Why did you decide to come to the U.S. to pursue your degree and, specifically, how did you decide to come to Philly, Drexel, and materials?
The U.S. was my choice because the country's reputation in materials research is one of the highest. One of my professors in Egypt recommended Drexel University as one of the highly ranked universities in materials science for graduate level study and research, then I applied for a scholarship and I got it. Also, the MAX phase research and publications of Professor Michel Barsoum and his team over the last 15 years persuaded me to come here, and it was a happy coincidence that Dr. Tamer El-Raghy, who was the first student who worked with Prof. Barsoum on MAX phases, got his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the same school where I got mine, Cairo University.
What are your favorite things about Philly?
It is a city full of tourist attractions and several historic places and I enjoy being here. I enjoy the Philadelphia Museum of Art very much.
What is your typical schedule like during the week and weekend?
I work for an average of 10 hours daily during the week. On weekends, usually I enjoy my time with my wife, but sometimes I have to work.
What do you find are the biggest differences between your home country and the U.S.?
I think the major difference is diversity in cultures in the U.S. I like this variety in traditions and cultures, which is not found in Egypt.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I'll seek a postdoc opportunity in the U.S. Then I'll go back to my home country, Egypt, and work as a lecturer at Cairo University.
How do you feel your Drexel materials degree will prepare you for your post-graduation plans?
After getting my Ph.D. and spending years working on research and experimental work, my understanding and "feeling" of materials should be enhanced and polished. This will help me in future research and, also, it will help in conveying that "feeling" and experience to future engineers.
Do you have any advice for international students looking to study in the U.S.?
This experience, especially if you are looking for research, deserves your every effort to be able to come here. After coming, you have to read a lot, work hard, seek success- as the saying goes, "the door of success is labeled PUSH"-and finally enjoy being in Philadelphia as much as possible because this is a fantastic place to live.