AUC’s Orientation for New Students

AUC’s Orientation for New Students
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Published August 31st, 2010 - 13:13 GMT

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Amr Shaarawi
,
Reem Al Olaby
,
Science and Technology Research Center
,
American University in Cairo

The American University in Cairo is holding orientation for new students and faculty and this year the students include 19 PhD candidates.  The PhD program offers degrees in applied sciences with specializations in nanotechnology, biotechnology and computer science; and in engineering with specializations in mechanical, construction, electronics and environmental engineering.  It is designed to take an interdisciplinary approach to examine and resolve issues of fundamental scientific importance. The approach applies processes from the natural and life sciences as well as the theoretical and computational methods of analysis from the disciplines of engineering, mathematics and computer sciences.
In remarks at the PhD orientation, Amr Shaarawi, associate dean for graduate studies and research, noted that the university conducted a survey of how many AUC faculty members were supervising PhD students outside AUC over the past five years. It found that the faculty supervised approximately 60 PhD students, 25 of whom have completed their PhD.

“I have great expectations and I think we have a great starting class. We interviewed 45 out of 50 applicants. We were very selective and the applicants proved to be of excellent caliber,” said Shaarawi. “In our study for the feasibility of this program, it was clear that in five years there will be an even higher demand for this program.”

Reem Al Olaby, who is pursuing her PhD in biotechnology after receiving her master’s degree in the same field from AUC last semester, thinks that AUC is the best place to implement thinking out of the box. “I already obtained my masters degree from AUC and my father is an AUC graduate. The distinguished professors of AUC help you a lot and at the same time keep you independent,” she said.

Dalia Nakhla, PhD student in environmental engineering, has always wanted to join AUC’s PhD program since she obtained her master’s degree in environmental engineering in 1997.”I was waiting for its launch because I didn’t want to go anywhere else in Egypt,” she said.

Advanced experimental and computational facilities at AUC have been developed in recent years at the departmental laboratories to pave the way for the PhD program. The facilities of the Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center (YJ-STRC) have expanded, especially in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and material science and engineering.

The American University in Cairo (AUC) was founded 90 years ago and is major contributor to the social, political and cultural life of the Arab Region.  It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions, and study abroad programs. An independent, nonprofit, apolitical, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.

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