Monday, 14 December 2009

My PhD story : Part I

Saya ada cita-cita.... cita-cita saya utk mengeluarkan buku mengumpul cerita-ceriti phD-phD student yg telah menamatkan study masing2...sama ada di akhirnya mrk berjaya atau pun tidak...

Kenapa? Sebagai pengajaran dan hikmah buat mereka di luar sana yg inshaAllah akan buat PhD, ataupun mrk yg ada insan yg terdekat yg akan buat PhD...pada dasarnya maybe hanya 10-15% sahaja drp the whole population yg akan buat PhD....tak ramai, jadi nature of PhD ni tak diketahui ramai sgt org...

Saya bertuah krn ayah saya buat PhD juga...jadi saya tahu la lebih kurang bagaimana naturenya...cumanya, biasala anak remaja time tu, kalau ayah yg bgtahu, ala2 tak caye gitu, huhu...tapi because of his experience, he can advise me accordingly...bagaimana pula yg mrk2 yg takde org terdekat yg pernah buat PhD? I don't think they have a clue what PhD requires out of, perhaps one day, a book of this type will be able to help and guide them, or at least share our experiences with them....

Panjang jugak nak cerita maklum, a history of 5 years of my life....and interestingly, semua cerita PhD masing2 adalah, we actually we can learn from each other, inshaAllah...

Mana nak mula ek?

1) Pre- PhD story

My quest of PhD scholarship started after i resigned from a cyberjaya company as an IC designer. The company was a private company, small but yet very busy. I started to realise that I cannot keep living my life like that. Balik lambat, balik pun dah stress sgt, makan pun lebih kurang...esok the same, stress dan berlambak kerja....weekend pula masih duk fikir problem2 yg tak leh solve masa kat tempat kerja....hidup jadi sangat penat....nak pergi usrah pun rasa betapa terbebannya...tu masa masih single! Takleh bayangkan kalau dah ada famili...saya sanggup gaji tak setinggi kerja di situ for a quality of that is worth living for!

Di takdirkan time tu saya ada kawan yg baru habis PhD...Kak Miza...she was an engineer before then quit and started her pHD and and worked as a lecturer in one the university in Malaysia... I remember once I asked you love what you are doing now? (ie. lecturing)...and she replied unhesitatingly " THE BEST JOB EVER!"... and after that I too wanted the best job ever tu i surveyed and applied work as a tutor in UNITEN, and the purpose was solely to get a scholarship to do PhD (direct, without masters)....mind you, zaman tu, 2002 takde org lagi wat PhD direct ni...seme biasanya wat masters pastu phD...jadi kalau nak wat cam tu, kene fight gak la, sbb nak convince kan org2 atas....

well, to cut the story short...I was accepted into Uniten and they promised me in the interview that I will be able to do the PhD direct in UK...lepas kerja dalam 4 bulan, they called me and told me that TNB now having money crisis and not able to sponsor me...they can only sponsor me to do twinning PhD....of course this is not why i applied there, so, i decided to give my resignation letter and started to search for other universities which can give me what I want...


I actually applied for two universities, UPM and UIA...UPM because my father told me it will be a good one coz it is near to our house in Seri Kembangan and it is an established univ....UIA because I love the idea of teaching majority muslim students...unlike Uniten, majority of the students are non-muslims...and I had experiences that crushed my heart and hope for the students...I do teach whole heartedly, and I do not want my spirit, energy, enthusiasm went to UIA suits this criteria very much...

I was accepted in both universities...(oh yes, for undergrad students, getting a first class honours really does help you in applying for work in academia)...the dean of the engineering faculty of UPM, even spares some time to have a chat with me...however, as the stories goes, i ended up in UIA...the interview and the university really do impress me, the mission and vision of UIA...all hits the right keys...and of course they have also promised my PhD quest...

Why do a PhD?

This is a must question for anybody wanting to pursue a PhD...and the niyyah may actually change over the years of doing the PhD...however the initial intention is most tutors in universities, in order to be a lecturer we need a PhD, a do I...Plus actually at that time, I wanted to be like my father...i want to have a PhD just like my ayah...and i was really determined and seperti ramai org2 muda, always positive thinking! hehe...

Selepas masuk beberapa bulan kerja...UIA told me that now the country is having a recession, and the economy is too bad to sponsor many students to UK...For that year, 2004, KPT only offered 4 places for staff to study in UK (yes, for all faculties in UIA, all have to compete for that4 places)...and.the rest have to go to other cheaper countries...(masa tu, exchange rate in UK started to rise to 7!)....Of course, I was thoroughly devastated hearing the news plus marah gak la...because they had promised me!!

However, being stubborn as I am, I determined to be one of the four chosen staff that time I already contacted a few universities in UK...and the fastest response was...guess who? hehehe...well my current supervisor, Prof. John David....I told him that I am having this problem now on the scholarship and he said he will help me as much as possible to secure the scholarship. I personally have a meeting with the dean of engineering at that time and told him, i really want to do this PhD...and i would like his support. Of course tak mudah la sesi tu huhu, sampai merah2 muka dean tu masa tu, hehe, but I was really determined...and in the end he asked me to collect the statistics of Univ. Of sheffield and write a small report of the credibility of the university and the group I am applying for. Of course, I didn't do this myself...john helped me all the dean then were convinced and he said he will backed me up in the senate nye meeting...

To cut story short again.... alhamdulillah, Allah blessed me with the good news....i was chosen to go to UK for that year! Huh, panjang story nak ke boleh wat PhD ni...panjang lagi story masa wat PhD, hehe....then I realised, whatever it is I have to get a PhD as i was trusted by UIA to choose me amongst berpuluh2 staff yg apply tahun is surely an amanah...

Ok lah sambung lain masa come...why do optoelectronics?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

ManuSia SeRinG meNoLaK HiDaYaH?

Rambut sama hitam,hati lain-lain.Itulah manusia.Ada manusia yang sungguh-sungguh berdoa meminta agar diberikan hidayah.Namun ada juga manusia yang beria-ia menolak hidayah dan langsung tidak berusaha untuk mengapainya.Bagaimana dikatakan menolak?

Menuru Muhammad al-Mu"afa,terdapat beberapa perbuatan yang boleh di anggap menolak hidayah iaitu:

1.Berpaling daripada hukum Allah s.w.t.
2.Mengelak daripada melakukan ketaatan kepada Allah s.w.t.
3.Berpaling daripada tanda-tanda kekuasaan_Nya serta keesaan-Nya.
4.Mengelak daripada membelanjakan wang di jalan Allah.
5.Tidak suka berzikir menyebut nama Allah.
6.Lalai mengingati akhirat.
7.Tidak membaca al-quran dan merenungi isi kandungannya apatah lagi beramal dengan ajaranya.
8.Tidak bersyukur dengan nikmat dan sebarang kurniaan yang telah diberikan Allah kepadanya.
9.Terlalu mengikut hawa nafsu.
10.Mudah terpesona dengan godaan syaitan dan tipu dayanya.
11.Memekakkan telinga daripada mendengar peringatan-peringatan.

Apa hukum berpaling daripada hidayah?

Menurut Ibn Hajar al-Haithimi dalam kitabnya,Al-Zawajir"an Iqtiraf al_kabair,menolak hidayah merupakan dosa besar lebih besar daripada dosa mencuri,berzina dan lain-lain kerana mempunyai kesan yang sangat buruk terhadap pelakunya.


Kupasan Dari Majalah solusi bertajuk Murrabi oleh zuraimi ismail.

JaLiNan UkhuWWah MusiM SeJuk 2009


Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Europe)…is presenting to you:


Looking for a chance of a mega Reunion?
Seeking for an opportunity to meet new friends?
Well, here is one spectacular event not to be missed!

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Europe) presents to you:

“We Share A Dream”

Venue: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Date: 22nd to 25th December 2009
Inviting: All Malaysians residing in the UK, Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, France, etc

-Outdoor teambuilding activities
-Indoor teambuilding activities
-Spiritual Enlightenment
-Talk(s) by a renowned speaker
-And many more

*But not forgetting of course, SKIing!!!! (optional)

To be confirmed…but it is better that you book your place now!

Info & registration:

Registration/enquiries: (email)

or, please contact these Representatives below, they’ll be more than happy to help you!


Iqbal Tahir (Director of Programme) – Sheffield

Azizi Rosli – Cardiff

Faezuddin – Dublin

Hafiz Karim – Manchester

Syahir Rajuddin – Czech Republic (Olomouc)

Nor Arifah (Deputy Director of Programme) – Manchester

Norhayati Hasan – Dublin

Nor Nasuha Mail – Dublin

Aisyah Abd Razak – Galway

Sakinah Abdullah – Czech Republic

*Or, just simply comment on this post or via the shoutbox!

~Please forward this announcement to all your contacts. Invite as many people as you wish!~
(This is YOUR Programme)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Examiners of my viva

Ni external examiner, nama dia Dr. Stephen Sweeney....drp Surrey University. Some details on him :

Stephen's primary research interests lie in the area of semiconductor laser physics with a particular onus on optimising laser performance. He has produced >150 journal papers and conference proceedings in this area including several invited papers. Stephen has recently expanded his interests into photonic sensors based on both III-V and Si technologies. Recent topics include:

  • semiconductor lasers for temperature insensitive operation (quantum dots, dilute-nitrides etc)
  • widely tunable lasers
  • vertical cavity surface emitting lasers and LEDs for plastic fibre systems
  • semiconductor lasers for optical pumping (EDFA, Raman) and printing and data storage applications
  • using photonic devices to sense chemical and biological samples (liquids and gases)

Yang ni pulak internal examiner, Dr. Kristian Groom. Details on him :

Kristian received the MPhys and Ph.D degrees from the Department of Physics & Astronomy at The University of Sheffield, in 1999 and 2003, respectively. He then joined the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering at the same university, where he is presently based.

Since obtaining his PhD, for research into the carrier processes and dynamics in InGaAs quantum dot lasers, he has mainly worked on long wavelength GaAs-based lasers (under the EU NanoMat programme) and InP-based quantum cascade lasers, and has co-authored over 30 papers.

In 2005 he was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering / EPSRC Research Fellowship for research into advanced semiconductor laser engineering, with his main research interests being III-V semiconductor lasers, amplifiers and superluminescent diodes, and the development of advanced fabrication technologies for such devices.


Alhamdulillah, both of them were very nice... tanya soalan dgn cara baik, bukannya tanya soalan seolah2 cam nak menembak atau menganiaya kita....both are family man, so biasanya mrk2 ni ada gak la hati perut, hehehe.... Kebanyakan soalan were asked by Steve tu, yg internal tak banyak soalan pun, mungkin sbb dia muda lagi and tak berapa experience. Tapi tu lah, the viva lasted almost 4 hours!

Mula2 depa bgtahu start kul 2pm, jadi saya pun dtg la kul 2pm, pastu rupanya, Steve tu terlewat naik train drp Surrey (jauh gak surrey ni drp sheffield, ada gak la more than 3 hours), mrk tunda ke 2.30 pm. I had to wait in the head of department sitting room. Berdebar tak tau nak kata la, huhu....pastu mrk start la viva...dalam 4 jam tu cuma 15 minit je kot rehat, sbb mrk nak ke toilet...

The atmosphere masa viva tu informal je...saya makan biskut lagi masa tu sbb lapar dah dekat 3 jam setengah tu, saya mula lembik, dia tanya soalan sampai 3 kali baru la faham, sbb cam otak dah tak leh compute dah, penat sgt! Tapi pakcik tu keep on saying, I have to ask this question...

Kuar2 bilik tu dah gelap...kul 6pm lebih...yeap maghrib jamak la nampaknya sbb dah isyak by that time...mrk suh duk luar bilik dalam 10-15 minits before mrk panggil balik utk bgtahu kita lulus ke tak....i think that 15 minutes was the longest EVER 15 minutes i ever had! rasa cam dua jam tunggu, huhu, berdebar tok sah nak kata la...tskk

Akhirnya depa panggil masuk n bgtahu la, yg setelah berbincang mrk decided to pass me with minor correction, alhamdulillah!! Ada la lagi pujian yg lain, tapi biasalah mat salleh suka puji org, tak yah la citer kat sini...

Lepas beberapa hari viva, John bgtahu yg Steve tu berminat lagi nak jumpa saya dalam bulan January...sbb dia interested in the results...pastu yg internal tu pun masa sy jumpa nak amik correction pun kata, sorry la lama viva tu, Steve tu mesti interested dgn thesis tu sbb kalau tak takkan sampai 4 jam....he said it is a good thing..(well, i dunno, 4 hours is really traumatic for me)

Habislah satu chapter dalam hidup saya dan suami....Allah Maha Besar, segala pujian dikembalikan kpd Allah... saya doakan rakan2 yg masih berjuang berjaya juga one day, ameen...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Tension sungguh!

Tengah geram ni...

Baru baca journal paper of a korean research assistant yg pernah bekerja di Physics department kat university of sheffield....I know him and sebelum ni, beberapa kali pergi jumpa dia to discuss things...

and i even show my results at that time...sbb tak boleh explain lagi time tu....tup tap....dia publish paper baru dgn nama prof di fizik department (kawan baik john dan juga the author of the paper am writing now)...dan results dia similar to what i have but with different explanation!!!

yg sakit jiwa tu, banyak apa yg dia tulis di ambil drp first paper kami, tak tak de decency to even refer pun! teruk betul... prof yg kat fizik department tu pun marah, terkejut dan malu dgn paper yg mamat korea publish sbb dia tak bagi pun prof tu baca paper tu sebelum submit, dia sedar bila dah publish pun!!

what the???!!!

huh, kene sambung baca paper ni...sakit jiwa bila baca...manusia ni mmg la tak leh dipercayai...

just to melegakan hati, paper dia tu tak la comprehensive sgt, banyak hand waiving things...yg paper yg kami sdgn tulis ni lagi detail la, tapi it took longer sbb terlalu detail (ni penyakit prof2 ni...nak wat detail2, mula2 sy nk wat 3 pages je, skrg dah jadi 7 pages)

takpelah....nak kene diskas paper ni ngan john lepas ni...

pengajaran? Hati2 ngan manusia...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

PhD ada cuti kah?

Saya gemar baca PhD comics ni...banyak kali tu mmg terjadi kat kami semua....seperti contoh komik strip diatas....hehe...kalau ikut supervisor kami, mmg la tak de istilah cuti...weekend kah, cuti umum kah...tok sah harap ler...

cam baru2 ni...raya haji...jadi sy bagitau lah sy tak akan dtg ari jumaat tu sbb raya...dia pun kata, oklah camtu, tapi wiken nanti dia akan call...tak cukup ngan tu, dia kata nanti christmas, awk tak bercuti kan? ye lah, sbb awk bukan kristian and plus dah amik cuti raya tu, huhu....sebenarnya ada la logik gak kat situ, namun...sapa yg tak nak bercuti ye dak?

in the end, dia tak call pun wiken tu, alhamdulillah...saya pun tak berapa sihat, jadi banyak habiskan masa berehat je...tidur manjang...

beginilah hidup org wat phd :) (well, true for mrk yg dpt supervisor cam supervisor kami la ) setakat sharing borak2 kosong2....