To become member of big family

News, 08 April 2022

On 24 March, a Practice for students and young scientists from the Arab Republic of Egypt at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, the first International Student Practice organized by the JINR University Centre after a break caused by pandemic restrictions, was concluded.

“This is the first Practice for Egyptian students after the Arab Republic of Egypt became a full-fledged JINR Member State. I hope that many of you will continue your research activities here at different positions — as graduates, postgraduates, or researchers,” JINR Vice-Director Latchesar Kostov noted at the ceremony of awarding certificates to the participants of the Practice.

Head of the International Cooperation Department of JINR Dmitry Kamanin emphasised that the best students were selected to participate in the Practice that was held in an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation, which was felt even on its final day. He introduced to the participants of the Practice all the opportunities opening up for them to take part in various research projects of the Institute.

The scientific supervisors of the Student Practice on the part of Egypt Professors Medhat Ibrahim and Valaa Seyf expressed their deep gratitude to JINR staff members for its organization and to the Head of the national group of Egypt at JINR Wael Badawy for his help and support in all matters. Professor Medhat Ibrahim repeated his words of gratitude for the JINR Weekly Newspaper, “We highly appreciate the efforts of Professor Dmitry Kamanin and his team, as well as of Professor Stanislav Pakuliak and the UC JINR team. We thank all JINR staff members for their hospitality and excellent organization of this Practice and look forward to closer cooperate with all the JINR Member States in the future. Thank you very much!”

Ali Dakrouni (Benha University) together with three other participants of the Practice worked on the project “PCR and sequencing as tools for detecting intragenic changes caused by ionizing radiation in the vestigial gene of Drosophila Melanogaster”. “To work in modern biology and molecular biology the knowledge gained during this Practice will be very useful,” the participant comments the Practice. “This includes the isolation of genomic DNA, polymerase chain reaction, assessment of the quality and quantity of DNA, as well as DNA sequencing. I liked Dubna, we also visited Moscow — it is a wonderful city.”

Kristina Afanasyeva (DLNP) supervised this training project, “These students are very well-prepared, with deep interests. They are eager to learn as much as possible, to master new techniques and approaches in order to take these skills back to their country. Egyptian students are always particularly interested in learning new things. Working with them was very interesting and I learned something new from them.”

The leader of the project “Coexistence of superconductivity and ferromagnetism in low-dimensional heterostructures” Vladimir Zhaketov (FLNP) said, “Two students – Maha Abdallah and Zaki A. Zaki – were engaged in our project. The students have shown themselves from the best side. A lot of work has been performed in a fairly short period of Practice. I told them a lot about our experimental method, polarized neutron reflectometry, and tasks, mainly about the study of heterostructures with superconducting and magnetic properties. In addition, throughout a week an experiment was being implemented on an X-ray diffractometer, in which students were actively engaged. I instructed them to carry out a large number of calculations to better understand the experimental method, which the students successfully completed in an extremely short period of time. It is important to note that I have previously collaborated with Maha Abdallah under the JINR Student Programme INTEREST. And in general, I can note that within the framework of this Programme, students from Egypt are always among the first.”

Maha Abdallah (Cairo University), “I really enjoyed working on the project under the supervision of Vladimir Zhaketov. It was a wonderful experience for me. I look forward to further cooperate with him. I wish Vladimir Zhaketov to become the supervisor of my Master’s thesis and in the future perhaps of my Ph.D. thesis.”

Zaki A. Zaki (Beni-Suef University), “Many thanks to our scientific supervisor Vladimir Zhaketov, he is a friendly person, he has helped us a lot. I look forward to our cooperation in further joint projects. Many thanks also to all the staff members of the Laboratory of Neutron Physics.”

Alexey Aparin (VBLHEP), “I have no experience in participating in short-term student practices, I purposely tried to avoid it, because it is very difficult to prepare a person qualitatively in three weeks. Circumstances were like this: for this Practice a student went to a scientific supervisor and the latter was forced to leave in a hurry. He called me 2-3 days after the start of the Practice with a request to supervise a student who really wanted to study high energy physics, particle physics. Taking into account these conditions, I decided that it was necessary to help both the supervisor, and the student. Everything turned out to be surprisingly well. Muhammad Ibrahim Abdulhamid was not well-prepared in terms of specialized education, as he explained, which is a common problem in Egypt, namely with particle physics and nuclear physics; there are few training courses, which are taught in a few places. But he was just eager to learn and we started with the basics. I gave him links to specialized review articles so that he could at least have a general idea of a large collaboration and large projects. I myself participate in two collaborations: MPD at JINR (Dubna) and STAR at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (USA). It turned out that just two weeks before visiting Dubna, Muhammad talked to a professor at the American University in Cairo, the leader of a group from this university in the STAR experiment.

I recommended Muhammad to apply for participation in a two-month practice, for which he would have time to prepare and in two months we would be able to carry out a more serious project. And in the future, he is aimed at further cooperation with us. I take it positively and I think that we will cooperate at least within the framework of the STAR experiment and in the future perhaps his colleagues from Cairo, from other universities will come to NICA and other related experiments.”

Wael Badawy (FLNP) summed up the results of the Practice, “This time 24 students visited us accompanied by two scientific supervisors. They were selected according to the previous scheme, through special face-to-face surveys and in an online format, in which the scientific interests of participants were revealed in great detail. The most qualified young people from various universities and institutes in Egypt were selected to participate in the Practice. All the JINR Laboratories were involved in this Practice and the entire range of research at the Institute was presented in training projects. I asked the supervisors of the projects to write me feedback on the students’ work and I received absolutely positive comments. All the supervisors want the participants of the Practice to return to them for a longer time in order to gain more experience and of course to defend their dissertations, since many of the trainees are already young scientists, assistant lecturers at universities, postgraduate students. The Practice was interesting for them. At the closing ceremony, many of the participants in their speeches noted that JINR was a good scientific base for them, where they could perform good scientific work, which in the future will have a positive impact on their scientific careers in Egyptian research centres.

As you know, since November last year, Egypt has become a full-fledged JINR Member State. At the extraordinary CP JINR session, the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt in JINR, President of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology of Egypt Professor Mahmoud Sakr made a speech and the participants of the Practice pointed out that they felt how good it was to be a real member of this large family, which gave them the confidence that they would definitely return here for the implementation of scientific work.”