What UST Has Taught Me: Taking Advantage of My Strength

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  • Registration Date : 2020-05-06
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A Conversation with Alumni

What UST Has Taught Me: Taking Advantage of My Strength

Alumnus Muhammad Zubair Khan (PhD Program, UST-Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) Campus, New Energy and System Engineer Major, Graduated in 2018, Currently an Assistant Professor at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology)

UST’s proudest moment would be to see UST students find their way in society and recognized for their work. We heard some exciting news earlier this year: our alumnus Muhammad Zubair Khan, who completed his doctorate degree at UST-KIER Campus in 2018, was hired at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences as an assistant professor. We talked with Khan who went back to his home country Pakistan after 7 years of his Korean life to play a role as a researcher and educator.

Once in a Lifetime Memory and Experience

Khan wanted to explore something new in the most dynamic country in Asia and found Korea to be the perfect place. In particular, he wanted to obtain a doctorate degree at Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), which has top-notch state-of-art resources for the renewable energy engineering field. That’s how his seven-year life in Korea began. Although he is currently back in Pakistan and working at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology as an assistant professor, his time in Korea still remains to be an unforgettable memory to him―the time he dedicated every moment with his energy, effort and passion.

I was extremely lucky to make a lot of good memories while I went to UST. It changed the quality of my life. I was provided with the resources necessary for my studies, which honed my prowess in my field, and I learned a priceless lesson on the ever-changing world. Above all, though, the best experience I had was to be able to introduce my studies to other researchers when I went to the Korean class at UST.

Khan was studious but he was also eagerly interested in participating in UST programs. From Freshmen Orientation to the Innovative Idea Contest, Korean Speaking Contest, Overseas Training Support Program and Korean Class to Cultural Experience Tour, new experiences at UST were stepping stones for his growth.

No Shortcut for Good Research

During his doctoral studies, Khan’s research revolved around lifetime prediction modeling of solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) materials and their durability improvement. SOFC produces electricity by electrochemical reaction of air or oxygen with hydrogen and hydrocarbons made from oxidizing liquefied natural gas (LNG). It’s a facility for low-carbon and highly efficient new and renewable energy generation.

He earned an outstanding research outcome which drew attention during his studies. He invented the world’s first mathematical model to predict the lifetime of SOFC. He was the leading author of 6 thesis papers published in SCI journals. He presented his studies at 15 different international conferences and won the grand prize twice. His work was recognized and honored with the Head of Research Institute Award when he graduated from UST. All these accumulated experiences and achievements at UST led him to the educator’s path now.

“I’m an assistant professor at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology and teaching energy material related courses to undergraduate and graduate students. This subject deals with utilizing application research and nanotechnology in the energy field. In particular, we focus on the role of nanotechnology in sustainable energy production, efficient energy storage and ethical use of energy.”

An educator’s job is not simply to deliver knowledge; he impacts students’ attitudes and goals in their lives. Khan’s path as an educator has just begun. What kind of educator does Khan envision to become?

My goal as an educator is to have positive influence on my students. I want them to know that they are capable of becoming something great. I feel immensely responsible for this. I want to do my best so my students can have the best education possible and whatever they choose in their career, they can be successful.

He had the golden time of his life at UST and wanted to leave a piece of advice to other UST students.

“There’s no such a thing as a shortcut in good research. If you improve your ability to understand and focus on discovering a great research idea, it’s ‘good research.’ The next important step is to conduct a productive study after you set a plan. However, above all else, what determines success in your research will be confidence. If you are afraid of failure, you will have hard time making it to where you want to go. Once you learn how to get over what seems to be a failure, research will be a lot more fun and you will learn a lot about your field of study.”

Khan is currently conducting research on improving the durability of SOFC materials and developing the efficient and smart design of the SOFC. Khan has just begun his journey as a researcher and an educator. To him, we’d like to send our congratulations and support.