After I finished my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Iran, I immediately started working as a metallurgy engineer in a foundry. I worked for almost nine years in various companies and achieved a great amount of work experience in industrial metallurgy. Because I have also been passionate about the scientific aspect of my working field, I engaged with research in metallurgy in industry and universities as much as I could. This passion, having resulted in two books on the topics of ‘metallic foam’ and ‘lost foam casting techniques’, finally convinced me to go abroad to broaden my experience and knowledge.
By then, I had shortlisted a few domains that I would like to peruse in my PhD. I liked to work either on biomaterials in which metallurgy and medicine come together, new metallic structures such as metallic foams and composites, or particular metallic materials like magnesium and titanium. I was surprised to learn that there was a project at Deakin University, Australia, at the intersection of these three domains: “Biocompatible and biodegradable Mg/Mg composite foam for bone tissue engineering”.
Australia! My childhood dream country! When I was a small child, I used to watch many cartoons that took place in Australia, or series’ about its surprising wild life and wonderful landscape. Now it was my turn to go there and experience it firsthand, with my own eyes.
So, my wife Saghar and I traveled to Australia. We arrived at Deakin’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus in May 2012 where we did not know anyone. On my first day at the Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI), a nice lady, Andrea Shimmen, approached me and greeted me in a glad, polite and very friendly way. She was very kind and spoke with a fluent English accent. All my worries vanished. I visited the campus calmly and I loved it straight away!
I had such a good time at DUELI with their extremely supportive teachers. After 10 weeks, I graduated from the English for Academic Purpose program and joined the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) to start my PhD in Engineering.
The facilities provided by the IFM and the opportunity to work with such advanced equipment excited me. I started a new scientific life with a much deeper point of view! And for this, I will always be grateful to my supervisors Professor Peter Hodgson and Dr Yuncang Li, and the lab technicians at IFM who encouraged and supported me.
I joined DUELI again after almost a year of leaving. This time as a leader to support and assist visitors and new students. It was a pleasant feeling to help and support other students, especially because I was in their shoes less than a year ago. This was my first casual job in Australia.
In May 2016, I got my first casual academic position at IFM. In June 2016, I submitted my PhD thesis, and in mid-July I landed my first full-time academic position at IFM as an associate research fellow.
Completing my PhD at Deakin was a great opportunity for me to improve my knowledge, participate in international conferences, meet a lot of researchers, ameliorate my network for the future, meet people with various cultures, travel, and also experience outdoor activities. I thoroughly loved those years of my life.
Living in Australia with relaxed and lovely Australians has been full of fun for me. Also, studying at Deakin has created a lot of opportunities for me and has made me believe that even the impossible is possible!
For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.