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Strengthen the cooperation between GFRIs
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Opportunity Reveals Itself Only to Those Who Are Ready

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  • Registration Date : 2019-10-31
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A Conversation with Alumni

Opportunity Reveals Itself Only to Those Who Are Ready

Muhammad Imran (Alumni of UST-Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) Campus, Energy System Engineering Major, Graduated in 2016, Currently a Professor at Aston University)

There is a famous quote, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” but many find it difficult to get both at the same time. Though one phrase can’t fully encompass one’s life, it came to me that Muhammad Imran’s research life perfectly fits the phrase. He took his time and prepared himself to achieve his goal, and finally took the wonderful opportunity. We are going to share Imran’s story that we just brought from England today.

A Journey to the First Milestone in Life

After graduating UST-KIER Campus, Imran’s research experience and accomplishment led him to the new phase of his life. After he successfully finished Marie Cuire Individual Fellow at Technical University of Denmark he was offered a professor position from three other universities, including University of Twente in the Netherlands, The University of Auckland in New Zealand and Aston University in England. He weighed his options and chose to go with Aston University. He’s giving a lecture on energy efficiency to 210 college students from 27 countries this fall. Besides teaching, he’s taking time to develop his independent research program, as well.

On his journey to launch his career, he endeavored to prepare for the future. His time at UST-KIER Campus was particularly helpful, he recalls. What UST offers from the support for international students to access to high quality research and education and government funded research institute was the reason he chose UST in the first place, which indeed turned out to provide a strong foundation for his research, as he expected. Making full use of this resource, he proved his potential as a researcher with distinguished performance. On top of all this, UST brought him lifetime friends and a mentor. In other words, an important piece of his life was crafted at UST.

UST, the Only Chance and the Best Experience

Let’s delve in to what Imran was working on. During his doctorate program, his main field of research was waste heat and low temperature heat conversion using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). In ORC, he focused on design and optimization, choice of working fluids, convection boiling and condensation of refrigerants, binary mixtures, positive displacement expander, system integration and dynamic modeling and control. This research led him to not only developing but commercializing a 5kW, 30kW and 100kW ORC system. He has also reported many of his studies on prominent international journals and conferences.

“I have a lot of happy and proud moments during my time at UST. Among them is when my work was recognized by KIER and UST. I received the Excellent Research prize both at KIER and UST, in 2015 and February 2016 at the graduation ceremony, respectively. The experience and expertise I had accumulated during my doctorate program was the first step to taking me where I am now.”

Imran also didn’t waste any spare energy by proactively participating in a variety of UST programs. The list includes a mentoring program, summer and winter classes, Korean class, overseas training support program, etc. Korean class was the most memorable one since it enabled him to communicate better with his lab members as well as feel more comfortable with enjoying Korean life.

“I still cherish the time I took Korean class. Omija tea with my advisor and a cup of coffee from a vending machine during my break―these are the happiest memories I have in Korea.”

We asked Imran, who got the real taste of UST, if he has any story to share with current USTians.

“UST will serve you the best experience and best opportunity. It’s the only chance to hone your expertise as a researcher. I must say that you make full use of UST as a resource. Also, have confidence that you can do it; set a positive and realistic goal; know the priority of your thesis paper and work on it; try to expand the human network in your field of study. You will seize the opportunity if you meticulously prepare yourself for the future.”

Mental Support, the Source of Growth

His academic advisor Professor Hyouck Ju Kim, Byung-Sik Park at UST-KIER campus played a significant role in his growth. He was always rooting for his students so they can keep moving forward without feeling exhausted. He guided the students with his inquisitive mentoring style. He also encouraged students to have responsibility in executing their work.

“My academic advisor occasionally treated us to dinner. He also joined entertaining activities. He passionately supported his students when we go to conferences. His guidance and support always felt reassuring. I think it’s such a blessing for any students to have mental support from academic advisors during their studies.”

With his academic advisor’s caring guidance, Imran has grown one step after the other. Now, he has become a professor and is teaching his own students. He plans to teach undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of thermodynamics, heat transfer and renewable and sustainable energy engineering. We hope the mental support he had during his studies at UST-KIER passes down to his students as it did to Imran, and will be a source of growth for his students.

“My goal is to lead a research group in the field of low-end thermal energy conversion technology, recognized by academics and industry. I want to succeed in productive research outcomes to expand and develop my research.”