Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Astronomy (Concentration in Business and Technology)
Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
In my first summer I worked with Dr. Aaswath Raman on exploring desalination by freezing techniques. After completing my summer with Dr. Raman, I moved on to work with Dr. Vohs for one summer and two semesters. With Dr. Vohs, I Investigated the catalytic and photocatalytic properties of titanium and copper doped nanostructure materials. I used temperature programmed desorption techniques to study the reactivity of the surfaces when covered with different compounds. This summer, I am working as a performance analyst at Veolia North America (a company focused on energy waste and water). At Veolia my role is to assess performance and provide quantitative analyses for future strategic directions.
Why did you choose VIPER?
I chose VIPER because it allowed me to focus on what my true passion was from the very beginning. I have always been interested in renewable energy sources and sustainable development. Coming from Egypt, I have seen first-hand how conventional energy methods have a severe negative impact on our environment. VIPER allowed me to be on the forefront of energy research and I am glad to say that it has given me the opportunity to be a part of this sustainable movement that aims for a better tomorrow.
What are three words you would use to describe VIPER?
Innovative, focused, tough
What is your favorite aspect about the program?
The ability to study two subjects within the STEM field really interests me. By completing degrees in Physics and Mechanical Engineering I have felt that I gained a wider and more whole perspective in my classes. I have been able to take the skills that I learned in my physics classes and apply them to my engineering courses and vice versa. Overall, I feel like my toolbox of skills has been greatly expanded with this experience.
How do you see VIPER integrating into your future goals?
I think the thing I realized about VIPER is its ability to be integrated in multiple career paths. The information that I have gathered through the years allowed me to gain a strong technical foundation and a comprehensive view of the energy world and that would be something that I plan to use in my future careers. Whether it is in a technical industry or not, having that knowledge would benefit me greatly.
How do you like to spend your free time? Are you involved in any organizations in or out of Penn?
I’ve always been a fan of the water, when I am in an environment like the sea or ocean, I feel a sense of liberation that I haven’t really felt anywhere else. Growing up, I always took the chance to spend as much time on the water as possible, I enjoy scuba diving, wakeboarding and fishing. At Penn however, I like to spend my free time exploring the cultural diversity of Philadelphia. I try to go off the beaten path and look for culinary experiences that introduce me to different cultures. I think that Philadelphia has proved to be a great city to find these hidden spots. I am involved in a number of organizations at Penn including; Penn Engineering Council, Project Sunshine and Pennsylvania Investment Alliance. All these organizations have allowed me to expand my scope and dive into new fields where I learn to appreciate new skills and experiences.
What advice would you give to incoming VIPER students?
The thing about VIPER that I realized is that: this experience is unique to everyone. I realized in my second year that research wasn’t the path that was drawn out for me, and to be honest I did have a moment of anxiousness. However, soon after, I came to the realization that this program is so versatile and can be applied to a wide number of career paths. I feel that people do recognize and appreciate the focused technical background that you gain from enrolling in VIPER. Research has provided me with a depth of knowledge on analytical thinking and problem solving skills and I am certain that these tools will be of great help wherever I end up in the future.