January, 2015.

Do you have any published work regarding your subject?

Yes, I have been able to publish 22 research articles in reputed journals during my Ph. D research. As I have recently joined my current research group and started working on the subject, I am hopeful to publish more articles in near future too.

Why did you choose UNAM? Why did you choose your current group?

There is no doubt UNAM is a world class research centre with renowned professors/researchers, having excellent research facilities and dynamic groups working on innovative projects including high power lasers, which is my area of research interest.

As a new member in UNAM and your group, did you find hard to adapt the working environment?

It always takes time to adapt the environment and the research culture because it varies from country to country but I hope to adapt it soon.

Do you engage in collaborations with other groups?

We have plans to make research collaborations in the near future, not only in Turkey but also worldwide, with academic and industrial organizations.

Do you have any last comments?

I would like to express my thanks for arranging this interview and providing me a chance to discuss my research achievements and future aims on this platform.

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