By Taruna Rapaka
Mohamed first came to KAUST in 2021, as a visiting student for the Saudi summer internship (SSI) program. He was flabbergasted by the University's cultural diversity and exceptional research facilities, which impelled him to pursue his academic career here.
What was your main subject during your undergraduate degree, and why did you choose it?
I studied physics as an undergraduate because physics gave me the fundamentals to conquer any related subject with a strong background and understanding of nature.
When did your interest in applied physics arise? What are your research interests?
I was interested in pursuing my studies from my freshman year, but in my final year, I was interested in diving into the applied physics field. My research interests mainly fall in quantum physics, especially quantum optics and materials.
What are you hoping to achieve with your research? Do you have an overarching research goal?
I hope that my research helps me to strongly understand my subject and apply it to advance the scientific wheel.
What prompted you to become a researcher in the first place? Was there a particular "eureka moment" in your youth, or was it a carefully planned out progression to where you are today?
I believe it is a mix of the two. I remember in high school, I struggled to solve a physics question in the final exam and was about to give up, but my teacher told me that the math teacher considered me the best student (in math). This encouraged me to have a passion for diving into science, especially physics, where you can use math to understand nature.
What do you like to do outside of work? What are your hobbies?
I like playing different sports such as running, football and volleyball. Also, I enjoy exploring philosophical questions and discussing them with my friends. From time to time, I like to try new things to see if I am interested.
What do you strive for after obtaining M.S. degree?
I am planning to obtain my Ph.D.
What is your future outlook?
My future outlook is to deliver my scientific knowledge to the next generations and provide them with the tools for improvement.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I look forward to seeing how my life will go in these two years. From what I experienced in my undergraduate degree, I believe that my master’s degree will be filled with outstanding moments that will significantly impact my life.